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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 208226
Last updated: 4 January 2020
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Date:25-MAR-2018
Time:21:37
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft V35A Bonanza
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N7019N
C/n / msn: D-8619
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Caddo County, Hydro, OK -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Odessa Schlemeyer Field, TX (KODO)
Destination airport:El Reno Regional Airport, OK (RQO/KRQO)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The commercial pilot and passenger completed a cross-country flight earlier the day of the accident. Before departing on the night visual flight rules (VFR) return flight, the pilot called flight service for a weather briefing. The flight service specialist provided the pilot with information pertinent to the flight, which included a forecast for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions for the destination airport area. The pilot stated to the specialist that he could fly IFR if he needed to; however, review of the pilot's logbooks found no entries to indicate that he met currency requirements for instrument flight or that he met night currency requirements for passenger carriage. The pilot expressed concern for cloud conditions to personnel at the airport before departing but chose to conduct the flight.

As the flight neared the destination airport, the pilot, who was receiving VFR flight-following services, stated to the controller that he was unable to visually identify the destination airport. The controller subsequently suggested another airport located west of the destination. This airport was not equipped with a weather observation system, although a nearby airport was reporting VFR conditions. The pilot diverted toward the suggested airport and passed about 1 mile south of the runway but was not able to visually identify the airport, likely due to a low cloud layer. Several radio transmissions between the pilot and controller indicated that the airplane was flying in and out of instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) during this time.

Shortly thereafter, the pilot was informed that his original destination was reporting IFR conditions. The pilot stated to the controller that he would attempt to fly to the destination airport by flying west to get under the clouds, then maneuvering east under the clouds toward the destination.

Radar track data showed that, during the final 2 minutes of the flight, the airplane conducted two left, descending, 360 turns, starting about 2,100 ft above ground level (agl) and leveling off about 500 ft agl. The airplane continued straight and level for about 20 seconds until radar contact was lost. The wreckage was located about 0.25 mile from the last radar return. The debris path was scattered over several hundred feet of flat, open farm field, consistent with a high-speed impact in a shallow descent; the airplane's landing gear and flaps were not configured for landing. A postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.

Two other airports about 35 miles southwest of the accident site, which were located within the airplane's fuel endurance capability, reported VFR conditions throughout the evening. However, the pilot did not request further assistance from air traffic control in maintaining VFR or navigating to an airport with more favorable weather conditions rather than attempting to fly under the low cloud ceilings.

The airplane's radar track is consistent with the pilot's stated intention to fly underneath the cloud layer and navigate to his destination airport under the clouds. While maneuvering, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation due to the dark night instrument meteorological conditions and the lack of visual references provided by the farm fields over which he was flying. The changes in the airplane's altitude and heading depicted on radar and the distribution of the wreckage consistent with a high-speed impact are also consistent with the known effects of spatial disorientation.

Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to continue the night visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in a loss of control due to spatial disorientation. Contributing was the pilot's lack of instrument/night currency, and his failure to request additional assistance from air traffic control.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20180326X01910&key=1

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 3 months
Download report: Final report


Images:


Graphic: NTSB


Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
26-Mar-2018 17:19 Geno Added
26-Mar-2018 18:42 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Embed code, Damage]
27-Mar-2018 14:59 Iceman 29 Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Embed code]
27-Mar-2018 22:37 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Narrative]
04-Apr-2018 19:07 Anon. Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jul-2019 18:02 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative, Accident report, ]
15-Jul-2019 18:29 harro Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]
15-Jul-2019 18:31 harro Updated [Embed code, Photo]

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