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On January 18, 1995, at 0903 central standard time, a Cessna 208B, N9461R, was destroyed during a forced landing near Lubbock, Texas. The airline transport rated pilot received minor injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument cross country 14 CFR Part 135 flight operated by Martinaire, Inc. of Dallas, Texas.
According to several witnesses and the pilot/operator report, the airplane departed from intersection foxtrot, at the Lubbock International Airport, runway 35L, at 0901 on an instrument flight plan to Midland, Texas. The pilot established initial contact with departure control at 350 feet above the ground. The pilot's next transmission was "eight seventeen goin back to the field." At 0903, the emergency locator transmitter was heard by departure control.
The pilot reported that she arrived at the airport at approximately 0630. She reports that she started the engine and "checked all anti-ice, de-ice systems." She cleaned snow off the cowling, the windshield and "lowered flaps, using small stepladder swept snow from aircraft." The aircraft was loaded and taxied to a nearby FBO. She asked a lineman to assist her by removing remaining snow from the top of the aircraft and then departed. During the instrument departure climbing turn, at 400 feet above the ground, the pilot "heard a decrease of power, felt surge, scanned engine instruments." The aircraft began to lose altitude and the pilot landed in a snow covered field.
Weight and balance calculations were performed using figures provided by the manufacturer, the operator, and the pilots' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records. An estimate of the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident was 8,301 pounds. Intentional flight into known icing conditions in this airplane is limited by the Pilot's Operating Handbook to 8,000 pounds. Examination of the airplane and engine at the accident site did not disclose any mechanical problems.
The engine was removed from the accident airplane and taken to Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Services, Inc. facilities at Addison, Texas for further evaluation. It was determined that there were no indications of any anomalies or distress observed to the engine components that would have precluded normal operation prior to impact.
A review of the airframe and engine records by a FAA inspector did not reveal any anomalies or uncorrected maintenance defects prior to the flight.
A review of the weather data revealed that just after midnight a light rain started falling on the ramp where the airplane was parked. The temperature was dropping steadily. By 0519 the precipitation had turned to light rain, light snow, and fog. By 0625 the rain stopped, and the light snow and fog continued until after the accident.
A witness stated that he helped the pilot clean the snow off the airplane. Under the snow, he noticed that 80% of the airplanes wing was covered with a coarse layer of ice from 1/16 to 3/16 in thickness that was not removed. The airplane took off less than five minutes later.
A fireman from the City of Lubbock Fire Department, stationed at Lubbock International Airport, arrived at the accident scene at 0920. He reported "I noticed a considerable amount of snow and ice on the wings of the aircraft. Some of the snow was obviously thrown up on the wing as it skidded over the snow covered ground as it had mud in it. Some of the ice on the wing was a coating approximately 1/16th of an inch thick that had a rough texture that looked as if deposited by freezing rain. It was much rougher than a really rough orange skin."
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION:
The airplane came to rest one mile from Lubbock International Airport on a magnetic heading of 020 degrees in a flat field of winter wheat. The 438 feet long ground scar had a measured heading of 095 degrees. The first propeller blade was located 168 feet north of the main ground scar. The second and third propeller blades were located 107 feet and 26 feet north of the main ground scar consecutively.
Flight control continuity was confirmed. The engine was broken from its mounts and forced under the airplane on the pilot's side. The fuel cells were not compromised. The belly pod was crushed on first impact and its contents distributed along the path of the main ground scar.
The wreckage was released to the owner's representative upon completion of the investigation.