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On September 18, 2004, at 0239 central daylight time, a Cessna 401, N408TE, operated by Telesis TransAir, Inc. (TLX) as flight 205, received substantial damage on impact with terrain during approach to New Century Air Center Airport (IXD), Olathe, Kansas. The pilot diverted twice from the intended destination due to reported convective activity. Night visual meteorological conditions and convective activity prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 135 on-demand cargo flight was not operating a flight plan. The pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed from Wiley Post Airport (PWA), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at 0103, and was en route to Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC), Kansas City, Missouri.
The piloted stated that he obtained "all" weather information and noticed that on the weather radar there were thunderstorms well east of MKC, moving eastward. He stated that along the route he contacted flight service and was advised of a convective SIGMET in the area and that the FSS operator agreed that the thunderstorms should be "no problem."
About 0215, he was approximately 6-10 miles southwest of MKC, which was reporting 10,000 feet broken. He noticed a cloud bank in the distance that looked "very ominous and it seemed to be right over the airport." Upon seeing the cloudbank, he decided not to attempt an approach into MKC and encountered light turbulence. When he made the decision to divert, he encountered moderate to severe turbulence and diverted to Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC), Olathe, Kansas, where he encountered "stiff winds". He then diverted to IXD where he executed a visual approach.
The pilot stated he established a visual approach to IXD and about 25-50 feet [above ground level] he encountered a "very strong" gust from the right side of the airplane that blew him "well" to the left side of the runway. He "immediately" attempted a go-around and applied full engine power. When he applied full engine power, "it felt like" an engine or engines were not responding properly and did not develop full power.
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. He held a certified flight instructor certificate with an instrument airplane rating. On June 24, 2004, he was hired by Telesis TransAir, Inc. and began company initial new hire pilot-in-command (PIC) training in a Piper PA-32-300 On July 10, 2004, he completed initial new hire pilot training after receiving 57.7 hours of training. On August 12, 2004, he completed initial Cessna 401/402 PIC company training after receiving 28.3 hours. The company training and checkout(s) were performed by company instructor(s) and check airmen.
The pilot reported a total flight time of 1,728 hours in all aircraft, of which 58 hours were accumulated in the 90 days prior to the accident and were in the accident make and model. Of the 58 hours, 38 hours were accumulated in the 30 days prior to the accident.
The airplane was a 1968 Cessna 401, serial number 401-0269, registered to Telesis Equipment Inc. and operated as a cargo airplane. The airplane accumulated a total time of 10,068.7 hours and was last inspected during an approved aircraft inspection program dated September 15, 2004, at a total airframe time of 10,066.6 hours. The airplane was not equipped with weather detection equipment.
There was no record of the pilot having received a standard weather briefing.
The MKC Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located approximately 22.4 nautical miles (NM) northeast of IXD, recorded the following observations:
0154, wind 110 degrees at 12 knots, gust 23 knots, visibility 10 statute miles (SM), sky condition overcast 5,500 feet AGL, temperature 20 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 16 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.04 inches of mercury, remarks wind shift occurred at 0135 knots.
0211, wind 110 degrees at 25 knots, gust 29 knots, visibility 9 SM, weather light rain, sky condition broken 6,000 feet AGL, overcast 7,000 feet AGL, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 17 degrees C, altimeter 29.98 inches of mercury, remarks peak wind occurred at 0211 from 110 degrees at 29 knots, wind shift occurred at 0151, rain began at 0156.
0222, wind 060 degrees at 19 knots, gust 28 knots, wind variable between 360 degrees and 100 degrees, visibility 10 SM, sky condition scattered 6,000 feet, broken 7,000 feet, broken 9,000 feet; temperature 21 degrees C, dew point 16 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.06 inches of mercury, remarks peak wind 110 degrees at 29 knots occurred at 0211, wind shift occurred at 0502, rain began 0156 and ended 0218.
0234, wind 090 degrees at 20 knots, gust 36 knots, visibility 10 SM, sky condition few 1,700 feet AGL, 6,000 feet AGL, 9,000 feet AGL, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 17 degrees C, altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury, remarks peak wind 040 degrees at 36 knots occurred at
The OJC ASOS, located approximately 7.2 NM east of IXD, recorded the following observations:
0153, wind 080 degrees at 15 knots, gust 19 knots, visibility 10 SM, weather thunderstorms in the vicinity and light rain, sky conditions broken 6,000 feet AGL,
0230, wind 090 degrees at 20 knots, gust 23 knots, visibility 10 SM, weather thunderstorms in the vicinity, sky conditions overcast 5,500 feet AGL,
0257, wind 090 degrees at 16 knots, gust 20 knots, visibility 10 SM, weather thunderstorms in the vicinity, sky conditions overcast 5,000 feet AGL.
The IXD ASOS, recorded the following:
At 0153, wind 100 degrees at 13 knots, gust 18 knots, visibility 10 SM, sky conditions scattered 9,000 feet AGL, temperature 21 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.02 inches of mercury, remarks lightening distant northeast and east.
At 0220, wind 080 degrees at 16 knots, gust 20 knots, visibility 10 SM, weather thunderstorms in the vicinity, sky conditions broken 8,500 feet, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury, remarks lightening distant northeast-southeast, thunderstorm began 14 minutes after the hour.
At 0235, wind 080 degrees at 17 knots, gust 25 knots, visibility 10 SM, sky conditions few 6,000 feet AGL, overcast 8,000 feet AGL, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.06 inches of mercury, remarks lightening distant northeast-southeast thunderstorm began 2014 and ended 0239.
At 0253, wind 110 degrees at 15 knots, gust 22 knots, visibility 10 SM, sky condition broken 8,000 feet AGL, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 15 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.05, remarks lightening distant all quadrants thunderstorm began 0214 and ended 0229.
MKC had an airport elevation of 759 feet MSL and was served by runway 01-19 (7,002 feet by 150 feet, grooved asphalt) and runway 03-21(5,050 feet by 150 feet, grooved asphalt).
OJC had an airport elevation of 1,096 feet MSL and was served by runway 18-36 (4,098 feet by 75 feet, concrete).
IXD had an airport elevation of 1,087 feet MSL and was served by runway 17-35 (7,339 feet by 190 feet, asphalt) and 04-22 (5,130 feet by 100 feet, asphalt).
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Inspection of the accident site by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the airplane was located in a grass area between runways 17-35 and 04-22, abeam of taxiway H. The airplane tail to nose heading was about 360 degrees. The right wing exhibited relative greater damage than the left wing. The flaps were extended 15 degrees. The landing left main landing gear was 34 feet northwest of the airplane and the left propeller was located 10 feet northeast of the airplane. The right main landing gear was extended.
Ground slash marks associated with the left propeller were spaced 13 inches apart and ground slash marks associated with the right propeller were spaced 20 inches apart between the first two marks and 36 inches apart between the second and third marks. The left propeller blades exhibited bending and twisting and the right propeller blades did not exhibit relative bending and twisting.
The left main fuel tank was broken open and did not contain any usable fuel. The right main fuel tank was not broken open and contained about 27 gallons of fuel, the right auxiliary fuel tank contained about 0.5 gallons of fuel, and the left auxiliary fuel tank contained about 1.2 gallons of fuel. Both fuel selectors were positioned to their respective auxiliary fuel tank positions. The fuel noted in the these tanks was consistent with 100 low lead aviation fuel.
The left propeller control was in the full forward position, and the right propeller control was in the full aft position but forward of the feather position.
Instrument flight rules low altitude navigation and instrument approach charts were noted in the cockpit area.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The last recorded radar data point was at 0138:51 at which time the airplane was about 1.9 NM on a course of 17.6 degrees to IXD. Radar data from 0138:08 to 0138:51 indicated a constant values for: ground speed of 101 knots, ground track of 110 degrees, and pressure altitude of 1,500 feet. The radar data and associated plots are included in the docket of this report.
The Cessna 401 "Before Landing" checklist states:
(1) Fuel Selectors - Left Engine - LEFT MAIN (feel for detect). RIGHT MAIN (feel for detect).
(2) Alternated Air Controls - Check IN.
(3) Mixtures - FULL RICH or lean as required for smooth operation.
(4) Propellers - High RPM.
(5) Wing Flaps - 15 [degrees] - 45 [degrees] below 160 MPH.
(6) Landing Gear - Extend below 160 MPH.
(7) Landing Gear Position Indicator Lights - Check green lights ON.
(8) Wing Flaps - 15 [degrees] - 45 [degrees] below 160 MPH.
(9) Cowl Flaps - CLOSED or as required.
(10) Auxiliary Fuel Pumps - ON.
(11) Minimum Multi-Engine Approach Speed - 110 MPH.
(12) Minimum Single-Engine Control Speed - 95 MPH.
According to the Telesis TransAir, Inc., Director of Flight Operations, the company's flight following department closed at their regular time of 0000 on the day of the accident. The TransAir, Inc. general operations manual, section 259. Operation Control, section B. Control Polices and Procedures, paragraph 5. Flight Plans and Flight Locating, states:
"[Telesis TransAir, Inc.] flights shall be conducted, if under VFR, on a VFR flight plan filed with FSS or under company flight following procedures, if IFR, on an IFR flight plan..." "...as required by FAR 135.79.
The FAA and Telesis TransAir, Inc., were parties to the investigation.