Two panel-mounted GPSs, a Garmin 430 and a King KLN 90B, were installed for navigation and approved for IFR approaches. A panel-mounted switch could select either GPS to be coupled to the Bendix Autopilot. The Cessna 414A has dual controls and can be flown from either seat.
Records indicate that the aircraft was certified and equipped in accordance with existing regulations. The historic aircraft records were placed aboard the aircraft. Copies of the most recent maintenance completed were retained by the maintenance facilities in Buttonville. These were used to determine that the aircraft had no known deficiencies before the occurrence flight. The combustion-style heater was removed, overhauled and tested serviceable on 27 July 2010. The weight and center of gravity were within prescribed limits at the time of the accident. There was sufficient fuel on board to complete the flight. The aircraft was not equipped with onboard recorders nor were they required by regulation (CAR 605.33). The aircraft was equipped with an Artex model ME-406 emergency locator transmitter (ELT). The ELT was not recovered.
The weather in the area at the time of the accident was as follows: wind 200° True (T) at 8 knots, visibility 12 statute miles (sm) with a broken ceiling at 700 feet above ground level (agl), overcast ceiling at 15 000 feet agl, temperature 21°C, dew point 20°C and barometric pressure 29.64 inches of mercury. The actual weather was within the PIC’s legal requirements for conducting an approach and landing as depicted on the Sydney Canada Air Pilot Instrument Procedures chart. The graphical area forecast did not forecast turbulence in the Atlantic region.
There was virtually no wreckage found on the surface of the water. A remotely-operated vehicle recorded images of the wreckage debris which was spread over a relatively small area on the ocean floor at a depth of 170 feet. Wreckage recovered included pieces of wing, fuselage and empennage. The recorded images and the recovered wreckage were examined. There was no indication of an in-flight breakup and it was determined that the engines were operating at the time of impact. The damage was consistent with a high-speed, near vertical impact.
When two pilots of equal skill and experience are flying together, usually they will share the flying duties; one flies the aircraft while the other operates the radios, enters data into the navigational system and monitors the flying pilot. Although the flying duties may be shared, the designated PIC is responsible for all aspects of the safe operation of the aircraft.
Task Saturation and Spatial Disorientation
All humans are susceptible to spatial disorientation. In aviation, spatial disorientation can be defined as an aviator’s failure to sense correctly the position, motion, or attitude of the aircraft or themselves with respect to the earth’s surface and the gravitational vertical. Richard Leland,