Four Perish in Washington State Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Accident | Aero-News Network
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Tue, Nov 22, 2022

Four Perish in Washington State Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Accident

In-Flight Breakup Suspected

A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX was destroyed in a possible in-flight breakup and impact with terrain in Snohomish, Washington. The aircraft’s four occupants—all ostensibly employees of Raisbeck Engineering, a highly-respected Seattle-based company renowned for its aftermarket aircraft modifications—perished in the accident.  

Emergency responders initially reported that only two lives had been lost in the 18 November 2022 mishap. The following day, however, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office conceded that additional examination of the wreckage had confirmed four fatalities.

Raisbeck president Hal Chrisman stated: “At the time of the crash, [the aircraft] was under the command of two highly-experienced test pilots, both with over ten-thousand flight hours, collecting baseline aircraft performance data. The entire crew of four also included a flight test director and an instrumentation engineer.”

According to Chrisman, the aircraft had yet to be altered at the time of the accident, and that the flight was undertaken to measure the Grand Caravan’s baseline performance prior to any modifications being made. Mr. Chrisman asserted that Raisbeck Engineering would cooperate fully with investigating authorities.

The downed aircraft, N2069B departed Renton Airport (RNT)—a municipal facility approximately 4.7-nautical-miles northeast of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and home to Boeing’s 737 assembly complex—at 09:25 PST. The flight proceeded some 29-nautical-miles northeast to a predominantly agricultural area east of Snohomish, Washington—a city of nine-thousand residents situated along the Snohomish River west of the Cascade foothills.

Online flight-tracking shows the Grand Caravan maneuvering within a ten-nautical-mile diameter encompassing the municipalities of Roosevelt and Three Lakes, Washington. The aircraft’s radar-track indicates a succession of maneuvers comprising numerous orbits, ascents and descents, accelerations and decelerations, before the 208B descended abruptly from 5,100 and impacted the ground in a field east of Harvey Airport (S43). The flight’s duration was approximately one-hour.

Snohomish fire district officials set forth that the first individuals to reach the crash-site attempted to combat the blaze with handheld fire extinguishers, but were thwarted by the "large volume of fire.” Arriving firefighters and medical personnel reportedly struggled to reach the wreckage due to “terrain, vegetation, and irrigation canals.”

Woodinville, Washington resident David Orendorff, who was at Snohomish Golf Course at the time of the accident, said he "heard a pop and looked south [and] saw the plane emitting lots of smoke. It was spiraling down. It was followed by the detached wing." Orendorff added, "the plane disappeared behind trees, and then I heard the impact."

Drone footage acquired by Seattle FOX affiliate KCPQ shows the Grand Caravan’s badly burned wreckage adjacent an irrigation ditch in an open field near Washington’s Highway 2. Remnants of what appears to be one of the aircraft’s wings lie roughly one-hundred-yards from the main wreckage.

Federal Aviation Administration records indicate N2069B was owned by Copper Mountain Aviation of Alaska.

The accident remains under investigation by the FAA, NTSB, and local authorities.



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