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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192583
Last updated: 30 August 2019
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Date:05-JAN-2017
Time:12:39
Type:Silhouette image of generic COL4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Columbia LC41-550FG
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N972JK
C/n / msn: 41800
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Clark County, near Gurdon, AR -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Dallas-Collin County Regional At Mc Kinney Airport, TX (KTKI)
Destination airport:Franklin, NC (1A5)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were conducting a cross-country flight in the airplane. The pilot's communications with air traffic control (ATC) were unremarkable until the pilot requested an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to climb to 25,000 ft mean sea level (msl) to do an "equipment test"; at that time, the airplane was at a cruise level of 17,500 ft msl. The controller granted the pilot's request, and radar showed that the airplane climbed to 25,000 ft, where it remained for about 3 minutes and 25 seconds. The pilot then requested to descend to 17,500 ft, and the airplane started to descend before the controller could issue a clearance. The controller then cleared the pilot to descend to 19,000 ft and asked the pilot if everything was alright. The pilot responded that the airplane was experiencing an "equipment issue" and requested to cancel the IFR clearance. The controller cleared the pilot to descend and maintain 17,000 ft and asked if he needed assistance. The pilot responded that he was "okay for now." About 1 minute later, the pilot declared an emergency. the controller requested the pilot to state the nature of the emergency, but the pilot's response was unintelligible. The controller attempted to contact the airplane without success. Radar data showed that the airplane descended more than 17,000 ft in 2 minutes 12 seconds, and radar contact with the airplane was lost when the airplane descended to an altitude of about 3,100 feet.

The airplane impacted terrain in an almost-vertical nose-down orientation, and a postimpact fire ensued. The recovered airframe pieces were examined, but, due to the severe airframe fragmentation, flight control continuity could only be established from the rudder surface to overload separations on the control cables leading to the cockpit. One of the two speedbrake modules was found deployed. The airplane's fuel, environmental , anti-icing, and oxygen systems and cockpit gauges and instruments could not be examined due to severe impact and fire damage. Examinations of the engine, propeller, and turbochargers revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, and propeller signatures were consistent with low power at the time of impact.

According to weather information, the airplane was most likely not in clouds during the descent from 25,000 to about 6,000 ft, so airplane icing was not likely. The airplane would likely have been in clouds below 6,000 ft, but the airplane likely remained in visual meteorological conditions during that part of the descent and entered instrument meteorological condition immediately before impacting the terrain. The pilot radioed that the airplane was having "an equipment issue," but, due to the severe impact and postcrash fire damage to the airplane's systems, neither the specific equipment issue nor the reason why the airplane descended rapidly could be determined.

Probable Cause: The loss of control in flight for reasons that could not be determined because of the severe impact and postcrash fire damage to the airplane and the lack of information about the airplane emergency that the pilot was experiencing.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20170105X74726&key=1
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N972JK

FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=N972JK

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9240606,-93.1671898,17z/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en-us&dg=dbrw&newdg=1

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 2 months
Download report: Final report


Images:


Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
06-Jan-2017 00:06 Geno Added
06-Jan-2017 09:12 Anon. Updated [Location]
07-Jan-2017 18:53 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
17-Dec-2017 13:27 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
22-Mar-2019 19:08 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative, Accident report, ]
24-Mar-2019 08:31 harro Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]

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