shivers9

Cessna Twin Explosion and Crash Yesterday

Recommended Posts

Just saw the news video about the Cessna Twin that seems to explode in mid air and crash in to a California housing area killing 5 people yesterday. The view that I saw looked much like the plane had explosives or something go off as it was coming out of the sky. I don't recall ever hearing of anything like fuel tanks exploding in the air on a small plane like this. I guess parts of the plane are spread over a 4 block area. Just wondering what you guys think? The only info they had was that it had just departed a near by airport and thunderstorms in the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

10 minutes ago, shivers9 said:

Just saw the news video about the Cessna Twin that seems to explode in mid air and crash in to a California housing area killing 5 people yesterday. The view that I saw looked much like the plane had explosives or something go off as it was coming out of the sky. I don't recall ever hearing of anything like fuel tanks exploding in the air on a small plane like this. I guess parts of the plane are spread over a 4 block area. Just wondering what you guys think? The only info they had was that it had just departed a near by airport and thunderstorms in the area.

A JetBlue A320 departing out of LAX yesterday was struck by lightning, and had to return. That’s not a common event for Southern California. That could be a possibility - but AVGAS is very flammable, and it was an older Cessna 414... If there was a fuel leak, or broken fuel line, that could cause the apparent in flight “explosion”. As could structural failure. Corrosion in spars and other load-bearing parts of an aircraft is always a possibility in older airframes. 

Very sorry there was loss of life on the aircraft, and on the ground. Hopefully the NTSB investigation will shed some light on what may have gone wrong, but it will probably be quite some time before that is completed.

Share this post


Link to post

Waiting on the final NTSB report.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The worst civil aviation crash near me that I remember was the crash into Sun Valley Mall, where an aircraft was trying to land at Buchanan Field in Concord, CA, the pattern went right over the mall.  I visited that mall often to Christmas shop but my guardian angel kept me home in Napa that holiday season.  The aircraft crashed into the center of the mall, near the Macy's.  I waited some time before returning to the mall, I was employed by an employer, Hotel Information Systems, a short distance away and I'd go to the mall sometimes for lunch.  But I always paused at Macy's and did a silent mediation for those that were lost and injured there.

John

http://articles.latimes.com/1985-12-24/news/mn-20817_1_bay-area-shoppers

Share this post


Link to post

Speculation on pprune is that it might have been losing control in IMC and then structural failure from pulling G's to avoid the ground. The fuselage on the ground has both wings detached, and there are lots of bits and pieces scattered on the ground in the surrounding area before impact. 

Share this post


Link to post

Ummm. There is a prolific California 414 owner with numerous videos on youtube. Believe he recently sold one 414, then acquired and re-equipped another.  Anyone have the reg number of the 414 in the mishap?

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, fppilot said:

Anyone have the reg number of the 414 in the mishap?

N414RS, according to Flightaware the registration is pending so the new owner wasn't listed yet?

 

Edited by MartinRex007

Share this post


Link to post

OK. Not a match for the two tail numbers of 414's in his videos.  Believe he just sold one, which is what caught my attention.  The youtube pilot goes by the handle of Air Wagner and the two tail numbers in his videos are:

N82TR
N8134Q

Share this post


Link to post

I too saw it on the news, and almost as importantly, heard it from a recording on some guys Ring system. It looked like it came straight down through the overcast, and based upon the pitch of the turbines, one of them blew. You could see the airplane/engine "explode" about 200 feet AGL, and the engines were just screaming. My first impression, given the stated age of the pilot (75) was a medical issue where he lost control and there being nobody else on board to recover.

I believe the house destruction was from the engine, since I saw of copter photo of a mostly intact fuselage. And it could have been much worse: the family was known for hosting epic Super Bowl parties and there were a lot of people in attendance.

Sad. I won't soon forget that sound...

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Howellerman said:

It looked like it came straight down

 

1 hour ago, Howellerman said:

I saw of copter photo of a mostly intact fuselage

Guess we will have to wait for the investigation.

Share this post


Link to post

I believe that I read a news account that the pilot was 75 years old...  Can it be determined if that was a factor? 

Share this post


Link to post

Been hearing a lot of airplane crash reports on the news involving us older folks.  I think I'll stick to computer flying😉

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, charliearon said:

Been hearing a lot of airplane crash reports on the news involving us older folks.  I think I'll stick to computer flying😉

lol. Learned that years ago. The Wiley Coyote syndrome. Nobody dies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
18 hours ago, JRBarrett said:

but AVGAS is very flammable

Not in the way most people think of flammability. You can drop a lit match into a bucket of regular 87 octane pump gas and the gas will just extinguish the match. Avgas is a little less flammable than that, at 100 octane. Something needs to be 250+ degrees F before gasoline will ignite by itself.

Fuel vapors can be problematic in the right circumstances (such as those in the cylinder - you have to atomize fuel in the cylinder and then hit it with a big spark before it will flash over), so if you have a poorly-insulated plug wire that's sparking to the cylinder head, *and* you have a fuel leak that's releasing vapors near the spark then you can potentially have a problem. But if the vapors are being blown away from an errant ignition source by the 100+mph apparent wind over the plane, that wouldn't be a biggie either.

 

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, Adrian123 said:

Waiting on the final NTSB report.

That's the smart and appropriate thing to do. 

Share this post


Link to post

For a while after I lost my FAA medical about once a quarter I'd go to the local FBO and rent an airplane and an instructor.  She would sit in the right hand seat and I'd do the flying just to keep somewhat current.  She was there for security.  It would let me get up into the sky four time a year.  But then it got too expensive.

Noel

 

Share this post


Link to post

From the sounds the it seems like they lost control in IMC,over G’d. Which would explain the burning wreckage coming out of the cloud deck

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, eslader said:

Not in the way most people think of flammability. You can drop a lit match into a bucket of regular 87 octane pump gas and the gas will just extinguish the match. Avgas is a little less flammable than that, at 100 octane. Something needs to be 250+ degrees F before gasoline will ignite by itself.

Fuel vapors can be problematic in the right circumstances (such as those in the cylinder - you have to atomize fuel in the cylinder and then hit it with a big spark before it will flash over), so if you have a poorly-insulated plug wire that's sparking to the cylinder head, *and* you have a fuel leak that's releasing vapors near the spark then you can potentially have a problem. But if the vapors are being blown away from an errant ignition source by the 100+mph apparent wind over the plane, that wouldn't be a biggie either.

 

The maintenance hangar of an FBO I worked at in the early 1990s burned to the ground because an aircraft owner had carelessly drained about 3 gallons of 100LL AVGAS into a plastic bucket on a dry winter day. The bucket was just sitting on the floor under the wing when the vapors spontaneously ignited from what was most likely a small static spark. The hangar, four aircraft, and many aircraft logbooks stored in an office were lost within minutes. No injuries thankfully.

The flashpoint of Avgas is negative 43C, which means it vaporizes readily at normal room temperature. The auto ignition temperature is close to 250 C, but it takes only a very small ignition source to set it off.

I would agree that you could drop a lit match into a bucket of Jet-A, and it would only put the match out - but if you try that with a bucket of 100 or 87 octane Avgas, (or auto gas for that matter), you will have an instant conflagration (unless you happen to be in an inert gas atmosphere, or at the North Pole in the middle of winter). 

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, that's essentially what I said. The liquid won't burn. But the gasoline will vaporize at room temperature and the vapor above the liquid gasoline can ignite.

But as I also said, if you're constantly blowing that fuel vapor away with a >100mph wind, it gets a lot less dangerous. Not to say that it definitely didn't explode due to a fuel leak, but looking at the wreckage, I'm leaning more toward the people who suspect he ripped the wings off in a high-G pullout.

 

All that aside, an interesting new development: CNN is now reporting that the dead pilot had a fake Chicago police badge on him at the time of the crash. That's... Odd.

 

Edited by eslader

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, eslader said:

All that aside, an interesting new development: CNN is now reporting that the dead pilot had a fake Chicago police badge on him at the time of the crash. That's... Odd.

Was it fake? Or just a mistaken claim by the Orange County Sheriff's office? There are more than thirty separate jurisdictions in the Chicagoland area.

CId6Y.png

Share this post


Link to post

Great question. One of the problems with the modern media cycle is that news managers refuse to allow time for actually checking facts before rushing to air with them, and so for the first several days after any incident, bad information gets out. I suspect it'll be a few more days before we can start, sort of, relying on what we're told here.

About all I'm sure of right now is that it was an airplane. 😉

 

Share this post


Link to post

...and ground! Let's not forget the ground...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

There are a million things that could have caused this accident.  No one knows what caused the accident and those who think they do are just speculating.  It will take the NTSB at least a year to determine the cause and issue a report.  

Grace and Peace, 

Edited by Bluestar
typo

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, eslader said:

One of the problems with the modern media cycle is that news managers refuse to allow time for actually checking facts before rushing to air with them, and so for the first several days after any incident, bad information gets out. I suspect it'll be a few more days before we can start, sort of, relying on what we're told here.

Just like here?

Share this post


Link to post

"Here" is just a bunch of people yakking. It's not expected that we live up to journalistic standards on internet talk forums.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now