On February 20, 2001, at 1530 mountain standard time, a Cessna 402B, N69316, registered to and operated by Lynch Flying Service as a 14 CFR Part 91 recurrency check-ride, collided with the runway during a simulated single-engine go-around at Logan Field, Billings, Montana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the two airline transport pilots were not injured. The local flight originated in Billings about one hour prior to the accident.

The pilot-in-command reported in a written statement that after completing air work (steep turns, and stall series), the flight returned to the airport and he accomplished two instrument approaches before receiving a clearance for an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 10L. While maneuvering for the approach, the aircraft entered instrument meteorological conditions and an accumulation of a small amount of structural ice (light mixed) was noted. The pilot booted the de-ice boots and successfully removed the accumulation. The pilot again successfully booted the de-ice boots about the outer marker. The aircraft intercepted the localizer and glide slope as the aircraft descended to visual meteorological conditions. At this point, the check pilot reduced power to the right engine to simulate an engine out. The pilot reported that he identified, verified and simulated feathering the propeller. The check pilot then set the right engine up for zero thrust. The pilot reported that he was maintaining "blue line plus 10-15 knots with 20 degrees of flaps with gear down." Over the middle marker, the check pilot instructed the pilot to perform a single engine missed approach. The pilot reported that he added full power to the left engine and maintained "blue line." The descent rate was arrested and the flaps then the landing gear were retracted. The pilot reported that at this point he was flying by visual cues and noted that the aircraft altitude was descending below the minimum descent altitude (MDA), and it (the aircraft) felt "mushy." The pilot crossed checked the flight instruments and noted that the aircraft was not climbing and continuing to descend. The pilot stated that, "I lowered the nose giving up altitude for airspeed (at this point I believe we were a(t) approximately 3650 to 3700). Again, I cross checked the flight instrument, and realized I was at VMCA or a little above and immediately went for the throttle and prop on the right engine." The airplane continued to settle and contacted the runway in a wings level and slightly nose high attitude. The check pilot reported that full power was on the left engine, and nearly or full power was on the right engine at time of impact.

Both pilots reported that the flaps were retracted and the main landing gear was fully retracted, however, the nose gear may not have been fully retracted.

The Cessna 402B Owner's Manual indicates that the airspeed indicator is marked with a Red radial line at the minimum single-engine control speed (95 mph - Indicated airspeed [IAS]) and a Blue radial line at the best single-engine rate-of-climb speed (118 mph-IAS). The manual further states, "BEST SINGLE-ENGINE RATE-OF-CLIMB SPEED (FLAPS UP). The best single-engine rate-of-climb speed becomes important when there are no obstacles ahead on takeoff, or when it is difficult to maintain or gain altitude in single-engine emergencies. The best single-engine rate-of-climb speed is 118 MPH IAS with flaps up below 16,000 feet. This speed is indicated by a Blue radial line on the airspeed indicator." The manual states for Recommended Safe Single-Engine Speed that, "Although the aircraft is controllable at the minimum control speed, the aircraft performance is so far below optimum that continued flight near the ground is improbable. A more suitable recommended safe single-engine speed is 105 MPH IAS, since at this speed altitude can be maintained more easily while the landing gear is being retracted and the propeller is being feathered." Note, at the time of the accident, the propeller was not feathered for the simulation.

The Billings airport is at an elevation of 3,649 feet. Runway 10L is 10,528 feet in length and 150 feet wide.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page