Cessna Centurion crashes on approach to Lubbock, TX | Icing Conditions

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by WannFly, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    6,201
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
  2. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2,921
    Location:
    NEPA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    Yikes. Sounds rough. Wonder why required to go back around initially.
    Couldn’t activate approach leg correctly to get glideslope?? Doesn’t sound like he ever declared either. Probably would have been more helpful early.
     
  3. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    6,201
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
    not sure, sounded like he never had the approach loaded or briefed and was already behind the airplane when this exchange started. :(
     
    benyflyguy likes this.
  4. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12,735
    Location:
    Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Right Seater
    Icing? In Texas? Whodathunkit?
     
  5. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,208
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    90 deg there a mere dozen days ago.
    I was trying to move one of our gas trailers from Tulsa to Amarillo yesterday. Postponed until later in the week.
     
  6. 172sailor

    172sailor Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    172sailor
    TWR: “Centurion 9622T, turn right heading 270“ was not helpful for the accident pilot (especially after he got the landing clearance already) and very confusing on top of that since heading 270 would have required a left turn.

    Obviously the tower controller intended to take him out of the approach sequence to accommodate for the much faster airliner behind.

    This pilot was in distress.

    He had difficulties to cope with the approach and the clearances and ATC was fully aware of that.

    ATC even asked him about potential icing conditions which were confirmed.

    This should have triggered a red flag with ATC.

    Leaving the accident pilot on the approach and turning SWA1117 away would have been the right thing to do.
     
    bflynn, WannFly and PaulS like this.
  7. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,557
    Location:
    Durham NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleDriver
    My wife was just showing me a video of a friend experiencing her first snow on a visit to TX.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  8. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,991
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS

    This, but, you can't blame ATC. Most controllers aren't pilots and probably have no clue how deep in crap this guy was. He should have declared. He should have said "unable" to the turn, but he probably didn't know how deadly turning can be in that situation, slow with an ice laden airplane.

    All pilots should read about ice and what to do if you get ice on the airframe. Things like tailplane stall, decreased performance, using no or minimal flaps, flying your approach at a faster speed right down to the flare, whether to climb, turn around or descend. But most of all, there are great icing weather products out there that are pretty accurate now, at least at predicting icing levels and where icing may occur, good stuff for staying out of trouble in the first place.
     
    3393RP likes this.
  9. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Damn that was tough to listen to.. actually, frustrating. For so many reasons but I don't want to sound insensitive
     
    benyflyguy and PaulS like this.
  10. 172sailor

    172sailor Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    172sailor
    @PaulS

    I do not blame ATC. We do not know enough about the crash right now.

    I just try to point out that the actions of ATC were not helpful for the distressed accident pilot.

    I fully agree with your comments regarding our duties as pilots however we as pilots are doing mistakes. It is human. And flying single pilot IFR in IMC is a totally different ballgame than having the comfort and luxury of a 2-men cockpit in an airliner.

    ATC should be aware of that.

    And to me it looks like the accident pilot was either unaware of his dangerous situation or he was already too distressed (or task saturated) to declare an emergency.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  11. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    I really don't think it's fair to put any blame on ATC.. plus, what could ATC have done? This guy was hopelessly behind the airplane in ice. His initial hesitance with 17R and 35L was a big flag that this guy screwed up.. otherwise that RNAV should have been an easy thing to put in the 430/650 and just activate vectors to final. I really don't know what ATC could have done differently other than ask "hey bud, you okay up there?" <- granted, as we saw in the TBM crash, the dude just said yes and then crashed the plane. I don't think the pilot know how deep in $h!t he was

    Yes! Where they reporting freezing rain? A day with freezing rain is not a day to be flying single engine GA (although it sounds like there were other GA flying, and at least one Cirrus on the ground waiting for departure)

    Nope.. this guy really didn't know how dire his situation was. I was going to say a chute may have saved his life, but I doubt he would have pulled it

    Got to break that accident chain.. in this case it's hard to say where the chain even started. Getting resequenced for the approach should have given him time to stabilize, level set basic heading and altitude, reprogram the GPS for the RNAV, and go again

    Sad.
     
  12. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,991
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    Agreed, at the end of the day the we, the pilots, are responsible for the safety of our flights. Listening to this guy, I think he knew he was in trouble but didn't declare. We as pilots need to get over asking for help, which in this case would have been declaring an emergency.
     
  13. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    What would have been helpful? If you were working ATC what would you have done differently? They gave him what he asked for, vectors off the course that he was basically already on. They gave him EMUMY, which he asked for. The dude crashed the plane.
     
  14. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,991
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    I cringed when he asked for EMUMY, it was probably and extra 20 or miles of flying in a situation were time was quickly running out.
     
    Skyrys62, 3393RP, Racerx and 3 others like this.
  15. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,684
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Lubbock has freaking huge runways. The guy was only making 50 KTS groundspeed it sounded like, good winds. Maybe asked him to increase speed 10 KTS and if he could accept radar vectors, maybe? Get him down to 200' over the threshold and there should still be room to slow a Centurion down over the runway...
     
  16. 172sailor

    172sailor Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    172sailor
    It would have been helpful to leave the guy on the approach while he was already cleared to land.

    Taking him off the approach because he was too slow initiated the (final stage of the) accident sequence.
     
  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Yup. That was the (or at least "a") nail.
     
    PaulS likes this.
  18. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,991
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    There are a lot of CFI types putting out some really good content. Maybe one of them could do a video on "what to do if you encounter ice in flight in a light aircraft with out a de-ice system?"
     
  19. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Can ATC vector someone down that low? That's not an appropriate maneuver for an RNAV. Easy to blame ATC but I really don't think they could have saved this guy's life. The 50 knot thing was scary. If you're icey you do not want to get slow. Even if winds were 30 knots that is still only 80 knots! I would have expected him to be at a healthy 90+
     
  20. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    2,005
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    It sounded like he was having a problem getting onto the FAC. He may not have had the right approach set up either.

    Shouldn't be surprising in that part of Texas. They get terrible hail and ice storms regularly.

    They can do a PAR approach, in some situations.

    An older 210 like this one actually has decent slow speed performance. 57 clean, 51 dirty stall. 80 wouldn't be a terrible speed to be at.
     
    benyflyguy likes this.
  21. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,684
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    I was mainly thinking out loud, but I think they do radar vectors out there for the military guys (We've spent some time out there periodically doing aerial photography), and speeding up seemed like an obvious deal with icing conditions and a jet on his tail.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  22. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2,921
    Location:
    NEPA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    I agree with that. I don’t know the 210 numbers but can’t be that much faster then my 182 and I don’t like flying approaches that slow. Until runway in slight.
    He was on final approach course at FAF and asking for vectors initially. Behind behind behind. The slog out to IAF..ugh.
    At one point another voice from ATC asked him if he was icing. I kinda felt like that guy knew the trouble if he asked about it.
     
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Damn...

    and again why I ignore people when they tell me flying small planes is dangerous. Accidents like this poison the statistical well
     
    PaulS and Cervieres like this.
  24. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,557
    Location:
    Durham NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleDriver
    Yes, flying small plane is unforgiving.

    But accidents like this are part of the statistical well. Analogous to perhaps, deciding to drive a car when one is too drunk to walk.

    Unforgiving and unfortunately, highly visible in the media.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  25. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    593
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ernie
    Regardless of everything else... 50 knot final in a 210? I've been to much smaller airports where ATC asked to speed up. ATC could have seen his speed knowing SWA was coming. That's independent of the icing. Not blaming ATC at all. It ultimately falls on the pilot to be aware and know the situation. He was tragically in over his head on a number of aspects.
     
  26. dwalt

    dwalt Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DWalt
    Remember that ATC's/FlightAware's speed indications are ground speed. Winds were 17G21 at the surface...It's possible winds at his altitude were 30kts or more. This would put him in the 80kts+ IAS range.
     
  27. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    7,166
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    Which is still slow for an instrument approach.. was I the only one taught 1 notch of flaps and 90-100 knots?

    .. and especially slow if you're factoring in a wing covered in ice
     
  28. 47PILOT

    47PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    VENTURA CO, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    47PILOT
    I can’t help but think that at least one of the controllers was watching the quick deterioration of this pilot as evident of the icing question, missed approach, and obvious confusion on instructions. Pilot or not, a controller “should” have enough experience to see and hear a pilot/plane in a potentially bad situation. They saw him eventually slow to 50kts knowing he had an icing situation and then gave him an instruction to make a turn. That turn was when he lost it.
    Of course I’m not implying the controller should be held responsible for the accident, but it’s unfortunate he wasn’t able to be more of a help.
    Ultimately yes it was pilot error, but I think if the controller wasn’t as busy as he was with all the other “big iron” I think he would have given this guy more time and consideration
     
    Gomelgo and 172sailor like this.
  29. dwalt

    dwalt Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DWalt
    Agreed that it's slow, just pointing out to Racerx that he probably wasn't doing 50kts. I fly my approaches at 120 in an SR22 and 90ish in the Tiger...I'd add at least 10kts to that if I had icing, if not more.
     
  30. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2020
    Messages:
    155
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Boone
    Does anyone know when he lost control? Did he execute the climb out? I didn’t hear a response, it sounds like he lost control on the approach, not because he was given a vector. If I was as in over my head as he seemed to be, I would have been landing regardless of what ATC was telling me to do.
     
  31. Kynadog

    Kynadog Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2019
    Messages:
    48
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kynadog
    It seems highly likely there is a missing radio call. The controller tells another plane the Centurion is having autopilot issues. It would make sense that the pilot broke off the approach and we don’t hear that part.
     
    Boone likes this.
  32. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,991
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    I'm willing to bet many pilots do not know what to do in icing other than a) not to get into an icing situation b) get the hell out of it if you find yourself in it.

    Most controllers would have no idea about icing, especially if the pilot is responding normally to questions. IMO.
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  33. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Messages:
    1,069
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    idahoflier
    If he was loading up with ice he (or AP) was probably trying to maintain altitude or the profile so slowing airspeed follows right up until the stall...
     
  34. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    2,005
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    The stall speeds of the Centurion suggest you can actually fly it a bit slower than a Tiger on an approach. Of course, that doesn't mean it won't be hard to do so, given the heavy controls. Also, ice is going to slow you down. If he had the power pulled out for the approach, instead of maintaining higher power setting, I can see how that became a major problem.
     
  35. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,119
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3393RP
    Let's back up way before the approach, icing, gusts, ATC, and everything else.

    It's no secret a large, powerful winter storm has been moving south from Canada since a week ago today. Saturday, I read the weather forecast for Texas in the Dallas Morning News. It was obvious that the weather was going to change drastically, particularly in West Texas.

    Everyone knows newspaper forecasts are unreliable and often wrong. But looking at the surface map on Saturday and Sunday, it was clear to me that on Monday there was going to be significant precipitation across New Mexico and Texas, with daytime temperatures between the mid thirties and low forties.

    Anyone that lives within two hundred miles of Lubbock and Amarillo knows strong winter cold fronts cause wind gusts that easily reach 40-50 MPH. Any pilot in the area, even a non-instrument rated one, should know the forecast temperatures and wind meant icing conditions were almost certain to occur.

    I guess what I'm saying is that by reading a newspaper I knew that hard IMC were going to be in play at the time of the accident. The pilot seemed to be unprepared for that and frazzled.

    Was the pilot instrument rated? I don't think ATC did anything to make his approach more difficult, except for the strange instruction to make a right turn to 270°. It's unclear if the pilot had lost control prior to that.

    There's no doubt the pilot was quite unprepared to make the approach. There was obvious confusion and lack of situational awareness as soon as the recording began.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  36. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    12,922
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    This page intentionally left blank
    Damn, looking at the METAR nobody has any business being out there in a piston single. Even FIKI single would be sporty.
     
  37. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    23,322
    Location:
    DC Suburbs
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill S.
    Flightaware shows that he originally filed to Corsicana and diverted to LBB. So the pilot recognized that something was wrong....
     
  38. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    27,971
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    Probably doing pirate IFR and didn't want to declare because he'd have to fess up. RIP. Ice is dangerous stuff.
     
  39. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,031
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Andrew Sarangan, CFII
    Based on the transcript, it is the 210 pilot who first reported freezing rain. If this was an unforecasted FZRA, he should have tried to climb to warmer air above. If it was forecasted, then it was as dumb as flying into a tornado.
     
    Kenny Phillips likes this.
  40. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,991
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    If the metar said freezing rain or drizzle then that Cirrus should not have been taking off as flying a fiki Cirrus in freezing rain or drizzle is prohibited. Cirrus has a great FIKI course that is required before you fly your Cirrus in known ice. You have to repeat it every 2 years. It costs $150 the first time, worth every penny.