Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III (N327PA) and Cessna 172SP Skyhawk (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.

Margie Long 

PHOENIX -- Two of four people killed when two small planes collided in midair and crashed in the northwest Valley last week have been identified as employees of a hot air balloon company.

Hot Air Expeditions announced that its president, Margie Long, and project manager, Carl Prince, were aboard a training flight that collided with a TransPac Aviation Academy plane on Friday. The planes crashed in the desert near Carefree Highway and New River Road.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Margie Long and Carl Prince, but know that their spirits will continue to flourish throughout the company," officials said in a press release.

Prince, 43, was an FAA-certified fixed wing pilot and had been providing flight instruction to Long since August.

According to the company's statement, Long had a passion for all things aviation and her most beloved hobby was studying to obtain her pilot's license.

Company officials said Long had a passion for community involvement and was a proud representative of the Balloon Federation of America, the Arizona Business Travel Association, and multiple Arizona-based Convention & Visitors Bureaus, among other organizations. She was a finalist for the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, Small Business of the Year award in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Both Long and Prince were founding members of the nonprofit organization USA Eye Foundation.

Long, 59, is survived by two daughters.

The two planes were from flight schools based at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, which is located near Deer Valley Road and Seventh Avenue in Phoenix. The crash occurred about 15 miles northwest of the airport.

The other two victims were flight instructors for TransPac. Paul Brownell, 37, had been a top instructor since 2005. Basil Onuferko, 26, had just started with the company and was up with Brownell on a training flight before being scheduled to take his first student the following day.


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