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Old 10-20-05, 05:25 AM
Pete Somers Pete Somers is offline
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Cessna 337 down in FLA

They have described it as a single engine
Anyone with anymore info


Last edited by hharney : 04-01-12 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 10-20-05, 09:51 AM
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Ernie Martin Ernie Martin is offline
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There is an "L" missing at the end of the above link (ends with "html"). Aside from the single-engine mistake, it's pretty comprehensive, with the aircraft crashing into a house which was then destroyed by the fire. At least one witness suggests that there was some kind of mid-air "loud pop, and all of a sudden he starts spiralling down, and we noticed that his propellers weren't even moving".

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Old 10-20-05, 11:29 PM
Pat Schmitz Pat Schmitz is offline
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Here is the link again -

Article says the plane was registered to Michael Zinn (N5HU) from upstate New York, but does not confirm the identity of the pilot in command.

It goes on to say that he has a place in Boca Raton, and has for some 10 years.... they interviewed someone who indicated that they were planning to speak to Michael before he took off, so it would likely indicate he was the PIC.
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Old 10-21-05, 02:27 AM
kevin kevin is offline
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I think we would all like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mike Zinn. Mike was a user on our site, and while I did not know him well, it is painful to lose a member of our community.

If anyone knows how to contact his family for remberences and such, please post it here.

One good way to remember Mike is for all of to realize that it can happen to us, and that we need to be careful up there...

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Old 10-21-05, 06:42 AM
stackj stackj is offline
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From "Landings" Website:

Airman's Address : 5310 BOCA MARINA CIR N
BOCA RATON, FL, 33487-5221
FAA Region : Southern
Date of Medical : Apr, 2005
Class of Medical : 3
Expiration of Class 3 : Apr, 2007
Airman Certificates : Private Pilot
Airplane Single and Multi Engine Land, limited to center thrust
Instrument Airplane
Jim Stack
Richmond, VA
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Old 10-21-05, 11:31 PM
scade scade is offline
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Here is the information on the service for Mike Zinn
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Old 10-23-05, 06:47 PM
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Ernie Martin Ernie Martin is offline
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Because someone had suggested to me that it might have been a thunderstorm, I've kept track of this story. Here's a quote from a story written yesterday:

"Witnesses said there was a thunderstorm in Port St. Lucie at the time and perhaps the plane was struck by lightning. Ulster County (NY) pilots have said there must have been a significant malfunction, such as a complete electrical shutdown, on the plane because a minor problem would not have caused Zinn, an expert pilot, to crash. Zinn flew his plane between Florida and the town of Ulster (NY), where he also had a home, at least 15 times a year, local friends said this week."

The entire story is here:

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Old 10-23-05, 09:48 PM
Bob Cook Bob Cook is offline
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re accident / thunderstorm

I departed out of KLNA heading to KSGJ at 3:45 PM on the 20th. I decided to proceed north heading inland to avoid *buildups along the coast*.

Wx was 2-2.5k scattered with few isolated cells with tops building to 25k ft. There were isolated cells along the coast near Fort Pierce and some further up the line deminishing around the cape.

I did not see any thunderstorm activity or pick up any returns on the storm scope. Nextrad was showing level 3 and 4 returns in that area. I had a smooth ride all the way with widely scattered percip.

Rather doubt lightning contributed to the accident. Remember eye witnesses are not very reliable.

I would not rule out a heart attack if i were to speculate.


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Old 11-17-05, 01:00 AM
Bob Cook Bob Cook is offline
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word of caution / food for thought

For those that have not read the prelim report;quote and reference below.

Pilots keep forgetting to tie down cargo and lose objects in the aircraft. Relating to an experience many years ago, I had a magneto (lose in the back of the A/C) fly past my head into the instrument panel. It was 15 lbs of metal that could have easily have hit me in the head and rendered me unconcious.

How many times do we fly around and not take lose objects into consideration. These objects can easily affect control of the aircraft if the weight shifts or becomes lodged in the controls. (beer cans in the rudder pedals ?)

I am not passing judgement on this accident but complacency can bite you in the A__ when you least expect it or when you cannot deal with it.

This is one possible scenario.




"According to witnesses "bad weather" was present in the area at the time of the accident, with heavy rain and lightning being observed. Several witnesses stated that they saw the accident airplane emerge from the clouds at an altitude of about 300 feet, on its side, and descending. The witnesses further said the airplane appeared to roll inverted, and again rolled onto a side."[i]
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Old 11-17-05, 11:15 AM
Rickskymaster Rickskymaster is offline
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According to local NTSB guy

Not to be quoted as offical, but living in the ADIZ and Washington, DC, I have a contact that works for NTSB and flys GA out of our airport, GAI.
We meet because I was curious about this accident, he tells me that ATC vectored the plane into a Cat 4 thunderstorm.
Maybe with that kind of turbulence, something rendered the pilot unable to maintain blue side up.
If I hear anything more unoffical, I will let you all know, for whats it worth.


PS: Bob, it is great that you are back with the board.
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Old 11-17-05, 02:59 PM
Bob Cook Bob Cook is offline
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cat 4 cell

Thanks Rick

I chickened out that day and went inland. There is little room for deviation along v3 northbound and it really gets tight around Orlando and the Cape.

I have been pushed to penetrate weather by ATC but I refuse to be "sucked in" by some controller that is sitting in an armchair!

The stormscope is a great tool for showing a rapid buildup whereas their (centre) nexrad is slow to pick up the doppler changes. I have seen this on numerous occasions during mid afternoon buildups in the south.

In this case these were the onslaught of feederbands generated by Wilma and were quite pronounced by 2:15 that afternoon.

Sometimes it is wise to go VFR that it is to be steered into "the unknown".

My opinion is that it takes more than "one event" to cause an accident including "FOD" in the cockpit.

Keep me posted Rick if you hear more.

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Old 03-31-12, 12:18 AM
edasmus edasmus is offline
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In the April 2012 issue of AOPA PILOT magazine, I just received a day ago, under the PILOT COUNSEL section on page 38, an article by John S. Yodice entitled "Who are the 'bad' guys?" has been written concerning this accident. I cannot specifically recall hearing of this accident prior to reading the article today. I did probably read the accident report on the NTSB website in the past, however I cannot specifically recall that.

Anyway, after reading the article today I pulled up the final accident report on the NTSB website to gather more information. As an owner and operator of a SkyMaster for the past 9 plus years and being a Chicago Center Air Traffic Controller working the radar every day for my entire career to this point for the past 21 years, I was quite interested to learn what I could about this event.

According to Yodice, the final ruling by the judge put 60% of the blame on the pilot and 40% on the FAA. According to the article, "The judge awarded more than $4 million in damages to the estate of the pilot, apportioned according to the comparative negligence of the parties." I'm not sure I understand exactly what that all means but it sounds like the FAA paid a significant amount of money to the pilot's estate.

Based on this article and after reading the NTSB's full narrative, with all due respect to the pilot and his family, I do not agree with the judge's ruling. It is clear to me that the pilot was fully aware of the weather ahead for at least 16 minutes of flying time prior to the crash according to the time line in the NTSB's report. In Yodice's article, he comments, "he [the pilot] was aware of a SIGMET for a line of thunderstorms along his route of flight."

In Yodice's article he comments, "The judge summed up the controllers' negligence by saying: "With knowledge that [the pilot] was flying IFR in a small plane with limited weather capability, this controller failed to provide sufficient accurate weather information to allow [the pilot] to make informed decisions when requesting deviations. The weather was severe enough and the controller knew or should have known that he needed to issue complete weather information, as required by the Air Traffic Manual.... Compounding that breach of the duty of care, he then failed to provide any navigation assistance when the pilot requested.""

OK, that apparently is what the judge said and based on that the estate of the pilot received money. I do not know if the family feels better for that or not. What I can say, as an air traffic controller in the center environment, which was the case here, we as controllers do not have the capability to do what apparently this judge thinks we should have done. Our weather radar (though getting better over the years) still is not as good as what we can get on our hand held units and MFD's today. Now I realize this stuff was not available in 2005 to this pilot but the point is that the lag time in the display on our radar is substantial just like the lag time on the units of today. Controllers can only tell pilots what we see. According to the NTSB's report, the Palm Beach TRACON controller and the Miami Center controller both informed the pilot of what they were seeing on their radar scopes. The judge, whether he/she realizes it or not, is asking controllers to provide tactical radar vectors to avoid weather. We as controllers cannot do that anymore than we as pilots could do that with our units of today. The controller's radar and the weather units available to us pilots today can only be used strategically to completely avoid areas of weather. Close in tactical avoidance requires the eyes of the pilot or on board quality weather radar. The controllers told the pilot what they were seeing and the pilot requested multiple deviations based on that information and on the information he had obtained himself. The controllers accommodated all deviations requested buy the pilot. It did not work out well for the pilot. When the pilot was in too deep, he was looking for the controller to assign the heading that was going to save the day. In my opinion, as a controller, that heading does not exist.

What I hope to come from this post is that for us pilots to get the message that weather avoidance is 100% the responsibility of the pilot. Controllers can be used as a resource for informational purposes only and you should ask for it. The controller might not volunteer it because he might have higher priorities then you. The decision on which direction to point the nose rests with the pilot. In my opinion, these controllers were in a lose/lose situation as far as liability is concerned. They chose to not specifically tell the pilot where to point the nose until the very last minute when it was apparent that the pilot was in trouble. The controller was guessing on the magic vector. It did not work. The problem becomes that of if the controller would have attempted the magic vector sooner and it still ended the same way, then it becomes 100% the fault of the FAA for assigning the final heading that killed the pilot.

You all be careful up there!

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Old 03-31-12, 09:49 AM
Mark Hislop Mark Hislop is offline
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That's a great explanation of what goes on in Center. Thanks Ed.
Mark Hislop
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Old 04-06-12, 12:08 PM
sns3guppy sns3guppy is offline
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Fly around in convective weather for very long, and one will fly into a thunderstorm. Hopefully one will luck out without learning the hard way that a convective cell is like the finger of God, and that little airplane is like a gnat.

I did atmospheric research for a time, intentionally penetrating cells that ranged from simple level one and two thunder cells to massive level five and 6 cells. I was interesting, educational work, but I don't believe I'll ever go there again. I had enough. Many who enter a cell may not make it to see another.

The idea of punching clouds seems appealing, and perhaps one is emboldened enough by holding an instrument ticket to think that one should. Without weather radar, one has no more business flying in convective weather than one has parachute jumping without the parachute. It's a game of Russian roulette.

Just because it's legal doesn't necessarily mean it's wise.
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