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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 140493
Last updated: 19 November 2018
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Date:20-DEC-2011
Time:10:05
Type:Silhouette image of generic TBM7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Socata TBM700C2
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N731CA
C/n / msn: 332
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Interstate 287, 1 mile south of Morristown, New Jersey -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Teterboro, NJ (TEB)
Destination airport:Atlanta, GA (PDK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
Although the pilot filed an instrument flight rules flight plan through the Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS), no evidence of a weather briefing was found. The flight departed in visual meteorological conditions and entered instrument meteorological conditions while climbing through 12,800 feet. The air traffic controller advised the pilot of moderate rime icing from 15,000 feet through 17,000 feet, with light rime ice at 14,000 feet. The controller asked the pilot to advise him if the icing worsened, and the pilot responded that he would let them know and that it was no problem for him. The controller informed the pilot that he was coordinating for a higher altitude. The pilot confirmed that, while at 16,800 feet, "…light icing has been present for a little while and a higher altitude would be great." About 15 seconds later, the pilot stated that he was getting a little rattle and requested a higher altitude as soon as possible. About 25 seconds after that, the flight was cleared to flight level 200, and the pilot acknowledged. About one minute later, the airplane reached a peak altitude of 17,800 feet before turning sharply to the left and entering a descent. While descending through 17,400 feet, the pilot stated, "and N731CA's declaring…" No subsequent transmissions were received from the flight.

The airplane impacted the paved surfaces and a wooded median on an interstate highway. A postaccident fire resulted. The outboard section of the right wing and several sections of the empennage, including the horizontal stabilizer, elevator, and rudder, were found about 1/4 mile southwest of the fuselage, in a residential area. Witnesses reported seeing pieces of the airplane separating during flight and the airplane in a rapid descent. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the outboard section of the right wing separated in flight, at a relatively low altitude, and then struck and severed portions of the empennage. There was no evidence of a preexisting mechanical anomaly that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engine.

An examination of weather information revealed that numerous pilots reported icing conditions in the general area before and after the accident. At least three flight crews considered the icing "severe." Although severe icing was not forecasted, an Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisory included moderate icing at altitudes at which the accident pilot was flying. The pilot operating handbook warned that the airplane was not certificated for flight in severe icing conditions and that, if encountered, the pilot must exit severe icing immediately by changing altitude or routing. Although the pilot was coordinating for a higher altitude with the air traffic controller at the time of the icing encounter, it is likely that he either did not know the severity of the icing or he was reluctant to exercise his command authority in order to immediately exit the icing conditions.
Probable Cause: The airplane’s encounter with unforecasted severe icing conditions that were characterized by high ice accretion rates and the pilot's failure to use his command authority to depart the icing conditions in an expeditious manner, which resulted in a loss of airplane control.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20111220X20005&key=1
FAA register: 2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?omni=Home-N-Number&nNumberTxt=731CA

5. https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N731CA


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Dec-2011 11:12 gerard57 Added
20-Dec-2011 11:21 Anon. Updated [Source]
20-Dec-2011 11:28 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2011 11:29 gerard57 Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2011 11:47 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2011 12:04 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2011 13:37 Penu Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Operator, Source, Narrative]
20-Dec-2011 14:01 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
20-Dec-2011 14:45 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
23-Dec-2011 03:54 Penu Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
28-Dec-2011 10:45 Geno Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]
27-Jan-2013 03:36 bizjets101 Updated [Source, Narrative]
31-Jul-2016 16:00 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:39 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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