...and Instructor Error
When we brought you the aad news last August, we hoped the
NTSB would resolve the mystery of why a CAP C-182 had gone down in
the mountains of east Tennessee, taking the lives of three local
men. The following quotes from NTSB reports, and brings you up to
date, as the final report has now been issued.
Fred Vatcher, 64, of Dyer County, was in the back seat of the
plane, and was planning on renewing his mountain-flying SAR
certification. P-I-C Chuck Hall, 39, of Maryville, was rated in
several types of aircraft, and was issued an airline transport
pilot certificate on August 17, 2001, with ratings for airplane
multiengine land, instrument airplane, and commercial pilot
certificate, airplane single engine land.
The check pilot, Gerald McLinn, 47, of Knoxville, was issued an
airline transport pilot certificate on August 19, 1999, with
ratings for airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane, and a
commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single
engine land. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate
issued on October 20, 2000, with ratings for airplane single and
multiengine land, and instrument airplane.
The NTSB report says, "A witness
stated he and a friend were on Cross Mountain that day scouting for
deer, when an airplane flew over their location at a very low
altitude. The airplane flew into the valley and made about six
steep left turns at about 45-degrees angle of bank. The airplane
was so low that the witness could see the people in the airplane
waving at them. The airplane flew back over their location at about
1620, flew back into the valley, and was observed to make another
steep turn to the left before the airplane disappeared from view.
They heard the engine go wide open and then heard a sound a few
seconds later like trees popping."
Banking increases stall speed, remember?
The NTSB noted, "Review of the Cessna Information Manual for the
Skylane Model 182R revealed the stall speeds with no flaps at
30-degree angle of bank is 54 knots indicated airspeed ( KIAS), at
45-degree angle of bank is 60 KIAS, and 60-degree angle of bank is
It didn't look like a mechanical failure. The Board said,
"Examination of the airframe, and flight controls revealed no
evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction. All
components necessary for flight were present at the crash site.
Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch,
roll, and yaw."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the
probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to follow procedures pertaining to
mountain flying, and the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed that
resulted in an inadvertent stall and subsequent in-flight collision
with trees and terrain. A factor was the certified flight
instructor inadequate supervision of the training flight.
When the report was released last week, Maj. James Lawson,
public affairs officer for the CAP's Tennessee Wing, said he wasn't
surprised that pilot error was cited as the cause of the crash; but
he did note that CAP's accident rate is considerably lower than
GA's overall rate.