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Narrative:A Cessna 310R, N310JR, was substantially damaged during a collision with flat terrain following an uncontrolled descent after takeoff from Symrna/Rutherford County Airport (MQY), Symrna, Tennessee. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the test flight which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
|Operator:||Hudson Mangagement Inc|
|C/n / msn:|| 310R1253|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Smyrna, Tennesse -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Symrna/Rutherford County Airport, TN (MQY)|
|Destination airport:||Symrna/Rutherford County Airport, TN (MQY)|
A review of radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the radar target identified as the accident airplane was tracked for about two minutes of flight. The airplane departed MQY on a southerly heading and climbed to an altitude of 3,200 feet mean sea level (msl). The radar track showed two targets at 3,200 feet, a target at 3,100 feet, and then a target displayed at 2,700 feet. After that, no further targets were displayed. The targets were displayed at 6-second intervals, and the last few targets were almost directly over the crash site.
Several witnesses provided written statements, and all described a nose-down, vertical descent to ground contact. Witnesses described the engine sound as "Full throttle," "wide open," "really loud," and "never let up on [the] throttle." Others said the engine was "puttering" or "quit" before the descent. One said he thought the airplane was a "meteorite."
According to the airplane's owner, the flight was one in a series of maintenance acceptance flights after the installation of a new avionics suite and a new autopilot system. All of the features of the system tested satisfactorily on the ground, but did not yet function as designed in flight. According to the technician who performed the installation and troubleshooting work on the airplane, the accident flight was the second flight of the day, and the fourth in the series. He accompanied the pilot on the first flight that day, and had spoken to an autopilot manufacturing representative upon their return. Another troubleshooting procedure was performed, the technician left for lunch, and the pilot departed on his own.
From NTSB ERA11FA185:
"The wreckage was examined at the accident site on March 12, 2011. There was a strong odor of fuel, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The airplane struck the ground 90 degrees nose down, on a level field of mowed grass, and was almost entirely contained inside the initial impact crater. Only fragments of sheet metal, plexiglass, and individual instruments and radios were found outside the crater. The impact crater was limited to the outline of the airplane, and was consistent with a vertical descent."
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