TBM 700 Crashed while Maneuvering for Landing

The NTSB has released its preliminary report on the fatal March 30 accident.

The National Transportation Saftey Board has released its preliminary report on the March 30 crash of a Daher TBM 700 in California, which claimed the lives of the pilot and passenger. The accident occurred while the single-engine turboprop was maneuvering in IMC (Instrument meteorological conditions) to land at Truckee Tahoe Airport (KTRK) and followed a series of autopilot activations and deactivations, according to the NTSB’s preliminary report.

Flying under Part 91 IFR, the aircraft was returning to KTRK from Denver’s Centennial Airport. The flight was uneventful until the airplane reached the final approach fix. The TBM 700 passed over the final approach fix, and FAA ADS-B data showed that, immediately thereafter, the autopilot's approach mode was turned on and the altitude hold (ALT Hold) was turned off. Some 20 seconds after passing over the visual descent point at about 121 knots and 6,475 feet msl, ADS-B data shows the aircraft passed over the missed approach point at 6,200 feet msl and 100 knots and continuing until abeam the runway identifier numbers (about 1,300 feet east).

At this point, the autopilot was turned off. As the airplane began a gradual 180-degree turn to the right and climbed to about 6,750 feet during the turn, the following autopilot selections were made: ALT Hold on, ALT Hold off, lateral navigation (LNAV) on, autopilot on, LNAV off, several altitude selections (ending with 9,300 feet), and lastly, the autopilot was turned off as the airplane passed over Runway 11.

The airplane then climbed to about 6,850 feet (1,075 feet agl) while making a left turn. The turn tightened, and the final ADS-B returns showed a rapid decrease in altitude and speed. The last return indicated the airplane was at about 280 feet agl and 170 knots. That return was about 200 feet northeast of the first impact point.

An aviation weather report for KTRK issued about two minutes before the accident stated: wind calm, visibility 3/4 mile in light snow, ceiling overcast at 900 feet agl, and temperature/dewpoint 30/30 (deg F).