Accident Pilatus PC-12/45 N578DC, Sunday 5 July 2009
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Date:Sunday 5 July 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic PC12 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Pilatus PC-12/45
Registration: N578DC
MSN: 570
Year of manufacture:2004
Total airframe hrs:724 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:McCormick Farm, near Raphine, VA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Teterboro, NJ (TEB)
Destination airport:Tampa, FL (VDF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
While in instrument meteorological conditions flying 800 feet above the airplane’s service ceiling (30,000 feet), with no icing conditions reported, the pilot reported to the air traffic controller that he, “...lost [his] panel.” With the autopilot most likely engaged, the airplane began a right roll about 36 seconds later. The airplane continued in a right roll that increased to 105 degrees, then rolled back to about 70 degrees, before the airplane entered a right descending turn. The airplane continued its descending turn until being lost from radar in the vicinity of the accident site. The airplane impacted in a nose-down attitude in an open field and was significantly fragmented.

Postaccident inspection of the flight control system, engine, and propeller revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The flaps and landing gear were retracted and all trim settings were within the normal operating range. Additionally, the airplane was within weight and balance limitations for the flight. The cause of the pilot-reported panel failure could not be determined; however, the possibility of a total electrical failure was eliminated since the pilot maintained radio contact with the air traffic controller.

Although the source of the instrumentation failure could not be determined, proper pilot corrective actions, identified in the pilot operating handbook, following the failure most likely would have restored flight information to the pilot’s electronic flight display. Additionally, a standby attitude gyro, compass, and the co-pilot’s electronic flight display units would be available for attitude reference information assuming they were operational.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while in instrument meteorological conditions following a reported instrumentation failure for undetermined reasons.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA09FA376
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 4 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

05-Jul-2009 21:56 slowkid Added
06-Jul-2009 05:52 slowkid Updated
06-Jul-2009 23:49 slowkid Updated
01-Apr-2013 18:03 TB Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Source]
01-Apr-2013 18:05 TB Updated [Time, Location, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 15:46 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Jan-2021 09:29 The2ndBaron Updated [Damage]

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