Saturday, August 2, 2014

Piper Malibu Mirage Crash Landing in Statesville, NC

Statesville, North Carolina was the scene of a minor aviation accident on Friday night when a 2010 Piper Malibu Mirage owned by ETS Aviation of Terrell, North Carolina overshot the runway and crossed a road before coming to a stop. The aircraft N472ST was substantially damaged. The passengers aboard the high performance single engine aircraft received minor injuries. Two of the passengers where taken to a local hospital and later released.

Photo Credit: Flight Aware

Based on data from FlightAware and local knowledge the aircraft was attempting to land on runway 10 when it overshot the runway, clipped a security fence, crossed Airport Drive and came to rest on a golf course. 

NTSB investigators are expected to be on scene this morning to determine the cause of the accident.

Update: The NTSB announced this morning (Monday August 4, 2014) that they will not travel to Statesville to conduct their investigation, but rather would rely on data and statements from the FAA and the aircraft operators.

The Malibu reportedly makes frequent runs between Statesville and Washington in support of ETS Aviation operations. ETS makes fuel monitoring systems for commercial airlines.

Based on data from Flight Aware the aircraft made a couple of passes or approaches before trying to land.

N472ST On A Better Day Photo Credit: Skytech, Inc.

Additional Information Added August 6, 2014

In Cedar's review of this accident it was learned of another Piper Malibu aircraft that was involved in an accident this one in Clayton Georgia and fatal. The NTSB preliminary report is below:

On July 26, 2014, about 0850 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Piper PA-46-310P, N248SP, impacted trees and terrain shortly after takeoff from Heaven's Landing Airport (GE99), Clayton, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to a corporation and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Aurora, Illinois (ARR).

Two witnesses were standing outside on the ramp and observed the accident airplane prior to departure. The preflight, engine start, and taxi appeared to be routine. There was fog present at the time, and it was "rolling up the valley," which was a frequent event at the airport. The lateral visibility was about 1,000 feet below the fog layer and obscured above. The elevated terrain surrounding the airport was obscured in the fog. The pilot back-taxied to runway 5 and initiated the takeoff. The airplane became airborne about 2,000 feet down the 5,062-feet-long runway. They observed the landing gear extended and the airplane seemed to drift to the left after takeoff. They heard the engine running normally, with no change in the sound, until the crash. They heard two distinct "booms" about four to six seconds apart. They ran down to the departure end of the runway to look for a crash site, and could not see the wreckage, or any smoke or fire, due to the fog.

The airplane crashed into elevated terrain, in a heavily wooded area, about 1,500 feet north of the departure end of runway 5. The elevation at the crash site was about 300 feet higher than the elevation at the departure end of runway 5. A majority of the wreckage was consumed in a post-crash fire. All major structural components of the airplane were accounted for within the wreckage debris path. Numerous tree limbs were scattered along the debris path with smooth, angular cuts through the limbs.

The aircraft maintenance records were provided to the investigation team shortly after the accident. According to the records, an annual inspection of the airframe, engine, and propeller was performed on June 11, 2014, at a total airframe time of 3,593 hours. At the time of the annual inspection, the engine had accumulated 532 hours since the last major overhaul. The annual inspection was the last entry in the logbooks.

The pilot possessed a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. Reportedly, he lived at the fly-in community surrounding the airport and was instrumental in its development. He reported 4,200 hours of total flight time on his third class medical application, dated March 5, 2014.

Local News Coverage:

One man is dead after a plane crashed into the side of a mountain at Heaven’s Landing around 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

Trees were scorched along the mountainside to the left of the runway. According to Michael Mazarky, Emergency Management Agency director, the pilot was the only person on board when it crashed just after take off. Mazarky confirmed the pilot lost his life.

The name of the victim was not released, pending notification of the family, and Mazarky said he was not sure if the man was from Rabun County.

Emergency responders received the call at 9:04 a.m. Saturday, and officials from Rabun County Fire Services, Rabun County Search and Rescue, Georgia State Patrol and the Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene.

As of early Saturday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration was in route to the scene.

Heaven’s Landing is a private airstrip located on Little Creek Road.

Read more: The Clayton Tribune - Fatal plane crash at Heaven s Landing

No comments: