The Pilot Reported That He Was Experiencing Structural Icing And Was In “Freezing Rain.”

Location: Lubbock, TX Accident Number: CEN21LA030
Date & Time: October 26, 2020, 15:58 Local Registration: N9622T
Aircraft: Cessna 210 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 26, 2020, at 1558 central daylight time, a Cessna 210 airplane, N9622T, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Lubbock, Texas. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane was operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan from Belen Regional Airport (BRG), Belen, New Mexico, to Corsicana Municipal Airport (CRS), Corsicana, Texas, but had diverted to Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB), Lubbock, Texas. A review of the air traffic control recordings and ADS-B data revealed the airplane was in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) during the descent toward LBB and the pilot reported that he had been in IMC “for quite a while.” The pilot was instructed to setup for the RNAV (GPS) Y instrument approach to runway 35L. During the approach the pilot was unsure of the instrument approach to expect and was not in position to intercept the final approach course, so the controller vectored him to the east to setup for the same approach with a different initial approach fix (IAF).

When queried by the controller, the pilot reported that he was experiencing structural icing and was in “freezing rain.” After the airplane crossed the intermediate fix, ZOVOC, and turned inbound, the groundspeed (gs) gradually decreased from about 80 kts to about 50 kts. After crossing the final approach fix, UFACI, about 4,700 ft mean sea level (msl) and 48 kts gs, the airplane made a left turn toward south-southeast and descended.

The pilot reported to the controller that the airplane experienced an autopilot issue, so the controller provided new vectors to the pilot. The flight track showed that the airplane continued to descend, then made a sharp left turn before the data ended. The controller reported that radar contact was lost and there were no further communications from the pilot. Figure 1 shows the ADS-B flight track overlaid onto Google Earth with the approach fixes and the accident site labeled.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors reported that the airplane impacted a residential area about 200 yards from the final recorded ADS-B point and about 6 miles south of LBB. A post impact fire consumed most of the fuselage and the inboard sections of each wing. The inspectors found numerous chunks of ice in the wreckage near the wings, and pieces still attached to some of the airplane’s leading edge surfaces. The ice chunks were concave shaped and featured a smooth surface on the inside of the curve. The ice ranged from 1 to 2 inches thick.