LAX93FA300
LAX93FA300

History of the Flight

On July 25, 1993, at 2000 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 310H, N310HJ, crashed on a street at Lancaster, California. The pilot was conducting a visual flight rules personal flight to Van Nuys, California. The airplane, owned and operated by Yehiem Konski, dba Konski Air, Van Nuys, was destroyed by impact forces; there was no post-impact fire. The certificated private pilot and five passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, at about 1149 hours with an intended landing at Grand Canyon Airport, Grand Canyon, Arizona; the flight landed at Grand Canyon Airport at 1245 hours; the flight departed Grand Canyon Airport at about 1602 hours.

The airplane's owner told Safety Board investigators that the pilot rented the airplane for the flight. The pilot told him he was going to fly to Las Vegas on July 25, 1993, and then to Grand Canyon the following day before returning to Van Nuys, California.

A passenger on the flight from Van Nuys to Las Vegas on July 24, 1993, reported in a telephone interview that the flight departed Van Nuys at 1655 hours and arrived at Las Vegas at 1820 hours. The airplane's fuel tanks were full before departing Van Nuys. During the flight he and the pilot discussed the fuel consumption rate. At the time the fuel consumption was 13 gallons/hour on each engine while flying at 7,500 feet mean sea level. Both he and one other passenger were replaced with two other persons on the return flight to Van Nuys. On July 25, 1993, the pilot told him that he was going to fly to the Grand Canyon Airport and then return to Van Nuys. He did not intend to return to Las Vegas.

The pilot's flight instructor told Safety Board investigators that the pilot called him on July 25, 1993, and told him that the flight to Las Vegas went well. The pilot stated that he was going to fly to the Grand Canyon before returning to Van Nuys, California.

The recorded communications media at William J. Fox Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower revealed the pilot called the local controller at 1958:06 hours. The pilot advised the local controller that the flight was over Palmdale VOR (a very high frequency omni range navigational facility located about 10 miles south/southeast of the airport) for landing. The local controller cleared the flight to enter a left base leg for runway 24 and to report when on the base leg. The pilot acknowledged the local controller's instructions. There were no further communications between the flight and the local controller or any other FAA facilities.

Several ground witnesses were interviewed by Safety Board investigators and Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies. The consensus of the witnesses was that the engine(s) began to sputter before the airplane entered into a left spin. One witness reported that the airplane entered into a right spin.

Another witness told Safety Board investigators that he was at his residence about 1 mile south of the accident site. He saw the airplane flying north at about 1,500 feet agl when the engine(s) began to sputter. Moments later, the airplane yawed to the left and the nose and left wing went down. The airplane entered into a left spin. During the spinning descent, both engines rpm increased until impact. The witness estimated the airplane's altitude to be about 1,500 feet agl.

The accident occurred at dusk at 34 degrees, 43' north latitude and 118 degrees, 08' west longitude.

Crew Information

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land, multi-engine land and instrument - airplane ratings. He also held a second-class medical certificate with a "must wear corrective lenses" limitation endorsement and a Statement of Demonstrated Ability (waiver) for "defective distant vision 20/200 corrected to 20/20, bilaterally."

Safety Board investigators recovered the pilot's second flight hours logbook at the accident site. The flight hours contained on page 4 of this report were obtained from the logbook examination and also include the accident flight. The pilot's total single engine pilot-in-command flight hours were not determined. The log book examination disclosed the pilot had accrued 479 total flight hours of which 44 hours were flown in multiengine airplanes. Before departing on the accident flight, the pilot had accrued 3.1 hours of dual instruction in the accident airplane between July 21 and July 23, 1993.

The logbook examination also revealed the pilot received a biennial flight review (BFR) as required by current federal air regulations on September 6, 1992; the BFR was flown in a single engine Cessna 172.

Airplane Information

According to the FAA Aircraft Records Section, the accident airplane is registered to Josh Marom, Inglewood, California; however, FAA Aircraft Records Section personnel reported that a change of registration from Mr. Marom to Mr. Yehiem Konski, Van Nuys, California, is being processed. A Bill of Sale between Mr. Marom and Konski, dated May 6, 1993, is on file at the FAA Aircraft Records Section.

The airplane's owner provided the Safety Board with the airplane's maintenance records. The airframe and engines maintenance records examination disclosed the airplane's last annual inspection was performed on July 16, 1992; the airplane accrued 2,919 hours at the time of the inspection. At the time of the accident, the airplane accrued 3,048 hours.

The owner, a certificated aircraft mechanic with airframe, powerplant and inspection authorization, performed a 100-hour inspection on July 10, 1993; 68 hours before the accident.

Safety Board investigators recovered two fuel purchase receipts dated July 25, 1993. The fuel purchases were made at Senic Aviation, McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, and at Grand Canyon Airlines, Grand Canyon, Arizona. The receipts indicate the pilot purchased 20 gallons of aviation fuel (AVGAS 100) at Senic Aviation and 25.4 gallons of fuel (AVGAS) at Grand Canyon Airlines.

The refueler at Grand Canyon Airlines was interviewed by telephone on July 27, 1993, at about 1400 hours. The refueler stated that, due to a mix up in the fuel order, he filled the airplane's auxiliary tanks. The left auxiliary tank was filled with 7.9 gallons and the right auxiliary tank was filled with 7.5 gallons. The pilot had originally requested that each main wing tank be filled with 10 gallons of fuel. After discussing the misfueling, the pilot requested that 5 gallons of fuel be added to each main wing fuel tank. The refueler stated that after adding the fuel to each main wing fuel tank, each wing fuel tank was less than half full.

Communications

A review of the recorded communications at William J. Fox ATCT revealed that the pilot's phraseology was garbled with respect to the airplane's registration number. The local controller did clear the flight to enter a left base leg which the pilot acknowledged. At about 2005 hours, the local controller called the flight to determine its location, but without success. The local controller contacted the Palmdale ATCT via telephone and was informed about the accident.

Safety Board investigators were able to obtain radar data from the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (LAX ARTCC) and Joshua Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). At about 1950, hours the LAX ARTCC National Track Analysis Program (NTAP) radar data showed the airplane descending from 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl) to 5,300 feet msl proceeding in a west/northwesterly direction toward William J. Fox Airport. At 1958:30 hours, the flight was at 5,300 feet msl.

The Joshua TRACON rehost radar showed that between 1959:00 and 1959:045 hours, equivalent to one radar sweep, the airplane's altitude decreased to 4,600 feet msl. There was no further radar data acquired on the accident airplane.

The straight line linear calculation disclosed the airplane's descent rate between the 1959:00 and the 1959:05 hours radar targets was about 155.56 feet per second (9,333 feet per minute).

Wreckage and Impact Information

The accident site is located on privately owned, flat asphalt covered street on Avenue H6 between Sierra Highway and Division Street. The airplane was found with both engines impaled in the street. The ground scars and the wreckage examination disclosed the airplane struck the ground in a vertical nose down attitude with its wings parallel to the horizon and the top of the fuselage facing 070 degrees (all headings/bearings noted in this report are oriented toward magnetic north).

A subsequent party to the investigation arrived at the accident site at about 2015 hours. He reported that there was no fuel odor permeating the area and that there was no evidence of any fuel spillage adjacent to the airplane's fuel tanks.

A responding Los Angeles County Aero Bureau Sheriff Deputy reported that he arrived at the accident site at about 2300 hours. He reported that his examination of the fuel tanks disclosed no evidence of any fuel in the tanks or on the ground adjacent to the tanks.

All of the airplane's major components were found at the impact area. The top of the fuselage cabin area was found 90 feet east of the main impact area. The fuselage area sustained extensive accordioning signatures. The distance between the nose of the airplane to the empennage area was about 10 feet.

Both wings were found attached to their respective wing to fuselage attach fittings. The flight control surfaces were also found connected at their respective attach fittings. The main wing fuel tanks ruptured and were found at their initial impact area.

The flight controls could not be operated by their respective control mechanisms due to extreme impact damage. Safety Board investigators, however, were able to establish continuity of the flight control cables from their attach fittings to the cabin/cockpit area.

The elevator trim tab actuator was found extended 1.2 inches. According to a Cessna Engineering drawing, this corresponds to a 10 degrees tab down (nose up) setting.

The nose and main landing gears actuators arms were found in the forward position. According to the Cessna 310 maintenance manual, this corresponds to a landing gear extended position.

The flap actuator lower chain had two links exposed beyond its sprocket. According to the Cessna 310 maintenance manual, this setting corresponds to a flaps retracted position.

The engines impaled into the asphalt surfaced street about 3 feet. The left engine propeller blades were found in the impact crater. Both engine's crankcase housing and cylinders sustained multiple fractures and could not be rotated. Both engine's main journal were crushed against their respective number 9 crank cheek. The left engine crankshaft fractured at the number 8 crank cheek. The fracture surface displayed rearward tension overload characteristics. The lower section of the cheek displayed forward bending.

All of the right engine's accessories, except the engine driven fuel pump, separated from their respective attach points. The output pressure fuel line from the engine driven fuel to the fuel control servo separated from the fuel pump. The return fuel line, from the fuel control servo attach point to the engine driven fuel pump, remained connected. The fuel servo unit separated from its attach point.

The left engine's accessories, except the starter and magneto, remained attached at their respective attach points. The tachometer generator broke at the its drive shaft. Both engine driven fuel pump lines separated from the engine driven fuel pump attach points.

The right engine fuel selector valve handle separated from the fuel selector valve positioning shaft. The fuel selector valve was found positioned to the main tank. The left engine fuel selector valve handle also separated from its drive shaft. The left fuel selector valve was found selected to the cross-feed position.

Both engines fuel servo micron screens were free of contaminates and dry. The left engine throttle body butterfly valve was found in the closed position; the right engine throttle body butterfly valve was missing.

The propeller blades were found in their respective engine crater. The propeller blades exhibited extensive spanwise and chordwise scuffing. One propeller blade of each propeller assembly exhibited "S" twisting characteristics including the right propeller assembly's fractured blade. The propeller blade fractured about 8 inches outboard of its hub.

The engine tachometer and hobbsmeter were the only two instruments with any obtainable readings that were found at the accident site. The engine tachometer's left needle was found indicating 2,725 rpm; the right needle was indicating 3,200 rpm.

The hobbsmeter was indicating 3,048 hours. The airplane's rental log, based on the hobbsmeter reading, indicated that the hobbsmeter reading was 3,042.4 hours at the time he departed Van Nuys, California, on the accident flight.

Medical and Pathological Information

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office did not perform an autopsy or toxicological examinations on the pilot because of the condition of the remains and a lack of suitable specimens.

Tests and Research

The left engine crankshaft cross-over cheek between the no. 5 and no. 6 crankpins (the no. 9 short cheek) was examined by Fowler, Inc., Gardena, California. The visual and optical stereomicroscope examination disclosed no evidence of any preexisting fatigue or any other metallurgical anomaly; the fracture surface displayed overload signatures toward the aft direction.

Additional Information

In addition to the persons listed under page 5 of this report, Mr. Joseph A. Hutterer, Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita, Kansas, also participated in this investigation.

The wreckage was released to the owner's insurer's representative, Mr. Gary Wayne, In-Flite Adjusters, Van Nuys, California, on December 6, 1993. The Safety Board did not retain any aircraft components or records.

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