Thursday, July 19, 2012

Piper PA-28-236, N2889D: Plane Crash Cost IRS $38.6 Million - Accident occurred February 18, 2010 in Austin, Texas


AUSTIN -- A new federal audit showed the IRS spent nearly $40 million after the 2010 Echelon plane crash in Northwest Austin. 

The IRS said its immediate response after Joseph Stack flew his plane into that local office cost $6.4 million.

Evaluating and enhancing security at offices nationwide cost another $32.2 million. Most of that came from IRS user fees.



NTSB Identification: CEN10FA124 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 18, 2010 in Austin, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/12/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-236, registration: N2889D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The airplane was destroyed after the pilot intentionally flew it into the side of an office building in Austin, Texas. The private pilot and an employee who worked in the building were killed. As this event was an intentional act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation assumed jurisdiction and control of the investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s intentional flight into a building.

On February 18, 2010, approximately 0958 Central Standard Time, N2889D, a Piper PA-28-236 single-engine airplane, was destroyed after the pilot intentionally flew it into the side of an office building in Austin, Texas. The private pilot and an employee who worked in the building were killed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from the Georgetown Municipal Airport (GTU), Georgetown, Texas, at 0944.

Preliminary review of air traffic control communications and radar data revealed that after the pilot was cleared for take off from Georgetown Airport, he proceeded southbound and climbed to an altitude of 4,800 feet. During this time, a controller approved a radio frequency change and the pilot responded, "Eight niner delta thanks for your help have a great day." No further communications were made with the pilot. At 0954, the airplane was observed on radar descending out of 4,800 feet and making a turn toward the west. At 0957, the airplane was last observed on radar at an altitude of 1,000 feet on a southwesterly heading before the data ended.

The airplane collided with the office building between the first and second floors, and exploded on impact. The airplane's engine, two (of three) propeller blades, and the right wing came to rest outside of the building. The empennage came to rest on the ledge of the building and was partially hanging over the edge. The left wing, portions of the fuselage, and a propeller blade, were found inside the building on the second floor. The flaps were found in the fully retracted position. The airplane was destroyed by impact and the post-impact fire.

The weather at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Austin Texas, at 0953, was reported as calm wind, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 25,000 feet, temperature 9 degrees Celsius, dew point 1 degree Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30. 24.

As this event was an intentional act, the FBI has assumed jurisdiction and control of the investigation.

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