On January 19, 2005, at 0913 eastern standard time, a Cessna 414, N5DS, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Akron-Canton Regional Airport (CAK), Akron, Ohio. The certificated private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated from Akron-Fulton Airport (AKR), Akron, Ohio, at 0840. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight, destined for Reading, Pennsylvania, which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot was interviewed by telephone. He explained that he filed his IFR flight plan by computer the night before the accident, and that the forecast called for below-freezing temperatures, an overcast ceiling at 3,000 feet, and blowing snow. The pilot re-checked the weather on the computer at the local fixed base operator prior to departure.
The airplane was boarded around 0830, and taxied by 0835. At takeoff, the pilot was instructed to fly the runway heading to 3,000 feet. The airplane entered the clouds at 2,500 feet and immediately "picked up real heavy ice." The wing, propeller, and windshield deicing systems were activated.
The windshield's "weeping" alcohol system could not keep pace with the ice buildup, and the windshield blurred "within seconds." Ice accumulated on the wing deicing boots while they were inflated, and ice shedding from the propellers was heard throughout the flight.
The pilot requested and was cleared for a localizer approach back to Akron-Fulton Airport. On short final, the pilot could see the runway out the side window, but aborted the landing. With zero forward visibility, he felt he could not safely complete the landing.
The pilot continued to Akron-Canton Regional Airport, and completed the airport surveillance radar (ASR) approach to runway 19. At 110 knots indicated, and 5 feet above the runway, the pilot reduced power and the airplane "just fell from the sky." The airplane landed hard on all three landing gear simultaneously.
The pilot taxied from the runway, and the damage to the airplane was discovered during the postflight inspection. The pilot noted 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of ice on the nose and the lifting surfaces of the airplane.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate on February 20, 2003.
The pilot reported approximately 1,400 hours of total flight experience, of which 90 hours were in multi-engine airplanes, and 70 hours were in make and model.
The pilot stated there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane. Examination of delivery documents, and the Cessna 414 Owner's Manual, revealed that the airplane was not equipped with the option package that allowed for "flight in icing conditions as defined by the FAA." A note in the manual stated, "The aircraft is not approved for flight in icing conditions...."
Prior to departure, the pilot did not receive a weather briefing from FAA flight service, nor did he check for pilot reports (PIREPS).
At 0334, AIRMET Zulu was issued for the area surrounding the departure airport, and along the intended route of flight, for moderate icing in clouds and precipitation below 15,000 feet, with conditions continuing through 1600.
Between 0701, and 0934, several pilots of aircraft operating in the Akron area between 3,200 and 7,000 feet reported icing. The types and severity varied between rime and mixed icing, and light to moderate accumulations. The airplanes reporting the ice varied from light, twin-engine airplanes to transport category jet airplanes.
At 0836, the weather reported at Akron-Fulton Airport included an overcast ceiling at 1,300, with 2 ½ miles of visibility in light freezing rain and mist. The wind was from 200 degrees at 15 knots. The temperature was 21 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dewpoint was 17 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezing rain began at 0833.
At 0937, the weather reported at Akron-Canton Regional Airport included an overcast ceiling at 800 feet, with 2 miles of visibility in light snow and mist. The wind was from 200 degrees at 15 knots, gusting to 23 knots. The temperature was 21 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dewpoint was 17 degrees Fahrenheit.