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Pilatus PC-12 down in Chamberlain, South Dakota, 9 dead.

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Pilatus PC-12 down in Chamberlain, South Dakota, 9 dead.

Old 5th Dec 2019, 01:57
  #41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sikpilot View Post
Overweight
Out of cg
Ifr
Icing conditions

You could have started the accident report before they even took off. So very very sad.
I think you have missed one item , pretty sure you can add contaminated runway to that list .
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Old 6th Dec 2019, 08:16
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Originally Posted by 20driver View Post
Looking online max payload on a 47 is 3800 lbs more or less. Given how things creep on planes it wouldn't surprise me if it was at least 200 lbs less.
They took on 150 gallons and would have had at least 75 ? on board when they landed. So I suspect before anyone stepped on board they had maybe 2,200 lbs to play with, 2500 max. 12 people with winter clothes will use that up without bags, guns , ammo or loot. I have never done a W&B on the PC but I was told it has a good envelope.
The NTSB will get a pretty good set of numbers on it but they must have been very close to max weight.
20driver
For context only... I havent flown a PC12/47 or NG but have plenty of time on a PC12/45. Taking a full load of 9 male pax (my company didnt want us taking a pax in right hand seat) with standard-ish bag weights, it was not uncommon to find myself limited to about 1,700lbs of fuel at MTOW.
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Old 6th Dec 2019, 15:32
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
And not even mentioning snow / ice on the wings / fuselage
And tail. That is a high tail and wonder if how thorough a check or clear of the horizontal stab especially was done at the austere site.
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Old 7th Dec 2019, 08:46
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Carrying families, or groups like here with hunters (or mountain climbers,) , puts a tremendous pressure on the pilot. In this case he was family also and part of the group. Even more difficult.
Because of all of this he probably wanted himself to take an active part in the gathering so ferrying the plane for a night stop elsewhere was not really on his options list.
Add sports gear, winter clothing, an airport with hardly any facilities given the time of Year.
Like sikpilot writes, an accident report could have been written, even days before the T/O.
Very sad though for the affected families.
Most of us professional pilots have been there one or another way. If You can read this You were lucky, or You took the right decision.
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Old 7th Dec 2019, 14:32
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Originally Posted by Double Back View Post
Carrying families, or groups like here with hunters (or mountain climbers,) , puts a tremendous pressure on the pilot. In this case he was family also and part of the group. Even more difficult.
Because of all of this he probably wanted himself to take an active part in the gathering so ferrying the plane for a night stop elsewhere was not really on his options list.
Add sports gear, winter clothing, an airport with hardly any facilities given the time of Year.
Like sikpilot writes, an accident report could have been written, even days before the T/O.
Very sad though for the affected families.
Most of us professional pilots have been there one or another way. If You can read this You were lucky, or You took the right decision.
It appears that their company had a professional pilot under employ. Suppositions as to why he wasn't flying that trip would range from benign to nefarious.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 19:57
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Some suspicions confirmed in the NTSB Preliminary Accident Report, a couple of passages emphasized by me.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

Location: Chamberlain, SD Accident Number: CEN20FA022
Date & Time: 11/30/2019, 1233 CST Registration: N56KJ
Aircraft: Pilatus PC12 Injuries: 9 Fatal, 3 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 30, 2019, at 1233 central standard time, a Pilatus PC-12/47E airplane, N56KJ,
was destroyed during an impact with terrain near the Chamberlain Municipal Airport, (9V9),
Chamberlain South Dakota. The pilot and 8 passengers were fatally injured, and three
passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to Conrad & Bischoff, Inc. and
operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight was operated on an instrument
flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from 9V9 shortly before the accident and was
destined for Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA), Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The pilot and passengers flew from IDA to 9V9 the day before the accident, arriving at 9V9
about 0927. At 0936, the pilot purchased 150 gallons of fuel from the automated fuel pump at
9V9. The airplane remained parked outside on the ramp and the group stayed at a local lodge
for the night. The following morning, the pilot and one passenger were driven to the airport.
Witnesses reported that they worked removing the snow and ice from the airplane for
approximately 3 hours, and were joined by the remaining passengers shortly before the
accident flight.
The witnesses reported the visibility was limited by snow at the time of the
accident.

The pilot contacted Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) at 1224 and
requested an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance from 9V9 to IDA. The pilot advised he
planned to depart from runway 31 and would be ready in 5 minutes. At 1227, Minneapolis
ARTCC issued an IFR clearance to the pilot with a void time of 1235. No radio communications
were received from the pilot, and radar contact was never established. About 1240,
Minneapolis ARTCC contacted the airport manager at 9V9 who advised that the airplane
departed about 10 minutes earlier. Minneapolis ARTCC subsequently contacted the Brule
County emergency dispatch center and advised them of the overdue aircraft. An alert notice
(ALNOT) was issued.

A witness located about 1/2-mile northwest of the airport reported hearing the airplane takeoff.
It was cloudy and snowing at the time. He was not able to see the airplane but noted that it
entered a left turned based on the sound. He heard the airplane for about 4 or 5 seconds and
the engine seemed to be "running good" until the sound stopped.

The property owner discovered the accident site about 1357. The site was located
approximately 3/4 mile west of the airport in a dormant corn field. The debris path was
approximately 85 ft long and was oriented on a 179 heading. The engine was separated from
the firewall. The left wing was separated from the fuselage at the root. The engine and left wing
were both located in the debris path. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, right wing
and empennage.

Preliminary data recovered from the Lightweight Data Recorder (LDR) installed on the
airplane revealed that the accident takeoff began from runway 31 about 1231:58. The airplane
lifted off 30 seconds later and immediately entered a left turn; the airplane rolled left to about
10 during the takeoff rotation. The roll decreased to about 5 left as the airplane climbed
through about 170 ft. above ground level (agl), and then reversed to about 5 right before
rolling left again, reaching 64 left at the airplane's peak altitude of approximately 460 ft agl.
The airplane then entered a descent that continued until impact. The airspeed varied between
89 and 97 knots (kts) during the initial climb; however, it decayed to approximately 80 kts as
the airplane altitude peaked at 460 ft agl and the roll angle reached 64 left. The stall warning
and stick shaker became active approximately 1 second after liftoff.
The stick pusher became
active about 15 seconds after liftoff. All three continued intermittently for the duration of the
flight. The data ended about 1233:00. In addition to parametric data, the LDR also recorded
cockpit audio and the NTSB will convene a group of technical experts to produce a transcript of
recorded sound.

At 1235, the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) located at 9V9 recorded overcast
clouds at 500 ft agl and 1/2-mile visibility in moderate snow, with wind from 020 at 6 kts. The
temperature and dew point were both 1C, and the altimeter setting was 29.30 inches of
mercury. A review of the 5-minute observations recorded at 1215 and 1220 indicated light snow
with 3/4-mile visibilities. At 1225, the observation included 1/2-mile visibility in light snow.
From 1230 until 1310, the observations included 1/2-mile visibilities in moderate snow. Winds
were from the north-northeast (010 to 020) at 7 kts or less during that entire time period.
Freezing rain and snow were observed in the vicinity of 9V9 the previous afternoon and
overnight before the accident flight.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Aircraft Make: Pilatus Registration: N56KJ
Model/Series: PC12 47E Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s)
Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 9V9, 1696 ft msl Observation Time: 1235 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles Temperature/Dew Point: 1C / 1C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 20
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 500 ft agl Visibility: 0.5 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.3 inches Hg Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Chamberlain, SD (9V9) Destination: Idaho Falls, ID (IDA)

Wreckage and Impact Information
Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 8 Fatal, 3 Serious Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 9 Fatal, 3 Serious Latitude, Longitude: 43.765556, -99.337222

Administrative Information
Investigator In Charge (IIC): Timothy Sorensen
Additional Participating Persons: Eric West; FAA Accident Investigation; Washington, DC
Martin Pohl; Swiss Transportation Safety Board; Payerne,
Markus Kohler; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd; Stans,
Bob Renshaw; Pilatus Aircraft (USA); Broomfield, CO
Note: The NTSB traveled to the scene of this accident.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 02:16
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I remember arriving on a crisp winter morning to find the C-172 covered in frost and spending some two hours scraping off the frost between the rivet lines. Taking off I had a good look at the ski area in the ravine past the runway.

The wing that day wanted another twenty knots.

Subsequently I kept two cans of windshield washer fluid in the car. Not for use in icing conditions, but for frost removal, you really do have to get the wing and tail sparkling clean.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 03:02
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I lost some friends and colleagues in an F-28 crash in 1989. After the accident a study was done to ascertain how critical contamination was on the F-28 wing. As I recall a single grain of sand in one cm2 (6 per sq inch) was enough to destroy the lift. That study was part of the body of knowledge that informed subsequent regulation and current best practice.

As someone mentioned earlier, if you attempt flight with contamination you are a test pilot. You may not like the results of your ad hoc experiment, and if not you probably wont be around to publish your results.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 21:41
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Im imagining that this is somewhat more arcane information than the European brethren on the site require, but, as an erstwhile visitor to Chamberlain on a yearly basis, for over a decade, on, usually the weekend after thanksgiving (end of November for the uninitiated), there is no hangar space for anything of any size, and the best deicing option is a trip to the local hardware store (Bomgaars, I think, but in any case really nice people) the night before departure to pick up 10 gallons of polyethylene glycol (RV antifreeze which a guy can heat-soak in the bathtub of his hotel room [I recommend The Hillside Motel,as they have pheasant cleaning facilities, a nice eatery across the parking lot, and a liquor store across the street] as well as a pushbroom and a pressure sprayer.)
On a couple of occasions, we applied the pushbroom, saw that wed be wasting our time trying to put on enough glycol to make it off the ground, went back to the motel and availed ourselves of the local comestibles until conditions improved.

For the last few years, Ive gone into Winner (KICR) which isnt too far away, has heated hangars in good supply, and has both de-ice and Anti-ice capabilities.

Last edited by 421dog; 19th Dec 2019 at 03:53.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 21:50
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Some suspicions confirmed in the NTSB Preliminary Accident Report, a couple of passages emphasized by me.
It seems they had wet snow or a mix that looks like water. One tricky fact is, that during the rotation with the generating of lift, the temperature on the upper part of the wing will drop at the same moment. Instantly That causes to freeze all water on the upper side of the wing.

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Old 18th Dec 2019, 22:05
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If they had to work for three hours to get the snow and frost off of a medium/large single, I’m thinking that the weather was ahead of them when they started, but maybe things changed.

500 OVC, snowing, and a temp/dew point match is par for the course in the upper Midwest this time of year. It can be an annoyance, or it can be deadly depending on the mitigating factors. I am assuming that a guy qualified to fly an airplane of this size/capability had the wherewithal to make an appropriate decision, and we are all not privy to whatever other information played into the matter.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 02:25
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Thanks 421 for that peek behind the curtain, your a wise Captain who knows how to make it safe and when to call it. Good move heading to Winner.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 03:59
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Hypothermia could be the ultimate culprit here, it often is when you see people make unfathomable decisions. If the pilot was working for three hours in nearly freezing weather clearing sloppy wet snow, he would have likely been hypothermic without realizing it. Long before you have any of the obvious symptoms, your reasoning power is impaired. It has happened to me and people around me; after foolishly deciding to snorkel in cold ocean water I caught myself towing my kayak back 1/2 mile to the boat rather than either going ashore to warm up or simply getting in the kayak and paddling. There are many, many examples up here in the Pacific Northwest of poor decision making that led to tragedies or near-tragedies that come down to slightly hypothermic people making poor decisions that were obviously wrong even to them in retrospect.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 10:07
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Hello!

Originally Posted by Water pilot View Post
If the pilot was working for three hours in nearly freezing weather clearing sloppy wet snow, he would have likely been hypothermic without realizing it.
I have had to remove snow and ice from aircraft in similar conditions for hours on several occasions. The last thing you need to worry about is hypothermia. This is heavy workout whilst wearing winter clothes. If anything, he will have suffered from hyperthermia, dehydration and general exhaustion after three hours of this, depending on his state of fitness. And of course at some point it gets so tiresome - and also pointless and frustrating as the continuosly falling snow will spoil most of your previous effort - that one can easily make the wrong deciction just to get out of that situation.
But of course we do not know if the de-icing state of the aircraft did play a role in this accident.
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 16:47
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That is actually a common misconception and it can be deadly. Swimmers think that by swimming to shore they can keep themselves warm. Kayakers often take off gear when they are hypothermic, because they are working hard. I'm not a doctor so I can't explain in scientific terms but my understanding of it is that apparent heat that you feel is being generated by your internal fuel supply which is limited and the same fuel supply that powers your brain. The sweating that you do in such a situation makes it worse (one reason that we call cotton "death cloth".) Many people in the later stages of hypothermia have been found in the snow with their clothes off.

Stay warm!
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Old 19th Dec 2019, 17:28
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I think by now it is clear that this subject has nothing to to on a professional pilot forum. The general aviation forum is a better place. If only for the awareness of other private pilots to learn from this tragic accident.

Last edited by golfyankeesierra; 19th Dec 2019 at 18:05.
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 04:59
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So much of safety lies in asking the right questions. A professional in this situation would have been looking for proof that it was safe to go, preferring to deal with ambiguous information by erring on the side of caution. The poor folks in the back trusted their lives to an amateur who insisted upon proof that it wasn't safe to go.
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Old 21st Dec 2019, 21:35
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Three temperatures

We tend to focus solely on air temperature and many tend to believe that if it's above 0C, we won't have icing.

But that presupposes that the airframe and precipitation, if any, are also above 0C.

In this case the airframe was sitting overnight in freezing precip and was cold soaked, including the fuel in the tanks which had been fueled the night before.

​​​​Possibly any precip with liquid content would freeze to the wing skins on contact.

Precip well below freezing will not adhere to a wing well below freezing.

But it has to be remembered that precip in a narrow zone above and below 0C can have a mixture of solid and liquid content.

On a sunny breezy day well above 0C, the wing will likely remain clean after de-icing, provided that the wing temperature is well above the dewpoint.

With wing skin temperature below the dewpoint, condensation can occur, especially in the absence of wind and sunshine. That's how frost happens overnight.

Last edited by RatherBeFlying; 25th Dec 2019 at 16:08.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 08:09
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Jet airliners always apply engine intake anti-icing at air temperatures of +10C or below, in moisture such as cloud, fog, mist. We apply engine and wing anti-ice whenever ice starts to form at whatever outside air temperature.

Icing can occur at Plus 10C OAT.
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Old 16th Feb 2020, 00:41
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Icing can occur at Plus 10C OAT
That may be so for your aircraft Sir, the aircraft I flew used +5C as the switch on point.
For any aircraft type which is certificated for flight in icing conditions, the AFM or POH will contain a manufacturer’s definition of the threshold for ‘Icing Conditions’ for the purposes of the selection or activation of ice protection equipment. This is usually given as the presence of visible moisture and an Outside Air Temperature (OAT), Static Air Temperature (SAT) or Total Air Temperature (TAT) reading of less than a figure between +3C and +10C. Operation of anti icing systems is never based upon the appearance of visible ice or on the flight deck annunciation of external ice detector activation, although de icing systems may be. Visible moisture can be defined in flight as clouds, fog with visibility of 1500m or less, and precipitation. On the ground this can include standing water, slush or snow present on the taxiways or runways.
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/...ht_Icing_Risks
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