NTSB Identification: ATL05FA044.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 11, 2005 in Huntsville, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Cessna T206H, registration: N2467X
Injuries: 2 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 contacted the HSV clearance delivery controller at 1807:53 to obtain the flight's IFR clearance, and, at 1814:04, the pilot contacted the HSV ground controller and advised he was ready to taxi. The controller stated at 1814:31, "... there's level five weather activity that is south of the airport moving to the northeast so it's going to be crossing the runway south of the airport about three miles ... there's level five weather activity about two and a half miles south of the airport now." The pilot replied that he was ready to take off from runway 18L and requested vectors around the weather. At 1816:30, the local controller cleared the flight for takeoff from 18L and assigned the pilot a left turn to heading 090. The airplane departed, and no further radio contact was received from the flight. The airplane crashed into a swamp less than 1 nautical mile from the airport. A review of the NEXRAD Level-II radar imagery for HSV at 0016Z, base reflectivities of 50 decibels (dBZ) were in the immediate vicinity of the airport. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction. According to FAA advisory circular AC-00-24b, "Thunderstorms," "VIP Level 5 is 'intense' with severe turbulence, lightning, hail likely, and organized surface wind gusts. ... Hazardous turbulence may extend as much as 20 miles from the echo edge ... ." AIM chapter 7-1-29, "Thunderstorm Flying," states, "Don't land or take off in the face of an approaching thunderstorm. A sudden gust front of low-level turbulence could cause loss of control."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's decision to attempt flight into known adverse weather, which resulted in an in-flight encounter with a thunderstorm. Full narrative available
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