NTSB Identification: NYC04FA144.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 22, 2004 in Dunkirk, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Cessna P210N, registration: N99HW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot was conducting a cross country instrument flight rules flight. The airplane was deviating around thunderstorm activity, and was cleared to it's destination airport, when radar contact was lost. A witness reported hearing an airplane overhead; however, he could not see the airplane due to haze and clouds. He described the engine noise as "revving in a cycling pattern." Within 10 seconds, he observed an airplane exit the clouds in a nose down spiral, with one wing missing. The airplane impacted Lake Erie nose first and sank. Examination of the right wing main spar revealed fractures consistent with an overstress separation and aft and upward loading. The pilot obtained a weather briefing prior to the flight. At the time of the briefing, there were no current or forecasted thunderstorms around the pilot's destination airport. There were also no convective SIGMETs valid for the area where the accident occurred. Review of weather radar around the time of the accident revealed two very strong thunderstorm cells over the western portion of New York, along Lake Erie, moving northeast. The airplane disappeared from radar, as it transitioned through the northern edge of one of the echoes in reflectivity values near 25 dBZ or very light intensity echoes. The geo-synchronous weather satellite-12 (GOES-12) visible image depicted a large band of clouds extending over Lake Erie, and New York. Several Cumulonimbus clouds were located immediately south of the accident site.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's loss of aircraft control and the subsequent overstress and separation of the wing during an encounter with convection induced turbulence. Full narrative available
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