Listing to the audio clip I was reminded of a few things. It's always good to know your abilities as a pilot and the abilities / limitations of the aircraft your flying. When a pilot is over confident in their abilities, and /or over confident in the abilities of the aircraft they are flying, that is usually when bad things happen. It's very hard at this point to say what caused the accident as sometimes many factors can play a role. But given the weather conditions, it's easy to speculate or focus on ice. Having experience in a variety of single and multi-engine aircraft, but no time in the TBM-700 I can only speak in general and not specific to this accident. (Please note, I am not an expert and I feel we are always learning no matter how much experience we have in flying) De-ice boots can be quickly overwhelmed in moderate to severe icing, as well as a single engine turbo prop can be quickly overwhelmed too. When the boots are turned on too early, instead of the ice breaking away, it can form a barrier along the outer limits of the boot extension (as mentioned in a post above). At that point the boots become useless as the ice has caused a cavity for the boots to expand, contract, and never breaking the ice away. When an aircraft tries to climb too aggressively through ice, a reverse horse shoe effect can form along the leading edge of the wing, looking like: )C. ")" -being the shape of ice buildup and "C" -being the leading edge of the wing. Props can be overwhelmed by ice which can reduce the amount of thrust. Ice can make the prop off balance causing vibration and even throwing ice, which can be alarming to say the least. Many de-ice systems in light aircraft are designed to help in the event of an unexpected encounter with ice, buying time to help get out of a dangerous situation. From a human factors perspective, ice buildup can become very stressful and distracting. A white knuckle grip on the controls and looking back at the wings can cause sudden pitching up or banking in a situation where the aircraft is already struggling with performance, in icing, making a dangerous situation deadly. An auto pilot can trim an aircraft to unsafe attitude or power setting while trying to do what is programed in an attempt to overcome the adverse conditions that icing can cause. Fuel tank vents can get iced over causing fuel starvation. Pitot tubes and / or static ports anti ice system can become overwhelmed and in some situations we can forget to turn them on if it’s not done automatically by an ice detection system. Sometimes anti ice or de-ice systems fail which can contribute to an already bad situation.
As for forward movement, if an aircraft goes into a spin that develops into a flat spin, usually there is very little forward movement.
I am not trying to play arm chair quarterback nor am I trying to judge the decision making of the pilot at the controls (as I know nothing about his experience and we have very little information about the accident to go on). It's very sad when a fatal accident happens and my thoughts go out to the victims and their families. When an accident occurs in the industry it's best to let the investigators do their job and we can all learn from the findings. But in the preliminary stages it's best to brush up on our knowledge about the possible factors (NASA has done interesting studies on icing and the FAA has publications) and have discussions in forums such as this to get different perspectives, share experiences and learn from each other. An accident always reminds me that they can happen and it makes me take a second look at the calculated risks that I take. This time of year we need to remind ourselves that weather is not kind and it’s not forgiving. Weather is indifferent and I try to take a realistic approach when going up into the elements.