Fri, Jan 27, 2006
Claimed Three Lives, Lone Survivor Called For Help On Cell
Severe icing -- and the pilot's failure to plan sufficiently for
it -- were cited by the NTSB in its probable cause report on a
fatal January 2005 accident that caused a Beech King Air B-90 (file
photo of type, below) to stall and impact terrain near
Rawlins, WY. The plane had been dispatched to Rawlins to pick up a
car crash victim.
Up to 1 1/2 inches of ice clung to the King Air's vertical stab,
wings, right landing gear, and right propeller when the Yampa
Valley Air Ambulance pilot, Tim Benway, flew through heavy icing
conditions while approaching the Rawlins airport.
The NTSB report states an AIRMET was in effect at the airport
calling for "occasional moderate rime or mixed icing in clouds and
precipitation between the freezing level and flight level 220." The
freezing level was at the ground.
The NTSB also stated Benway failed to heed FAA Advisory Circular
(AC) 135-15, Emergency Medical Services/Airplane (EMS/A) which
includes the following: "Additional considerations when planning
IFR flights include the following: (1) Avoid flight in icing
weather whenever possible."
The agency found no evidence the air ambulance service pressured
Benway to take the flight in spite of the advisory, adding Benway
may have pressured himself to accept the mission.
As was reported last year in
Aero-News, the accident claimed the lives of Benway,
flight nurse Dave Linner, and nurse Jennifer Wells. Paramedic Tim
Baldwin survived, and used his cell phone to guide rescuers to the
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