WPR11FA073
WPR11FA073

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 5, 2010, at 1758 mountain standard time, a Cessna T210M, N77CF, collided with a power pole and some trees about one-half mile short of the approach end of runway 03 at Ogden-Hinckley Airport, Ogden, Utah. The instrument rated private pilot, who was the sole occupant, received serious injuries, and the airplane, which was owned and operated by CK Aviation LLC, sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence and ensuing fire. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal transportation flight departed General Stout Airport, Hurricane, Utah, about an hour and 35 minutes prior to the accident. While en route, the pilot filed and activated an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan. At the time of the accident, the airplane was being operated in Instrument Meteorological Condition (IMC).

While en route in visual meteorological conditions (VMC), and about 20 minutes south of Tooele, Utah, the pilot contacted Cedar City Radio in order to find out what the then current conditions where at Ogden. The technician advised him that Ogden was reporting marginal visual flight rules (VFR), calm winds, a visibility of 4 miles due to haze, clear below 12,000 feet, with a temperature of 3 degrees C, and a dew point of 2 degrees C. He also advised him that Salt Lake City International, which is located about 30 miles south of Ogden, was operating under IFR, with 1/8 mile visibility, fog, an indefinite ceiling, and with both the temperature and dew point at 1 degree C. He then further advised the pilot that VFR flight was not recommended in northern Utah, and that it appeared that the area around Salt Lake City was "socked in." He also told the pilot that the area was under an AIRMET (Airman's Meteorological Information) that forecast IFR conditions with obscured sky conditions, ceiling less than 1,000 feet, and visibilities less than 3 miles until 0300 Zulu (2000 local). In response, the pilot stated that he might have to file an IFR flight plan from Tooele to Ogden, and that he would continue to monitor the Cedar City Radio frequency until he reached Tooele, which he estimated would take him about 15 minutes.

Although the pilot stated that he did not remember anything beyond the fact that he was concerned about the dropping visibility at Ogden, and therefore had contacted Salt Lake Center in order to get an IFR clearance, recorded Air Traffic Control communications revealed the content of those communications. When the pilot was just north of Delta, Utah, which is about 130 miles south of Ogden, he contacted Cedar City Radio and advised the technician that he was putting together an IFR flight plan, and that when he got established on the VICTOR Airway he would make contact again to file the flight plan. A short time later, the pilot contacted Cedar City Radio and filed an IFR flight plan to Ogden, to begin at VERNE intersection, which is located about 40 miles west of Provo, Utah. He advised the technician that his estimated time en route was 30 minutes, that he had 3 hours of fuel onboard, that his alternate airport would be Heber City, Utah, and that his requested altitude would be 13,500 feet. The technician advised the pilot he would submit the flight plan as stated (with an IFR appropriate cruise altitude of 13,000 foot). He then asked the pilot for his home base, which was Ogden, and then had the pilot confirm the flight plan information he was submitting.

As he approached VERNE intersection, the pilot contacted Salt Lake Center, whereupon he was cleared direct to STACO intersection, then direct to JOSIF intersection, which is the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) for the ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to Runway 03 at Ogden, and from there to the Ogden Airport. As the pilot passed abeam Fairfield, Utah, about 1933, he was directed to climb to 15,000 feet, and was then handed off to the Stockton Sector of Salt Lake Approach Control. When he checked in with Salt Lake Approach, the pilot said that he was passing through 14,000 feet for 15,000 feet, and confirmed that he had Information Sierra (Automatic Terminal Information Service Sierra). The controller then told him to fly his present heading, which was 345 degrees, for vectors to the ILS approach. About 5 minutes later he was handed off to the Lake Sector of Salt Lake Approach, where upon he was directed to descend to and maintain 12,000 feet. About 20 seconds after being cleared to 12,000 feet, the controller advised the pilot that the visibility at Ogden was down to one-half mile, and that Ogden Information Tango was then current. About 50 seconds later, the controller asked the pilot to advise him when he had Information Tango, and the pilot responded that he was in the process of getting it. About 45 seconds after that, the pilot informed the controller that he had Information Tango, and the controller then handed him off to the Bear Sector of Salt Lake Approach. Upon checking in with the Bear Sector controller, the pilot stated that he was passing through 13,000 feet, and he was then told to expect vectors to the ILS for Runway 03. The controller also advised him that the visibility was "getting down" at Ogden, and that another aircraft, a Cessna Citation, was just coming back off of an approach to Ogden and going down to Provo. Almost immediately thereafter, the pilot of the Citation, who was climbing out of Ogden on a missed approach, came up on the same radio frequency to receive instructions from the controller. The controller cleared him to 6,000 feet, and asked him what his intensions were. The Citation pilot replied that he would like to go to Provo, whereupon the controller advised him that Provo was reporting clear skies with a visibility of 7 miles. A few seconds later, the controller cleared the accident pilot to descend to 9,000 feet, and about 2 minutes later directed him to turn right to a heading of 080 degrees. About 1 minute after that, the controller cleared the pilot to 7,000 feet, and 40 seconds later he cleared him to 6,500 feet, with a request to expedite the descent. The pilot responded to that request by advising that he could make a descent at a rate of 1,000 feet per minute, and the controller told him that "would work." About 2 minutes after asking for the expedited descent, the controller directed the pilot to fly a heading of 060 degrees to intercept the runway 03 localizer. About 10 seconds later, the controller advised the pilot that he was 4 miles from WULFE (the location of the outer marker), to maintain 6,000 feet until established on the localizer, and that he was cleared for the ILS to Runway 03. About 1 minute after clearing him for the approach, the controller advised the pilot that he, "appeared slightly right of course," and asked him to verify that he was correcting. The pilot responded that he was correcting, and that he was a little below 6,000 feet. At that time the controller asked, "Can you make the approach alright into there," and the pilot responded with, "It's going to be a challenge. We may have to go to Provo." The controller then wished him luck, told him that radar service was terminated, and directed him to contact Ogden Tower. The controller also advised the pilot that it would not be any problem if he needed to divert to Provo.

The pilot then contacted the tower, advising the controller that he was on the ILS for runway 03, and that he had information Tango. The tower controller immediately informed the pilot that Information Uniform was then current, and then told him that the wind was 290 at 3 knots, the altimeter was 30.26, the visibility was 1/4 mile with haze, and that there was an overcast ceiling at 400 feet. The controller then cleared him to land, and the pilot acknowledged the clearance. A few seconds later, the controller transmitted that the airplane was not in sight, and asked the pilot what his position was. There was no answer to that radio call, or to any of the other follow-up calls that the controller made.

PESONNELL INFORMATION

The pilot was a 46 year old male, who held a private pilot certificate with an Airplane Single-Engine Land rating and an Airplane Instrument rating. His last FAA airman's medical certificate, a Class 2, was issued on March 28, 2009, with the limitations that he must wear corrective lenses and must have glasses available for near vision. As of the time of the accident, he had accumulated 50 hours of night flight time, 75 hours of simulated instrument flight time, and 10 hours of actual instrument flight time.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a 1978 Cessna T210M, with a Teledyne Continental Motors TSIO-520-R engine. At the time of its last annual inspection, on October 28, 2010, the airframe had accumulated 4,210 hours, and the engine had accumulated 1,284 hours since a major overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather conditions at Ogden Airport had deteriorated steadily throughout the late afternoon. The 1653 aviation weather surface observation (METAR) indicated calm winds, 4 miles visibility, haze, clear skies, and an altimeter setting of 30.26. The 1709 METAR indicated 2 ½ miles visibility, haze, and scattered clouds at 600 feet. The 1713 METAR indicated 1 ¾ miles visibility, haze, and a broken ceiling at 600 feet. The 1721 METAR indicated 1 mile visibility, haze, and broken clouds at 400 feet. The 1736 METAR indicated ½ mile visibility, haze, and an overcast ceiling at 400 feet. The 1753 METAR indicated ¼ mile visibility (1/2 mile below the approach visibility minimum of 3/4 mile), haze, an overcast ceiling at 400 feet, with both a temperature and dew point of 2 degrees C.

Likewise, the weather conditions at Brigham City Airport, which is located about 22 miles north of Ogden, had deteriorated steadily throughout the late afternoon. The 1636 METAR at Brigham City indicated ¾ miles visibility, mist, an overcast ceiling at 400 feet, a temperature of 1 degree C, and a dew point of 0 degrees C. The 1733 METAR indicated ½ mile visibility, fog, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet, and both a temperature and dew point of 1 degree C. By the time the 1751 METAR was recorded the visibility had dropped to ¼ mile, with fog and a 100 foot vertical visibility into the obscuration (fog), and with both the temperature and dew point at 1 degree C.

A review of the Ogden tower recorded audio also disclosed that an airport employee arrived at the approach end of the runway about 1 minute after the controller's last contact with the pilot. He was instructed to determine if he could see the airplane anywhere in that area, but he could not. After reporting that he did not see the airplane in that location, he was instructed to check the remainder of the runway. The employee responded that he was just beginning to do that, and then advised the tower controller that, "The fog is not good out here."

Emergency personnel who responded to the crash site reported that at ground level there was a thick fog with a visibility that they estimated to be less than 1/4 mile.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATIONS

The airplane's initial impact with a utility pole and some trees occurred near the corner of 2175 West and 4400 South, near the north edge of Sandridge Park in Roy, Utah, about 1/2 mile from the end of the runway. From there it continued north about 700 feet before impacting a group of trees between two houses on the south side of the T-intersection at 2075 West and 4300 South. The majority of the airplane's structure came to rest in the roadway between the houses, with parts scattered over a distance of about one block. Some portions of the airplane, including the engine and one of the doors, came to rest in the front yards of a couple of residences. Immediately after the impact a large fuel fed fire broke out, which ultimately consumed or severely damaged the majority of the airplane's structure. Two of the homes near the impact site caught on fire and sustained significant damage. The pilot was found lying in the street near a portion of the airplane's structure, and for his safety he was moved a short distance away from the wreckage by individuals who lived in the neighborhood. There were no ground injuries.

The airplane was recovered to the facilities of Air Transport in Phoenix, Arizona, where the airframe and the engine underwent a further teardown inspection. That inspection revealed that the majority of the airplane's structure had incurred heavy impact damage, and that it was extensively burned and heavily fragmented. All portions of the wing assembly had sustained massive fire damage, along with significant amounts of crushing and bending impact damage. The left wing fragments contained impact damage consistent with leading edge collision with the utility pole and multiple tree limb strikes. All flight control surfaces were located, and flight control cable continuity was established to each flight control, except where the cables had failed in overload or had been cut by personnel recovering the airplane. The flap actuator was located and measured at 4 ½ inches extended, which equates to zero degrees of flaps (full up position). The elevators remained attached to the horizontal stabilizers, which themselves had separated from the airframe. The majority of the vertical stabilizer and rudder were consumed by the post-impact fire, and had separated from the tail cone. The elevator electric trim bridal cables were intact. The trim jack screw read about 1 3/8 inches extended; however, the trim setting could not be reliably calculated due to the trim chain being pulled off of the sprocket during the accident sequence. Due to the extent of the impact and fire damage to the landing gear, the gear actuators, and the landing gear cockpit switch, the in-flight position of the landing gear could not be determined.

The cockpit area and instrument panel had been almost entirely destroyed by impact forces and fire, with the altimeter and airspeed indicator being the only readable instruments recovered. The airspeed indicator read zero knots, and although the altimeter indicator needles were not present, the setting in its Kollsman window was 30.25 inches of mercury. Extensive impact and fire damage also prevented the evaluation of the engine instruments and the engine control positions.

The engine itself, which separated from the airframe during the accident sequence, had suffered impact damage, but had not sustained any thermal damage from the past-crash fire. The propeller hub remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange, but the propeller assembly had suffered impact damage, and all three blades had separated from the propeller hub. One blade, which was designated A for inspection purposes, remained straight from its root to about 1/2 of its span. From that point outward it was curved gently aft about 15 degrees, with a slight amount of longitudinal twisting. Just outboard of ½ of its span, there was a 12 inch section of leading edge that had been abraded away to a depth of about 1/8 inch. Near the middle of that abraded section was a 1/4 inch diameter rounded indentation in the leading edge. Aft of that indentation on the blade's cambered face, for about 1 1/2 inch, was a chord-wise scar about 3/16 of an inch wide. There was also a series of chord-wise scratches on the outboard most 6 inches of the flat surface of the blade, and a series of chord-wise scratches along an 8-inch section of the same face. A second blade, which was designated B for inspection purposes, was curved gently aft about 30 degrees, starting at a point just inboard of half of its span. The outboard 10 inches of the blade was curved gently forward to the extent where the tip was nearly in the same plain as the root. The leading edge of the blade had several small indentations along the most outboard 8 inches of its span, and an abraded area to a depth of about 1/8 inch along a 5-inch section of the leading edge near its mid-span. Near the center of the abraded area was an indentation about 1/4 inch in diameter, and about 1/4 inch deep. The paint on the inboard 1/3 of the cambered face was burnished in a chord-wise direction, and there were numerous chord-wise scratches extending about 2 inches back from the leading edge along the outboard 1/3 of the span of the cambered face. The flat face of the blade had a series of wide chord-wise scratches/burnishings spaced along the outboard 2/3 of its span. The third blade, which was designated C for inspection purposes, was bent forward to about 40 degrees in a gentle curve starting at about mid-span. The leading edge of the blade had 2 small indentations located along its outboard most 3 inches, and a 2-inch long abraded area just outboard of the deicing boot. On the flat face of the blade, emanating outboard diagonally at about 40 degrees from the outboard edge of the abraded area, was a band of slanted parallel stripes consistent with the scarring left by contact with a twist-braided power line.

The magnetos were undamaged, and rotation of the crankshaft by hand produced visible spark from all ignitions leads. The spark plug electrodes showed a significant amount of wear, but normal wear patterns. The number 1 cylinder upper spark plug electrode had some dark grey deposits on it, and the number 4 cylinder lower spark plug electrode area had an oily residue on it, with the remaining spark plugs showing normal light grey deposits in the electrode area. There was no evidence of cracks or shorting in the insulators. The fuel pump was undamaged and its drive coupling was intact. It was removed from the airplane and tested by being connected to an electric drill, whereupon it flowed liquid when operated at various speeds. The fuel distribution manifold was undamaged, and upon disassembly fuel was found in its cavity. Its diaphragm and screen were undamaged. The fuel injection nozzles were removed from the engine and found to be undamaged and unobstructed. The throttle body fuel inlet screen was removed and found to contain light amounts of fibrous debris covering less than one percent of the screen's surface. The oil pump was disassembled, and revealed very small areas of corrosion between a few gear teeth, and some light internal scratching of the gear teeth and the cavity sides due to hard particle passage. The oil scavenge pump was disassembled and revealed no damage except for very slight scratching on the gear teeth and cavity sides due to hard particle passage. There was no evidence of any anomaly associated with either pump. The oil filter was cut open, and revealed no metal particles or unusual contamination. All valve train assembles appeared normal, and functional continuity was established from the valves back to the crankshaft. All cylinders were boroscoped, with no anomalies found. The number five cylinder was removed in order to gain visual access to the interior of the crankcase, whereupon all interior surfaces were found to be undamaged and well lubricated. Through the same opening, the camshaft and cam followers in the area of the number 6 cylinder were observed. The camshaft and the followers were undamaged and well lubricated. The turbocharger compressor scroll had impact related dirt and debris in the blade area, but the exhaust section of the turbine shaft was visible and undamaged. The turbine shaft rotated freely by hand, and continuity was established between the compressor section and the turbine section. The turbocharger wastegate assembly sustained impact damage, and the wastegate valve was found in the open position. The engine-driven vacuum pump was undamaged and remained attached to the engine, with its drive coupling intact. It was disassembled and inspected with no internal anomalies being noted. The electric-driven vacuum pump was undamaged and remained attached to its drive motor, with its drive coupling intact. It was disassembled and inspected with no internal anomalies being noted. The undamaged propeller governor was removed from the engine, and the governor drive shaft was able to be freely rotated by hand. The seal and screen were undamaged and free of debris. The governor adjustment bolt was undamaged and properly safetied.

ADDITIONAL DATA AND INFORMATION

A review of the recorded radar data and the data recovered from the pilot's Garmin model 696 GPS (Global Positioning System) unit revealed that at the time the controller directed the pilot to turn right to a heading of 080 degrees, the airplane was descending through 9,000 feet and its groundspeed was about 210 mph. During the descent from 9,000 feet to 6,500 feet, the groundspeed of the airplane varied within the range of about 200 to 220 mph. Once the pilot leveled off at 6,500 feet, which he remained at for about 45 seconds, the airplane's groundspeed stabilized around 175 mph. The groundspeed then increased to around 190 mph as the pilot descended to around 6,000 feet, and once he leveled off about the 6,000 foot level, which he remained at for about 100 seconds, the airplane's airspeed gradually slowed to a range of about 160 to 165 mph. As the pilot passed abeam WULFE (the final approach fix), the airplane's groundspeed was 160 mph. As the pilot continued the approach the airplane's groundspeed did not stabilize, but instead began to steadily decrease so that it was 150 mph when about 3.0 miles from the runway, 130 mph when about 2.5 miles from the runway, 120 mph when about 1.5 miles from the runway, 100 mph when about 1.3 miles from the runway, 90 mph when about 1.0 miles from the runway, and 85 mph when about .85 of a mile from the runway.

The recorded data also showed that the pilot flew slightly through the localizer during his initial intercept (partially due to the late clearance by the controller), and then while correcting back to the localizer centerline, he flew through it a second time. During this second intercept attempt, he passed through the localizer centerline, and then proceeded on to a point where he would have been beyond the full-scale deflection of his Course Deviation Indicator (CDI). Although he turned to a heading that would bring him back toward the localizer when he was about half way between WULFE and the runway, he remained in the full CDI deflection area until he was less than one-half mile from the impact site. At the one-half mile point, he started a turn back to the left in a manner consistent with an attempt to stabilize the airplane on the localizer as the CDI moved back off of the full scale deflection.

The recorded data also showed that the pilot descended about 100 feet below his assigned localizer intercept altitude of 6,000 feet (the controller advised the pilot of this deviation), and stayed below that altitude for about 45 seconds. He also descended below the decision height for the approach (4,673 feet) when he was approximately .8 of mile from the runway, and then continued to descend until he impacted the power pole.

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