Monday, May 26, 2014

Piper PA-28-140, N5768U: Incident occurred May 26, 2014 in Franklin, Kentucky


FAA Louisville FSDO-17:


Cross Plains pilot recounts Monday plane crash 

A Cross Plains pilot said Tuesday he felt thankful and blessed that he and his wife weren’t injured after their small plane crashed in Kentucky on Monday.

“It could have gone nine different ways of bad and it turned out OK,” said James E. McGaugh, Jr. “Never in my life have I been through something like this, and I hope I never will again.”

Problems for McGaugh began shortly after take-off, he said. He and his wife, Renee, were planning an afternoon trip to Gallatin to gain flight time in their 1969 Piper PA-28-140 fixed-wing single-engine aircraft and practice with a newly installed GPS system.

The couple has a hangar at the privately-owned Welcome Field Airport, McGaugh said. The facility sits about five miles from the Tennessee border and three miles west of Franklin, Ky.

“I was going down the runway, trying to take off, and once I took off, it just wouldn’t climb out or gain any altitude,” he said. “I did everything right, but the airplane wouldn’t respond. We hit the power lines and the plane’s engine stopped.”

McGaugh was able to land the plane in a corn field less than a mile away from Welcome Field Airport.

“It all happened in a matter of about 10 seconds, if it was that long,” he said, adding that all he could think about was his wife’s safety during the ordeal.

The couple has been married for nearly 31 years. They own Shipley’s Do-Nuts in Madison and have three grown daughters, ages 26, 25 and 21.

After the landing, the craft came to rest in an adjacent wheat field, about 25 feet away from where it landed and 200 feet from a private residence, according to Robert Palmer, director of the Simpson County Office of Emergency Management.

First responders were called to the scene near Tuck Road just before 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Palmer said.

“I was told we had a single-engine plane down with no injuries, but I didn’t really know what to expect as far as the shape of the airplane was concerned,” Palmer said. “It appeared the plane had minimal contact with the power lines, which was good news.

“Anytime you set an aircraft down where it doesn’t belong and walk away from it, I consider the pilot and any passengers to be pretty lucky. It certainly could have been worse for them.”

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were dispatched to the scene on Tuesday to determine the cause of the crash.

The agency’s spokeswoman, Kathleen Bergen, declined to answer any specific questions regarding the crash.

“The FAA does not discuss open investigation,” she wrote in an email. “The information (from the investigation) will be turned over to the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), which will post a preliminary report at in about 10 days.”

Once the FAA investigation is complete, the agency will release the aircraft back to McGaugh, Bergen said.

On Tuesday afternoon, McGaugh said he had been given the authority to move the plane back to his private hangar. He said he was planning to have the plane repaired. There was some damage to the aircraft’s propeller and some scuffs to the undercarriage, but a more thorough inspection of the engine would have to be scheduled for a later date, he said.

McGaugh has been a pilot since 1995. He and his wife bought the Piper, their only aircraft, this past April in Texas, he said. Before the crash, he had flown it about seven times without incident.

WSMV Channel 4 


No injuries were reported after a small plane crashed into power lines Monday afternoon in Simpson County, KY.

Emergency officials say the plane missed a nearby landing strip and went down in a field near Tuck Road in Franklin.

The plane is still intact, and the two occupants on board - a husband and wife - were not hurt.

Officials say the pilot had just taken off from the private airstrip about a mile away when the plane experienced trouble. Witnesses say it appeared the single-engine plane couldn't get any lift after taking off.

The couple recently bought the plane in Springfield, they were on their way to Gallatin at the time of the crash.

The FAA will investigate the crash Tuesday morning.


A Tennessee man and his wife escaped injury today when the man was forced to land his small plane in a cornfield near a private airstrip in Franklin.

Emergency responders were notified about the incident at 3:14 p.m., Simpson County Sheriff's Detective Eddie Lawson said.

The pilot told deputies he was attempting to take off but failed to get enough lift and clipped a power line at the end of the turf airstrip about two miles southwest of Franklin, Lawson said.

The pilot landed in an adjacent cornfield. No one was injured on the plane or on the ground, Lawson said.

Kentucky State Police have been called to investigate. The Federal Aviation Administration will also be notified.

Lawson did not know the identity of the pilot or the pilot's wife.


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