Caravan down outside of Seattle

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by DavidWhite, Nov 18, 2022.

  1. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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  2. FlightmechH3

    FlightmechH3 Pre-Flight

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    I drive past the SnoHo airport frequently.

    RIP
     
  3. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Blancolirio has a video already. His take on the aircraft is that it is leased to a company that was testing a cargo pod through the flight envelope. That does seem to be the only way you could break the wing off a Caravan in good weather.
     
  4. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Some pretty extreme maneuvers in the preceding days. Going from 10,500' to 6500' in 2 minutes pretty frequently.
     
  5. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    I don’t think there’s any way to break the wings off the caravan in good weather barring a major mx bungle or manufacturing defect, and I’m not convinced there’s a way to do it in bad weather either. I’m not aware of any caravan in-flight breakups in the US.
     
  6. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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  7. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Breaking the wings on any strut-wing Cessna is virtually unheard of. Doing it in a nearly new airframe in VMC...I'm lost.
     
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  8. aftCG

    aftCG Line Up and Wait

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    2000 ft/min isn't that extreme
     
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  9. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    Pretty tame really. Caravan diver drivers do 5000 FPM all day every day.
     
  10. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route PoA Supporter

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  11. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    I wonder if the cargo pod picked the same primary structure/mount as the wing strut mount? If doing the flight tests the pod was probably at max internal weight as well.
     
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  12. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Final Approach

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  13. SepticTank

    SepticTank Filing Flight Plan

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    I can only imagine how terrifying it must’ve been sitting through that fall knowing there’s nothing you can do… RIP
     
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  14. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Looks attached to me. Screen Shot 2022-11-19 at 10.11.04 AM.png
     
  15. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Final Approach

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    Blancolirio's channel showed what appeared to be a wing several hundred meters away. It looks kind of like a wing to me, with a radar pod (clipped from video):
    upload_2022-11-19_10-14-21.png
     
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  16. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was apparently test flights for some mods. I just found out I knew the test pilot. :(
     
  17. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    That sucks. I know the feeling. Condolences.
     
  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    blancolirio (as usual) has a good video up

    His take is they were doing accelerated stalls testing out the cargo pod equipment. From the tracks it looks like speeds are well within maneuvering range (ofcourse this is GS)

    ..makes sense. You have to work really hard to pull a wing off a strutted Cessna, but if the pod somehow compromised that attach point.. even if indirectly..

    2K fpm is otherwise not extreme, I've had my share of 1,500 fpm descents in the Aztec thanks to ATC keeping me high.. I imagine jump planes routinely rock 3K to 6K on their way down
     
  19. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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  20. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sad RIP
     
  21. Capngrog

    Capngrog Pre-takeoff checklist

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    On Caravans, the radar pods are almost always mounted on the right wing, just outboard of the wing strut attachment point. With that in mind, it appears that what is shown in the photo posted by Kenny Phillips is the top of the right wing. There also appears to be a gaping hole in the wing at about the flap mid span point, just forward of the flap hinge line. What does this mean? I don't know, except that part of the empennage may have struck the aft part of the wing immediately after separation. Again, I'm not sure what this means other than idle observation on my part. Maybe this will mean something to the boffins at the NTSB.
     
  22. skyking3286

    skyking3286 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Leading local theory is some sort of breakup perhaps in belly pod they were testing, which struck the stab and then that failed, leading to the wing failure in the dive that followed. There were four fatalities in the crash, which is another odd thing for a flight test. There is a company that does a STC mod for the cargo pod based in Renton. Wreckage footage has the original belly pod at the scene of the crash, but not a front fairing that is a part of the STC. Wing, two stab/elevator pieces are the debris field away from main wreckage, but not far away as a breakup at 9.600 would indicate. If not a failure of the belly pod, then an over speed and pull would be a possibility. NTSB will have more information later, as well as the release of the names of the victims. Local airport was given as location unfortunately, although they had nothing to do with the accident. Gaping hole referenced above in the photo is a tree or shrub. Check KIRO, KOMO, KING television news, as well as the Everett Herald newspaper. Plane was unmodified.

    UPDATE: The flight was a baseline before the mods were installed. See post of 11/20 for the update. So the speculation goes to airframe unmodified. Still seems like there is at least one crew member who wasn't needed to get the data.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
  23. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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  24. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Certainly, sometimes there are lots more. Think of Boeing, taking a year or more to do the flight testing of a new airliner. There's just two pilots for the early flights, but later on in the sequence there's a pretty good crowd of people monitoring the testing.
    flight test.JPG

    The rules prohibit anyone but required crew, not pilots only.

    I once flew right seat in the Boeing Helio Courier (licensed Experimental R&D) running tests of a new satellite camera. We had an engineer way back in the cabin, industriously getting airsick....
    Boeing helio.JPG
    When I flew in it, the tail was unpainted aluminum. One of the Boeing test pilots had ground-looped the airplane....

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  25. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    Most definitely. The G650 that crashed in Roswell NM during OEI takeoff testing had two pilots and two flight test engineers onboard. None survived.

    Nauga,
    who still gets angry
     
  26. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Final Approach

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    Yeah, looks as if part of their speed mods include fairing the belly pod somewhat better than Cessna did; I'd normally think that losing the front fairing for the pod would be relatively harmless, but perhaps not. I don't know what other mods they do; this was for a new product anyway.
     
  27. skyking3286

    skyking3286 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Update, company reports the new belly pod was not installed, flight crew was testing - Sunday, Nov 20 from the Seattle Times:

    A small airplane that crashed in Snohomish County on Friday, killing all four people aboard, was on a test flight when it broke apart midair and plunged to the ground.
    Raisbeck Engineering of Seattle was having the Cessna 208B test flown in preparation for modifying the aircraft, according to an emailed statement Sunday from Hal Chrisman, president of Raisbeck.
    Chrisman said the aircraft had not yet been modified. The flight crew included two “highly-experienced” test pilots, a flight test director and an instrumentation engineer who were collecting “baseline aircraft performance data,” Chrisman said.
    Raisbeck designs modifications that can help airplanes “fly faster, carry more passengers or cargo and improve flight range,” Chrisman said. The baseline data would allow the company to compare the plane’s performance before and after modifications.

    The Cessna 208B crashed around 10:20 a.m. in a field east of Harvey Field Airport in Snohomish County, about an hour after taking off from Renton Municipal Airport. One witness said the aircraft appeared to have broken apart and caught fire before the crash.
    According to the aviation tracking website FlightAware, a Cessna 208B with identifier tail number N2069B took off from Renton Municipal Airport at around 9:25 a.m. and flew north to the Everett area, where it completed several large circles and a series of ascents, descents, accelerations and decelerations before dropping 5,100 feet.
    Reached by phone, Chrisman declined to comment further on the crash or the proposed modifications to the plane. “I think the most important thing is we were flying an aircraft in which we had not installed our modification yet,” he said.
    Aircraft N2069B was owned by Copper Mountain Aviation of Alaska, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website. The company could not be reached Saturday.
    The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. Neither agency immediately responded to requests for comment Sunday.
    The Snohomish County medical examiner has not yet identified the victims. Chrisman declined to comment on the crew members involved in the crash.
    “All the members of the Raisbeck family are devastated by this tragic accident,” he said in the statement. “And while Raisbeck feels this loss deeply, we cannot begin to imagine the loss and pain of the families and other loved ones of these crew members.”
     
  28. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Final Approach

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    That, as they say, changes everything. As they were likely recording a lot of flight parameters, actual performance data may tell the tale.
     
  29. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    It's a huge outlier, for sure. A stock Cessna 208 doesn't normally come from together. If it's ever happened before, it probably didn't have the instrumentation that was likely on this one. I'm staying tuned for any lessons that I can learn from this.
     
  30. skyking3286

    skyking3286 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fire pretty consumed the whole cabin area, so any memory cards are probably melted. Very tragic for a smaller company, that is a big loss in staff and knowledge. So the focus now shifts to Cessna or what happened to the plane with the baggage pod as installed. The 208B has a good track record, so we will see. More news to be released today (11/21 Monday).
     
  31. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  32. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    I think what you're seeing is ground vegetation. It appears the wing landed on it while falling vertically.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022