Loss of control Accident Cessna 501 Citation I/SP N501RG, Saturday 8 February 2020
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Date:Saturday 8 February 2020
Time:10:13
Type:Silhouette image of generic C501 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 501 Citation I/SP
Owner/operator:Remonia Air
Registration: N501RG
MSN: 501-0260
Year of manufacture:1982
Total airframe hrs:8078 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:near Fairmount, GA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Atlanta-Peachtree City Falcon Field, GA (KFFC)
Destination airport:Nashville-John C. Tune Airport, TN (KJWN)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
The Cessna 501, N501RG, was destroyed after an inflight breakup near Fairmount, Georgia. All four occupants were fatally injured.

According to flight plan information, the accident flight was scheduled to depart at 09:30 from Atlanta-Peachtree Airport and arrive at Nashville-John C. Tune Airport, Tennessee around 10:22. Then, another flight plan was filed back to Peachtree Airport departing at 10:30 and arriving around 11:19. In addition, the flight plan noted in the remarks section that the flight was a "training flight."
The pilot in command, seated in the right seat, among others held a flight instructor certificate. He was also type rated in the Cessna 500.
The second in command, seated in the left seat, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. The pilot was scheduled to attend flight training to obtain a Cessna 500 type rating.
After departure the controller issued local weather information and instructed the pilots to climb to 7,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller issued the pilots a pilot report (PIREP) for trace to light rime icing between 9,000 ft and 11,000 ft, and one of the pilots acknowledged. Then, the controller instructed the pilots to climb to 10,000 ft and to turn right to 020°. The controller observed the airplane on a northwest bound heading and asked the pilots to verify their heading. A pilot responded that they were returning to a 320° heading, to which the controller instructed him to maintain 10,000 ft. The controller asked the pilots if everything was alright, and a pilot responded that they had a problem with the autopilot. The controller instructed the pilots to again maintain 10,000 ft and to advise when they were able to accept a turn. The controller again asked if everything was alright or if they needed assistance; however, neither pilot responded. The controller again asked the pilots if everything was under control and if they required assistance, to which one of the pilots replied that they were "OK now."
The airplane climbed to 10,500 ft and the controller instructed the pilots to maintain 10,000 ft and again asked if everything was under control. A pilot responded in the affirmative and stated that they were "playing with the autopilot" because they were having trouble with it, and the controller suggested that they turn off the autopilot and hand-fly the airplane. The airplane descended to 9,000 ft and the controller instructed the pilots to maintain 10,000 ft and asked them if they could return to the departure airport to resolve the issues. One of the pilots requested a higher altitude to get into visual flight rules (VFR) conditions, and the controller instructed him to climb to 12,000 ft, advised that other aircraft reported still being in the clouds at 17,000 ft, and asked their intentions. The pilot requested to continue to their destination and the controller instructed him to climb to 13,000 ft.
One of the pilots established communication with another controller at 11,500 ft and stated they were climbing to 13,000 ft on a 360° heading. The controller instructed the pilot to climb to 16,000 ft and inquired if their navigation issues were corrected. A pilot advised the controller that they had problems with the left side attitude indicator and that they were working off the right side. The controller cleared the airplane direct to the destination airport and asked if they were above the clouds as they were climbing through 15,400 ft. The airplane then began a left turn and soon after radar contact was lost at 10:13.
The main wreckage of the airplane was located around 1330 on the day of the accident. It came to rest in a wooded area, inverted, and partially submerged in a creek at an elevation of 703 ft mean sea level. Several parts of the airplane were not located in the vicinity of the main wreckage but were in the wooded area surrounding the main wreckage, consistent with an inflight breakup. The debris path was about 7,000 ft long on a 005° heading.

Probable Cause: The pilots’ loss of control in flight in freezing instrument meteorological conditions due to spatial disorientation and the cumulative effects of task saturation.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA20FA096
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 4 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

FAA
Flightaware tracklog
WSBTV

Location

Images:


photo (c) Niall Moran; unknown; 18 April 2017; (CC:by-nc-sa)


photo (c) Brian Gore; Atlanta-DeKalb Peachtree Airport, GA (PDK/KPDK); 08 October 2015

Revision history:

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