FTW93FA165
FTW93FA165

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 25, 1993, at approximately 2114 mountain daylight time, a Fairchild SA-226T airplane, N241DT, was destroyed upon impact with trees and terrain while circling to land at the Santa Fe County Municipal Airport near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The airplane was operated by Peacock's Flying Service Inc., a 14 CFR Part 135 on-demand air taxi operator. All three crew members and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector aboard the airplane were fatally injured. Visual meteorological dark night conditions prevailed for the check flight.

According to the operator, the purpose of the flight was to conduct Part 135 checkrides for a pilot in command and a second in command upon completion of the crew's training. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector was seated in the cabin to observe the checkrides.

According to the Santa Fe Airport control tower operator, the airplane completed a third ILS approach to Runway 2 and was cleared to circle to land on Runway 15. The airplane was observed overflying Runway 15 and lined up for Runway 20. The tower advised the pilot that he was lined up with Runway 20 and was given the option to land on either Runway 15 or 20. The pilot opted for Runway 15, and was cleared to enter a right downwind for Runway 15. The tower cleared the airplane to land while it was established on a right base for Runway 15. The airplane was observed to impact near the crest of a hill at the 6,870 foot level, approximately 5 miles west of the airport. The circling altitude for the approach was 6,860 feet. A post impact fire destroyed the airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

A review of the airplane and engine maintenance records was completed by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. No anomalies or uncorrected discrepancies were found. The airplane was serviced with 200 gallons of Jet A fuel prior to the accident flight.

COMMUNICATIONS

The transcript from all pertinent communications between the airplane and the Santa Fe Airport Air Traffic Control Facility are enclosed in this report. Voice recordings confirmed that all of the transmissions made from the airplane were made by the pilot in command, who was a contract instructor.

AERODROME INFORMATION

The Santa Fe Municipal Airport is located nine miles southwest of the city. The area surrounding the airport is sparsely populated and lights or visual references are scarce. Operators and pilots interviewed by the investigator-in-charge at the airport stated that they normally avoided any type of maneuvering at night to the north and northwest of the airport because "on dark nights that area is like flying into a black hole." No radar coverage was available in the immediate area of the airport below 10,000 feet MSL.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The trees and bushes at the initial point of impact were cut at a measured angle of approximately 15 degrees to the right. The wreckage was scattered in a linear pattern on a measured heading of 010 degrees over approximately 500 yards from the initial point of impact. All aircraft components and wreckage was found within 50 yards on either side of the centerline of the wreckage linear pattern. The main wreckage was located approximately 400 yards from the initial point of impact, and consisted of the majority of the fuselage, the empennage, the remains of both wings, and the cockpit area. Refer to the wreckage diagram enclosed in this report.

Both engines sustained impact damage and were found separated from their engine mounts. All three blades on both propellers remained attached to their hubs, and were found approximately 20 feet from each other, about two thirds of the way from the initial point of impact. Both propellers exhibited S-bending, chordwise gouging, and scratching. The leading edges of all propeller blades exhibited dents and gouges. The outer 6 to 8 inch portion of each propeller blade were separated by impact damage.

The flap actuators were found in the fully extended (full flap) position, and the landing gear was found in the retracted position.

All flight controls were accounted for at the accident site. A flight control continuity check could not be accomplished due to the severity of the fire damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies and toxicological tests were requested and performed on the crewmembers. The autopsies were performed by Doctors Michael Ward and Ross Zumwalt of the State of New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 27, 1993. Toxicology tests were negative.

FIRE

A post impact fire destroyed the airplane. According to airport and fire department personnel, the wreckage burned for 55 minutes before it self extinguished. Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting equipment was unable to reach the accident site due to the terrain. The investigating team could not find any evidence of a pre-impact fire.

TEST AND RESEARCH

Both engines were transported to the manufacturer's facility for a complete teardown and evaluation on July 5-6, 1993. Examination of the engines did not disclose any mechanical problems that could have prevented normal operation.

ADDITIONAL DATA

The wreckage was released to the owner's representative at the completion of the field investigation on May 28, 1993.

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