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3 killed in small plane crash near Hobby Airport - KHOU - KHOU News

Cirrus crashed just off of Hobby Airport this afternoon. ( 기타...

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homburge 10
I'm not sure what to make of all this. When I listen to the full ATC (which starts closer to 1748Z), I hear a pilot who does not seem to be worried about the busy-ness of an air-carrier airport.

What I did hear, though, was on the very first attempt to land, the tower controller getting a bit impatient that the traffic *behind* was closing fast, and possibly the SR20 didn't get down fast enough; so the Tower calls the SR20 off in order to make room for SW235 to land without having to go around.

I'm not sure, but my sense is that the FARs say the lower-altitude traffic has priority on landing, but obviously a controller can alter that. However, this could have been the first link in the accident chain. I don't know whether the SR20 could have landed long (assuming she was on a high approach), but rwy 4 is 7600' long, so there's a chance that had SW235 been sent around, the SR20 could have landed safely, eventually, on rwy 4, and the rest of the story would not have happened.

Next, there seems to be confusion on the (first) go-around. The tower puts the SR20 into a right downwind for rwy 35, which makes sense, but then the controller issues a "turn left heading 30 degrees" for some unknown reason, taking the SR20 away from the 35 pattern. Then, a second controller comes on and offers her to follow a 737 to rwy 4, which she would like. But it seems she is now headed AWAY from the airport, but given clearance to land on a runway that is both behind her and in the same direction as she's now heading. Which means a full 360-degree pattern to get back to it.

More confusion on the radio (about which right base the tower wants her on, if any??), and the now-exasperated Second Controller clears her to land on 35. It sounds like this would work out (I can see it on paper), but her next call is "I don't believe I'm lined up for that [rwy 35]". Which confuses me now, since I can't tell what's she's lined up for. Then the (Second) controller sends her into a right turn to about 040 which again would take the SR20 away from the airport.

A few moments later, the Tower gives the SR20 a right turn back to 35, and tells another plane that the SR20 is on a one-mile final. So all this maneuvering is happening in a small area... But this approach is evidently high, according to the tower, so he calls the missed and the SR20 goes around again. Rwy 35 is 6000 feet long, so perhaps all the maneuvering was done too close to the field -- i.e., the tower should have waited for the SR20 to fly a bit further out before coming back around to land this time.

For the next approach, we hear that the SR20 is cleared again onto 35, even though the tower says there's no traffic on rwy 4 (which would have been better given the winds). Another link in the accident chain??

Then the SR20 misses 35, sounds like she was high this time, and the controller gives a left turn back to the rwy 4 downwind, and he's advising her about the traffic situation for rwy 4, and in the middle of it there's the "Straighten up, straighten up" call, and that's the end.

Through it all (except for maybe this last turn), the SR20 pilot sounds composed and in control of her airplane, given all the stuff going on around, the traffic calls, and the changes in plan. I don't get the sense that she's too low-time for the work at Hobby, and certainly she's not daunted by landing with big iron around nor overwhelmed by the controllers at a major airport. Something else must have gone wrong here -- fuel starvation? stall-spin at a low airspeed while maneuvering in close?

I don't know, but this seems to me an accident that shouldn't have happened and one from which we can all learn a lot.
cwfmd 7

Very sad situation, condolences to the family and friends.

What can we learn? It was a long flight with stress related to a family cancer crisis. This should raise concerns before any flight planning. The initial final approach to rwy 4 was too slow, and possibly too high and long, to sequence between busy airliners, on final. Rwy 4 is the longest and was the optimum rwy: wind check was 080 at 13 gusts to 18. Houston Hobby is a major hub for SWA and other airlines. You can hear this sequencing stress developing, with experience, but the task saturated student pilot has a full plate just doing the basics. There is no processing capacity left for pilot, but others may have detected the stress.

The pilot was rattled by the initial go around and then accepts the crosswind runway and (out of limit? personal mins?)winds without processing the information. She seems to hear this as an ATC directive, when in fact it was posed as a question: "can you accept 35 winds 090 at 13 gusts 18". At this point perhaps she should have diverted to a quiet uncontrolled field like Pearland less than 5 minutes south and KAXH about 7 min with favorable winds to rwy 9. It is evident that she did not understand or process the winds because she drifts across the final approach course to 35 while on downwind. there seems to be three aborted approaches to 35. The controller is very patient and reassuring throughout, but he cannot instruct the pilot or divert the busy flow into Hobby at this point. Hindsight is 20-20.
What was the pressure to land at Hobby? We cannot rescue this family, but think about what you would do, and how to plan ahead. (Somebody once said "don't risk yourself or your family for a rental car reservation") Perhaps the pilot was not recently proficient at such a busy airport. The home base at Norman may not have been so constrained. Sometime siblings or spouses in the cockpit can add to the pilots workload? Nobody's fault, but something to consider in a task saturation condition like this. I think there was a shift change or a supervisor attempted to intervene for the tower controller. I think this was a good move and crew concept. If you have an experienced or senior copilot, wouldn't you ask him or her to try after the third missed?
helpful data:
The critical exchange occurs at 17:22:55 when the tower calls "Cirrus 52 Golf Tower".
I suspect the controller has recognized the task saturation and waits for the pilot to answer. Aviate, navigate, communicate. It is hard to listen, retrospectively, as these three priorities degrade from right to left.
Only then does he (1)issue the go around directive, (2)gives the reasoning, (3)gives the next step for downwind to 35, gives missed approach instructions (4)rwy hdg, (5)maintain VFR, and then (6)gives the winds and (7)asks if she can accept 35. He has issued seven separate pieces of info (which are required by regulation- he has no options here). The pilot only reads back two or three of seven, "go around, rwy 35, and turn downwind", and these may be lower priority of all these elements. Tower catches the error here and calmly reminds "runway heading". His workload is now starting to stack up. We cannot hear all he is hearing but approach probably has two more fast airliners turning final for 4, and he's trying to get the student out of the stress zone onto 35. This was common strategy for students as long as 50 years ago when I was there, in this scenario, but the gusty crosswinds have aggravated this strategy. The controller cannot divert this pilot-- that must be requested by the PIC. The time for repeating the winds again, or having a CFI debrief about diverts, or crosswinds, or wake turbulence, or fuel exhaustion have been exhausted already.

This is instrument rating or at least commercial pilot level of workload. Even with these ratings, regular practice and experience is necessary.
Dana had flown the same route the day before shuttling family.
cwfmd 1
I was looking at the turn 30 left call and realized from the diagram that she is on downwind for 4, even though she read back downwind for 35. The overshooting tailwind at almost 20 knots is causing disorientation. There is also a probability of a wide runway illusion, discussed here by FAA safety: google spatiald_visillus.pdf
The tower actually figures this out and calls her traffic at 2 o'clock and tells her to follow the traffic to 4, caution wake turbulence. With task saturation she has turned 30 left away from the traffic she was to follow and rwy 35 is now passing behind at her 6 o'clock. She could have landed on 4 into the wind, but she had lost orientation and may not have any idea where 35 is now or what to do. So the controller "calls her base" now back to 35 and so on.
What confuses me is why were they trying to land her on 35 with what accounts to be a 15-20 knot tail wind. I heard no aircraft utilizing runways 17 or 12L/R during the ATC transmissions and unless I missed it, saw no closures of those runways on NOTAMS. Seems everyone would have been using those runways based on the winds alone. Maybe a low time pilot in over her head but the controllers certainly didn't help matters. Pick a runway already, work with her to get on it, and if a Southwest has to go around, oh well.
hou1crj 5
Yep I saw that too; however, it comes down to this, we are the pilots and should let ATC know what we are thinking or wanting.

I am a low time pilot, 450 hours, since 2007. When I was taken lessons for my pilot license, we visited the Tower at MSY, which I received the best advice for ATC, "let us know what you want, as we can't read your thoughts." There is more to this conversation, but that was the main point. ATC is going to do what they do, follow their processes, unless you ask for something different.

2 years later coming in from Houston to New Orleans (KMSY), same day has the Hudson River Miracle, MSY was landing on 10 (from the west, heading east) and departing from 01 (departing to the north), with the winds out of 010 (from the north)blowing 20-25 knots. I was in a piper PA28-180, coming into land 10, with 20 knot crosswind. Let just say, I called a go-around. When tower acknowledge, tower asked, is there something we can do for you. I came back, I would like to land 01, on your departing runway, which he proceed to say, " proceed on coarse and make right traffic for 01". This was way more easier.

My heart goes out to the family of this accident. So sad...

Hobby was landing 04 and departing from 12R, with the wind coming from 11, but variable from 09 - 12 and gusting at times. 35 would be a bad choice for most aircraft. When the controller ask the pilot to go-around, due to spacing on rwy 04, and changed to 35... and mentioned the wind, I would have had to say something right there, specially on the first try on 35 which was high.

For me, I would put some blame on the controllers, putting the pilot is bad situation. Then a little on the pilot, for not being more demanding with ATC, after ATC told the pilot the winds.

And last, always... always fly the plane... unless it was fuel starvation, like "homburge" posted above.
Thanks hou1crj for the info.
nitehawk 3
HOU tries to keep GA on 17/35 as part of standard ops from my understanding. GA terminal is a quick left turn from midfield 35.
Thanks nitehawk, I thought there might be a reason for this.
30west 2
WW, it wasn't a 15-20 knot tailwind. Some background info, the numerous SWA jets or any another air carrier jets wouldn't be landing on Rwy35 if the tailwind was 15-20 knots because it's unsafe and illegal due to the max tailwind component for the Boeings on T/O and landing is 10 knots on a dry runway.

Landing on Rwy 35 the wind reported by the tower to the pilot was 090 at 13 with gusts to 18. That is almost a direct crosswind, with a slight tailwind component of 2-3 knots based upon the steady state wind and the wind gusts.

For an inexperienced pilot (and I don't know the details for this pilot) the crosswind would be sporty.
hou1crj 1
Double check the metar and listen to atc archive. Winds was mostly from 110 varying from 90-120. I think flightaware and weather underground has the history.
cwfmd 4
On the tower freq recording he gives the winds 090 at 13 gusts 18 when he asks the pilot if she can accept RWY 35. With task saturation, she never answers his question, about wind, but just follows the controllers suggestion. She actually turns downwind for RWY 4 and the tower clears her to land on 4. Then she turned back to 35. At that point the controller says "I can't tell what you are doing now or your position so just turn back to 35" when you sort it out. That's pretty amazing flexibility given the backlog of airliners starting to stack up on 4 approach. In my experience at Hobby, RWY 35 is out of the heavy flow and a good place to allow a task saturated pilot to catch up, only the winds were unfavorable. That wind is not the controllers error, but the preflight planning. Preflight weather would have suggested runway 9 at Houston Southwest, KAXH where a rental car is available and not that much farther out from their destination. An uncontrolled field more similar to the pilot's experience and no airline speed challenges.
You know, I see it differently. She was going in from the NW, going SE, lining up clearly for runway 4, despite having been told to enter a "right base for runway 35". It was as she was approaching the airport area that she was given the instruction to "turn left 30 degrees", not after the go-around...she was being vectored for spacing and sequence.

So my first observation is that this poor girl lost her situational awareness long enough to think she was lined up on the appropriate runway when in fact she was not. A good opportunity to catch that would have been when the controller mistakenly told her to enter a "right base for runway 35". How exactly is she supposed to do that, with landing traffic on short final for runway 4? Cross over midfield and enter a right downwind for 35 and THEN a right base?? I don't think so!

So this girl, although measured in her tone, I think was drowning in the cockpit. Overwhelmed and missing details. The constantly changing controller instructions didn't help, but first I'd love some of the experts on here to help me understand what I'm missing in regards to the "enter right base 35" instruction.
well, i may have egg on my face. The last link I followed for ATC audio said it picked up at 24:45, but it appears I missed some back and forth before that. I was wrong.
cwfmd 1
This is a good learning point. Even with all my extra (unstressed) time to analyze, looking at video records, weather, listening to the tower recording, it is still confusing. This can remind us of how confusing this was to those, who had to react in real time. I believe that any pilot can be overwhelmed if luck or fate deal the bad, loosing hand. Thus, our best survival strategy is to share our experiences and strategies. The scenario training adopted by FAA and AOPA reflect this concept.
I'm probably not objective enough*, however from what I hear the controller was getting flustered and creating some confusion in the cockpit that didn't need to be there. Then, I think she got so focused on following the controllers directions she didn't notice the loss of airspeed and stalled. Very sad day.

*I was an acquainted with the husband of the pilot and to a much lesser extent the pilot herself. They were good people and will be missed. Those recordings are hard to listen to. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families.
Lots of good points, however, hindsight would have been to bring her straight in on 12R with LAHSO 4. I'm guessing that it would have been easier for the controller to manage the arrivals on 4 and 12R than 4 and 35, but this is a pilot point of view only and I haven't checked the tower location on the airport. I realize this is an air carrier airport but there isn't a jet jockey around that wouldn't gladly do a missed to get troubled aircraft safely on the ground!
cwfmd 1
Land and Hold short of 4 is a reasonable idea, except she seemed unable to get down to land, either because she was seeing the "wide Runway illusion" or was just disoriented at a unfamiliar airport and flow. I think she kept overshooting the runway because she was too high. This would have been obvious to the controller and would rule out a LAHSO. She was unable to "hold short" of even the far end of the runway, on 4 attempts. Very sad. Divert! Nothing at Hobby that day was worth this.
Incident summary --
Chris B 3
I'm afraid that the FAA accident investigation will read like so many others.

That there was a chain of many small mistakes that lead up to this accident.
Most likely most of the blame will land on the pilot, this accident is similar in a lot of ways to the SR22 crash in Melbourne, FL back in 2012.
I lived in Cocoa Beach when that occurred and studied it. I think the proximal blame for that one is on the controller who failed to give sequencing instructions and then lost SA of where the two Cirrus were. The accident pilot should have said "unable" when instructed to make the ridiculously tight turn.

The controller was taken off duty within very few minutes of that accident. On the recording, you could tell he was distraught. I wonder if anything like that was done at HOU.
Ruger9X19 -1
The full Probable Cause can be found here.

Essentially they found the pilot at fault with ATC as a factor.

Aircraft-Aircraft oper/perf/capability-Performance/control parameters-Airspeed-Not attained/maintained - C

Personnel issues-Action/decision-Action-Incorrect action performance-Pilot - C

Environmental issues-Operating environment-Air traffic/operating proc-ATC clearance procedure-Compliance w/ procedure - F

Findings Legend: (C) = Cause, (F) = Factor
I can see where the tower controllers will be seen as a contributing factor to this unfortunate accident. Since there were two different voices fron the tower frequency, I'm guessing this was a trainee and a trainer scenario. Neither controller issued wake turbulence cautions upon telling N52G to turn right base for runway 35 and follow the Southwest 737.
Yes all these armchair accident investigation experts analysing solely on public broadcast radio/ATC.
nitehawk 3
ATC Archive
linbb 3
Listened to it she was in over her head from the first approach you could tell by the way she was talking to ATC.
All she had to do was tell the tower she needed into the wind if possible and a long approach.
He tried his best with her short of telling every one to hold out so she could land.
It was too bad she sounded low time the way she was talking.
nitehawk 0
That was my impression as well. Hobby seems an unusual destination airport as well - Ellington is pretty close and not nearly as busy that seems like it would be a much better choice.
That's a rough airport to have confusion in a Cirrus with all that Southwest traffic. RIP.
wow, a lot of comments, some pretty interesting. I like the one who said she sounded low time! As long as we are relating experiences and opinions.......the safest place for this pour soul would have been right over the airport. Before I let anyone solo I taught them that you are not the only a/c in the air so be prepared for a G/A. Most controllers should recognize very quickly when a plane is in difficulty and (sorry here) but instruct the pilot to climb immediately and turn xwind at midfield or call the turn for the pilot, get her up to circuit altitude and have her fly full field circuits until the controller can get everyone sorted out, including approach control, then let her fly a normal circuit to a landing. If fuel starvation is an issue, you she could still call an emergency and still glide to a touchdown. By asking her to keep it in tight, offering multiple runways/ headings, getting her further away from the airport, assumes an experience level not borne out by the ending. Tragic.
bbabis 1
This was Houston Hobby. You would expect a pilot intending to land there to have the capability to land there. The controller did all that one could expect and more. It didn't work out. The pilot's limits were exceeded quickly followed by the aircraft's. It is tragic because of all the other options the pilot had in the Houston area.
I agree, but sometimes the controller has to bring the situation down to it's common denominator. Also possibly a medical situation degrading whatever ability remained...who knows. However, one thing that is puzzling, the parachute system not being activated, even as a last attempt?
bbabis 2
The only other option for the controller was to declare an emergency on the pilot's behalf and that is a tough call. Not being in the cockpit no one knows what the pilot was going through. The investigation may shed some light. As far as the parachute goes, the loss of control was quick and the pilot probably never gave it a thought even if it could have worked from that altitude..
Good point.
I think he was trying to get her to that point, but the rest of the world was 50 knts faster And SWA. Been in and outta there too many times to count. From pistons twins to CL60's and even a Jetstar a couple of times. Been out to see the beach and the toolies in slower airplanes, all the while that SWA or two slides by you on your 45 degree vector. That mentality doesn't stop, for anything.
She ran out of fuel. That's my speculation. Amidst the confusion and disorientation that's been described by many here, which I agree with, she must have overlooked one thing: that she hadn't brought an hour's worth of fuel reserve like youre supposed to. The images show no fuel spillage either.

From ABC 13's coverage:
"In the seconds before the plane crashed, eyewitnesses say they heard something that could prove critically important to investigators. "You ever listen to those guys playing with toy airplanes? How the spit and sputter. That's what he sound like," said eyewitness Don Howard.

That sound was corroborated by others nearby."
Day VFR minimum is actually only 30 minutes of reserve.

However, it has already been reported by the FBO where they departed from that the plane had received a full tank. That would have been about 5 hours fuel for only a 3 hour flight, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that maybe it wasn't leaned properly and was consuming more fuel than the cruise performance charts show.
Hopefully some will take a lesson from this and put into smaller airports. EFD would've done fine instead of running with the midsized elephants at HOU. There is even a greater variety of types at EFD.
allench1 2
no fire-no fuel, her attention had been refocused on all the unnecessary deviations by the controller while trying to land at this airport with planes that have much faster approach speeds, she got behind the plane. so sad
hou1crj 1
Interesting flight pattern over Hobby. Wonder if something happen to the pilot or had issues with the plane... or maybe wind.
linbb 1
Pretty much pilot error over there heads when it came time to fly it in winds. Came up snake eyes.
bbabis 1
From the video it sure looks like a stall spin. The nose was down and it was rotating. The propeller was also turning but doesn't necessarily mean there was power. The sputtering sounds reported by witnesses could be caused by the doppler effect of a normal running engine that was in a spin. The partial opening of the chute could have been from impact or it being deployed way to late. The reason for the spin is the question. Running out of gas does not cause a spin if that happened. A tight turn and bottom rudder to line up with a runway would. A better chance would be a wake turbulence encounter. Prayers for the families involved. R.I.P.
I was just wondering if the pilot was instrumented rated? I would expect that with a complex single like the SR20 is.
hou1crj 1
Live ATC has good audio for this flight.... Pilot was told to go-around for 4, due to traffic behind, then two go-arounds for 35. winds from 90 to 110... crosswind and tailwind.

Live ATC starts around 17:30 (around the 10 minute mark... 17:40ish) clip around for the go-around for 4... then the archive at 18:00 has the rest.

KHOU and look up 17:30 and 18:00 for 6/9
I'm not a pilot or a flight controller... As a passenger and someone who enjoys the benefits of those incredibly skilled folks, I often want to listen in as I depart or land. Most airlines have quit providing that feature, so it's rare now. This is one of those days that I wouldn't want to be listening in, because it was obviously a very stressful time. You could tell from the sound of his voice that the controller saw the Cirrus go down. Yet he had to maintain his composure in order to keep all the other folks pointed in the right direction. Sad day for all involved.
Sounds like she was low time and over her head; she should have said "unable" to accept 35 from the very start. If she was out of fuel, then she should have fessed -up and asked for immediate help. Maneuvering in gusty winds, wake turbulence, and tight turns didn't help her plight. Very sad. RIP.
Chris B 1
Article includes close circuit video of aircraft impacting the ground.

Viewer discretion advised.
this footage was shown on one of our local tv statione..the others chose to show a 'still shot" of the shadow, and a "still shot" of the plane on top of the car right after sad..
I wonder how many n-numbers have been involved in multiple fatal crashes. This one was also a Cessna 425 that killed 4 at Centennial in 2005.
What a sad chain of events! 3 lives lost for absolutely no good reason. It is heart wrenching to hear the recording for this at liveatc. Whether it was fuel starvation resulting in loss of control or tight turns, cross rudder and slow speed causing a spin stall, I have a feeling this accident report and recording will be used as a case study in many safety training events in the future. Prayers for the three souls lost in this crash.
At 1752 Z, prior to beginning the approach descent, winds were reported as 080 at 13 gusting 18 Kt. That gave equal crosswind for runways 04 and 12. On the first approach (to 04) the pilot slowed to 68 kt and descended to 400 ASL by the 2nd approach light or about 1/3 mile before the threshold (about right for a 3 deg approach slope), then ballooned (?) up to 500 ASL at 2 lights before threshold at 76 Kt (evidence of gusting) and again down to 400 ASL at 91 Kt by 1500' and just before taxiway H2, at 1757 Z. The ATC audio seems out of synch, since the "go around for traffic behind" instruction comes at 23:07 on the 1730 Z recording, or 1753 z, but it seems to me that instruction occurred when she still had lots of runway to land on. I have no Cirrus time (700+ h in the C172M), but it seems crosswind approach speeds are 85-90 Kt for 1/2 flap or no-flap, while the pilot typically got down to 73-76 Kt at the lowest descent points. On the two attempts to land on 35 the pilot descended to 200 ASL & 100 ASL just south of the F taxiway, with too little runway left for landing. Winds were 100 at 15 gusting 20 and then 090 at 13 gusting 18 for the runway 35 approaches.

The last ADSB reported speed was 55 Kt, which is the landing configuration stall speed. If you closely watch the video you can see the shadow rotating counterclockwise. The last tracing shows a left turn to join the left traffic circuit pattern for 04, and just prior the pilot was instructed to "keep it tight". Tight turn at stall speed = spin. Remember that at 60 degrees bank G force doubles and stall speeds rise, The pilot lost sight of the ASI. It doesn't take long to fall from 400 ASL, not long enough to effectively deploy the insurance parachute.

As another has written, had ATC let the pilot land on 04 rather than instructing to go-around, likely none of this discussion would have taken place. As far as runway and winds, 35 was the WORST choice given the winds, with either a complete crosswind or even slight tail wind, while 12 was likely the BEST, with wind quartering at 040 to 020 from the left, and 04 second best/worst, as wind quartered from 040 to 060 from the right.

Given the go-around from 04, Tower should have instructed the pilot to climb and join the mid-downwind for an extended left pattern to 12, as needed for departing aircraft & wake turbulence should the Cirrus land long. The upset occurred NW of the field and I doubt wake turbulence as a cause, as the departing aircraft would not generate it until rotation, perhaps mid runway 12, and it would blow westward over runway 35 (!), while the wake turbulence from aircraft landing on 04 would also be blown predominantly over the first half of runway 35 (!). Perhaps the pilot understood where the greatest wake turbulence risk lay, and so deliberately but unsuccessfully tried to land long on 35. It makes me wonder what the Tower was thinking?

This accident could have been avoided had ATC chosen the most appropriate runway, and failing that had the pilot kept the airspeed up while turning to join the 04 left downwind leg.

Best practice: always ask for the the most IN THE WIND runway.

Incidentally, a 737 first slows to 200 Kt, then flies the actual approach at between 124 & 140 Kt, per a Boeing pdf, which is about 50% faster than the SR20 approach speed.

Occasionally when I have had priority over commercial traffic I've offered to fly a circle to let them pass, since they burn more in a go-around than I would in an hour, perhaps my whole flight. It doesn't matter whether that is measured in pounds, gallons, greenbacks, or greenhouse gasses, the light GA going around is always the least entropic.
meaning no disrespect lance defoa..the speculating and spouting off of your own facts and figures sppears to be a bit pompous..were you there that day? are you an air traffic controller? are you with the ntsb and have personal knowledge of the pilots credentials,how experienced she was with that aircraft,or actually how busy hobby is with commercial aircraft at various bank times of the day?why don't we all out of respect for the families of the three who died,hold off on further commentary without the facts from the experts...thank you
Meaning no disrespect to MSW, and all due respects to the deceased, This is (or was) an aviation first website, not FB. I have been a poster here virtually since its inception (Hello Preacher) and "the original choir" was at least 85% industry with a considerable number of GA non pro pilots and ATC. If you picked a couple of other old time ATP regulars on this site and added their total time to mine, we would quickly be over 100,000 hrs. flight time. Though we don't receive pay for it, the only reason some of us are not truly "The experts" is because we don't have the Data the FAA and NTSB are privy to. Some times you don't need it. Scroll down a couple and read my first comment, and one of the first. After you read about, Oh, a hundred accident reports about "fuel exhaustion" you kinda recognize the signs, and when they hit and rupture the tanks like this one, if they don't burn, they didn't have any in them. Fair enough, your investment in this seems emotional, mine is not. Don't run out of fuel while sortin out problems, Eastern Airlines 401 is a good read. PS. the NTSB report will come out some time in 2017 for this one, hence, the relevance.
well bentwing60 and, I am not a pilot..however, I worked in the airline industry for about 30 years total for two major carriers,have always been interested in airplanes,and I have been around an awful lot of pilots during that time..of course this website is not facebook, as you so "kindly" is for those who are interested in aviation,the aviation industry, and stories in that capacity which happen to come from all over the globe (posters on this site do as well)..sharing knowledge of a particular aircraft or a particular situation can be informative or educational,and it is not a matter of having an "emotional investment" as you stated,because I did not know these people,but rather, being human..i also might add I am familiar with both hou and iah,and hou is now an international hub for southwest,making it even busier than before..these postings pop up in e mail if you are a logged in to flightaware,so that you can "share"as did a lot of people on this topic,or you can "rebut"...
Well Miss MSW, proud to hear you are not a pilot, and I strongly suspect you wouldn't have been one for long. I don't know or care your motives but scroll up a click or two to the MSW comment at day 5. New tune. C'mon, your gonna vote for Hillary, aren't you!
I'm #neverhillary but that was unnecessary. Let's keep the discussions technical on FA.
thank you I stated..this website is for sharing articles and oomments on aviation,aircraft and others such,not for personal remarks or political ones..discussions are open to anyone who is logged into flightaware,and I think most are in the aviation industry or private aircraft owners..i have no idea why bw60 is so acrimonious towards me,so i will ignore..hope all have a good the way,civlity and courtesy go a long way..
hou1crj 1
Mary susan Watkins, if you were a pilot, you would understand that Lance De Foa wasn't being pompous, but being inquisitive on what might have happen and what he might have done at the start, if he was in that predicament.

The people who lost their life in this plane crash, should have been avoided. Pilots speculating and having a discussion on the topic, helps other pilots to be aware of their situation and what options they could have taken, even before the facts come out. Actually being in the pilot shoes in that situation and talking about it “arm chairing” after the fact, with few facts, is totally different; however, it gets the pilot community thinking about safety and situation awareness.

I believe most of us here on this site, feel sad for these families that were involved in this accident. RIP
Ms. Watkins:
I've only now come back to this thread after a month. I'm sorry you took my analysis of the publicly available data related to this unfortunate accident to be pompous spouting off. Of course I was not there that day. I am not an air traffic controller, nor do I work for the NTSB. My knowledge of the pilots's skill level is only what I've been able to glean from her time licensed and having read that she had recently flown the same route. As I mentioned in my post, I am a pilot with some 750 hours logged, a good bit of that at night over unlit forests and some in cloud under IFR. I have flown in the region bounded by Edmonton AB & Ottawa ON, Wilmington NC & McAllen TX, and eastern Mexico down to San Jose Costa Rica, all in my Cessna 172. I prefer little airports, but I've landed in Memphis, Monterrey & Mexico City (not my intended airport) and others, and many times have been sequenced between commercial flights, and had family members as cockpit resources/distractions.

I am a rural general practice physician, and acting as a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner for Transport Canada is one of my roles. The TC Aviation Safety Letter has as its slogan "Learn from the mistakes of others, you'll not live long enough to make them all yourself …" (I've seen it attributed to Groucho Marx, amongst others.) I have made some errors while flying myself, including mismanaging a poorly designed fuel system, and flying inadvertently into fog at night and requiring a radar guided approach when I was only a VFR pilot, and I am fortunate to have survived them all. So it was for the purpose of learning that I looked at the evidence and made my best effort at a preliminary diagnosis.

The "facts & figures" were not my own. Most was ADS-B transponder data transmitted every 15-20 seconds available at I put the GPS coordinates into and then visually correlated the reported altitudes & speeds with positions over the airport. Of course 15 seconds is long enough for altitude to dip/balloon and recover, so the aircraft could have been closer to the runway than the data shows. I Googled the approach speeds for the SR20 as I have never been in one, let alone been pilot in command. Winds were as reported on the ATC audio and readily available in text from aviation weather sites. The tracing of the route flown is found here

The data is public so pilots can learn as quickly as possible so their very next flight might be safer. The last thing any of us want to do is kill our families in a plane or vehicle due to some error. Most pilots would hope, if they are ever that poor unfortunate soul, that other pilots would soon learn how not to follow their example. It is other pilots hearing of a crash and asking, "What do I need to do or avoid doing to not repeat that same event?", that help make other pilots and their passengers safer. I've already learned from this accident and I hope my posts help other pilots stay safe too.

I've now looked up the fuel selector & the layout of the landing gear & fuel tanks. The gear are attached to the fuselage and the nose down landing would have collapsed them rearward and away from the fuel tanks in the wing, which may well have been cracked but reports suggest they did not suffer a catastrophic rupture with fuel gushing out. As the Cirrus is a plastic aircraft there is also less to make sparks. If fuel doesn't get near a source of ignition, there is no fire. Now, unlike a Cessna there is no "both" position for the SR20 fuel selector, so it is possible that one tank may have gone dry at just the worst possible time, causing loss of power during a low altitude turn. The fuel I had in two wing tanks didn't compensate for the dry header tank which stopped the engine and resulted in a Zenith CH701 landing in a river. Otherwise, I also discounted the armchair speculation about running out of 5 hours fuel (full tanks on departure) after only a 3 hour flight.

It wasn't until during my instrument training that I learned the magic word "unable" for use when ATC is trying to fly the plane from the tower. It takes a certain amount of experience, confidence & conviction that one is pilot "in command" to tell ATC they are there to serve you for flight safety, not you them for commercial flight economy. I didn't hear that in the unfortunate pilot's responses to ATC.
Well thought out and presented. My first post and supposition that the aircraft met it's fate due to fuel exhaustion was based on the first responder reports that the fuel tanks had ruptured and there was no evidence of a fuel spill. My participation on this site since it's inception (poetic license) has been the banter with other pros. and the dissemination of knowledge to those who would be pros. or just the safest GA pilot that they can be. While it may seem at times our comments to be at the expense of those involved, it is literally a reflection of the weariness of reading accident reports in GA. NTSB reports are always a year or more down the road, this forum is not.
watkinssusan comments were not meant as disrespectful to you sir,nor your resume/experience as a pilot..the point of this thread is to share information and comments on aircraft and events,and that is done by the sharing of knowledge..i worked with many commercial pilots in my career,and had family members with private licenses..i did however,meet quite a few who accurately could have been described as having an "attitude" wishes to you and I do appreciate your courteous response...
How hard would it have been to have Southwest go around instead!!!
The controllers at SWA's hub airport need to stop catering to them 100%, and realize there are other aircraft out there. HOU Tower is blatant in doing that. The last time I went in there was one night in FEB. with my previous job flying a CJ. The controllers hounded us about 10 times for the visual, we just couldn't make out the runway with all the lights around it. On final, he put SWA right behind us and wanted to us to keep the speed up, I was already doing about 130. Just prior to touchdown, he wanted to know where we were parking, I told the FO to ignore him. He then came back with some bs about expediting off the runway because of SWA landing. Meanwhile from final to taxi, he and SWA's crew were discussing the traffic on some major highway out there that the crew had to get on to go home. Straighten up Hobby Tower, some of you SUCK!!! That poor woman may have lived, her getting disoriented should have been a clue. Send friggin SWA around!!!
ADXbear 0
I'm starting to wonder why all the accident in the Cirrus aircraft... maybe pilots need special training..
There is nothing wrong with the plane,but don't think it fly as C172 , you have to plan ahead and be really careful with low speeds and tight turns and also you should learn how to say no to controllers.
Many of these accident airplanes are fairly new and low time as are their pilots who are moving up the ladder to their first or certainly most high performance airplane. This one didn't burn nor leave a fuel spill according to the fire dept. The way it broke up after another go around and impact, I wonder if it had any left in it.
linbb 1
My cuz flew one a few times and she said it was a handful to fly. She is rated SE land and sea. Citation rated also so kind of has been there done that in high performance AC.
A final thought, had the aircraft landed on the roof of the hardware store, rather than the vehicle, the aircraft occupants might possibly have survived, as a building roof allows 3-5 times more "crumple room" than that of an SUV. Granted, one might then have seen injuries or deaths of persons inside the building, though judging from the parking lot they may not have been to many inside at the time.
Did you see what I saw!
hobby airport is a very busy commercial airport and is a hub for southwest ailrines, and the center of their new international flights..the woman pilot,her husband, and her brother were coming to Houston to visit her father who is at md Anderson undergoing treatment..the flight left norman Oklahoma with a "topped off' fuel tank(tanks)and that particular plane was supposed to be able to fly for 5 hours with that amount of fuel (it is not a 5 hour flight from norman to Houston)..from reports this evening,the aircraft was purchasd in 2012,and this woman received her pilots license in 2014..reports from witnesses state that the plane did not spiral downward,and the actual footage from the ace hardware store shows the planes shadow, and then the aircraft actually smashing belly and wings on top os a car parked in the lot,and breaking apart..there was no fire,nor any fuel spill, which is an issue they are studying,and the parachute system was partially my opinion, the air traffic controller was in no way at fault,as homburge seems to indicate,as he communicated with the womam twice,and on the third round, she did her own thing,and at this point,no one knows what that is..the flight aware tracker seems to show her going around and around in hobby airspce after a relatively straight shot from their departure is sad for all concerned and for the family,so speculation should be only thought would be a better choice for a landing spot might have been one of the smaller outlying airports without the commercial jets to avoid..may they rest in peace..
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

3 Dead After Plane Crashes Into Car Parked Near Airport

Three people were killed Thursday after a small plane crashed into a car in a parking lot near a Houston airport, the AP reports.


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