BREAKING – NTSB Releases Detailed Look At Fatal Tupelo Plane Crash

TUPELO,MS (WCBI) – Details this Saturday morning on the fatal Tupelo plane crash which happened May 16th .  That plane went down in a field along Colonial Estates Road just moments after taking off from Tupelo Regional Airport. Two couples from Kerville, Texas died in the crash .  Below is the National Transportation Safety Boards preliminary results of its investigation into the crash .




14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 16, 2016 in Tupelo, MS
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC, registration: N60RW
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 16, 2016, about 0835 central daylight time, a Beech A36TC, N60RW, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in Tupelo, Mississippi. The airline transport pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP), Tupelo, Mississippi, about 0830, destined for Williamsburg-Whitley County Airport (BYL), Williamsburg, Kentucky. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to air traffic control recordings, shortly after departing runway 36, the pilot advised the tower controller that there was smoke in the cockpit and that they needed to return to the airport. According to witnesses, the airplane made a left, westbound turn, at an altitude of about 500-1,000 feet. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane turning back towards the approach end of runway 18. Witnesses also reported seeing the airplane in a descent with smoke and flames coming from the airplane before it impacted terrain.

The on-scene investigation revealed that the wreckage, which was mostly consumed by fire, was located on flat terrain with trees in the vicinity at 34 degrees, 17.464 minutes north latitude, 088 degrees, 45.922 minutes west longitude. Tree cuts, commencing about 50 feet above the terrain, descended at an approximately 30-degree angle for about 165 feet along a heading of 110 degrees magnetic.

All flight controls surfaces were accounted for at the accident site, and flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to their respective control inputs. The outboard portion of the right wing was found about 80 feet past the initial tree strike; it was separated from the airframe and heavily burned. The right aileron remained attached, but the right flap was separated. The left wing remained attached at the forward spar, but sustained extensive fire damage.

One of the propeller blades exhibited S-bending and leading edge gouging, the other blades exhibited tip curling and aft bending.

Examination of the engine revealed that the exhaust pipe was missing from the exhaust side of the turbocharger. A subsequent examination of the engine at a recovery facility did not reveal any other preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders, and continuity was confirmed throughout the drive train.

The exhaust pipe was recovered by airport personnel from the runway, along with a fractured V-band retaining clamp used to secure it to the turbocharger, and small fragments of fabric insulation. The recovered items were forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory where a preliminary examination of the V-band clamp revealed that the outer band was fractured at a spot weld, and that oxidation and deposits found on the fracture surface were consistent with the presence of a preexisting crack.

The six seat, low wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane, was manufactured in 1980. It was powered by a Continental TSIO-520, 300 horsepower engine, equipped with a McCauley three-blade, constant-speed propeller.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane; as well as flight instructor single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on October 24, 2014, and he reported 5,675 total hours of flight experience on that date.

Weather TUP, about 2 miles south of the accident site, reported at the time of the accident included; sky conditions 5,000 feet overcast, 10 statute miles of visibility and winds from 130 degrees at 9 knots.
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