Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, Transpac Aviation Academy, N327PA and Cessna 172SP Skyhawk, Westwind School of Aeronautics, N2459K: Accident occurred May 31, 2013 in Anthem, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA254A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2013 in Anthem, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N327PA
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA254B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2013 in Anthem, AZ
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N2459K
Injuries: 4 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 May 31, 2013, at 1003 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N327PA, while airborne at 900 feet above ground level (agl) collided with a Cessna 172S, N2459K, that was also operating at 900 feet agl, 3 miles west of Anthem, Arizona. Both certified flight instructors (CFI’s) occupying the Piper were fatally injured, the CFI and student pilot occupying the Cessna were also fatally injured. Both airplanes impacted desert terrain in the vicinity of the collision and were destroyed. The Piper was registered to Bird Acquisitions LLC and operated by TransPac Academy, the Cessna was registered to Westwind Leasing LLC and operated as a rental airplane. Both airplanes were operated as instructional flights under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and both airplanes had company flight plans. The Cessna departed Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, AZ at 0917 and the Piper departed the same airport at 0930.

Radar data shows two targets operating VFR (visual flight rules) about 1 mile apart. The western target was operating at 2,500 msl and 106 knots ground speed, as recorded by the radar playback. The eastern target was operating at 2,600 feet msl and 92 knots as recorded by the radar playback. The western target was on a northerly heading and made a 180 degree right turn to a southerly heading. The eastern target was also on a northerly heading and made a left turn to a southwesterly heading. Both airplanes executed their turn simultaneously. Shortly after each target completed its turn the paths of both targets intersected.

The wreckages of both airplanes were in the immediate vicinity of the radar depicted target intersection. The Piper had impacted the flat desert terrain in a flat and upright attitude. All essential components of the airplane were at the accident site. The Cessna wreckage was located 468 feet southwest of the Piper wreckage. The Cessna impacted the desert terrain vertically, imbedding the engine and propeller into the ground and the wings were crushed accordion style from the leading edges aft. The entire Cessna wreckage was consumed by a post impact fire. The vertical stabilizer and left elevator of the Cessna was located 1,152 feet north of the wreckage.

ANTHEM, Ariz. - Last week, two planes collided in mid-air and crashed into the desert northwest of the valley. Four people were killed. Tuesday, people came together to honor the victims killed in the crash. So far, only two of the victims have been identified. They are 37-year-old Paul Brownell and 26-year-old Basil Onuferko, flight instructors for TransPac Aviation Academy.  

Tuesday,  June 4, 2013 5:38 PM

The two flight instructors who died Friday in the midair plane collision in a remote area of northwest Phoenix were flying in the same plane, officials said.

Paul Brownell, 37, was director of standardization at TransPac Aviation Academy and Basil Onuferko, 26, was a certified flight instructor at TransPac, which is a local flight school that trains U.S. and international pilots.

Local authorities have not released the names of the other two victims, in part because some family members have not yet been notified.

TransPac has created a memorial fund for each man. Donations to the Paul Brownell Family Fund will give financial help to his wife and two kids, ages 4 and 2. Onuferko’s parents requested the Basil Onuferko Memorial Scholarship fund to help young people who want to attend the TransPac training program.

Donations can be made at PaulBrownellFamilyFund.com and BasilOnuferkoMemorialScholarship.com beginning Friday or by calling TransPac Aviation at 623-580-7900.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash site, debris, all on-board electronics like cellphones and GPS systems and maintenance and health records to determine the cause of the collision.

The preliminary report should be available in a week or two, but it could take months to come up with probable cause for the collision.

The planes collided Friday at about 10 a.m. Fire crews responded to a remote desert area east of Lake Pleasant and found two planes. One, Cessna 172SP Skyhawk, caught fire on impact and was “unrecognizable,” according to Capt. Dave Wilson of the Daisy Mountain Fire Department.

The other plane, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, looked like it attempted to make a hard landing.

The Cessna 172SP Skyhawk is part of Westwind School of Aeronautics at Deer Valley Airport, Steve Martos, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department has said.

The Piper is owned by Bird Acquisition LLC, which operates TransPac Aviation Academy. Bird Acquisition is a Massachusetts company with an office at the Deer Valley Airport.

TransPac said it has a fleet of 60 Piper planes, which are maintained by Federal Aviation Administration-certified pilots. At least two additional TransPac planes have been involved in fatal crashes in recent years.

Source:   http://www.azcentral.com

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