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On May 3, 2005, about 1540 mountain daylight time, a Cessna T210N airplane, N106PM, was destroyed subsequent to an in-flight collision with mountainous terrain approximately 19 miles east of Kalispell, Montana. The aircraft was owned by Papa Mike Aviation, LLC, of Whitefish, MT, and operated by the pilot as an instrument flight rules (IFR) cross-country flight under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The private pilot and pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and an IFR flight plan was activated for the flight that originated at Glacier Park International Airport (KFCA), Kalispell, Montana, at 1524 MDT. The pilot's flight planned destination was Natrona County International Airport, Casper, Wyoming (KCPR).
On the afternoon of May 3, Salt lake City Air Traffic Control Center issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) after radio and radar contact with the accident aircraft was lost. That same evening, about 2030, the airplane wreckage was located in a remote area east of Kalispell.
Airmen records on file at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airmen's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on April 20, 1992, with a rating for airplane single engine land (SEL), and an instrument rating (SEL) on March 27, 1997.
FAA records showed that the pilot held an FAA third-class medical certificate issued on May 19, 2004. The medical certificate carried a limitation requiring the pilot to wear lenses for distance vision and posses glasses for near vision.
Flight training records showed that the pilot completed 26.1 hours of dual flight instruction from a certified flight instructor (CFI) following the purchase of the accident airplane. According to the training records, the pilot completed a total of nine instructional flights, between April 21, 2004 and June 3, 2004, totaling 26.1 hours. The records showed that the pilot received the following endorsements during the flight training: FAR 61.31(e) additional training required for operating complex airplanes; FAR 61.31 (f) additional training required for operating high-performance airplanes and a flight review prescribed in FAR 61.56 (a).
Additional flight training records showed that the pilot completed 18 hours of dual instrument flight instruction from a certified instrument flight instructor (CFII) between July 26, 2004, and January 24, 2005. The pilot completed an instrument proficiency check (FAR 61.57 [d]) on November 11, 2004.
FAA medical records showed that on the pilot's last Application for Airman Medical Certificate (form 8500-8), dated May 19, 2004, the pilot listed 720 hours total time
On the pilot's latest Application for Airmen Medical Certificate (form 8500-8), dated May 19, 2004, the pilot listed 720 hours in box 14 (total pilot time to date) and 10 hours in box 15 (total pilot time past 6 months).
An attempt to locate the pilot's personal flight time logbook(s) was unsuccessful.
The accident airplane, a Cessna T210N -Turbo Centurion- (serial number 21062965), was equipped with a Teledyne Continental TSIO-520 series engine, rated at 310 horsepower. The airplane was also equipped with pneumatic de-icing boots installed on the leading edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizer. The Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) supplement associated with the de-icing system states the boots "…provide a measure of protection if unexpected icing conditions are encountered." An additional statement in the supplement states that "There is no change to the airplane limitations when the de-icing system is installed; intentional flight into known icing conditions is prohibited, regardless of installed ice protection equipment."
A review of the maintenance records revealed that the last annual inspection of the airframe, engine and propeller, was completed on January 3, 2005. The airframe total time at inspection was 1,809 hours.
An entry in the engine maintenance logbook records noted that the engine was "rebuilt/zero timed on 12/21/98 by Teledyne Continental Motors." A logbook entry corresponding with the engine's last annual inspection (January 3, 2005) indicated that the engine's "tach time" at inspection was 390.9 hours.
An entry in the airframe maintenance logbook, dated October 20, 2004, noted that the "aircraft's ATC transponder, altimeter and altitude reporting system" was inspected and tested in accordance with FAR 43, Appendix E and F. The entry noted that the systems tested complied with FAR part 91.
There were no open logbook maintenance discrepancies with the aircraft at the time of the accident.
The closest weather observation facility to the accident site was the departure airport, Glacier Park International Airport (KFCA), Kalispell, Montana, located approximately 17 miles west-northwest (306 degrees) at an elevation of 2,977 feet msl. The airport is equipped with an Automated Observation System (ASOS). The following official NWS Meteorological Aerodrome Reports (METARs) and Specials (SPECIs) were issued surrounding the period of the accident:
On May 3, at 1455, the METAR observation was, in part, wind from 180 degrees at 13 knots, visibility unrestricted at 10 statute miles, ceiling broken at 7,000 feet, temperature 14 degrees C, dew point 4 degrees C, altimeter 29.96 inches of Hg. Remarks: automated observation system, rain began at 2019Z and ended at 2029Z
At 1457, the SPECI (special weather observation report) was, in part, wind from 180 degrees at 13 knots, visibility unrestricted at 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 6,000 feet, ceiling broken at 7,500 feet, broken at 9,000 feet, temperature 14 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 4 degrees C, altimeter 29.96 inches of Hg. Remarks: automated observation system.
At 1555, the METAR observation was, in part, wind from 150 degrees at 10 knots, visibility unrestricted at 10 miles, scattered clouds at 7,500 feet, ceiling broken at 8,500 feet, temperature 14 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, altimeter 29.96 inches of Hg.
At 1634, the SPECI was, in part, wind from 110 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 3 miles in moderate rain, ceiling broken at 3,200 feet, overcast at 5,500 feet, temperature 12 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, altimeter 29.96 inches of Hg. Remarks: automated observation system, rain began at 1622, hourly precipitation 0.03 of an inch.
AIRMET (In-flight advisories serve to notify en route pilots of the possibility of encountering hazardous flying conditions) Zulu, update 3, issued at 1345, was valid until 2000Z, and was issued for icing conditions over portions of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Washington. The advisory was enclosed by the navigation fixes from 60 miles east-southeast of Princeton, British Columbia (YDC), to 50 miles north of Kalispell, Montana (FCA), to Great Falls, Montana (GTF), to Boysen Reservation, Wyoming (BOY), to Boise, Idaho (BOI), to 70 miles north of McCall, Idaho (DNJ), to 60 miles east-southeast of Princeton, British Columbia (YDC). The advisory warned of occasional moderate rime or mixed icing-in-clouds and in-precipitation between 9,000 and 19,000 feet. The conditions were expected to continue beyond 2000 and move eastward through 0200. The accident site was located within the boundaries of this advisory. The freezing level was identified from 7,500 to 8,000 feet over Montana rising to 12,000 feet over southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.
The Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) current for Glacier Park International Airport (KFCA), Kalispell, Montana, was issued at 1122, and was current for a 24-hour period beginning at 1200 on May 3, 2005. The forecast for KFCA from 1200 was for winds from 150 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 16 knots, visibility better than 6 miles, with scattered clouds at 9,000 feet. From 1500, wind from 240 degrees at 10 knots, visibility better than 6 miles with showers in the vicinity, ceiling broken at 8,000 feet, and broken at 12,000 feet. From 2100, wind variable at 3 knots, visibility better than 6 miles, scattered clouds at 9,000 feet, ceiling broken at 12,000 feet.
At 1545, Salt Lake Center (ZSLC) received a pilot weather report (PIREP) from the crew of a Swearingen Metroliner multiengine airplane that was 20 miles east of Kalispell at 9,000 feet. The crew reported light mixed icing between 9,000 and 11,000 feet with an outside air temperature of minus 8 degrees C.
At 1526:32, the pilot established communications with Salt Lake City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The pilot stated that the airplane was "out of" 4,400 feet climbing to 13,000 feet." The ATC specialist replied by stating, "roger radar contact five miles northwest of Kalispell VOR." No further radio contact was received from the accident airplane.
Radar data for the accident aircraft was obtained from the FAA Air Route Surveillance Radar (ARSR), located near Kalispell, Montana.
The radar targets attributable to N106PM were identified by transponder code of 3162. Radar data indicated N106PM tracked an easterly course in a continuous climb to approximately 12,000 feet msl. Radar data indicated that shortly after reaching 12,000 feet (approximately 1538:53), the aircraft began a right descending turn. The aircraft continued the right descending turn, approximately 270 degrees, until radar contact was lost. The last radar return was received at 1540:29 at approximately 8,200 feet. The wreckage was later located in the general area of the last radar return.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was examined at the accident site by investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, FAA, Cessna Aircraft and Teledyne Continental Motors on June 22, 2005. Access to the accident site was delayed due to inclement weather conditions and a heavy snow pack.
The crash site was located adjacent to an alpine lake at 48 degrees 08.395 minutes' north latitude and 113 degrees 54.528 minutes' west longitude. The elevation was approximately 6,033 feet above mean sea level (MSL). The surrounding terrain was mountainous with a dense cover of conifer trees.
The wreckage debris field encompassed an area approximately 30 feet long (from east to west) and approximately 15 feet wide. A majority of the wreckage was located in the confines of a large impact crater measuring approximately 7 feet in diameter and 4 feet deep. The remains of the fuselage were oriented on heading of approximately 255 degrees magnetic.
A large conifer tree with fresh scarring was observed immediately adjacent to the impact crater. The tree, measuring approximately 13 inches in diameter, had been sheared at a height of about 48 inches above the ground. The shear angle was approximately 45 degrees. Black paint transfer, similar in color to that of the propeller, was noted on the 45-degree shear surface/face.
The main wreckage consisted of the remains of the engine assembly, fuselage, pieces of the wing assembly and empennage. The wreckage was severely fragmented. Impact forces and post-crash fire destroyed a majority of the cockpit, and cockpit components, instrumentation and cabin. The engine assembly was partially separated from the firewall and was located near the bottom of the crater. The assembly sustained extensive impact related damage. The 3-bladed propeller assembly remained attached to the hub assembly. The only blade still attached to the assembly was bent approximately 90 degrees aft starting near the blade shank. Leading edge gouges and span wise deformation was noted to the blade. The remaining two propeller blades were located in the confines of the wreckage debris field. Both blades separated from the hub assembly near the blade shank. Leading edge gouging, chord wise striations, "S" bending and span wise deformation were noted to the blades. Both wings were located with the main wreckage and sustained extensive impact related damage, thermal damage and fragmentation. Extensive accordion type leading edge damage was noted to the multiple pieces of leading edge structure. The empennage was located with the main wreckage. The vertical stabilizer and both horizontal stabilizers sustained extensive thermal and impact related damage.
All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. There was no evidence of a pre impact fire. No pre impact engine or airframe anomalies, which may have affected the airplane's performance, were identified.
On October 17, 2005, the airplane, engine and associated components were released to CTC Services, Aviation (LAD Inc), Grand Junction, Colorado.