AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 76

A person who was clearing trees across
the road from where the accident occurred
witnessed the crash. As he approached the
airplane, which had shattered in pieces
after hitting a nearby communications
tower, it was clear there was nothing he
could do to save the pilot, the sole occupant
of the Beechcraft King Air C90GT.
Only 36 minutes earlier that morning,
the pilot-who managed and flew the
King Air for the owner-had picked up
the owner and two passengers at Rigrtona
Airport (13PA) in Tidioute, Pennsylvania,
and dropped them off at Nemacolin Airport
(PA88) in Farmington, Pennsylvania.
As the National Transportation Board
(NTSB) investigators arrived at the accident
scene near Morgantown they were
faced with the difficult task of piecing
together this tragedy's puzzle and finding
answers to the many questions it posed.
Seeking answers
That June morning, the 22,000-hour airline
transport pilot approached Rigrtona
Airport for landing. He engaged the King
Air's enhanced ground proximity warning
system (EGPWS) " terrain inhibit "
switch-as was his routine when flying into
this airport, which was not in the system's
database-to allow the aircraft to operate
without nuisance warnings at the airport.
He would then disengage the inhibit
switch shortly after takeoff.
Once everyone had settled in, the
King Air departed 13PA and climbed to
8,000 feet msl for the 21-minute flight
from Rigrtona to Nemacolin. About half
a minute before touchdown, a passenger
remarked that he didn't hear any terrain
warning alert and the pilot responded that
he had " turned it off. " Shortly thereafter,
the pilot landed and parked the King Air-
shutting down both engines to allow his
passengers to disembark. The pilot said he
would be back the next day around 11 a.m.
to pick them up. As they got on a shuttle
bus for the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort,
the King Air pilot started the engines and
departed for the approximately 19-nautical-mile
flight to Morgantown Municipal
Airport (MGW) in West Virginia, to refuel
and spend the night.
76
AOPA PILOT / August 2021
We will never know why the pilot chose a direct
flight route near rising terrain and obstructions at a
cruise altitude of 3,100 feet msl-400 feet below the
published maximum elevation figure of 3,500 feet msl.
During the climbout from Nemacolin,
at 9:59:32 a.m., the pilot contacted
Clarksburg Approach to request radar
service, " Clarksburg, five-zero-eight Golf
Tango's 14 miles to the northeast landing
Morgantown. "
At 9:59:53, after obtaining the airplane's
type, the controller asked the pilot to
squawk transponder code 0130. The pilot
switched to the new code while the King
Air continued straight ahead at an indicated
altitude of about 3,000 feet msl and
a ground speed of approximately 217 knots.
Shortly thereafter, the controller contacted
the pilot: " King Air five-zero-eight
Golf Tango radar contact niner miles east
of Morgantown Airport, three thousand
one hundred, maintain VFR, expect
Runway One-Eight, advise when you
have the weather. "
A moment later, at 10:00:28, the
King Air's pilot responded, " Roger we're
getting it. "
At 10:01:05, the controller had a
27-second conversation with the pilot of
a C-130 executing a practice approach at
nearby Elkins-Randolph County Airport
(EKN), Elkins, West Virginia.
It was in that short timeframe that
the King Air N508GT hit the communications
tower antenna at approximately
3,000 feet msl.
At 10:01:38, the Clarksburg Approach
controller issued the first of several
instructions to the King Air pilot to contact
the Morgantown Tower at frequency
125.1 MHz, but to no avail-contact with
the pilot was lost.
The circumstances
Morgantown weather at 9:53 a.m. reported
winds out of 220 degrees at 5 knots, 9
miles visibility, a few clouds at 1,700 feet,
temperature 24 degrees Celsius, dew point
20 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting
of 29.95 inches of mercury.
The weather in the area showed clouds
around 1,500 to 2,000 feet above ground
level (agl) with a slight reduction in visibility
because of haze. Slant visibility could
have been slightly less than the reported
9-mile surface visibility, but investigators
estimated it was not below 7 miles.
However, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., satellite
images of the accident area showed
an increase in mid-level cloud cover, so
the pilot may have experienced reduced
visibility and possibly instrument meteorological
conditions from clouds at 1,500
to 3,000 feet agl.
Following a direct route from
Nemacolin to Morgantown meant the
pilot was flying close to rising terrain
and obstructions within the designated
mountainous area at his selected cruise
altitude of 3,100 feet msl. For example,
the Cincinnati Sectional Aeronautical
Chart depicts a maximum elevation figure
(MEF) of 3,500 feet based on the
highest known feature-including terrain
and obstructions-within the MEF's
quadrangle covering the area where the
accident happened.
The airplane had multiple aeronautical
charts onboard, and although they
were approximately two years out of date,
they did depict the tower hazard. In addition,
the pilot had a current subscription
with a flight planning provider, and he had
downloaded the most current software,
which gave the option to download VFR
and IFR aeronautical charts. However, the
two tablets discovered in the airplane were
damaged significantly and it could not be
determined if the pilot used either for navigation
at the time of the accident.

AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - BB1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - BB2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 79
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 82
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 101
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 104
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 107
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 108
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - August 2021 - Cover4
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