On December 27, 2005, about 1446 Pacific standard time, a Socata TBM 700, N198X, collided with the ground while on short final approach to runway 06 at the General Wm. J. Fox Airfield (WJF), Lancaster, California. The right wing separated from the airframe during the subsequent impact with the ground. The airplane was substantially damaged during the impact sequence and during the post impact ground fire. The pilot receiving instruction owned the airplane. Both the airline transport certificated pilot, who was providing dual flight instruction to the airplane owner, and the owner sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The instructional flight originated from Camarillo, California, about 1330. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Both pilots provided the National Transportation Safety Board investigator with verbal and written statements regarding the accident flight. In pertinent part, the airplane owner reported that he had recently purchased the airplane. The purpose of the flight was to receive dual flight instruction in the airplane in order to become more acquainted with its handling characteristics. The owner met with his certified flight instructor (CFI) and received a briefing regarding the upcoming lesson.
The flight was to include various maneuvers between 9,500 and 10,500 feet mean sea level. This was to be followed by takeoff and landing practice at WJF. After performing the maneuvers, the CFI directed the owner to perform a simulated engine-out approach to WJF. Accordingly, the engine power was reduced between 8 and 10 percent torque, and the owner glided toward the airport.
After arriving over the airport, the owner entered a "close in" downwind for runway 06, and the pilots received a clearance to land. At the direction of the CFI, the owner performed a "left circle base to the runway." The landing gear was lowered, and the owner questioned the CFI regarding whether they could glide all the way to the runway.
The CFI indicated to the owner that the airplane was in position to make the landing. The CFI directed the owner to maintain 90 knots airspeed. During the circling approach, as the airplane turned from the close in base leg onto the final approach leg, the CFI told the owner "don't bank." The owner rolled the wings level. Immediately thereafter, the left bank began a second time and the CFI again said, "Don't bank." The owner replied, "I'm not."
Neither pilot recalled hearing the stall warning horn activate in the manner in which it had functioned during the earlier higher altitude maneuvers. Neither pilot recalled the airplane buffeting.
The CFI applied engine power and right rudder. The airplane stopped rolling left, and then rolled into a right bank, whereupon the right wing impacted the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) coordinator examined the accident site and airplane wreckage. He reported observing a ground scar that was consistent with the initial point of impact being upwind of runway 06's landing threshold and beyond the north edge of the runway. The outboard lower portion of the right wing was the first airframe component to impact the ground.
According to the FAA inspector, the CFI indicated that during the last few seconds of flight he had applied full right rudder to reduce the left bank. At no time did the CFI direct his student to release the airplane's flight controls.
Runway 06 at WJF, elevation 2,348 feet mean sea level, is 7,201 feet long by 150 feet wide. At the time of the mishap, the reported weather was as follows: Wind from 050 degrees at 7 knots; 10 miles visibility; scattered clouds at 15,000 feet; and temperature/dew point at 21/4 degrees Celsius, respectively.