Riverside Plane Crash, Pilot Required Progressive Instructions - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Riverside Plane Crash, Pilot Required Progressive Instructions

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Riverside, CA -

On February 27, 2017, about 4:41pm, a Cessna T310Q, N1246G, was destroyed and consumed by post crash fire during a collision with a residential area following the airplane's departure from Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL), Riverside, California. The airline transport pilot and three passengers were fatally injured and two passengers received serious injuries. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed RAL at 4:40, and was destined for Norman Y. Mineta Airport San Jose International Airport (SJC), San Jose, California.

According to witnesses, the pilot and passengers indicated they were returning to their home in SJC at the conclusion of a brief stay in Southern California. The pilot completed a walk-around inspection of the airplane before boarding the flight with the passengers. He started the right engine, and then attempted to start the left engine. After several unsuccessful attempts, the left engine started, and the pilot contacted air traffic control (ATC).

A preliminary review of ATC audio revealed that the controller issued an IFR clearance to the pilot multiple times before he repeated the instructions back to the controller correctly. Witnesses that were listening to the pilot's communications with ATC reported that the pilot required progressive taxi instructions to runway 09, the departure runway. Once the pilot reached the runway, the controller read the departure clearance to the pilot, verbatim. After an uneventful runway departure, the airplane began a left turn as it entered the clouds.

A portion of the airplane's final moments of flight were captured by a surveillance video, which showed the airplane descend towards the ground in a slight left wing low attitude. The airplane disappeared behind a residence, which was immediately followed by the presence of fire and smoke.

The airplane came to rest in a residential area approximately 1 nautical mile northeast of RAL. The initial impact point (IIP) was identified by a broken chimney and a section of airframe located on the roof of a house. An intermediate impact point was marked by an adjacent house, which was consumed by fire, and set about 50 feet forward of the IIP. The main wreckage, comprised of the aircraft cabin, both engines, portions of the left and right wings, and the left propeller, was found in a bedroom on the southwestern end of a house about 100 feet beyond the IIP.

Various sections of the empennage, fuselage, and wings were distributed along the debris path from the IIP to the main wreckage and oriented on a heading of about 345 degrees magnetic. Left wing fragments were distributed throughout the front lawn of a house 75 feet forward of the main wreckage. The left auxiliary tank and a portion of the left main tank came to rest 100 feet beyond the main wreckage on the lawn of another residence. A section of the left main tank was found 200 feet forward of the main wreckage and co-located with the left aileron.

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