PA-46 Down in Danvill,AR (4 Fatal) 4-23-2021

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by SoonerAviator, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    No instrument rating, fairly recent PP rating. Flying in convective weather above FL180.

    So what went wrong?
     
  3. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Sounds like a IFR pilot was also on board so maybe it was a CFI riding with? Wx seems most likely but could have also been a depressurization or 02 issue.
     
  4. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    Reports of one wing several miles away from accident site......
     
  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Looks like he flew into a area of bad weather.

    https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N461DK
     
  6. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Also looks like they filed IFR for 23,000 so kinda hard to believe he also filed when only PPL
     
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I believe there was a CFI on board for this trip. Dunno about his experience level, but it's hard to believe both of the pilots thought flying through convective storms was a good idea.
     
  8. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Sorry, not disputing the wx. Just seems that he probably had someone of decent experience with so if they got into the nasty stuff it probably wasn't just the denstist by himself.
     
  9. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    That was one of the first thoughts until the witness statement about the missing wing and the angle of impact basically missing all of the surrounding trees.
     
  10. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Yeah, you would think if it was a 02 or depressurization issue they most likely would have had the AP engaged (in that type of plane) and it would have ended differently. Really sucks, not just himself and another pilot but also family with as well.
     
  11. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Bit more info here.

    Husband, wife, son and flight instructor. And they chose to launch into T-storms. Ughhh
     
  12. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    FWIW, a depressurization at FL200 is not a big event, and the pilot would have time to deal with it (descend to a lower altitude). Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) at 20,000 is 10-20 minutes.
     
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  13. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    That's what gets me. Did the husband just think that the CFI "knew best" about departing into that weather, or did he not speak up when it was concerning? Did he pressure the young CFI into keeping to a schedule? Lots of questions about the link in the accident chain.
     
  14. Rockymountain

    Rockymountain Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would guess the plane broke apart after a loss of control. Seems to be a more common mechanism of planes coming apart, especially in IMC. Kind of what was seen in some recent accidents, the TBM out of Morristown, the PC12 out of Florida and the CJ1 out of Salt Lake City. Pilot loses control, and at some point with building airspeed, or overloading the wings, plane comes apart. The PA46 is a slick plane and builds speed quickly if it is pointed down.
     
  15. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I may get flamed, but PPL issued 2020, no IR and then flying a high performance aircraft? I have mentioned this before here, where I see a new breed of pilots is making the scene. Plenty of money, little experience, not knowing what they don't know. I am not suggesting a linear cause and effect but there seem to be more people showing up on this forum and elsewhere with 90 hrs. on a PPL and an oversize budget impatiently looking to get an airborne Chevy Tahoe for family trips. Paying lip service to safety and experience. Is this good for general aviation?

    Kind off like getting a Suzuki Hayabusa after just finishing my MSF class. I can, but is it a good idea?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  16. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Are you sure it is a new idea? After all, the Bonanza didn't earn its reputation as a doctor killer randomly. We don't hear too much about Bonanzas anymore however, likely because the new guys are going after newer airplanes like the Cirrus and perhaps to a lesser extent the Malibu. I suspect the initial and recurrent training requirements, plus the extremely steep insurance rates for VFR only pilots keeps most of those guys out of the Malibu though.

    The Malibu is a lot of airplane for a novice. I wonder how much experience the CFI on board had?
     
  17. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What a shame. Most likely another avoidable accident.

    “An eyewitness who called 911 to report a plane in distress told authorities the plane was still in the air but missing a wing as it passed by his house in rural Arkansas.”

    OK, an airplane doesn’t just ‘pass by his house’ when it’s missing a wing. Surely an editor didn’t look over this reporters words.
     
  18. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Apparently, not enough.
     
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  19. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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  20. Rockymountain

    Rockymountain Pre-takeoff checklist

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    High altitude most weather flying is an unforgiving area. Hard to get that experience as a CFII, unless you have been flying airlines, regionals, or freight, or happen to own a high altitude weatherized aircraft, which sadly is hard to do on a CFII income. Found that ironic as I transitioned to the Malibu class of aircraft, that they give you the keys, so to speak, after initial training, and you really don't have all the knowledge that you need to know to operate these aircraft in the real world. The initial training is usually quite limited, whether sim training or training under the hood in VMC conditions in aircraft. There is a big knowledge base that is not covered. You feel pretty good about systems, and emergencies, but practical knowledge of dealing with weather, radar, icing, convection, turbulence, weather and trip planning, high workload single pilot operations, STARS, SIDS etc. If you can find a mentor pilot with experience flying high performance booted aircraft, that is great. But your average CFII is not going to typically be qualified to fly one of these aircraft in the real world.
     
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  21. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Add in that some of the worst weather is between 15,000 to 25,000 and it makes the risk index go way up.
     
  22. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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  23. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Damn t-storms, the instructor had an instrument rating and commercial, but I wonder how much experience he had?

    I got my instrument ticket a few years ago with an instructor who would fly lessons in pretty miserable weather. One day we were out, it was a convective sort of day, with building cumulous. We were talking about what clouds to fly through and what to avoid. We were at 8,000 feet and there was a cumulous cloud about 15 miles away, he points to it and says he wouldn't fly through that cloud. We were at 8,000 feet, that cloud went from about 2,000 to maybe 10 or 14 thousand. I just remember thinking to myself "that doesn't look that bad." I thought about it a little more and realized what a trap that was and swore I would not fly into a cloud like that.

    I wonder, if these guys, tooling along at 20k feet, saw the cloud with tops maybe a few thousand above them and thought "that doesn't look that bad."
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
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  24. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Can you expound a bit more about the loss of control scenario? I'm just trying to understand how one loses control of an aircraft essentially at cruise altitude (and airspeed). Wouldn't you typically have A/P engaged and be leveling off? I can understand a bit more if they were hand-flying and not paying attention to a descent that caused airspeed to build quickly and they (instinctively) pulled up hard to arrest the descent and buckled a wing. It just seems odd that one would be hand-flying that class of aircraft (Malibu/PC12/CJ1/etc) while IFR and near/at intended cruise altitude.
     
  25. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    That would be my armchair guess as well. Didn't respect the level of violence a CB cloud bank can exert on the airframe because it looked innocuous.
     
  26. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Loss of control going through a building cell, especially in the mid teens to low twenty's can produce violent updrafts and downdrafts, heavy rain and hail. On autopilot will not save you because the AP cannot keep up with the rapid and severe changes. Add in the pilot trying to correct while getting tossed around in extreme turbulence and even unable to see the instrument panel, or even interpret what is happening.
     
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  27. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or pilot briefly incapacitated from getting their head pounded into the overhead during the upset. A PA46 cockpit is a fairly tight fit.
     
  28. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I was wondering the same thing about the cfi. I know it’s not nice but it’s an easy assumption to make since we force our most inexperienced new commercial pilots into the role of teacher with such frustrating consistency.
     
  29. MPB

    MPB Filing Flight Plan

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    Check the radar out - sure would have been nice had they gone direct to some place like Kennett, MO and then flown down the front of that weather. People forget the world is round - what looks way out of the way often doesn't add that many miles.

    For instance, I can fly from Peoria to Charlotte by going South of Chattanooga and avoid much of the high terrain - it makes a 520 mile trip about a 640 mile trip - but well worth it from a risk perspective.
     
  30. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Gotcha. I was thinking more about LOC while transitioning to cruise rather than as a function of flying through the turbulence/convection. I still can't fathom trying that route in the first place, but I'm pretty risk averse in that regard. Maybe those experienced guys with onboard radar can pick apart the cells better, but I doubt that was the case with this CFI/pilot combo.
     
  31. mondtster

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    That, plus many career minded individuals do whatever they can to get into “next level” airplanes in an attempt to keep the momentum of upward progression.

    The Malibu is a great airplane but I often think it is viewed as being less demanding or dangerous than a piston twin or turboprop because it is a relatively small piston single. They are a simple airplane to fly but need to be treated with respect for all the reasons noted in this thread already.

    My armchair speculation is that the owner bought the plane and was checked out in it but wanted/needed a CFII on board for the trip for some reason. He may have found a guy who would do it for free for the flight time or may have already had a working relationship with the CFI but failed to recognize that they didn’t have adequate knowledge/experience for the situation. Depending on geographical location, it can be tough to find someone with adequate knowledge who would spend time in a Malibu.

    Pretty much all my (limited) knowledge of weather and t-storms both at lower altitudes and in the teens and 20s has come from personal experience. Thankfully, I’ve lived through it and haven’t done anything too dumb. I really think the airline and charter guys who have a mentor program established have a leg up on the rest of us in this sense.
     
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  32. MPB

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  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    ..sobering when you are at 17K and there are clouds towering high above you!
     
  34. MPB

    MPB Filing Flight Plan

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    Actually, Poplar Bluff, MO (KPOF) would have been perfect.

    KMKO - X60 is 754 miles whereas KMKO - KPOF - X60 is 848 miles.

    G-d D----d shame - there but for the grace of God go I.
     
  35. Tarheelpilot

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    I’ve flown some equipment that goes higher and faster than a Malibu. I’ve never flown a Malibu. If you asked me to check you out in a Malibu or ride with you to facilitate a trip similar to the one referenced in this thread I would decline.
     
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  36. mondtster

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    I know why others probably would but I’m curious. What would drive your decision to accept or decline?
     
  37. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One can go from calm to controllability issues quickly if you pick the wrong cumulous to fly through or fly over. When the autopilot is on and you unexpectedly get into turbulence, you have to select the modes wisely. Got IAS or VS selected? Might need to go to PITCH instead. Owners of these high performance airplanes need to keep asking themselves some important questions. If the autopilot kicks off, do you know how to recover if you end up in an unusual attitude? Flying in icing conditions and experiencing a pitot heat or boots failure. Can you deal with it quickly? Every time I see one of these PA46s “losing it” at the upper altitudes, I can’t help but think of its history with these types of loses. There is a gaping whole in training between getting licensed and getting to the point where you are a safe cross country all weather flyer. Some walk that path wisely with caution, others scare themselves, and unfortunately some don’t live to fly again.
     
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  38. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’ve been around long enough to learn what I don’t know.
    I skipped the pressurized piston step. Got “lucky”early and my first job out of instructing was a jet. Later in my career I went back and flew in barons and Navajo’s. Wiggled the stick once in a friends 421 but it was a local flight. So. My reason for declining would be a lack of qualifications to train and be responsible for another pilots mentoring in an aircraft type and configuration I have no experience operating.
     
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  39. mondtster

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    Thanks for the insight, your reasons for declining are great. It seems like too many instructors who are higher on the food chain don’t want to slum it in a Malibu when they could be flying better stuff and making more money.

    The best Malibu instructor I’ve flown with has spent most of his career flying the Malibu’s and twin Cessnas. The two instructors I flew with for my initial training were jet guys and it showed in their thought processes and how they wanted me to fly the airplane. The other guy had a more well rounded approach to things and our flying style lined up well.

    Regardless of who I’ve been flying with, weather has only been lightly discussed. Just like most checkouts and training, stick and rudder and avionics have been the primary focus. There is a big hole left when it comes to weather that you basically have to figure out on your own, and unfortunately some don’t figure out what they need to know until it is too late.
     
  40. Rockymountain

    Rockymountain Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just reading through some interesting and thought-provoking responses above. I think there were some interesting things perhaps not touched on. The pilot here apparently was not instrument rated. That means he was relying on the flight instructor to cruise in class A airspace on an IFR flight plan. The flight instructor was young, and would wonder about how much experience that individual had in high-performance complex pressurized aircraft flying in convective conditions. With regards to comments about radar. This was one of the early Malibus that did not have onboard radar.

    I have a good bit of experience flying turbine and piston PA46 variants. They are incredibly capable aircraft, but they fly in an environment that is terribly unforgiving of poor judgment, knowledge, skill, and technique.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
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