Sunday, August 26, 2012

Piper PA-32-301T Turbo Saratoga, N588ET: Accident occurred August 25, 2012 in South Lake Tahoe, California  

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA369
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 25, 2012 in South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-301T, registration: N588ET
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 25, 2012, about 2145 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-32-301T Saratoga, N558ET, impacted trees shortly after departing from Lake Tahoe Airport, South Lake Tahoe, California. The right-seated pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The five occupants, which included the right and left-seated private pilots, were fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight was originating from Lake Tahoe Airport, with a planned destination of Fresno, California. Nighttime visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The occupants departed Fresno earlier that day and landed at Lake Tahoe Airport. After touchdown, a pilot was in communication with two fixed base operator (FBO) attendants and received directions of where to taxi the airplane. While taxiing to the ramp, the airplane’s engine shutdown and it took numerous attempts for the pilots to restart it. Upon parking, the pilots reported to the attendants that the airplane’s fuel/air mixture was difficult to establish at such a high density altitude and that if you operate the engine too lean its temperature will exceed normal operation parameters.

Following dinner, the occupants returned to the airport with the intention of flying back to Fresno, where the airplane was based. One of pilots made a radio transmission on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (UNICOM) stating that they were departing runway 36 and making a “straight out over the lake departure and then a crosswind departure to the left.”

A review of the recorded security camera footage at the airport revealed that the airplane could be seen in the nighttime conditions by a blinking light. The airplane appeared to depart from runway 36 and near the end of the runway began an ascent. The light appeared to level off and then a flash of light occurs in the area of the accident site.

Numerous witnesses reported hearing the airplane depart and noticed that the engine noise sounded labored, as if it was not producing full power. The airplane impacted trees located about 0.43 nautical miles (nm) north of the departure end of runway 36 and came to rest about 300 feet further north.

  Regis#: 588ET        Make/Model: PA32      Description: PA-32 Cherokee Six, Six, Saratoga, Turbo
  Date: 08/26/2012     Time: 0445

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

  City: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE   State: CA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   5
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   4     Fat:   4     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SACRAMENTO, CA  (WP25)                Entry date: 08/27/2012 

 Harold and Kin Cardwell sadly died in the plane crash on Saturday night

A 1-acre circular area burned after a plane crashed Aug. 25 after taking off from Lake Tahoe Airport. Photo/Claire Fortier

The pilot was unable to gain altitude after take-off. 
Photo/Claire Fortier

Horror as birthday celebration ends with five people dying in Lake Tahoe plane crash

Five people from Fresno who were in South Lake Tahoe for a birthday celebration died Saturday when their plane sputtered and then nosedived into a field just after taking off at 9:45pm.

Francisco de la Mora, who owned the Piper Cherokee, was piloting the single-engine fixed wing craft. Shannon D. Fleck is the other person the plane is registered to.

With de la Mora were his wife, their 5-year-old daughter, and Harold and Kin Cardwell. The plane could seat seven. De la Mora owned JDM Transport, a trucking company, in Fresno. Harold Cardwell was an insurance agent. Information about the victims is still not complete.

“I’m sure he was flying right-hand on this plane,” Stephen Buxton told Lake Tahoe News of Harold Cardwell. “He was an incredible pilot. I’ve flown many times with him. He is the one who taught me to fly.”

Buxton had known the 60-year-old Cardwell for more than 30 years. They met in church. While Buxton is now a pastor in the San Diego area, he never ministered to Cardwell. But Cardwell, who owned an Allstate Insurance franchise in the Fresno area, was Buxton’s agent for several decades.

According to Buxton, two adult daughters from a previous marriage survive Cardwell.

“He was a great guy. He was easy to love,” Buxton said. “I’m going to miss him and I know his kids are going to miss him.”

Officials from Mountain West Aviation, which runs the plane operations at the local airport, told investigators the Piper landed Aug. 25 at the South Lake Tahoe airport for a few hours and that the occupants requested a taxi. No gas or other services were requested.

Read more:

 A small, single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport on Lake Tahoe's south shore, killing the five people on board who were celebrating a birthday.

The single-engine plane burst into flames upon impact late Saturday night in a wooded area near South Lake Tahoe, California, El Dorado County sheriff's Lt. Pete Van Arnum said. The crash started a one-acre fire that took more than 90 minutes to put out, he said.

The aircraft is registered to Francisco J. Delamora, of Fresno, California, who is owner of Jdm Transport Inc., a trucking company, said Jose Lopez, a company dispatcher.

Delamora, who was piloting the plane, had taken a 'personal trip' to Lake Tahoe on Saturday with his wife, Lorena, a seven-year-old daughter and his friends Harold and Kin Cardwell. He had planned to return the same day, Lopez said.

'We're waiting to hear from the FAA,' said Lopez, who has worked for the company 11 years. He declined further comment.

Much of the wreckage was destroyed by the fire, making identification of the plane and victims difficult, Arnum said. Authorities wouldn't release any information about the victims until positive identifications have been made, he said.

But friend of the Cardwells confirmed to Lake Tahoe News that Harold and Kin had tragically passed.

 SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating the crash of a small plane after it took off from Lake Tahoe Airport. 

 The small plane crashed shortly after takeoff on Saturday around 9:45 p.m.

The crash ignited a one acre fire in a meadow near the airport close to Winnemucca Avenue, but was quickly extinguished.

Investigators are searching for clues for what caused the crash of a small plane after it took off from Lake Tahoe Airport. 

Witnesses report the plane had apparent engine problems and was seen dipping downward into the ground while attempting to turn.

The FAA reports multiple casualties and no survivors of the crash.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those that perished in this tragic accident. Thanks to the quick and cooperative efforts by multiple agencies; the fire caused by this crash was put out quickly,” said Mayor Claire Fortier.

The names of victims are not being released until families have been notified.

Read more:

Plane crashes in South Lake Tahoe meadow, authorities presume there are no survivors 

Read more here:

Friends of the victims say the couple from Fresno was flying back from a party with another couple on board. 

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Cal. (KRNV & - El Dorado County authorities say they received reports around 9:48 p.m. on Saturday of a small plane crash in a meadow just east of Winnemucca Road in South Lake Tahoe

El Dorado County Lt. Pete Vanarnum tells News 4 witnesses say they heard a plane having engine trouble.

“Some witnesses saw it attempt to turn, and then dip, and then crashed,” Lt. Vanarnum says.Witnesses told authorities the plane burst into flames on impact.

The plane was burned so badly emergency crews could not identify the size of the plane and how many people were on board.

Lt. Vanarnum says the plane fire started a fire in the surrounding trees and grass.

It took emergency crews an hour and a half to extinguish the fire and it burned about a half of an acre.

Michael Frates was witness and tells News 4 at least 100 people arrived on scene after the crash, but the fire was so large there was nothing anyone could do.

Frates described it as a helpless and heartbreaking feeling.

According to Lt. Vanarnum authorities checked with the Lake Tahoe Airport and no one who filed a flight plan is missing.

He says the airport is no longer controlled by tower so planes can come and go when they want to.

Lt. Vanarnum says there is a possibility, but do not know if the airplane was connected to the 2012 Lake in the Sky Air Show that was at the airport this weekend.

He says the air show finished hours before the plane crashed.

Local emergency crews have cleared the scene.

El Dorado County dispatch tell News 4 the investigation is now in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Plane crashes in South Lake Tahoe meadow, authorities presume there are no survivors

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