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View Full Version : Martinaire Caravan crash


Blackwing
01-16-2013, 06:11 PM
Pilot was Jeff Salles, a friend of a friend.

Plane crash in Pellston kills pilot from Louisiana - petoskeynews.com (http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/featured/pnr-plane-crash-in-pellston-kills-one-20130116,0,3623992.story)


Dadof6
01-16-2013, 06:44 PM
Rest in peace, brother. Fly safe all.

johnso29
01-16-2013, 06:48 PM
2nd Caravan crash over the last several months. Tailwinds.............:( :( :(


NCR757dxr
01-16-2013, 06:56 PM
Are these the guys that have "Iron Air" as their callsign? If so, I crossed paths with these guys all the time around POLAR in Detroit's airspace. Really sinks in when you probably crossed paths with this pilot at some point. Such a shame; RIP :(

Hawker Driver
01-16-2013, 07:01 PM
26 years old. This just blows!!!!!!!!!!:(

satpak77
01-16-2013, 07:09 PM
single pilot, night IFR freight dogs always will have my respect. RIP

fr8av8r
01-16-2013, 07:48 PM
Very sad. Prayers from here. :(

UP Pilot
01-16-2013, 08:14 PM
Are these the guys that have "Iron Air" as their callsign?

No, 'Iron Air' is CSA. Martinaire is 'Martex'. The Michigan flights used to be 'Spend Air' before MA bought out Superior Aviation.

Legacy
01-17-2013, 06:09 AM
Sorry for your loss Blackwing.

RIP Captain Salles

USMCFLYR
01-17-2013, 06:39 AM
Condolences to family and friends.

NCR757dxr
01-17-2013, 07:33 AM
No, 'Iron Air' is CSA. Martinaire is 'Martex'. The Michigan flights used to be 'Spend Air' before MA bought out Superior Aviation.
Thanks.....

UnderOveur
01-17-2013, 08:43 AM
http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/3/2/0/0661023.jpg

RIP

block30
01-17-2013, 08:54 AM
Wow sad...I thought this was just a repeat post from the other Caravan accidents....I think that's what, three freight dog Van's down in the past six months, plus the loss of the Navajo out West.

block30
01-17-2013, 08:56 AM
2nd Caravan crash over the last several months. Tailwinds.............:( :( :(

I thought that, including this, there were two fatals and a non fatal in the Van recently. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Barticus
01-17-2013, 09:12 AM
This is truly sad! As a former Martex pilot and Caravan driver. My deepest regard and respect for this aviator are felt.
To tailwinds, and fair skies in the after life. R.I.P brother.

DirectTo
01-17-2013, 10:04 AM
I thought that, including this, there were two fatals and a non fatal in the Van recently. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Correct.

FedEx Feeder in Wichita (fatal)
Martinaire birdstrike in Oklahoma (minor injuries)
And this one.

I have several friends at Martinaire and I know they're hurting over there.

RIP Captain.

johnso29
01-18-2013, 12:31 PM
I thought that, including this, there were two fatals and a non fatal in the Van recently. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You're correct. I meant fatal, but failed to actually put the word in my sentence.

block30
01-18-2013, 02:09 PM
You're correct. I meant fatal, but failed to actually put the word in my sentence.

Yeah, no worries, I wasn't trying to nit pick. Just pointing out the spurt of Van related incidents lately.

I wish I had more than words, but let me say I think freight dogs do more with less...light GA aircraft, single pilot, back side of the clock, in the WX big time, into Podunk USA with some crappy NDB or VOR circling approach...

HawkerDriverIAH
01-19-2013, 03:40 PM
as a former martex captian as well and having spent some time on the GUY run and all the previous posts are right on the money. I have also flown up in the area where the crash took place and its not the friendliest of country side. I am eager to know more details. I believe he was in his first month and a great pilot. I know when I left in 2012 the maintenance was top notch as well as the CP in regards to training. Tragic.

cofcortez
01-20-2013, 04:04 PM
Condolences to all family and friends of CA Salles. Much respect for him and his peers in the single pilot frieght flying.

bozobigtop
01-24-2013, 09:45 AM
My only problem with the van is the aircraft's exposure to any sort of ice no matter how light in which you need to find your way out of it right now! You can get away with not flight planning alternatives with some aircraft, not with the van. Your best alternative might be not going at all. I have had to make those decisions many times when I flew the van.

May peace be with a fallen freight dog (brother).

DirectTo
01-24-2013, 12:29 PM
CEN13FA135 (http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20130116X44104&key=1)

On January 15, 2013, about 1945 eastern standard time, a Cessna 208B airplane, N1120N, was substantially damaged after colliding with trees shortly after takeoff from Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County (KPLN), Pellston, Michigan. The certificated commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The air cargo flight was operated by Martinaire Aviation, L.L.C. and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was filed. The flight originated from KPLN about 1942.

block30
01-24-2013, 06:50 PM
My only problem with the van is the aircraft's exposure to any sort of ice no matter how light in which you need to find your way out of it right now! You can get away with not flight planning alternatives with some aircraft, not with the van. Your best alternative might be not going at all. I have had to make those decisions many times when I flew the van.

May peace be with a fallen freight dog (brother).

I take it Martinaire flies booted Vans.

sinsilvia666
01-29-2013, 09:27 PM
Rest in Peace.

This sounds almost just like a Van accident in Columbus Rik for AirNet a couple years back....could this have been a unrecoverable weight shift possibility? I dont remember reading what the final determination of the Rik accident was - but they both sound close.

DirectTo
01-29-2013, 10:02 PM
This sounds almost just like a Van accident in Columbus Rik for AirNet a couple years back....could this have been a unrecoverable weight shift possibility?
No, the Martinaire plane had less than 100 lbs of freight onboard.

sinsilvia666
01-30-2013, 10:33 PM
geeze i wonder what it could have been if not the weight shift, one mile is not far at all, esp for ice, possible control issue? I hope they find the cause to help others asap.

freightdog
02-04-2013, 08:52 AM
RIP fellow freight dog and OOTSK.

kepi89
04-26-2013, 04:36 AM
I am the father of Jeff Salles, the pilot fatally wounded in this crash. I am having a difficult time dealing with the loss of my son at 26 years of age. I know he was doing what he loved, but that doesn't lessen the deep pain his mother and I are feeling all of our waking hours.

I want to know if anyone knows why this plane would go down within 6 seconds of take-off at night when the weather was clear, -3 degrees centigrade, with a very small load. My son was very careful and a very good pilot. He had the company change out the horizon instrument on the leg before this one and it flew fine until he landed in Pellston from Sault St. Marie. The take-off from Pellston was when he never achieved altitude and crashed into the woods.

Also, I saw posts from "Blackwing" who said he was a friend of Jeff. I am interested in contacting him outside of this forum and ask if he would please contact me at [email protected]

Cubdriver
04-26-2013, 06:20 AM
Speculation is all we have for now, but from the NTSB stub it looks like icing is not likely under visual meteorological conditions during the event. Otherwise, that would be my first guess. My next guess is engine or systems failure, followed by pilot error. The latter is the cause of most aircraft accidents unfortunately, and if the pilot was distracted on takeoff by something and lost both instrument and visual reference even momentarily at such low altitude, a CFIT (controlled flight into terrain/obstacles) accident may have been the result. We will not know until the NTSB investigation come back with what they find, engine and systems checks can take a while if metallurgy and other specialties are required. Airplanes being such complex machines, it can take a while to analyze everything.

We feel for your loss.

bozobigtop
04-26-2013, 07:13 AM
I will not speculate on this accident as well, but with that being said the Caravan is a easy airplane to fly. It is very forgiving airplane and is one of the main reasons the aircraft is used by FedEx. I have flown Caravans with inflight failures such as a failed attitude indicator because I had a second working attitude indicator. FedEx is also replacing the old instruments with glass instruments in order to reduce the instrument failures and improve situational awareness. Hopefully this will cut down on controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). I am truly sorry for your loss and wish you a speedy healing process.

kepi89
04-26-2013, 09:12 AM
If the investigation rules out everything and defaults to pilot error that would upset me so much. I have such a respect for you pilots and I know these things happen, but it's such an unfortunate way to lose a life. The pilots who knew Jeff swear that even if the investigation points to pilot error, they won't believe it. He was so thorough and a natural at flying.

Thanks for the input on this accident and may you all be safe.

jungle
04-26-2013, 09:22 AM
If the investigation rules out everything and defaults to pilot error that would upset me so much. I have such a respect for you pilots and I know these things happen, but it's such an unfortunate way to lose a life. The pilots who knew Jeff swear that even if the investigation points to pilot error, they won't believe it. He was so thorough and a natural at flying.

Thanks for the input on this accident and may you all be safe.

Many of us have extensive experience with friends who have died in aviation accidents. It can be hard to accept that pilot error is the single greatest cause of all accidents.

This makes us understand that all of us are capable of error regardless of skill level. We all regret your loss and those of our fellow aviators.




"During 2004 in the United States, pilot error was listed as the primary cause of 78.6% of fatal general aviation accidents, and as the primary cause of 75.5% of general aviation accidents overall. For scheduled air transport, pilot error typically accounts for just over half of worldwide accidents with a known cause."

JamesNoBrakes
04-27-2013, 12:21 PM
Important to realize that "pilot error" does not mean the pilot was screwing off or incompetent. Human beings are prone to error and if they are placed in a challenging situation, it is just human nature that they may not react correctly or understand the situation. If someone can nail power off 180s 9 out of 10 times, great. Does that 1/10 times mean they are a bad pilot and incompetent? Not necessarily. "Pilot error" is a very broad term, it does not mean "pilot incompetent" as may be perceived. Think about car crashes, no matter who is at "fault", you could say pretty much all of them, all parties involved, were a result of human error.

kepi89
04-29-2013, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the explanation. It makes a lot of sense.

kepi89
07-21-2013, 09:06 AM
I have talked to other pilots and they said to consider throttle rollback. If that happened shortly after take off he would have to lean to the right between the seats to correct the problem at night. This could explain why the plane veered to the right slightly after take off. I showed pictures of the path of the plane at the crash site as he clipped off tree tops and continued forward into a large tree. He said it looked like Jeff had control of the plaine as he went down. This could happen with throttle roll back. They reported that his right arm was severed off of his body. Maybe because he was stretching it away from his body trying to correct the throttle rollback?

Another pilot reported experiencing throttle rollback in the caravan before take off 3 times in one plane. The problem was corrected after the FCU was changed. Are FCU's supposed to be changed out with routine maintenance?

Cubdriver
07-22-2013, 07:36 AM
If your lawyer is conducting an investigation for you, he may want to "discover" the maintenance logs for the crash airplane in order to get your copies. You will get pushback from company legal firm if there is no suit in place because they consider this type of request a fishing expedition. Your theory may be quite relevant though, and I hope it turns out to be a mechanical issue rather than something else.

kepi89
07-22-2013, 11:40 AM
Thanks, I will check with my aviation lawyer.

kepi89
03-18-2014, 11:13 AM
I am the father of Jeff Salles, the 26 year old pilot that died in this terrible crash. We have finally got an answer from the NTSB investigation, although it's not something I wanted to hear. Jeff had a Garmin GPS on that flight and every flight he flew. The NTSB recovered the chip and retrieved the information. It basically revealed that immediately after takeoff, he banked slightly to the right and the nose was angled 2 degrees down. The info from the crash site was combined with the Garmin and put in a Caravan flight simulator. It showed he would have felt like he was climbing when he was actually headed down 2 degrees at 145 kts. The most probable cause was spatial disorientation. It was pitch dark and he had taken off at this time of night twice before. A friend of ours, who is a military pilot, said something may have distracted him that he felt was an eminent danger for him to roll to the right (west), which took him away from the way he was supposed to head (south).

It was pitch black in a small town airport and no horizon for visual reference. He filed for IFR and was excellent and adamant about reading the instruments. He always told his students to "trust your instruments" That's why I couldn't believe he got spatial disorientation. Our pilot friend told us it happens to the best of pilots. Something like a light on the ground up ahead in the pitch black could be perceived as an approaching aircraft. If he took his sight off of his instruments for a few seconds at less than 250 ft above ground and 145 kts, he may have noticed the problem too late to correct it.

This hurts me so much. I was and still am proud of him to achieve captain as a pilot. He was so happy with his girl friend, also a pilot with the same company. There was so much life ahead and it was gone in 54 seconds. My heart is totally broken.

I just wanted to update the pilots on this forum, especially the 1 or 2 that knew him. He was a wonderful son and my wife and I miss him dearly.

If anyone wants to contact me personally, please feel free to use my business email. [email protected] I would love to hear from you.

Thank you all and please be safe.
Gerard Salles

Cubdriver
03-18-2014, 12:53 PM
We feel for your terrible loss and thank you for following up on what befell your son. Spatial disorientation is a deadly phenomenon in flying, particularly for single-pilot crews. The FAA has specifically targeted the dangers in its training syllabi for new pilots. By sharing your son's tragedy, hopefully others will be able to understand the dangers a little better and take the subject to heart. You are to be commended for caring enough to find out what happened to your son, and for sharing what you learned with us.

ArcherDvr
03-19-2014, 02:21 PM
I am the father of Jeff Salles, the 26 year old pilot that died in this terrible crash. We have finally got an answer from the NTSB investigation, although it's not something I wanted to hear. Jeff had a Garmin GPS on that flight and every flight he flew. The NTSB recovered the chip and retrieved the information. It basically revealed that immediately after takeoff, he banked slightly to the right and the nose was angled 2 degrees down. The info from the crash site was combined with the Garmin and put in a Caravan flight simulator. It showed he would have felt like he was climbing when he was actually headed down 2 degrees at 145 kts. The most probable cause was spatial disorientation. It was pitch dark and he had taken off at this time of night twice before. A friend of ours, who is a military pilot, said something may have distracted him that he felt was an eminent danger for him to roll to the right (west), which took him away from the way he was supposed to head (south).

It was pitch black in a small town airport and no horizon for visual reference. He filed for IFR and was excellent and adamant about reading the instruments. He always told his students to "trust your instruments" That's why I couldn't believe he got spatial disorientation. Our pilot friend told us it happens to the best of pilots. Something like a light on the ground up ahead in the pitch black could be perceived as an approaching aircraft. If he took his sight off of his instruments for a few seconds at less than 250 ft above ground and 145 kts, he may have noticed the problem too late to correct it.

This hurts me so much. I was and still am proud of him to achieve captain as a pilot. He was so happy with his girl friend, also a pilot with the same company. There was so much life ahead and it was gone in 54 seconds. My heart is totally broken.

I just wanted to update the pilots on this forum, especially the 1 or 2 that knew him. He was a wonderful son and my wife and I miss him dearly.

If anyone wants to contact me personally, please feel free to use my business email. [email protected] I would love to hear from you.

Thank you all and please be safe.
Gerard Salles

Thanks for updating us on the investigation into your son's accident. As someone previously mentioned, and I would like to re-emphasize, a finding of pilot error does not mean that an individual was a bad pilot. Aviation history infact is filled with good pilots that made a fatal mistake, and some that were just lucky to survive. Spatial disorientation can sneak up on the best of us, causing confusion difficult to overcome, and can be unforgiving, especially that low to the ground.
You can be confident that your son was a good pilot, especially seeing how he passed a part 135, IFR, single pilot check ride. Try to focus on his accomplishments as a pilot, as he had to have quite a few to make it this far, rather than this one flight.

kepi89
03-20-2014, 05:23 PM
Thank you for the the posts. I am proud that he made it this far and I knew he was a good pilot especially after talking to other pilots he taught. We had a memorial celebration of his life at the aircraft hangar where he started. It's just so hard living with this pain of losing him. I can't imagine what went through his mind when he saw he was in deep trouble. He had to be so scared but at least he died instantly. The condition they found him in was painful to hear.

My wife and I made a trip to the crash site in Pellston, Michigan last year when the snow melted. We saw the tree his plane cut in half and uprooted. We saw the crater in the ground where the fuselage made first contact. We found his pen, a white button off of his shirt, and vinyl from the seat that still had his blood caked in the batting. Broken cockpit glass was everywhere. We left a plaque I had made attached to the tree where his body was found. A police officer who was at the scene showed us the location. We picked up everything we could find to add to a showcase cabinet we plan to set up.

Let me just say, I admire you pilots for your doing what you love even though it can be very dangerous. I admire my son for what he achieved. He wanted to be a pilot at an early age when he and my wife joined Civil Air Patrol. He loved what he was doing and was very happy until the end.

atpwannabe
03-23-2014, 12:10 PM
A devastating lost. My heart goes out to you, your wife and immediate family.



atip

Kepi
12-18-2015, 11:12 AM
Well, it's taken almost 3 years and 3 law firms, but I have found out the cause of this accident that killed my son. An independent investigation of the aircraft showed that the turbine wheel in the PT6
failed after takeoff. The defense has dragged out our discovery process trying to run the clock on the statute of limitations. They may even be reading this response, but I don't care. My son tried to do an emergency landing, but there was nothing but dense forest ahead during this night time takeoff. It appears the only option, in my opinion, was to try to turn back to the airport. He didn't have enough altitude to do that. I am glad I finally found out what happened and that it was not his fault. The NTSB report is highly inaccurate. I can only hope we get some justice. I don't want to go into anymore detail, but I don't know how those responsible are able to sleep at night.

USMCFLYR
12-18-2015, 12:09 PM
Well, it's taken almost 3 years and 3 law firms, but I have found out the cause of this accident that killed my son. An independent investigation of the aircraft showed that the turbine wheel in the PT6
failed after takeoff. The defense has dragged out our discovery process trying to run the clock on the statute of limitations. They may even be reading this response, but I don't care. My son tried to do an emergency landing, but there was nothing but dense forest ahead during this night time takeoff. It appears the only option, in my opinion, was to try to turn back to the airport. He didn't have enough altitude to do that. I am glad I finally found out what happened and that it was not his fault. The NTSB report is highly inaccurate. I can only hope we get some justice. I don't want to go into anymore detail, but I don't know how those responsible are able to sleep at night.
Can you share some of the details that you feel the NTSB got wrong?

Kepi
12-18-2015, 12:41 PM
My lawyer is going to file an appeal to the NTSB to look at the new evidence and change their conclusion that my son got spatial disorientation. They supposedly used a chip out of a hand held Garmin that my son had on board to re-enact the flight in a flight simulator. They concluded that the forces he would have felt in the seat would have made him believe he was ascending when in fact he was descending with a pitch of -2 degrees. The do say the Garmin showed he immediately banked after takeoff to the right which would have been west when he was supposed to be flying south. I believe he was banking to try to get back to the airport. The NTSB thought it was spatial disorientation. My son said he taught his students to ALWAYS trust your instruments first. He loved flying at night. I never could understand how they believed he got spatial disorientation if his instruments were working. We just know our son and how he took flying very seriously. He promised his mother before this job that he would be very careful.

USMCFLYR
12-18-2015, 02:08 PM
My lawyer is going to file an appeal to the NTSB to look at the new evidence and change their conclusion that my son got spatial disorientation. They supposedly used a chip out of a hand held Garmin that my son had on board to re-enact the flight in a flight simulator. They concluded that the forces he would have felt in the seat would have made him believe he was ascending when in fact he was descending with a pitch of -2 degrees. The do say the Garmin showed he immediately banked after takeoff to the right which would have been west when he was supposed to be flying south. I believe he was banking to try to get back to the airport. The NTSB thought it was spatial disorientation. My son said he taught his students to ALWAYS trust your instruments first. He loved flying at night. I never could understand how they believed he got spatial disorientation if his instruments were working. We just know our son and how he took flying very seriously. He promised his mother before this job that he would be very careful.
Kepi -

The bolded above IS spatial disorientation.

Good pilots get disoriented all of the time - even with working instruments. It is one of the foremost dangers in aviation. One of the absolute worst things you can do immediately after takeoff in a single engine airplane with an engine failure is try to turn back to the airport - especially at night when you don't even have as many visual cues as the day time.

I'm very sorry about your son and the impact on your family of this accident.

Kepi
12-18-2015, 06:32 PM
USMCFLYR
Yes, the bold wording you selected is the NTSB explanation for what happened even though the engine failed on my son. The NTSB is not correct and this is not the first time. This explanation makes it nice and tidy for the employer to have no responsibility for putting my son in an aircraft that had too many hours on the engine. My son knew that the thing to do after an engine failure is to glide forward to put down the airplane. Hell, i'm not a pilot and even I know that! He knew the terrain was nothing but wooded forest ahead. I know good pilots get spatial disorientation, but with proof of a power turbine wheel failure, I don't buy it.

USMCFLYR
12-19-2015, 05:34 AM
OK....I thought you you were saying the 'they' was the independent investigation's discovery.

Did the NTSB report not say that there was a loss of engine power caused by a "turbine wheel failure"? This would seem to be pretty easy to confirm.

This explanation makes it nice and tidy for the employer to have no responsibility for putting my son in an aircraft that had too many hours on the engine.
You are making an accusation that the NTSB actually fabricated a false report so that MartinAire might be found not at fault or that maintenance would not be causal to the mishap?
Did the NTSB find evidence of falsified maintenance logs for this aircraft to prove that the engine had been operating past its' limitations?

It seems to me that you believe that it can be ONLY Spatial D or a maintenance failure. Incredibly few mishaps have but a single causal factor. Not a NTSB investigated mishap, but once in my personal experience an accident investigation board cited Spatial D as a probable cause in a mishap of a F/A-18D just off Charleston, SC. The burn to me was that they had absolutely no proof of anything! The aircraft was on radar at 10,000' one sweep and gone the next. No piece of wreckage, nor even evidence of a mishap, was ever found, yet the board went into some detail about how Spatial D affected this crew of two.

Kepi
12-20-2015, 06:52 AM
The NTSB believed that since the propeller had damage from rotation, that the engine must have had power. The whole flight was 58 seconds and my son achieved an altitude of about 250 feet. I've been told that the propeller will continue to spin after an engine failure. This could have caused the propeller damage as it hit the trees and ground. It was evident that he was making a controlled emergency landing according to my aviation lawyer, who is a very experienced pilot. The NTSB went to interview the mechanic of the airplane and he happened to be having surgery that day. No further followup as far as I know. The there is no mention of the maintenance logs in the NTSB report. We are fighting the defense to get those logs now. They are refusing to give them to us as they also were refusing to allow us to inspect the aircraft and engine. My lawyer says the NTSB can use whomever they want to help with the investigation. They can choose the manufacturer of the engine and there is nothing anyone can do about it. As it was obvious power turbine wheel failure to my expert investigator, something is not adding up. I don't know exactly who is responsible for everything in the report, but it needs to be reopened with this new evidence brought to light. Thank you for the information and your interest in this case.

JamesNoBrakes
12-20-2015, 07:14 PM
My lawyer is going to file an appeal to the NTSB to look at the new evidence and change their conclusion that my son got spatial disorientation.

If the NTSB thinks the new evidence is creditable, then they'll include it and change their probable cause. They have no dog in the fight either way, except to determine the most accurate probable cause. I'm in the accident investigation business too and one thing that people seem to have a hard time understanding is that humans make mistakes. All humans, whether it's the ones designing an airplane, or making it at the factory, or flying it. Not because any one of these people is "screwing off" or anything, but because as humans, we miss pieces of information, we don't process all information correctly, we don't react correctly every time, and so on. If human error is the probable cause, it doesn't mean the person was intentionally trying to have an accident or shouldn't have been a pilot due to gross incompetence, it means that on specific day at that time, all of the factors present exceeded the human capability to react correctly. I'd be lying if I said that I can react correctly 100% of the time. We want to know when this happens so we can design systems and processes that will keep it from happening in the future. I'm sorry for your loss too.

JamesNoBrakes
12-20-2015, 07:22 PM
The NTSB believed that since the propeller had damage from rotation, that the engine must have had power.

The extent of the damage to the prop can often give an idea whether it was under power or not. Rotation not under power generally doesn't have any force behind it, so it will typically be light damage, as far as the rotational aspect is concerned. There are other witness marks though, like inside the propeller hub. If there is a sudden stoppage at full power, the propeller hub can often be used to corroborate the theory, as there are very specific marks made in specific spots if there is sudden stoppage at high power, besides governors, fuel linkages, any engine logging equipment, and all the other things used to determine if it producing power. The NTSB also gets highly involved in computer modeling and simulation, they'll take the flight and re-create it from the beginning, same load, fuel, weather conditions, etc, taking off from the same spot, then they'll cut out the engine and see how far it will go, vs. continuing to the spot under power.

The NTSB uses the parties involved to conduct the investigation, that means the airframe manufacturer, the engine manufacturer, the company, etc. These entities want to know if they are to blame, because it cuts their litigation costs, rather than going to a lengthy trial and then having to pay out a bunch of money on top of everything else. Of course each one hopes they aren't to blame, but these companies always have credible, educated and accredited investigators that they send to the NTSB investigation, for one reason, to help identify the probable cause.

Of course, the NTSB are humans too and could have made an error, but they try to establish probable cause, not "beyond all doubt", because it's unfortunately not possible.

USMCFLYR
12-21-2015, 02:33 AM
The NTSB believed that since the propeller had damage from rotation, that the engine must have had power. The whole flight was 58 seconds and my son achieved an altitude of about 250 feet. I've been told that the propeller will continue to spin after an engine failure. This could have caused the propeller damage as it hit the trees and ground. It was evident that he was making a controlled emergency landing according to my aviation lawyer, who is a very experienced pilot. The NTSB went to interview the mechanic of the airplane and he happened to be having surgery that day. No further followup as far as I know. The there is no mention of the maintenance logs in the NTSB report. We are fighting the defense to get those logs now. They are refusing to give them to us as they also were refusing to allow us to inspect the aircraft and engine. My lawyer says the NTSB can use whomever they want to help with the investigation. They can choose the manufacturer of the engine and there is nothing anyone can do about it. As it was obvious power turbine wheel failure to my expert investigator, something is not adding up. I don't know exactly who is responsible for everything in the report, but it needs to be reopened with this new evidence brought to light. Thank you for the information and your interest in this case.
In the world of piecing together aviation mishaps; determining whether an engine was producing power upon impact is a fairly easy study/answer. You are correct that the propeller very well might still be spinning even if the engine has failed - a term called windmilling that I'm sure you have heard before. The damage from a windmilling propeller and a propeller being turn by engine power are very different, then there is the other evidence of damage to other engine parts/mechanisms that lead investigators to the facts.

As JNB states - the NTSB has no dog in this investigation for or against you son or the company. They are widely recognized as one of the premier accident investigation organizations worldwide. If there is evidence that the 'turbine wheel' failed, then I personally feel that there would be no chance that the NTSB would not have reviewed the companies maintenance records. It is one of the primary areas of any investigation.

One of my new co-workers is a former NTSB investigator. I'll ask him today if I see him if he might envision any circumstance where there would be evidence of such an engine failure that you describe where the NTSB would NOT look into maintenance actions/records/history of the aircraft as part of the investigation.

Kepi
12-21-2015, 04:36 AM
Other pilots on this site have mentioned the human factor and I certainly understand we all can make mistakes under stress and pressure. It's no different than how good drivers may make a mistake and have a car accident. When I first read the NTSB report it was believable to me. I know the NTSB has no interest in proving fault or taking sides. My wife never believed my son was completely at fault. But now, I believe when my son realized the engine was failing or showing evidence of a problem, he tried to turn around since the GPS showed evidence that he made an immediate right bank and had some power to continue climbing to hopefully finish turning back to the airport. The engine only got him to 260ft AGL before he started to descend. My wife and I went to the crash site. Pictures I took of the crash site, that I showed to a military pilot friend, showed it was a controlled landing in his opinion. The path of the crash landing took off tops of trees first then eventually hit the lower trunk of trees and ground. This was over the area of land equal to a football field. He didn't dive straight into the ground.

I have included the NTSB report:

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA135
HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 15, 2013, at 1958 eastern standard time, a Cessna 208B airplane, N1120N, collided with trees shortly after departing from Pellston Regional Airport of Emmet County (KPLN), Pellston, Michigan. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Aero Leasing and operated by Martinaire Aviation, L.L.C. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as a cargo flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight was originating from KPLN at the time of the accident and was enroute to Capital Region International Airport, (KLAN), Lansing, Michigan.

The pilot had flown from Chippewa County International Airport (KCIU) and landed at KPLN to refuel the airplane and pick up 570 pounds of cargo. The pilot interacted with 3 employees of the fixed base operator (FBO) who stated that he seemed alert and awake, but wanted to make a "quick turn" at KPLN. After the airplane was refueled and the cargo was loaded, the pilot taxied to runway 23 and departed.

An analysis of the data recovered from the pilot's Garmin 696 handheld GPS, revealed that the airplane entered a right bank almost immediately after takeoff, and climbed to an altitude of about 260 feet above ground level (AGL) before it began to descend. At the time that the last data point was recorded on the GPS, the airplane was at an altitude of about 175 feet AGL and traveling at 127 knots. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest in a heavily wooded area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 26, held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane, which was issued on May 6, 2011. He also held a certified flight instructor certificate for airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot was issued a Class 1, Limited Medical Certificate with the limitations "Must wear corrective lenses", on August 9, 2012. On this medical application, the pilot reported that his flight experience included 2,000 total hours and 100 hours in the preceding six months.

According to the pilot's logbooks, he accumulated 1,921 total hours, 142 hours at night, 47 hours in actual instrument conditions, and 34 hours in the accident airplane make and model.

The pilot began training with Martinaire in the accident airplane make and model on November 26, 2012. He successfully completed the training and subsequent check ride on December 7, 2012. Upon completion of training, the pilot began his initial operating experience (IOE) with a Martinaire senior captain on January 7, 2013 and completed IOE on January 11, 2013. The pilot began flying solo flights for Martinaire on January 12, 2013. He was deemed proficient to fly in IFR conditions and was current during the accident flight.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Cessna 208B, two seat, high wing, fixed landing gear airplane, serial number 208B0386, was manufactured in 1994. It was powered by one Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A, 675 shaft horsepower engine, equipped with a three bladed constant-speed McCauley propeller. The airplane was maintained on an approved aircraft inspection program. On December 31, 2012, an engine logbook entry revealed that the engine had 5,054.8 hours since overhaul, 7,527 cycles since overhaul, and 2,945.2 hours until the next overhaul. On January 14, 2013, an airframe logbook entry revealed that the airplane's total time was 10,132.1 hours.

On January 15, 2013, prior to departing KCIU, the accident pilot reported that the left side attitude indicator was inoperative. The attitude indicator was removed, replaced, and the airplane was returned back into service.

A weight and balance form for the accident flight was located at the accident scene. However, the calculations for the accident flight were not completely filled out.

Weight and balance computations were performed using four different scenarios provided by the operator. All four scenarios resulted in the airplane being within the center of gravity limits.




METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1854, the automated weather reporting station located at KPLN, reported: wind from 210 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 miles, cloud ceiling broken at 3,600 and 4,800 feet, ceiling overcast at 5,500 feet, temperature minus 3 degrees Celsius (C), dew point minus 9 degrees C and the barometric pressure of 30.14 inches of Mercury. There was no automated report issued around the time of the accident. The next automated report was at 2054 and the conditions were: wind from 210 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 miles, ceiling overcast at 5,000 feet, temperature minus 3 degrees C, dew point minus 8 degrees C, and barometric pressure was 30.10 inches of Mercury.

An interview was conducted with a pilot, flying the same make and model airplane as the accident airplane, who took off 5 to 10 minutes prior to the accident. The pilot described the conditions to be "bumpy" and that when the wind was out of the southwest there was usually turbulence. He noticed on his GPS that around 1,000 feet AGL the wind was "right on the nose at 36 knots." The pilot stated that he flew visual flight rules (VFR) to 6,000 feet and ice was not present. He described taking off from runway 23 at night as "a black hole" and would utilize his cockpit instruments after climbing above a couple hundred feet AGL.

According to statements provided by two of the FBO employees, the conditions were "windy" around the time of the accident. One of the employees stated that the engine sounded fine and was similar to the rest of the planes he encountered at the airport.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located at 45į 33' 50.7" N, 084į 49' 42.3" W, elevation 714 feet mean sea level (MSL), in a heavily wooded area covered in snow. The main wreckage was wrapped around 2 trees and mostly broken apart. The wreckage scene was about 330 feet long and began at the top of the trees on a heading of about 270 degrees. The wreckage began with portions of the wings, continued with scattered debris, then the main wreckage, more scattered debris, and finally the propeller. The initial impact points were the tree tops observed from the ground and confirmed with freshly cut pieces of the tree on top of the snow; 45į 33' 50.4" N, 084į 49' 37.2" W. The widest initial tree impact points were about 41.6 feet apart. The angle of descent through the tree to the resting position was between 14 and 20 degrees.



The main wreckage included most of the cockpit, the fuselage, empennage, horizontal stabilizer, a portion of the vertical stabilizer, the landing gear, and the engine. The fuselage and cockpit were wrapped around a tree and fractured from the nose of the airplane to the middle of the fuselage. The wings were detached from the fuselage and scattered in pieces throughout the wreckage path leading up to the main wreckage. The landing gear was located in the main wreckage and all three tires were no longer attached to their respective wheels. All three propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub. The propeller blades were labeled A, B, and C for the purposes of the investigation. The blades exhibited s-bending, leading edge scoring, dents, and scratches. Blade A remained attached to the propeller hub, but was not fully intact and a small portion of it was found 200 feet north of the main wreckage. Blade B and C were intact and remained attached to the propeller hub.



Flight control continuity was confirmed for all flight controls. All flight control cables were fractured in overload. The flaps were found in the up position as confirmed by the position of the jack screw on the flap motor. The throttle quadrant received impact damage; the actual lever positions at the time of the accident could not be determined.



The instrument panel was mostly detached from the airplane and received impact damage. The instruments were scattered throughout the main wreckage. The attitude indicator gyro was examined and revealed rotational scoring on the inside of the gyro case and on the gyro.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy and toxicology test was performed on the pilot at Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on January 17, 2013. The cause of death was multiple blunt injuries and the manner of death was an accident. The toxicology results revealed no drugs detected. The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute did not complete a Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report because the specimens were not made available to them.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine

The engine was examined and disassembled at the manufacturer's facility by the investigative party members. The group agreed that there was no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Garmin GPSMAP 696

The unit is a battery-powered portable multi-function display and GPS receiver. It sustained impact damage to the screen and casing. A chip level recovery was performed on the memory chip located inside the unit. The data extracted included 157 sessions from February 24, 2012, through January 16, 2013, and consisted of 20,724 total data points. The accident flight consisted of 20 data points and began recording at 19:54:28 and ended at 19:57:58 EST on January 16, 2013.

Aircraft Performance GPS and Simulation Study

The National Transportation Safety Board's Office of Research and Engineering conducted an Aircraft Performance GPS and Simulation Study. This study presents the results of using data from a portable GPS unit carried aboard the airplane, crash site information, and a simulator model of the Cessna 208B as the basis for a simulation that provides a physics-based estimate of the position and orientation of the airplane throughout the accident flight. The performance observations noted here are based on the results of this simulation.

The first GPS point showing the accident airplane clearly airborne was recorded at 19:57:19 as the airplane was climbing at 700 feet per minute (fpm) through about 730 feet MSL (14 feet AGL), on a track of about 223 degrees, and accelerating through 91 knots. The airplane continued accelerating while climbing at about 500 to 700 fpm to an altitude of about 960 feet MSL (240 feet AGL). The rate of climb then decayed, and after reaching a peak altitude of about 980 feet MSL (260 feet AGL) at 19:57:45, the airplane started to descend, and ultimately impacted terrain about 1 mile west-southwest of the departure end of the runway. The exact time of the impact is not known, but the simulation model flight time from the last recorded GPS position to the location and elevation of the impact site was estimated at 15 seconds, putting the time of impact at 19:58:13. The simulation rate of descent from 19:57:52 to the time of impact is about 650 to 680 fpm. The elapsed time from when the airplane became airborne at 19:57:19 to impact is 54 seconds.

The simulation indicated that the airplane was accelerating throughout the flight, from about 75 knots groundspeed shortly after liftoff to about 145 knots at impact. In addition, the airplane entered a right bank almost immediately after liftoff, and during the flight made a 42 degree right turn from the runway heading of 225 degrees to 267 degrees. The peak simulation bank angle during this turn was 12.3 degrees. At impact, the simulation indicated an airspeed of 156 knots, a pitch angle of negative 2 degrees, and a bank angle of 4.5 degrees.

Throughout the simulation, a constant power lever angle (PLA) setting of 72 percent was maintained. At the 72 percent PLA setting, the simulator reading results in a gas generator speed (Ng) of about 93 percent throughout the flight. This throttle setting resulted in the best match of the GPS and impact site data.

The load factors output by the simulation were used to compute "apparent" pitch and roll angles, defined as the angles that make the load factor vector in an unaccelerated reference system parallel (in airplane body axes) to the load factor vector in the actual accelerated reference system. These angles represent the attitude a pilot would "feel" the airplane to be in, based on a vestibular / kinesthetic perception of the components of the load factor vector in their own body coordinate system. Throughout the flight, the apparent roll angle was close to zero, and the apparent pitch angle was always greater than zero Ė even when the real pitch angle was less than zero.

Csy Mon
12-21-2015, 05:56 AM
I worked for the first Caravan operator, Hermens Air in Alaska.
We were also the first to crash a Caravan not long after delivery.
Just after take off the airplane fell out of the air and hit the ground, killing
everybody onboard.
If memory serves right, a fuel valve was turned off.

In this case it seems suspicious that a new DG was installed after the last one failed. Perhaps it was not an instrument problem, but rather a power problem.
Too much of a coincidence that the airplane crashes at night on the very next flight?

JamesNoBrakes
12-21-2015, 06:25 AM
The simulation indicated that the airplane was accelerating throughout the flight, from about 75 knots groundspeed shortly after liftoff to about 145 knots at impact. In addition, the airplane entered a right bank almost immediately after liftoff, and during the flight made a 42 degree right turn from the runway heading of 225 degrees to 267 degrees. The peak simulation bank angle during this turn was 12.3 degrees. At impact, the simulation indicated an airspeed of 156 knots, a pitch angle of negative 2 degrees, and a bank angle of 4.5 degrees.

Throughout the simulation, a constant power lever angle (PLA) setting of 72 percent was maintained. At the 72 percent PLA setting, the simulator reading results in a gas generator speed (Ng) of about 93 percent throughout the flight. This throttle setting resulted in the best match of the GPS and impact site data.
This is what I was talking about. This usually takes a lot of time for the NTSB to run through all the plausible scenarios in simulation. I'm not sure how one can argue against the physics of this?

JamesNoBrakes
12-21-2015, 05:51 PM
The NTSB went to interview the mechanic of the airplane and he happened to be having surgery that day. No further followup as far as I know. The there is no mention of the maintenance logs in the NTSB report. We are fighting the defense to get those logs now.

From the NTSB Narrative:

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Cessna 208B, two seat, high wing, fixed landing gear airplane, serial number 208B0386, was manufactured in 1994. It was powered by one Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A, 675 shaft horsepower engine, equipped with a three bladed constant-speed McCauley propeller. The airplane was maintained on an approved aircraft inspection program. On December 31, 2012, an engine logbook entry revealed that the engine had 5,054.8 hours since overhaul, 7,527 cycles since overhaul, and 2,945.2 hours until the next overhaul. On January 14, 2013, an airframe logbook entry revealed that the airplane's total time was 10,132.1 hours.

On January 15, 2013, prior to departing KCIU, the accident pilot reported that the left side attitude indicator was inoperative. The attitude indicator was removed, replaced, and the airplane was returned back into service.

A weight and balance form for the accident flight was located at the accident scene. However, the calculations for the accident flight were not completely filled out.

Weight and balance computations were performed using four different scenarios provided by the operator. All four scenarios resulted in the airplane being within the center of gravity limits.

It seems that they did get this information. You should be able to request the full docket if it's not available online.

Again, truly sorry for your loss.

Kepi
12-22-2015, 04:25 AM
Well, for some reason, the aircraft owner refuses to give us the log books. If this report is accurate, why would they refuse our discovery? They also refused to allow us to inspect the engine. This NTSB report says that there was no problem with the engine as I have excerpted below. This was not true. How can we believe the rest of the report? What else could have caused damage to the power turbine wheel other than flying beyond its limit of use? My lawyer says that the PT6 can only be used up to 7200 hours. That is only allowed by Pratt Whitney after they inspect and sign off on it after it is rebuilt at 3600 hours. This aircraft had over 10,000 hours on it. He believes the engine may have had 8000 hours on it or close to it.

TESTS AND RESEARCH
Engine
The engine was examined and disassembled at the manufacturer's facility by the investigative party members. The group agreed that there was no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

USMCFLYR
12-22-2015, 06:35 AM
Originally Posted by Kepi http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/memory/72428-martinaire-caravan-crash-6.html#post2032399)
Well, for some reason, the aircraft owner refuses to give us the log books. If this report is accurate, why would they refuse our discovery? They also refused to allow us to inspect the engine. This NTSB report says that there was no problem with the engine as I have excerpted below. This was not true. How can we believe the rest of the report? What else could have caused damage to the power turbine wheel other than flying beyond its limit of use? My lawyer says that the PT6 can only be used up to 7200 hours. That is only allowed by Pratt Whitney after they inspect and sign off on it after it is rebuilt at 3600 hours. This aircraft had over 10,000 hours on it. He believes the engine may have had 8000 hours on it or close to it.

TESTS AND RESEARCH
Engine
The engine was examined and disassembled at the manufacturer's facility by the investigative party members. The group agreed that there was no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.
Then your lawyer/investigator and the NTSB are at odds.

Without knowing anything else - personally I'd venture towards the NTSB's report - but I'm not you and you have a personal interest.

Legally I'm not sure that the company has any legal obligation to provide you (certainly not personally) the documents that you are asking for, and only a legal obligation to provide them to the court if you are actually in a legal dispute with the compnay (it sounds like you are but I don't know for sure if you are actually in the process of actively suing the company on some formal charge of ..........)

It certainly seems to be a fairly easy question to answer. Did the 'turbine wheel' fail or not? You sound like you lawyer/private investigation has irrefutable proof of such a failure and the NTSB, and all representatives to the investigation, clearly report that there was no mechanical failure prior to impact.

But now, I believe when my son realized the engine was failing or showing evidence of a problem, he tried to turn around since the GPS showed evidence that he made an immediate right bank and had some power to continue climbing to hopefully finish turning back to the airport. The engine only got him to 260ft AGL before he started to descend.

But no pilot, especially at night, is going to be trying to return to the airport immedaitely after takeoff with an engine failure when they haven't even reached a few hundred feet in altitude.

According to the pilot's logbooks, he accumulated 1,921 total hours, 142 hours at night, 47 hours in actual instrument conditions, and 34 hours in the accident airplane make and model.
A respectable amount of total time, though fairly low on the night, instrument, and certainly type hours; especially when couple with this description:

The pilot stated that he flew visual flight rules (VFR) to 6,000 feet and ice was not present. He described taking off from runway 23 at night as "a black hole" and would utilize his cockpit instruments after climbing above a couple hundred feet AGL.

...a well known and dangerous situation :(

Good luck in your future course of action with this investigation Kepi; and remember that no matter the outcome of a report, we are all human and flying can be a risky endeavor:

Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect. - Captain A. G. Lamplugh
Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, ......
ó Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. c. early 1930's.

JamesNoBrakes
12-22-2015, 08:12 AM
What else could have caused damage to the power turbine wheel other than flying beyond its limit of use? My lawyer says that the PT6 can only be used up to 7200 hours.

Overhaul and rebuilding limits are not finite numbers, they vary depending on the operation, inspections, data logging and maintenance programs actually used by the certificate holder. If it was found that a turbine wheel was to blame, you could expect the FAA to roll back their time between overhaul limits and start picking apart their maintenance program. One huge issue though is how does a caravan, which is not an aerodynamic aircraft that speeds up easily, rotate at 75kts, climb to 260', and impact terrain at 150kts? At most, you are climbing initially at 90-100kts, and then the engine cuts out? The airplane would get slower, not faster, and to bring it to where it impacted requires a certain amount of energy, energy the NTSB deemed required engine power being produced (around 93% I believe is what it said, which is not very ambiguous).

The maximum TBO in relation to the cost benefit and savings will depend on various factors. Economic considerations and operational conditions should be evaluated. If the engine is operated in a hot and high, highly corrosive or very dry (dessert) environment where operation results in compressor erosion then all these factors reduces the economic benefit of an extended TBO. Furthermore a calendar limit of 12 years applies to the TBO extension making it an option best suited for an annual utilization of 300 hrs or higher. For the PT6A -114 on the Cessna Caravan there is a possibility to extend the TBO in one go to 8.000 hrs and 9.000 hrs for the 67D on the Beech 1900D without the need of the escalation program. It requires the engine to be of a certain SB modification status and the aircraft must have an Aircraft Data Acquisition System installed to recorded data for Engine Condition Trend Monitoring.

Kepi
12-22-2015, 10:23 AM
Yes, this case is under litigation and the loss of engine power from failure of the of the power turbine wheels is irrefutable. The compression turbine wheel was intact.

Gravity will cause acceleration of an object as it falls. This is basic physics. Maybe this caused the acceleration before impact?

(In physics, gravitational acceleration is the acceleration on an object caused by force of gravitation. Neglecting friction such as air resistance, all small bodies accelerate in a gravitational field at the same rate relative to the center of mass.[1] This equality is true regardless of the masses or compositions of the bodies.
At different points on Earth, objects fall with an acceleration between 9.78 and 9.83 m/s2 depending on altitude and latitude, with a conventional standard value of exactly 9.80665 m/s2 (approximately 32.174 ft/s2). Objects with low densities do not accelerate as rapidly due to buoyancy and air resistance.)

I'm just trying to make sense of this..... Any help is appreciated.

JamesNoBrakes
12-22-2015, 11:46 AM
Yes, this case is under litigation and the loss of engine power from failure of the of the power turbine wheels is irrefutable. The compression turbine wheel was intact.

Gravity will cause acceleration of an object as it falls. This is basic physics. Maybe this caused the acceleration before impact?

(In physics, gravitational acceleration is the acceleration on an object caused by force of gravitation. Neglecting friction such as air resistance, all small bodies accelerate in a gravitational field at the same rate relative to the center of mass.[1] This equality is true regardless of the masses or compositions of the bodies.
At different points on Earth, objects fall with an acceleration between 9.78 and 9.83 m/s2 depending on altitude and latitude, with a conventional standard value of exactly 9.80665 m/s2 (approximately 32.174 ft/s2). Objects with low densities do not accelerate as rapidly due to buoyancy and air resistance.)

I'm just trying to make sense of this..... Any help is appreciated.
Gravity causes a downward acceleration, not a forward one. A high rate of speed straight down would imply either a stall, (extremely low forward speed), spin, or abrupt nose down pitch. In all of these cases, the wreckage would be constrained to a rather small area, which is not consistent with the wreckage path as described in the narrative. The investigators will look not only at the tops of the trees along the impact path, the length of the debris field, but also how the parts of the aircraft failed, as a high rate of speed impact in a forward direction has many characteristic signatures.

When an aircraft is climbing, it is at a high angle of attack, creating significant drag, if one is to suddenly fail the engine, the airspeed drops fast, in nearly every case where someone is not expecting this to happen, a significant loss of airspeed is to be expected, if the pilot is proficient, this can usually be quickly recovered, but at only 260', it's going to be difficult to get the speed back to around 90 (close to best glide speed for a caravan) before reaching the ground level. Enough control should be able to be maintained to choose a flight path, but this can be much easier in training environments when you are expecting it rather than when out in the industry "on the job". This sudden loss of airspeed is one of the primary reasons why most instructors reinforce not turning back towards the airport, at least until significant altitude is achieved, as your aircraft is simply in too low of an energy state to be attempting a turn without stalling/spinning or reaching the ground even earlier.

The glide distances and capabilities are not unknown, using the lift coefficient of the wing design and other factors, it can be calculated what the maximum glide distance of the aircraft would be at 260'. If the pilot chose to push the nose down and accelerate to a faster speed, the aircraft would not glide as far. If power was present, the aircraft would be able to glide further and/or maintain a totally different glide path. As I mentioned before, extensive modeling and simulation is used to determine this.

It is not surprising that the PT6 centrifugal compressor wheel (this is what you mean, correct?) remained intact, that's one of the stoutest parts of the engine/aircraft, usually a pretty big/thick chunk of metal. One thing to remember is that any turbine engine is spinning at massive RPMs, so when a catastrophic event is introduced, it's going to tear itself apart. As you may be indicating, the key is to determine if this was casual or a result of other damage.

Kepi
12-24-2015, 04:48 AM
Thanks JNB, Yes, the investigator said the inside of the engine was completely demolished. The compressor wheel, only inches away from the power turbine, was intact meaning the impact did not cause the damage to the power turbine wheel. The inside of the exhaust was riddled with pings from the inside out as the pieces of broken turbine were extruded through it. He said there was no "kink" in any part of the power portion or linkage (not sure I am saying that correctly) of the engine as would be expected if the engine was running and then suddenly stopped on impact. The investigator said it is "textbook 101 power turbine wheel failure" This had to have a major impact on the takeoff. Whether my son got frantic and made mistakes after that remains to be seen. We may never know. All I know is that he was a good pilot and I was so proud of him. I wanted to learn more about what happened and I have. Thank you everyone and I will let you know what transpires in the future with the litigation. I admire you pilots and wish you safe flying.

Kepi
12-26-2015, 04:52 AM
I think the key to this NTSB narrative is that my son immediately banked to the right after takeoff, which was westward when he was supposed to be headed south. I believe he felt something was wrong with the engine but still had power to accelerate throughout the 58 second flight. Since he had power, he made the right bank and continued to accelerate to over 150 kts. At some point on that bank, the engine completely lost power and he tried to keep his pitch up but was only able to get to negative 2 degrees. His forward motion continued as he took off the tops of trees and then impacted the trunk of a tree. I went to the crash site and saw the tree. It was a large hardwood tree that he broke in half and completely uprooted the trunk. The aircraft then turned on its side and wrapped around 2 other trees. My son was thrown through the roof and landed about 10 yards ahead. The engine landed on top of him. My lawyer was able to get the police photos and one shows his foot sticking out from under the engine and rubble. It's a terrible site that haunts me. It was pitch black that night so he had to be watching his instruments and would have known the attitude of the aircraft. I'm sure he tried as hard as he could to complete the turnaround.

NotPart91
01-03-2016, 04:51 PM
Pilot was Jeff Salles, a friend of a friend.

Plane crash in Pellston kills pilot from Louisiana - petoskeynews.com (http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/featured/pnr-plane-crash-in-pellston-kills-one-20130116,0,3623992.story)
BW, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

It always feels like a hammer when the loss is someone we knew.

NP

dera
01-07-2016, 08:53 AM
I have to ask - you keep mentioning words like "irrefutable", "discovery" and "investigator" - yet you mention you have not been given an opportunity to inspect the engine.

So - who told you what about the engine condition?

Just like James tried to explain, the trajectory fully supports NTSB's findings, we would all like to hear more where you heard about this "power turbine wheel" failure?

Also, you say "Since he had power, he made the right bank and continued to accelerate to over 150 kts. At some point on that bank, the engine completely lost power and he tried to keep his pitch up but was only able to get to negative 2 degrees." - this is completely implausible. At 150kts you have a massive amount excess energy you can convert to altitude. I'm not a Caravan pilot, but I assume you can gain 300-400ft easily before stalling. This too supports the fact, that engine was fully functional until the impact.

Panzon
01-08-2016, 05:36 AM
I have to ask - you keep mentioning words like "irrefutable", "discovery" and "investigator" - yet you mention you have not been given an opportunity to inspect the engine.

So - who told you what about the engine condition?

Just like James tried to explain, the trajectory fully supports NTSB's findings, we would all like to hear more where you heard about this "power turbine wheel" failure?

Also, you say "Since he had power, he made the right bank and continued to accelerate to over 150 kts. At some point on that bank, the engine completely lost power and he tried to keep his pitch up but was only able to get to negative 2 degrees." - this is completely implausible. At 150kts you have a massive amount excess energy you can convert to altitude. I'm not a Caravan pilot, but I assume you can gain 300-400ft easily before stalling. This too supports the fact, that engine was fully functional until the impact.
I think it's natural for a parent to try to understand how their child died. And I think it's natural for a parent who felt his child was very good at something to have a hard time accepting the possibly the child made a mistake. I know if we were talking about my kids that's how I would feel.

So you have a parent trying to understand a tragedy, and an attorney sees an opportunity to dip into some deep pockets. It's no surprise that he would tell the father that the son is blameless and that the fault lies with a large company. It's not hard to understand why the father wants to believe what the attorney is telling him (confirmation bias, which we all had to learn about when we did our instrument, commercial, and ATP ratings).

Don't be hard on the dad. He's going through something terrible beyond words. Try to understand the big picture. And if you must be cross with somebody, direct your hard feelings at the attorney who is taking advantage of the father's emotions.

[In the spirit of full disclosure, there are four attorneys in my immediate family, and I'm not a Pavlovian attorney-hater.]

Kepi
01-17-2016, 08:32 AM
Dera,
We were initially denied access to the wreckage by Martinaire's attorneys without a court order. My aviation attorney has never been in such a situation where he had so many obstacles in his discovery. We got the court order and an investigator from Aeroscope discovered that the turbine wheel failed. It was "textbook 101" findings in his words. An aviation expert investigator, looking at the engine log book, learned that turbine wheel was hot inspected or taken out and reassembled by Martinaire in Lansing a few weeks before my son's accident. That turbine wheel should have lasted for another 1800 hours. Instead, it lasted 30 hours. If that turbine wheel is not perfectly balanced, it is going to fail. I'm not a pilot or an aircraft mechanic. I'm just trying to understand what happened. I ORIGINALLY believed the NTSB report that my son got SD so I don't have a problem accepting the possibility that my son made a mistake. My wife did not buy it. The wording about the -2 degrees pitch is from the NTSB narrative which neatly explains THEIR conclusion of a normally operating engine. So yes, a pilot like yourself is going to think it makes sense and we can move on. Someone lied in the report that the engine was normal on inspection and the company that did the inspection was Pratt Whitney. I know that engine failed for a fact and I believe Martinaire is at fault.

As far as the attorney taking advantage of my emotions, that is not the case. He is working off of a percentage of collection, if any. He is not going to put his money into this investigation if he thought we didn't have a chance of finding a party at fault. The problem is that it comes down to workers' comp law protects Martinaire from being sued by an employee. In this case, it is my son's estate with me acting as administrator. So although we believe they are at fault, they are protected by those laws. My attorney has recommended that we drop the lawsuit. Martinaire will just hire a new pilot and continue in their same old ways. Just hope that if your son or daughter fulfills their dream of becoming a pilot, he or she doesn't work for such a company.

This system of the NTSB choosing whomever they want to help them investigate is faulty. I understand they are undermanned. There have been articles and television reports about this conflict of interest in their investigations. My lawyer tried to sue the NTSB 20 years ago on this item, but the lawsuit was thrown out because they make their own rules and they can ask any source to help them with their investigation. Even if it is the manufacturer of the engine that may have failed.

I want to thank everyone for their input. Be safe. Special thanks to Panzon for understanding my quest for the truth.

USMCFLYR
01-17-2016, 08:54 AM
Dera,
We were initially denied access to the wreckage by Martinaire's attorneys without a court order. My aviation attorney has never been in such a situation where he had so many obstacles in his discovery. We got the court order and an investigator from Aeroscope discovered that the turbine wheel failed. It was "textbook 101" findings in his words. An aviation expert investigator, looking at the engine log book, learned that turbine wheel was hot inspected or taken out and reassembled by Martinaire in Lansing a few weeks before my son's accident. That turbine wheel should have lasted for another 1800 hours. Instead, it lasted 30 hours. If that turbine wheel is not perfectly balanced, it is going to fail. I'm not a pilot or an aircraft mechanic. I'm just trying to understand what happened. I ORIGINALLY believed the NTSB report that my son got SD so I don't have a problem accepting the possibility that my son made a mistake. My wife did not buy it. The wording about the -2 degrees pitch is from the NTSB narrative which neatly explains THEIR conclusion of a normally operating engine. So yes, a pilot like yourself is going to think it makes sense and we can move on. Someone lied in the report that the engine was normal on inspection and the company that did the inspection was Pratt Whitney. I know that engine failed for a fact and I believe Martinaire is at fault.

As far as the attorney taking advantage of my emotions, that is not the case. He is working off of a percentage of collection, if any. He is not going to put his money into this investigation if he thought we didn't have a chance of finding a party at fault. The problem is that it comes down to workers' comp law protects Martinaire from being sued by an employee. In this case, it is my son's estate with me acting as administrator. So although we believe they are at fault, they are protected by those laws. My attorney has recommended that we drop the lawsuit. Martinaire will just hire a new pilot and continue in their same old ways. Just hope that if your son or daughter fulfills their dream of becoming a pilot, he or she doesn't work for such a company.

This system of the NTSB choosing whomever they want to help them investigate is faulty. I understand they are undermanned. There have been articles and television reports about this conflict of interest in their investigations. My lawyer tried to sue the NTSB 20 years ago on this item, but the lawsuit was thrown out because they make their own rules and they can ask any source to help them with their investigation. Even if it is the manufacturer of the engine that may have failed.

I want to thank everyone for their input. Be safe. Special thanks to Panzon for understanding my quest for the truth.

The NTSB is the world's leading accident investigative organization.
What conflict of interest are you actually pointing too regarding a C-208 mishap with Martainaire?

Sometimes the truth can hard to accept.
I hope you are able to deal with this tragedy in the future.

RadialGal
01-17-2016, 09:26 AM
I agree, the NTSB has operated in such a way that Conflicts of Interest are almost impossible. I have lost several good friends to aircraft crashes, all but 1 of them died as a result of "pilot error."

Recently the NTSB faulted both the crew and ATC in crash that killed a former coworker of mine. In my opinion and experience, if they have to make the "hard calls" they do. I just can't see the NTSB getting into coverups and mistruths. So sorry for your loss.

RadialGal

JamesNoBrakes
01-17-2016, 06:01 PM
As far as the attorney taking advantage of my emotions, that is not the case. He is working off of a percentage of collection, if any. He is not going to put his money into this investigation if he thought we didn't have a chance of finding a party at fault.

The sad part about this is I know of several cases where the manufacturers have settled rather than fight, even though they were right, just due to the costs of dragging it all out. It becomes a poker game of "how much money do you have to throw at this case".

Kepi
01-18-2016, 04:25 AM
The conflict of interest is that Pratt Whitney investigated the engine and said it did not fail. When we were looking for the engine to investigate it, Pratt Whitney had it in Canada. After we filed a court order requested by the defense, Pratt Whitney shipped it to Michigan for my lawyer's expert to investigate it. When it was investigated by Aeroscope, I had a conference call with my lawyer and the investigator who said there was an obvious turbine wheel failure. That was the original turbine wheel which had 5000 hours on it. After Martinaire removed the turbine wheel for inspection, it failed 30 hours later. We believe there was a mistake in the reassembly of the turbine wheel by Martinaire. I don't have a problem accepting the truth if it was my son's fault. We are all human and make mistakes. I do have a problem if the NTSB blames spatial disorientation affected my son when this was not the case. Our lawyer is writing a letter to the NTSB to reopen this investigation in light of this new evidence of engine failure.

USMCFLYR
01-18-2016, 05:16 AM
[QUOTE=Kepi;2049543]The conflict of interest is that Pratt Whitney investigated the engine and said it did not fail. When we were looking for the engine to investigate it, Pratt Whitney had it in Canada. After we filed a court order requested by the defense, Pratt Whitney shipped it to Michigan for my lawyer's expert to investigate it.
No.....PW was a party to the investigation. It isn't like they had it up there in their secret laboratory with no oversight. They (PW) didn't say it was operational, the NTSB said it was operational. PW doesn't release the engine to anyone. The engine belongs to the NTSB until it is released, just as does every other piece of the investigation, it is all under their jurisdiction.

JamesNoBrakes
01-18-2016, 08:06 AM
[QUOTE]
No.....PW was a party to the investigation. It isn't like they had it up there in their secret laboratory with no oversight. They (PW) didn't say it was operational, the NTSB said it was operational. PW doesn't release the engine to anyone. The engine belongs to the NTSB until it is released, just as does every other piece of the investigation, it is all under their jurisdiction.

The NTSB also usually has investigators at the tear downs, if it's done off-site.

USMCFLYR
01-18-2016, 08:21 AM
[QUOTE=USMCFLYR;2049569]

The NTSB also usually has investigators at the tear downs, if it's done off-site.
Exactly - that is what I meant if I wasn't clear.
PW reps are just part of the POWERPLANTS team of investigators.

RadialGal
01-18-2016, 10:51 AM
I think no one here is trying to "blame" your son; just trying to warn you in regards to what your lawyer is telling you. I have an Aviation Lawyer friend. He has plenty of clients, almost all of them passengers.....I can't think of any pilots he has represented as of late. It is highly unlikely that the NTSB missed a broken "turbine wheel." I just hate to see someone swindled. P&W may settle just to "keep costs down" but without a change in the NTSB finding, what would that accomplish. I have seen drawn out court fights shatter those that file and fight them. Even when they "win," be it financial or factual, things are never the same.

Be careful is all folks are saying here, so sad your son's life was snuffed out at such an early age.

RadialGal

Kepi
01-18-2016, 05:36 PM
I'm honestly sorry to see you have all drank the kool-aid of the NTSB. But then, you are not the only one. A military pilot friend felt the same way early on but has since told us he is glad we got to the bottom of what happened. I guess you think the government could not make a mistake. I AM careful and this whole lawsuit is now over. I'm not being swindled by a lawyer. Thanks for your input but this is just getting frustrating for me at this point.

JamesNoBrakes
01-18-2016, 07:23 PM
I'm honestly sorry to see you have all drank the kool-aid of the NTSB. But then, you are not the only one. A military pilot friend felt the same way early on but has since told us he is glad we got to the bottom of what happened. I guess you think the government could not make a mistake. I AM careful and this whole lawsuit is now over. I'm not being swindled by a lawyer. Thanks for your input but this is just getting frustrating for me at this point.

The NTSB is not correct and this is not the first time. This explanation makes it nice and tidy for the employer to have no responsibility for putting my son in an aircraft that had too many hours on the engine

I work with the NTSB and I just don't know what the incentive would be to not be truthful, as you are insinuating. There is nothing that they or I get out of not being factual. We've provided many explanations to you and corrected many incorrect assumptions you had about how aircraft fly/react, maintenance programs and what kind of signatures the NTSB and investigators look for. To be so "sure" of your case when you had all these misconceptions makes your case seem questionable to the outsider. You seem to be hinging a lot on this "turbine wheel" when there appears to be plenty of evidence the aircraft was under power and impacted at a high forward speed (indicates it was under power). Again, we are truly sorry for your loss, but I think many of us in this thread have looked at the information you have provided and found that it's not consistent with the rest of the accident.

RadialGal
01-19-2016, 12:14 AM
One last question. Was this "turbine wheel" that failed in the hot or cold section? Either or, if it failed and the Prop didn't Autofeather (worse case scenario) the propeller blades would indeed still "windmill." Still "turn." They would however not be under full power. There are distinctive "tell marks," a prop/engine under full/partial/no power makes when it hits the ground/a tree/etc.....

I studied this in college, have a degree in Aviation safety. I know a few folks that have been on or are on the Go team or are ASI's across the country. This isn't NHSTA or some committee put together by Lobbyists. These folks know what they are doing. There is a reason other countries ask the NTSB to assist in crashes. They are one of the few things in this country "big government" got right.

RadialGal

Kepi
01-20-2016, 04:44 AM
It was the power turbine that failed. In the compressor section of the turbine wheel, just inches away according to the investigator, the turbine blades were intact. The Aeroscope investigator said this also proves that the damage occurred during the flight and not on impact. In such a case, the propeller would continue to spin in the final seconds of this 58 second flight. He only made it to 260 feet AGL. He was flying at 150 kts only 260 feet AGL when the turbine failed. I believe, and I am no expert, that propeller was still turning fast enough to cause the damage that was reported in the report as seen below.

Excerpt from NTSB report: All three propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub. The propeller blades were labeled A, B, and C for the purposes of the investigation.
The blades exhibited s-bending, leading edge scoring, dents, and scratches. Blade A remained attached
to the propeller hub, but was not fully intact and a small portion of it was found 200 feet north of
the main wreckage. Blade B and C were intact and remained attached to the propeller hub.

The information from an article below explains that one NTSB rep is used for this type of accident. It says that person can consult the manufacturer of the engine. I have had 3 law firms take on this case and they all agree that the manufacturer does the actual engine tear down and reports its findings to the NTSB. That is not impartial. I don't see how an NTSB rep could be present at the tear down and not see the destruction of the engine parts seen by the Aeroscope investigator. I trust the Aeroscope investigator I spoke with more than the findings in the NTSB report. I don't think the NTSB is intentionally trying to hide any evidence. I just think they are undermanned and accept whatever the manufacturer concludes concerning the engine investigation. I don't know how else to explain such a discrepancy. This wasn't a major airline disaster with many fatalities. It was only one fatality in an aircraft carrying some packages. But to me, it was a major disaster.

Excerpt from article:
There are two kinds of NTSB investigations: field office investigations and headquarters investigations.

Field Office Investigations

Fatal general aviation crashes, as well as some air carrier and commuter accidents with relatively minor injuries, are often investigated by a single field investigator from one of the NTSB's Regional Offices. If necessary, this investigator has access to technical experts at The Bureau of Technology at the NTSB Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the FBI and other federal agencies. He can also obtain consultation from any commercial operator involved or manufacturer of the airplane or its subcomponent parts. Traditionally, the Field Investigator utilizes the assistance of a Flight Standards and/or Air Traffic Control representative from the FAA Regional Office or facility involved.

Kepi
01-21-2016, 07:22 AM
Here is the rest of the story of this accident. I am not afraid to call out the people responsible for my son's death.

First, I spoke with the lawyer today. The NTSB is a board, not an agency, that is nominated. There are no more than 4000 investigators to investigate all of the aircraft, maritime, train, etc accidents. They usually do a good job on major airline investigations. Many of these investigators are not pilots. They only need an MBA to get the position. My lawyer has dealt with this for the last 40 years. He knows what he is talking about. He spent thousands on my case with no return to him. There was no representative present at the tear down of the engine in this case. It says in their own words on the NTSB Accident website that:

*** Note: 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. ***

So no, they did not have to be present at this single fatality, general aviation accident engine tear down. They were not present and used data obtained from Pratt Whitney. PW is safe anyway because the engine had more than 5000 hours on it and would blame the maintenance on Martinaire. Cessna is protected because the age of the aircraft falls under GARA.

Everything falls on Martinaire mechanics out of Lansing, Michigan who took out the turbine wheel for inspection and incorrectly reassembled it to cause it to last only 30 hours. Improperly balancing the assembly would cause it to fail so quickly. The person in charge of the Lansing mechanics is Pat Jemison, Director of Maintenance.

So my 26 year old son moved to Lansing, Michigan from Louisiana to take on this job with his girlfriend, also a pilot hired by Martinaire. They both wanted to get valuable turbine time. I gave him a quick hug before he left and whispered in his ear "be safe".

He called us after a couple of weeks to say the Martinaire Lansing office was not doing things "by the book" as they were taught by the Martinaire home office in Addison, TX. The other employees there in Lansing told my son that after some time, he would do the same. My son didn't agree with that. He called his boss, Alan Rusinowitz, COO of Martinaire, to tell him about this. Did Alan go up there to straighten his employees out on this issue. No, he did not. He told my son to just do his job and not worry about the other employees. That was a fatal mistake. I blame Alan Rusinowitz for my son's death. Had he done his job, my son might be alive today. Had Pat Jemison done his job, maybe the mistake in the reassembly of the turbine wheel would never have happened. These people with have to live with themselves for not caring about the lives of their employees. I can only hope in Karma.

So, the day of the accident, my son's girlfriend was on the schedule to fly. She had less experience than my son so she had to copilot with one of Martinaire's established pilots. That day, no other Martinaire pilot was available to fly with her so they called in my son, who was able to fly solo. He flew to Sault Ste. Marie. The attitude indicator went out so my son called Lansing to say he would not fly the aircraft until it was fixed. The Lansing office, low on pilots, had no choice but to have his girlfriend fly a mechanic to replace the attitude indicator. My son flew the plane to Pellston to refuel before heading south to Lansing. It is when he took off from Pellston that he disappeared. This airport has no radar tower that could have traced his flight. It wasn't until hours later that his girlfriend called us to say he was late. A search was called around Pellston but no transponder was detected. We tried to call his cell phone but it was damaged. They only found him by driving around at night and detecting a strong smell of fuel in the woods near an intersection southwest of the airport. They found him under the engine. We got the call and our life has been a nightmare since then. Insult to injury is the NTSB blaming my son for spatial disorientation when we now have proof that he lost his engine.

This inaccurate NTSB report is because it's the path of least resistance, as my lawyer told me. They are protecting the industry.
It's a dirty little secret in your industry and you have a choice to believe it or not, but it is the truth. My son bet his life on it by trusting Martinaire. Martinaire fought tooth and nail to prevent us from just investigating the crash. They required court orders to do so and my lawyer has never run into that situation before. They know they messed up from the beginning. They had the gall to show up at my son's memorial. May they rot in hell. :mad:

RadialGal
01-22-2016, 01:03 PM
I just can't see any way the NTSB would risk God only knows what kind of wrath to cover up something as obvious as a Hot section turbine failure for a little company like Martinaire. Even P&W would be small potatoes to take a risk like that. A failed turbine blade is VERY obvious and I would imagine, impossible to cover up.

Some of what you say makes sense, other stuff does not. When you talk about the turbine failure, you keep talking about the wheel being being "inches away." Inches away form what?

A prop windmilling is different than a prop turning under power. They mean drastically different things.....you mention the prop "had" to be turning when it hit the ground. Do you believe it was powered at the time? I think some of us are unclear of your concerns. You keep mentioning a different borescope inspection. Did you have it performed, your lawyer?

We aren't saying that you are right or wrong in your beliefs. Just trying to figure out what HARD evidence you have, who provided it to you, and what the NTSB's response was.

Again, sorry for your loss.

RadialGal

Kepi
01-22-2016, 05:02 PM
RadialGal,
The investigator from Aeroscope told me the damaged power turbine is inches away from the compressor section of the turbine wheel. Only the power turbine was damaged and not the compressor section. He said if the impact caused the damage to the turbine wheel, he would have expected the compressor turbine to also have damage. But this was not the case. It helps prove that the power turbine failed during the flight.

I believe the propeller was still turning under its own inertia after the engine failed. We are only talking about seconds at the end of this 58 second flight. So no, it was not under power at impact. The engine did not have the damage or torsional overload that would be seen when the prop suddenly is stopped while under power. The investigator mentioned this also to me.

My lawyer hired Aeroscope to investigate the wreckage. I personally talked to the investigator who said the findings were "turbine wheel failure 101" So yes, like you indicate, it should have been easy to tell what happened. I think Martinaire knew this from the beginning and tried to block our access to that engine. They were at the crash scene the next day. They would not allow us to inspect the wreckage without a court order. That is unheard of and very suspicious of their guilt. They also knew their mechanic had taken that turbine wheel out for inspection a couple of weeks before this crash.

As far as the NTSB response, my lawyer is going to write them to see if they would reopen the case. The problem is now that the statute of limitations is just passed on Jan 15th, the wreckage is going to be destroyed at the end of February. So, my wife and I know the truth, but we would like the government to correct their report. The way things have gone for us, I doubt that will happen.
Thanks for your time.

JamesNoBrakes
01-23-2016, 12:42 PM
RadialGal,
The investigator from Aeroscope told me

Did he share these pictures? When we investigate aviation accidents, we take hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pictures. If there is a component being looked at, like an engine and the turbine/compressor section, there will be many many pictures. When we tear down a component or sub-system, pictures are taken of each step to document. Did this investigator supply you with these photographs showing what is claimed? I'm absolutely not asking you to show the pictures, I'm just asking what actual "evidence" has been provided. Another troubling aspect is how the airplane aerodynamically got to a distance which required engine power. If the engine failed, how was it producing 93% power?

Kepi
01-24-2016, 07:02 AM
I haven't seen pictures. I asked for a copy of the report. The investigator has his notes and photos. No actual report is printed until the case goes to trial. This is because my lawyer would have to share the evidence with the defense at some point in the case. This is standard procedure in these cases as there is no sense letting the defense know what we know.

The 93% power is a speculated average based on the GPS chip placed in a simulator. If he was continuing to accelerate throughout the flight, why would his rate of climb decay as mentioned in these sentences from the report?

"The airplane continued accelerating while climbing at about 500 to 700 fpm to an altitude of about 960 feet MSL (240 feet AGL). The rate of climb then decayed, and after reaching a peak altitude of about 980 feet MSL (260 feet AGL) at 19:57:45, the airplane started to descend, and ultimately impacted terrain about 1 mile west-southwest of the departure end of the runway."

He must have lost the engine during the acceleration at 93% power which would make sense since the engine was being put under maximum stress. Why else would he descend at that point? All he had to do was hold on to that setting and he would have continued to climb.

Also, since they are using the last GPS position (at the beginning of the descent) to speculate the time of impact, I don't believe they can say he was actually accelerating into the ground unless they had more GPS coordinates during the descent. The following is from their report:

"The exact time of the impact is not known, but the simulation model flight time from the last recorded GPS position to the location and elevation of the impact site was estimated at 15 seconds, putting the time of impact at 19:58:13. The simulation rate of descent from 19:57:52 to the time of impact is about 650 to 680 fpm. The elapsed time from when the airplane became airborne at 19:57:19 to impact is 54 seconds."

So the estimated descent is actually similar to the measured ascent. My lawyer and I believe he had control of the aircraft and was trying to make an emergency landing. He didn't lose control or get spatial disorientation and fly into the ground.

The 650 to 680 fpm rate of descent is velocity and says nothing about acceleration. They would have needed more coordinates to say he was accelerating on impact. So yes, at 650 fpm rate of descent and altitude of 240 feet AGL, it would be a matter of seconds to fall from the sky.

Correct me if anything doesn't make sense as I am not a pilot or crash investigator. My lawyer had been both a pilot and lawyer of over 30 years. He deals with many crash investigations and owned a aircraft with a PT6 engine. He doesn't believe my son just flew into the ground. If my lawyer believed there was a chance of that, he wouldn't have taken this case nor put thousands of dollars.

Kepi
01-25-2016, 04:19 AM
I have emailed the investigator to see if he will send me some pictures which I will share.

Kepi
01-25-2016, 01:08 PM
The investigator from Aeroscope sent me pictures of the power turbine wheel and the compressor turbine wheel for comparison. He also included the exhaust duct which was damaged from the broken blades as they exited. He is mailing me the disk with all of the pictures.
This picture shows the power turbine damage.

Kepi
01-25-2016, 01:09 PM
This picture shows the exhaust duct.

Kepi
01-25-2016, 01:10 PM
This picture is for comparison and shows the compressor turbine wheel which is right next to the power turbine wheel but is still intact proving that the damage did not occur on impact.

Kepi
01-25-2016, 01:19 PM
The following is an explanation from the investigator when I asked him about the propeller damage with regard to it
being powered on impact and the discrepancy of his findings with the NTSB.

"The propeller did show some evidence of rotation but I would not categorize the damage as indicative of significant power. One blade is fairly straight, one is bent forward and the third was fractured. I would doubt that the engine would still run once the PT wheel fails. But the propeller could very well still rotate as it would ďwindmillĒ from the air flowing over it. So the damage that I see and the NTSB is commenting on is more likely from a windmilling propeller than from the engine operating at impact. The fact that we donít have any turbine blades with the engine is telling. It is also telling that we donít see any kind of torque wrinkle in the exhaust duct as is typical in a PT6 when the engine impacts terrain under power. We also donít see any evidence of rotational contact of the axial impeller with the impeller shroud. When the engine is operating, those two components will show significant rub when the engine hits the ground under power.

Unfortunately, the NTSB just parrots whatever the manufacturer tells them. And the manufacturer does everything in its power to alleviate itself of all responsibility and tells the NTSB that every crash is all due to pilot error. It is a travesty that our government operates this way and we have tried very hard to reverse this process but so far to no avail."

This investigator's references showed he was trained at the NTSB Academy as I have included below:

NTSB Academy, Washington DC, Aircraft Accident Investigator Training
Program. Training included: Accident Investigation, Failure Analysis of
Airframes and Engines, Mid-air Collisions, In-flight Breakups, Fault Tree
Analysis, Piston and Turbine Engine Failures, Pre and Post impact Fire
Analysis, Metallurgy, Pathology, Biomedics, Crash Survivability, Aircraft
Performance, Impact Kinematics, Propeller Analysis, Aviation Weather,
Aircraft Maintenance, and many others.

I believe him and the pictures. Like I said, he is mailing me the disk with all of the pictures. Does anyone believe me now?

Kepi
01-26-2016, 07:08 AM
Here is a link to a USA Today report on the "Lies and Coverups" with small plane accidents.

Safety last: Lies and coverups mask roots of small-plane carnage (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/12/lies-coverups-mask-roots-small-aircraft-carnage-unfit-for-flight-part-1/10405323/)

Kepi
01-30-2016, 05:15 AM
UPDATE: A person called me after I posted this evidence saying they were witness to the investigation of this engine with the NTSB and FAA. The person was trying to convince me that the engine did not fail. After talking to my investigator, I am still convinced that the engine did fail.

What if Leah or Linda had been on that aircraft? Luckily, the plane went down in the woods and not in a populated area like 7704 LCW. Now that would have been poetic justice.

RadialGal
01-31-2016, 01:24 AM
Luckily, the plane went down in the woods and not in a populated area like 7704 LCW. Now that would have been poetic justice.[/QUOTE]

Please don't tell me you wish your son's plane had gone down in a populated area? That would be sick, wrong, and sad on so many levels. I GUARANTEE, as a professional pilot, your son would NEVER have wished that.

I still have to compare your blades to some of the comparative examples in my textbooks. Yet you seem so certain! Why? Three (3) of my friends and have recently been killed in simple accidents. Simple in the NTSB's "probable cause" at least. These folks could fly CIRCLES around me. They were artists of the air; I a meer Understudy. They were all stellar examples of the penultimate pro; with many times more hours than myself. TENS of thousands of hours in one instance. Yet they still died at their own hands. Pilot Error. So Hard to see, to admit.

Have you ever heard of Occam's Razor? Simply put; it states that the simplest answer is usually the right one. Until I compare your pictures to my textbooks and confer with Mechanic friends (I fly a PT-6 too BTW) I fear I still agree with the NTSB's finding of Spatial Disorientation. I will let you know more when I talk.

Best wishes Kepi, believe in your Son's passion for the air, his love of the heavens. Know that he died with his "boots on." I do not wish to do so myself, I hope to die an old lady in a rocking chair; but know that he lived the kind of life a fraction of the human population ever gets to know. He smelled the inside of a cloud, felt the crisp cool of a freshly landed wing, knew the delicious pull of the RAIL's on a long tired night; saw the stars in the way only the airborne know.

He lived a good life; however brief.

Best Wishes,
RadialGal

JamesNoBrakes
01-31-2016, 06:00 AM
We can't even get into the blade creep and micro fractures at the neck that would be present from blade failure. To be sure, there are signatures, but many would not be present to the naked eye. For comparison, Google a few ATSB or NTSB full accident reports. You'll see the kind of testing that goes along with a PT6 blade failure. I think the inference is that the engine turbine must have failed due to the intact compressor, but then there's nothing in front of the compressor anyway.

Are there any pictures of the centrifugal compressor? Burner assembly?

Kepi
01-31-2016, 08:28 AM
I apologize for the last sentences of my reply but they are meant for someone who is creeping on my posts and was, I believe, indirectly responsible for the crash. Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I told my son "You can do something very few people know how to do. You can fly an airplane. I am so proud of what you have accomplished"

Luckily, the plane went down in the woods and not in a populated area like 7704 LCW. Now that would have been poetic justice.

Please don't tell me you wish your son's plane had gone down in a populated area? That would be sick, wrong, and sad on so many levels. I GUARANTEE, as a professional pilot, your son would NEVER have wished that.

I still have to compare your blades to some of the comparative examples in my textbooks. Yet you seem so certain! Why? Three (3) of my friends and have recently been killed in simple accidents. Simple in the NTSB's "probable cause" at least. These folks could fly CIRCLES around me. They were artists of the air; I a meer Understudy. They were all stellar examples of the penultimate pro; with many times more hours than myself. TENS of thousands of hours in one instance. Yet they still died at their own hands. Pilot Error. So Hard to see, to admit.

Have you ever heard of Occam's Razor? Simply put; it states that the simplest answer is usually the right one. Until I compare your pictures to my textbooks and confer with Mechanic friends (I fly a PT-6 too BTW) I fear I still agree with the NTSB's finding of Spatial Disorientation. I will let you know more when I talk.

Best wishes Kepi, believe in your Son's passion for the air, his love of the heavens. Know that he died with his "boots on." I do not wish to do so myself, I hope to die an old lady in a rocking chair; but know that he lived the kind of life a fraction of the human population ever gets to know. He smelled the inside of a cloud, felt the crisp cool of a freshly landed wing, knew the delicious pull of the RAIL's on a long tired night; saw the stars in the way only the airborne know.

He lived a good life; however brief.

Best Wishes,
RadialGal[/QUOTE]

Kepi
01-31-2016, 08:44 AM
Here is the response from my investigator after I told him what the person who claimed to be at the NTSB investigation said.

"I can tell you from all my years of doing this and looking at dozens of crashed PT6ís that if there is enough force on the engine to cause the entire power turbine wheel to shed all its blades, then it will happen to the compressor turbine wheel as well. They are fractions of an inch aware from each. And we would see it in the impeller and impeller shroud. He is right, that engine spins at 38,000 rpm. And when it comes to a screeching halt at that rpm under full power, all hell breaks loose. That engine was pristine other than the PT wheel. There was no foreign object damage from dirt ingestion as he says. You can see that in the entire compressor section. I attached photos of the first 2 stages of compression. The first is the impeller wheel and the second is labeled ď#2Ē Where is this damage from engine running and ingesting dirt? Itís not there. Because this engine most likely shut down when the PT wheel failed. The torque wrinkle in the exhaust duct comes from a high powered prop hitting an inanimate object. It doesnít care whether it is a tree or a house or dirt. When 800 hp at the propeller comes to a stop, the large rotating mass of the engine wants to keep going. As such it puts a big transverse wrinkle in the exhaust duct.

I did look at possible autopilot issues. I donít buy he forgot to turn it on. I donít buy that he got spatial disorientation. The flight track shows him flying straight and then just losing altitude. As he would if he lost engine power. I did look and the autopilot didnít have a trim motor which is really the only unit in an autopilot that can generally kill you. The typical pitch and roll servos donít really have a history of putting the aircraft in an unrecoverable situation. I didnít have or test the autopilot computer but the evidence on the flight controls really isnít there to support that theory."


QUOTE=JamesNoBrakes;2059739]We can't even get into the blade creep and micro fractures at the neck that would be present from blade failure. To be sure, there are signatures, but many would not be present to the naked eye. For comparison, Google a few ATSB or NTSB full accident reports. You'll see the kind of testing that goes along with a PT6 blade failure. I think the inference is that the engine turbine must have failed due to the intact compressor, but then there's nothing in front of the compressor anyway.

Are there any pictures of the centrifugal compressor? Burner assembly?[/QUOTE]

Kepi
01-31-2016, 09:44 AM
Pics from investigator. AZA
2640

Kepi
01-31-2016, 09:50 AM
Pic from investigator

Kepi
02-02-2016, 02:59 PM
Here are some additional pictures of burner assembly from the hot section and an exhaust duct showing pings from the inside out from the broken bits of power turbine blades as they were ejected during the flight.

Kepi
02-02-2016, 03:04 PM
more pics of the hot section.

Kepi
02-02-2016, 03:06 PM
Pictures of the exhaust duct

Kepi
02-02-2016, 03:07 PM
Pictures of exhaust duct

Kepi
02-02-2016, 03:08 PM
Pictures of pings from the inside out of the exhaust duct as the power turbines were expelled during flight.

Kepi
02-02-2016, 03:09 PM
Another picture of the exhaust duct

kepi89
04-09-2018, 06:57 AM
This sounds so much like what happened to my son flying for Martinaire Jan 13, 2013 but his was a fatality. He probably heard the bang, then squealing as the power turbine blades came apart damaging the exhaust ducts as they were ejected in the above pictures by an independent aviation accident investigator. He said the Caravan my son was flying had obvious engine failure. However, he was blamed with this spatial disorientation BS. I'm very interested in the final report on this similar Martinaire accident by the NTSB which parrots whatever Pratt Whitney says happened. Such a shame to innocent pilots and their families. They seem to p
rotect the industry above all.




Accident description
Last updated: 5 April 2018
Status: Preliminary - official
Date: Monday 3 July 2017
Time: 18:15
Type: Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster
Operator: Martinaire
Registration: N9714B
C/n / msn: 208B-0153
First flight: 1989
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: near Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport, TX ( United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature: Cargo
Departure airport: Alpine Airport, TX (ALE), United States of America
Destination airport: Eagle Pass-Maverick County Airport, TX (EGP), United States of America
Narrative:
A Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster cargo plane was damaged beyond repair in forced landing near Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport, Texas, USA. The pilot surived the accident.
The flight departed about 18:12. While climbing through about 500 ft agl, the pilot heard a loud bang, followed by a squealing noise and an immediate loss of engine power. The pilot released back pressure on the controls and pulled the propeller control to feather. During the forced landing, the right and left wings were damaged due to impact with power poles and the airplane came to rest in a field near Highway 118.



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