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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 179350
Last updated: 18 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C310 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 310H
Registration: N1099Q
C/n / msn: 310H0099
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Near Ironton, east of Telluride, CO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
Destination airport:Amarillo, TX
Investigating agency: NTSB
The airplane owner, who was a noninstrument-rated private pilot and did not hold a multiengine airplane rating, was conducting a visual flight rules (VFR), personal cross-county flight in the multiengine airplane. Before the accident flight, the pilot flew the airplane to an intermediate airport to refuel. A review of air traffic control (ATC) radio transmissions between the pilot and an air traffic controller between 0911 and 0938 showed that, during the approach for landing, the pilot misidentified in every transmission the make and model airplane he was flying, referring to his airplane as a Piper Comanche instead of a Cessna 310. Further, he did not provide correct responses to the controller's instructions (for example, he reported he was set up for the left base leg instead of right base leg as instructed), and he provided inaccurate information about the airplane's position, including its distance and direction from the airport.

A witness stated that, after the airplane landed and while it was taxiing, it almost hit another airplane and golf carts, and it was taxied close enough to the fuel pumps that it "knocked" a ladder with one of its propellers. The witness said that the pilot was not "observant about his surroundings." While at the intermediate airport, the pilot requested an abbreviated weather briefing for a VFR flight from that airport to the destination airport. However, the pilot incorrectly identified the destination airport as "L51," which was depicted on the VFR sectional chart for the Amarillo area but referred to the maximum runway length available at the destination airport not the airport itself. L51 was an airport identifier assigned to an airport in another state and located north of the accident location and in a direction consistent with the airplane's direction of travel at the time of the acident.

During the departure for the accident flight, the pilot taxied to and attempted to take off from an active runway without any radio communications with or clearance from ATC, which resulted in a runway incursion of an air carrier flight on final approach for landing to the runway. The air carrier initiated a missed approach and landed without further incident. The controller reported that the runway incursion was due to the accident pilot's loss of "situational awareness." Radar data showed that, after the airplane departed, it turned northward and away from a course to the intended destination airport. The northward turn and track was consistent with a course to an airport in another state. According to meteorological information, as the flight progressed northward, it likely encountered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) while flying into rain showers. The wreckage was found in rising mountainous terrain, and the accident wreckage distribution was consistent with a low-angle, high-speed impact. Given that postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, it is likely that the noninstrument-rated pilot did not see the rising mountainous terrain given the IMC and flew directly into it.

The pilot had told person(s) that he flew F-4 Phantoms, but a military identification card showed that the pilot was a retired Marine lance corporal. Although the pilot's logbook showed that he had accumulated 150 hours of multiengine airplane flight time, there was no record of the actual flights showing the accumulation of 150 multiengine airplane hours or any record that he had flown military aircraft. The logbook did not show that the pilot had received any flight training in the accident airplane. The logbooks also showed that he had flown numerous flights in the airplane with passengers without proper certification and that he had not had a recent flight review as required by Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). The pilot's logbook showed that he had once made low-altitude (10 ft above the ground) passes over a parade in the same airplane. The airplane had not received an annual inspection for continued airworthiness as
Probable Cause: The noninstrument-rated pilot's improper judgment and his failure to maintain situational awareness, which resulted in the flight's encounter with instrument meteorological conditions and controlled flight into terrain during cruise flight.


FAA register:

Revision history:

07-Sep-2015 16:41 Geno Added
07-Sep-2015 17:54 gerard57 Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
07-Sep-2015 17:59 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
08-Sep-2015 00:21 Geno Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
11-Sep-2015 16:27 Anon. Updated [Damage]
18-Sep-2015 23:34 Geno Updated [Date, Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Nature, Source, Narrative]
01-Feb-2016 05:11 Pilot Tom Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
21-Apr-2017 08:38 PiperOnslaught Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Aug-2017 14:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Aug-2017 14:31 ASN Update Bot Updated [Source]
19-Aug-2017 14:35 harro Updated [Source]

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