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Running head: ZONK AIR ACCIDENT 1Zonk Air AccidentFollowing the American Psychological Association’s GuidelinesMitchell L.R. LindgrenEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University
ZONK AIR ACCIDENT 2AbstractA Zonk Air Charter flight from Lake Tahoe Airport (KTVL) is set to take off on November 7, 2010 on a sight-seeing adventure. The weather is cloudy, and visibility is reducing by the minute. An inexperienced pilot with only 15 hours of flight time in a PA-31 Navajo aircraft is rushed into beating the weather conditions. The pilot is already fatigued and stressed out from a prior break-up. The aircraft is over-loaded with too much cargo, and there are already documented maintenance issues with multiple items to include a leaking fuel line in the right engine. These chain of events will lead up to a catastrophic crash with no survivors. Politics anda complete disregard for safety by the Zonk Air Charter company will be a contributing factor prior to the aircraft even leaving the ground. Inexperience and a lack of a flight plan will be the second contributing factor to an already battered, broken down aircraft. Keywords:Accident, Engine, Weather, Witness, Investigation
ZONK AIR ACCIDENT 3Zonk Air Accident1.0 Brief History of FlightOn November 7, 2010 a charter aircraft departed from runway 18 at Lake Tahoe Airport (KTVL) at dusk. Weather conditions were rapidly deteriorating. The aircraft was exiting the clouds rolling left in a banking motion with a trail of smoke behind it. The aircraft hit a 100 foot communication tower, the left wing struck the ground and broke off and landed 400 feet from thetower. The right wing dragged across the ground and ended up 500 feet from the tower. The main fuselage of the aircraft came to a stop 50 feet after the right wing. The aircraft was engulfed in flames and there were no survivors.1.1 On-Scene ActionsThe National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) was called in to investigate the accident; they quickly set up a “Go-Team” to determine the cause of the accident. An operational base was set up, and local police, fire, and rescue personnel set up a perimeter and provided security so that the team could investigate the area without any public tampering. The wreckage is then examined, photographed, videotaped and preserved. A wreckage analysis is done to determine landing impact, velocity, angle, the status of the propellers, and flight instruments. All proper procedures were careful observed by the NTSB team (Houston, 2017).1.2 On-Scene Observations
ZONK AIR ACCIDENT 4The aircraft’s angle of approach after the intial strike from the communication tower was 14.04 degrees (De Haven, 1951). It was determined that the left wing with a red tip light struck the ground first which left a ground impact scar (Hoke, 2014). The aircraft was found twisted, partially burned, and crushed. Horizontal burn marks were observed along the right engine nacelle that followed aft to the right horizontal stabilizer. Both engines were mangled with the right prop showing “S” compressions on the trailing edge.