On November 28, 1995, at 0445 central standard time, a Cessna 310R, N5CX, piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained substantial damage when on approach to the destination airport runway, the airplane impacted the terrain. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. An IFR flight plan was on file. The pilot-in-command reported no injuries to himself, the other pilot, or the passenger. The flight departed Holland, Michigan, at 0515 eastern standard time, and was en route to Michigan City, Indiana. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot's written statement, the airplane was in IMC cruise flight at 4,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) and picking up "occasional light rime ice in the clouds." The pilot said that he turned on the airplane's anti-ice and de-icing systems. The pilot reported that when he entered VFR conditions during the descent, "the airplane was clean of ice." The pilot planned a visual approach to runway two at Michigan City Municipal Airport, Michigan City, Indiana. "Anticipating that the runway may be slick, a short field approach and landing was executed." On final approach and at 85 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS), the pilot experienced "a sudden loss of lift." The airplane struck the terrain approximately 50 feet short of the runway threshold. The pilot reported receiving no visual or aural indications of an impending stall. The pilot stated that, "some ice was found on the non-lift surfaces" of the airplane during a post-flight inspection.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the wreckage in Holland, MI reported damage to the inboard rib and carry-through spar on the left wing. There was minor damage to the left propeller, left landing gear and left side of the fuselage at the spar-attach point. No other anomalies were found.
The airplane's operator was interviewed via telephone. Based upon information provided by the operator and the FAA inspector, it was determined that the airplane's gross weight at the time of the accident was approximately 5,218 pounds.
The Cessna 310R Pilot's Operating Handbook references the minimum multi-engine approach speed for the airplane to be 93 KIAS at a gross weight of 5,400 pounds. Approach speed decreases by approximately four knots for each 400 pound reduction in airplane gross weight.