NTSB Identification: ERA13FA115
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 16, 2013 in Burlington, NC
Aircraft: PILATUS PC-12/45, registration: N68PK
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.

On January 16, 2013 about 0557 eastern standard time, a Pilatus PC-12/45, N68PK, operating as Skylab 53, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground in Burlington, North Carolina. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and a instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight departed from Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport (BUY), Burlington, North Carolina at 0553, and was destined for Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. The business flight transporting medical specimens was operated by LabCorp, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Review of preliminary air traffic control radar and communication data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Greensboro Approach Control, revealed that the airplane departed from runway 06 at BUY and made initial contact while climbing to the assigned altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea level. The pilot was told to reset his transponder and no further communications were received from the accident flight.

According to FAA records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple ratings, including airplane single-engine land, as well as a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on November 19, 2012, at which time he reported 6,279 total hours of flight experience.

The accident site was located in a park approximately 5 miles northeast of BUY. The initial impact location was identified by a ground impression with various parts of the right wing and also a crater that measured about 3 feet deep. The wreckage debris field was 793 foot-long and 298 foot-wide, oriented on a 140 degree heading. Various sizes of wing spar segments, the propeller hub, two propeller blades, and the front reduction gear box were located in the crater. The engine was located about 100 feet from the impact point. Fragments of the airplane, including a section of the cabin area, empennage, left and right wings, and cockpit were located along the wreckage path. The two other propeller blades were located about 200 and 400 feet from the impact point, and exhibited some S-bending damage. All major flight control surfaces and associated counter weights were located in the debris field.

The 0554 recorded weather observation at BUY, included wind from 040 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 700 feet above ground level (agl), overcast at 1,700 agl, temperature 4 degrees C, dew point 3 degrees C; barometric altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury.

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