Cessna T310R, N6834L
Fire in the aircraft’s nose baggage compartment, which started in the vicinity of the cabin heater, caused the smell of smoke in the cockpit. This prompted the pilot to request a return to Leeds Bradford Airport six and a half minutes after he had taken off for a flight to Connaught (Knock) in Ireland. The aircraft successfully negotiated a level turn to the left at 3,400 feet onto a south-easterly heading but then started a rapid descent and a steep turn or series of turns where radio and radar contact was lost. This may have been the result of controlled flight or uncontrolled manoeuvres. The aircraft was seen to be flying slowly and ‘not in trouble’ a matter of seconds before it struck the ground. The aircraft crashed in a field at an elevation of 950 feet above mean sea level (amsl) approximately 0.5 nm to the south-south-east of the last radar return and within two minutes of loss of contact. Ground impact marks were consistent with an uncontrolled impact yet the positions of some of the controls suggested that the pilot may have been trying to make a forced landing, albeit with a tailwind, into a sloping field which may have appeared level from the air. Post mortem examination of the pilot concluded that there was no evidence of cabin air contamination which could have had an incapacitating effect and that he died as the result of multiple injuries sustained at the time of impact. One Safety Recommendation is made to the FAA concerning the inspection of combustion heaters.
Cessna T310R, N6834L 8-05.pdf (771.60 kb)