Friday, January 2, 2015

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, N81291: Fatal accident occurred January 02, 2015 in Kuttawa, Kentucky




The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Final Report   -   National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -   National Transportation Safety Board:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA088
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 02, 2015 in Kuttawa, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA34, registration: N81291
Injuries: 4 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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.

The commercial pilot departed on a cross-country flight in night instrument meteorological conditions with the airplane’s fuel tanks full, providing an estimated fuel endurance of 4 hours 50 minutes. Two hours 50 minutes into the flight, the pilot reported a loss of engine power on the right engine, which was followed by a loss of engine power on the left engine. The pilot attempted to land at a nearby airport; however, the airplane impacted trees about 8 miles short of the airport. A review of weather information revealed no evidence of in-flight icing or other weather conditions that may have contributed to the accident. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engines revealed no preimpact failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. All fuel tanks were compromised; however, an undetermined amount of fuel spilled from the left fuel tank during recovery of the wreckage. The left engine fuel selector valve was found in the “X-FEED” (crossfeed) position, and the corresponding cockpit fuel selector switch was found in an intermediate position, which was likely the result of impact damage. The right engine fuel selector valve and the corresponding cockpit fuel selector switch were found in the “ON” position. With the valves in these positions, both the left and right engines would have consumed fuel from the right fuel tank. Review of performance charts and fueling records indicated that if the flight was conducted with the valves in the as-found positions, exhaustion of the fuel in the airplane’s right fuel tank would have occurred about the time the pilot reported the dual engine failure. In addition, the yaw trim was found in the full nose-right position. It is possible that the pilot used nose-right yaw trim to counteract an increasing left-turning tendency during the flight as fuel was burned from only the right wing’s fuel tank making it relatively lighter than the left wing. According to the expanded checklist in the pilot’s operating handbook for the airplane, during taxi, the pilot was to move each fuel selector to “X-FEED” for a short time, while the other selector was in the “ON” position, before returning both fuel selectors to the “ON” position before takeoff. According to a checklist found in the airplane, the fuel selectors were to be set to “X-FEED” during taxi and then to “ON” during engine run up. GPS data recovered from onboard devices indicated that the pilot taxied from the ramp and onto the active runway without stopping in about 3 minutes, indicating that it is unlikely he performed a complete run up of both engines before takeoff. He likely failed to return the left engine fuel selector from the “X-FEED” to the “ON” position, where it remained throughout the flight and resulted in fuel starvation and a loss of engine power on both engines. Toxicological testing revealed that the pilot was taking citalopram (an antidepressant) and rosuvastatin (a statin); however, it is unlikely these drugs contributed to the accident. Review of medical and pathological information revealed no evidence of any medical condition that may have contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to properly set the left engine fuel selector before takeoff and to recognize the incorrect setting during the flight, which resulted in fuel starvation and a loss of engine power on both engines.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 2, 2015, about 1755 central standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T, N81291, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain during a forced landing near Kuttawa, Kentucky. The commercial pilot, and three passengers were fatally injured, and another passenger was seriously injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH), Tallahassee, Florida, around 1500, with the intended destination of Mount Vernon Airport (MVN), Mount Vernon, Illinois.

According to the flight plan filed by the pilot, the proposed departure time was 1500, the estimated time en route was 3 hours and 12 minutes, and the airplane's estimated fuel endurance was 4 hours and 50 minutes.

According to global positioning system (GPS) data, earlier in the day, the pilot performed a flight in the accident airplane that originated from Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida, around 1145 and terminated at TLH at 1425. According to a fuel receipt from EYW, the pilot had the airport linemen "top all tanks," prior to the departure at 1145. Then, according to a fuel receipt from TLH, the airplane received 67.7 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel prior to departing on the accident flight. In addition, an airport lineman stated that the airplane fuel tanks were "top[ped] off" at that time.

According to air traffic control information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane was about 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl) when the pilot contacted air traffic control at 1750, and requested vectors to the nearest airport reporting visual flight rules (VFR) weather conditions due to "problems" with both engines. The controller advised him that Kentucky Dam State Park Airport (M34) was 11 miles west of his position, at 349 feet elevation. The pilot announced he had the airport in sight, and that the airplane's right engine had stopped producing power. The controller then cleared the airplane for a visual approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance, advised that he had lost sight of the airport, asked for the airport common traffic advisory frequency, and then stated both engines were malfunctioning. There were no further radio communications from the airplane.

At 1755, after several attempts to contact the airplane, the controller advised that radar contact was lost. The airplane was last observed descending through 2,700 feet msl approximately 10 miles east of M34.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, the pilot held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on February 4, 2014. At that time, the pilot reported 2,300 hours of total flight experience, which included 50 hours during the previous 6 months. His personal flight logbook was not located.

According to a flight log found at the accident scene, the pilot recorded approximately 14.5 total hours of flight time in the accident airplane since April 10, 2014, which did not include the flights on the day of the accident.

In an interview with local law enforcement, the surviving passenger mentioned that the airplane she customarily rode in with the pilot was in maintenance, and that the accident airplane was not the airplane typically flown by the pilot. The pilot owned and operated a PA-31-350, which was the airplane he "primarily flew." In addition, a local mechanic stated that the pilot only flew the accident airplane a "handful of times" prior to the accident flight.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979 and was registered to a corporation on October 29, 2012. It was powered by two Continental Motors Inc. TSIO-360-series, 210- horsepower engines, that were each equipped with a two-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propeller. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was performed on March 16, 2014, at 7573.4 total aircraft hours.

According to the airplane pilot operating handbook (POH), the airplane was equipped with a total fuel capacity of 128 gallons, of which 5 gallons were unusable. Each wing had two fuel tanks that were interconnected and functioned as a single tank. The fuel tanks on each side were filled through a single filler port in the outboard wing tank. As fuel was consumed from the inboard tank, it was replenished by fuel from the outboard tank.

Fuel management controls were located on the console between the front seats. There was a control lever for each engine that was placarded "ON"-"OFF"-"X FEED." During normal operation, the levers were placed in the "ON" position, and each engine drew fuel from the tanks on the same side as the engine. The two fuel systems were interconnected by crossfeed lines. When the "X FEED" (crossfeed) position was selected, the engine would draw fuel from the tanks on the opposite side in order to extend range and keep fuel weight balanced during single-engine operation. The "OFF" position shut off the fuel flow from the selected side.

Section 4 "Normal Procedures" of the POH stated that during taxi, the pilot was to "check the operation of the fuel management controls by moving each fuel selector to CROSSFEED for a short time, while the other selector is in the ON position. Return the selectors to the ON position. DO NOT attempt a takeoff with the fuel selector on CROSSFEED."

A note in the fuel system description section of the POH stated, "Do not take off with a selector in 'X FEED.'"

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

According to Lockheed-Martin Flight Service, no services were provided to the airplane on the day of the accident. The pilot filed his IFR flight plan with an online commercial vendor prior to departure, but there was no evidence that he obtained a weather briefing at that time.

Review of weather data revealed IFR conditions were forecast along the entire route of flight. In addition, airman's meteorological information (AIRMET) advisories for IFR, icing, and mountain obscuration conditions were in effect around the time of the accident. There were several pilot reports of in-flight icing conditions above 14,500 feet with no significant reports of turbulence or icing conditions below that level.

At 1753, the weather conditions reported at Barkley Regional Airport (PAH), 29 miles west of the accident site, at 410 feet elevation included an overcast ceiling at 600 feet and 6 statute miles visibility in mist. The wind was from 060 degrees at 6 knots, the temperature and dew point were 3 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.22 inches of mercury. Rain began at 1725 and ended at 1747.

At 1755, the weather reported at Kyle-Oakley Field Airport (CEY), Murray, Kentucky, 21 nautical miles south of the accident site, at 576 feet elevation included broken ceilings at 600 feet, 5,000 feet and 10,000 feet with 7statute miles visibility. The temperature was 3 degrees C, the dew point was 3 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.21 inches of mercury.

COMMUNICATIONS

The pilot contacted Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center at 1747:10, and reported descending to 6,000 feet msl, from 6,700 feet msl. At 1750:48, the pilot reported "…I've got problems" and requested vectors to the nearest VFR airport. At 1752:01, the pilot transmitted "I don't know what's wrong…both engines are malfunctioning – everything's forward it was running perfect I have fuel I just don't know the right engine is out."

At 1754:14, the pilot stated the "engines are not producing power I don't know what's up." At 1754:43, the pilot asked if there were any nearby suitable landing areas, and at 1755:06, radar contact was lost. There were no further communications with the airplane.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on January 4, 2015. The airplane impacted trees in a wooded area, about 8 miles east of M34. There was a strong odor of fuel, and all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage path was oriented 228 degrees, was approximately 300 feet in length, and at an elevation of 480 feet.

The airplane came to rest inverted with the landing gear retracted. The fuselage and empennage were largely intact, but heavily damaged by impact. All fuel tanks were compromised during the accident and evidence of a small postcrash fire was observed at the right wing outboard fuel tank. As the airplane was being moved for recovery, an undetermined amount of fuel was noted flowing out of the inboard section of the left wing. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit through tensile overload breaks and cuts to control cables made by recovery personnel. Examination of the cockpit and cabin areas revealed that both control yokes were attached to their respective columns and that the throttle, mixture, and propeller levers were intact in the throttle quadrant, and in the full forward position. The yaw trim actuator was observed in the full nose-right position, and the stabilator trim actuator was observed in the neutral position. The airplane was not equipped with aileron trim. The cockpit fuel selectors indicated that the left engine was in the "X-FEED" position and the right engine was in-between the "ON" and "OFF" position. The fuel selector valve positions in the wings were examined and indicated that the left engine was in the "X-FEED" position and the right engine was in the "ON" position.

The seats were anchored in their mounts, the seatbelts were buckled, and all were cut by rescue personnel with the exception of the forward-facing right aft seat belt, which was intact and unbuckled.

The left engine was separated from its engine mounts but remained attached to the left wing through wires and cables. The left engine turbocharger was removed from the engine and examined. Rotational scoring was noted on the interior of the turbocharger near the turbine vanes. The left propeller was separated from the left engine and was in the vicinity of the main wreckage. One propeller blade exhibited a slight s-bend, and the other propeller blade exhibited chordwise scratching. The spinner was impact damaged.

The right engine remained attached to its engine mounts and was attached to the right wing. The engine cowl was removed to facilitate further examination. All major engine components remained attached to the engine. The right propeller was separated from the right engine and was located forward of and in the vicinity of the right engine. The right propeller spinner exhibited impact damage and both propeller blades were bent in the aft direction.

A detailed examination of the airplane was conducted at a recovery facility in Springfield, Tennessee. In addition, each engine was retained for further examination at Continental Motors Inc., Mobile, Alabama, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator.

Compressed air was applied into the fuel system from the base of each wing toward to outboard section of the wing, and there were no blockages noted in either wing. In addition, the fuel selectors, crossfeed functions, and fuel lines in the fuselage were tested with compressed air and no blockages were noted. There were no blockages or anomalies identified in the fuel system that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

Subsequent examination of the left engine revealed impact damage to the exhaust system, engine driven fuel pump, turbocharger, and the No. 5 cylinder, which precluded functional testing of the engine in a test cell. Both magnetos were rotated and produced spark on all towers. The fuel pump was disassembled with no anomalies noted. The fuel manifold valve was examined with no anomalies noted. The vacuum pump was disassembled and all vanes were intact. Overall, examination and testing of the engine and its components revealed no preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the engine prior to the accident.

The right engine was functionally checked in a test cell where it started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously without interruption.

Additional examination of both propellers revealed that neither propeller was in the feathered position, and that both exhibited similar impact damage. Disassembly of both propeller systems revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Kentucky performed an autopsy on the pilot in Louisville, Kentucky. The pilot's autopsy report indicated the cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of the pilot. Fluid and tissue specimens from the pilot tested negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. However, the testing detected citalopram and its metabolite, n-desmethylcitalopram, in the urine and blood. Also, rosuvastatin was detected in the urine.

Citalopram was an antidepressant with selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting action. Rosuvastatin was a member of the drug class of statins, used to treat high cholesterol and related conditions, and to prevent cardiovascular disease.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Non-Volatile Memory Devices

A Garmin 696 GPS, a Garmin 496 GPS, and an Apple iPhone 5s were retained from the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory for data download. No data pertinent to the accident was obtained from the Apple iPhone 5s. Both the Garmin 696 GPS and Garmin 496 GPS recorded data from the accident flight.

According to GPS data, the units began recording, and then about 5 minutes later, the airplane departed TLH at 1500. It was noted that about 3 minutes elapsed between the time the airplane began to taxi and when the takeoff roll began. In addition, in that 3-minute timeframe the airplane was in constant motion. At 1750:16, at a recorded altitude of about 5,000 feet msl, the airplane slowed from about 160 knots to 142 knots groundspeed and began a descent. The descent continued, and the airplane slowed to about 100 knots for the remainder of the flight.

At 1751:25, the airplane turned to a westerly heading and continued to descend. Both GPS receivers stopped recording data at 1754 and approximately 700 feet GPS altitude.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Normal Procedures Checklist

According to a checklist found at the accident site, the checklist items associated with the fuel system included:

After Engine Start, item number 12, "Fuel Selectors – Crossfeed." Then, during the engine run up, item number 1 stated "Fuel Selectors – ON." Finally, the Top of Climb/Cruise Checklist indicated that item number 2 stated "Mixtures – Lean."

Fuel Performance Calculations

According to the POH, fuel usage for engine start, taxi, and takeoff was 4.2 gallons of fuel. Interpolation of performance charts revealed that the engines burned approximately 20 gallons per hour. Furthermore, the fuel consumption calculated on the previous flight was about 20 gallons per hour. An estimate of the airplane's fuel consumption during the accident flight revealed that the 2 hours and 55 minutes that had elapsed from the time of departure to the time of the accident would have consumed about 60 gallons of fuel, which included the fuel needed for engine start, taxi, and takeoff.


National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA088 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 02, 2015 in Kuttawa, KY
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200T, registration: N81291
Injuries: 4 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 January 2, 2015, about 1800 central standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T, N81291, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain during a forced landing near Kuttawa, Tennessee. The commercial pilot, and three passengers were fatally injured, and another passenger was seriously injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH), Tallahassee, Florida, around 1600 eastern standard time, with the intended destination of Mount Vernon Airport (MVN), Mount Vernon, Illinois.

Preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that at 1750, the pilot contacted air traffic control and requested vectors to the nearest airport in visual flight rules (VFR) weather conditions due to "problems" with both engines. The controller advised him that Kentucky Dam State (M34) was 11 miles west of his position. The pilot announced he had the airport in sight, and that the airplane's right engine had stopped producing power. The controller then cleared the airplane for a visual approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance, advised that he had lost sight of the airport, and asked for the airport common traffic advisory frequency. There were no further radio communications from the airplane. 

At 1755, after several attempts to contact the airplane, the controller advised that radar contact was lost. The airplane was last observed descending through 2,700 feet approximately 10 miles west of M34.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, the pilot held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on February 4, 2014. On that date, the pilot reported 2,300 hours of total flight experience, of which, 50 hours were in the previous six months. 

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979 and was registered to a corporation on October 29, 2012. It was equipped with two Continental Motors Inc. TSIO-360-series, 210- horsepower engines, with two 2-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propellers. The most recent annual inspection was performed on March 16, 2014, and at 7573.4 total aircraft hours. 

The airplane came to rest inverted with the landing gear retracted, and was examined at the accident site on January 4, 2015. There was a strong odor of fuel, and all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage path was oriented 228 degrees, was approximately 300 feet in length, at 480 feet elevation. 

The fuselage and empennage were largely intact, but heavily damaged by impact. The right outboard fuel tank was destroyed by impact and displayed evidence of a small post-crash fire. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit through tensile overload breaks and cuts made by recovery personnel. Examination of the cockpit and cabin areas revealed that both control yokes were attached to their respective columns and that the throttle, mixture, and propeller levers were intact in the throttle quadrant, and in the full forward position. 

The seats were anchored in their mounts, the seatbelts were buckled, and all were cut by rescue personnel with one exception. The forward-facing right aft seat belt was intact and unbuckled.

The left engine was separated from all engine mounts but remained attached to the left wing through wires and cables. The left engine turbocharger was removed from the engine and examined. Rotational scoring was noted on the interior of the turbocharger near the turbine vanes. The left propeller was separated from the left engine and was in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The propeller blades exhibited a slight s-bend on one blade and the other exhibited chordwise scratching. The spinner was impact damaged. 

The right engine remained attached to all engine mounts and was attached to the right wing. The engine cowl was removed to facilitate further examination. All major engine components remained attached to the engine. The right propeller was separated from the right engine and was located forward of and in the vicinity of the right engine. The right propeller spinner exhibited impact damage and both propeller blades were bent in the aft direction. 

The airplane was recovered from the site, and fuel was noted draining from the ruptured fuel tanks. A detailed examination of the airplane was conducted in Springfield, Tennessee, on January 5, 2015. The right engine was removed from its nacelle, and prepared for shipment and examination at a later date. 

A Garmin 696 GPS, a Garmin 496 GPS, and an iPhone were also retained for examination at a later date. 

According to Lockheed-Martin Flight Service, they did not provide any type of services to the pilot on the day of the accident. However, the pilot filed his IFR flight plan around 1540 eastern standard time with an online commercial vendor prior to departure, but there was no evidence that a weather briefing was obtained at that time.

A preliminary examination of weather data by an NTSB Senior meteorologist revealed a forecast of IFR conditions along the entire route of flight. In addition, Airman's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisories for IFR, icing, and mountain obscuration conditions were in effect around the time of the accident. 

At 1753, the weather conditions reported at Barkley Regional Airport (PAH), an airport approximately 29 miles west of the accident location, indicated wind from 060 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 6 statute miles in mist, ceiling overcast at 600 feet above ground level (agl), temperature and dew point 3 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.22 inches of mercury. Remarks indicated that the automated observation system noted rain began at 1725 and ended at 1747.

FRO-GUTZ AIR LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N81291 

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.





Sierra Wilder


Life Legacy

Miss. Sierra Lynn Wilder of Nashville, IL departed this life on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:15 P.M. due to an aviation accident near Eddyville, KY. She had attained the age of 14 years, 9 months and 18 days.


Sierra was born on March 15, 2000 in Nashville, IL the daughter of Randy Wilder and Jami (Smith) Lane.


Sierra was a freshman at the Nashville Community High School in Nashville, IL, where she was involved with the Drama Club. She liked the finer things in life. She enjoyed music, dancing, art and spending time with family and friends. Sierra loved going on vacations with her family.


Left with her memory are her mother, Jami Lane and her husband Jon of Nashville, IL; four brothers, Josh and Tristan Wilder and Landen and Max Lane all of Nashville, IL; grandparents, Jimmie Smith and friend Terry Smith of Paducah, KY, Shirley Smith and husband Jim of Centralia, IL, Jack and Janet Lane of Nashville, IL; five aunts and uncles, Terri Smith of Centralia, IL, Jesse Smith and friend Jessica of Paducah, KY, DeeDee Peper and husband Ken of Richview, IL, Kristy Brink and husband Jason of Nashville, IL and Kara Lane and friend Dan Paszkiewicz of Nashville, IL; cousins, other relatives and numerous friends.


Also left to mourn her passing are her father Randy Wilder of Nashville, IL; grandfather, Craig Wilder of Nashville, IL; grandmother, Patty Smith of Centralia, IL; many aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and numerous friends.


Funeral services will be held at the Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10 A.M. After the service, cremation will be performed and interment of ashes will be held at a later date.


Friends may call at the Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL on Tuesday from 4 P.M. until 8 P.M. and on Wednesday from 7:30 A.M. until the service hour.


Should friends desire memorials can be made to the family of Sierra Wilder, Washington County Animal Shelter or the Nashville High School Drama Club and will be accepted by the Campagna Funeral Home.


Source:   http://www.campagnafuneralhomes.com




Sierra Lynn Wilder



Piper Jennifer Gutzler


Life Legacy


Miss. Piper Jennifer Gutzler of Nashville, IL along with her parents Marty and Kimberly, departed this life on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:15 P.M. due to an aviation accident near Eddyville, KY. She had attained the age of 9 years, 8 months and 22 days.


Piper was born on April 11, 2005 in Belleville, IL, the daughter of Marty and Kimberly (Lane) Gutzler.


Piper was a 4th grade student at Nashville District 49 Primary School in Nashville, IL. She loved all sports, especially soccer, basketball and softball. Piper enjoyed going to the beach and being with family.


Left to mourn her passing are her brother, Nicholas Brink and his wife Jentry of Key West, FL; two sisters, Sailor Gutzler and Kasie Dlubala and her husband Danny all of Nashville, IL; paternal grandfather, Jerry Gutzler and his wife Nora of Swansea, IL; maternal grandparents, Jack and Janet Lane of Nashville; paternal aunt, Jackie Anderson and her husband Paul of Alameda, CA; two maternal aunts, Kristy Brink and her husband Jason and Kara Lane and friend Dan Paszkiewicz all of Nashville, IL; great grandmothers, Laura Haake of Hoyleton, IL and Marie Kaufman of Nashville, IL; eight cousins, Ella and Adam Hoepker, Jake and Jackson Brink, Landen and Max Lane and Josh and Tristan Wilder; other relatives and numerous friends.


In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her paternal grandmother, Betty Gutzler; aunt, Jennifer Gutzler and her cousin, Sierra Wilder.


Private funeral services for family and close friends will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Nashville, IL on Friday, January 9, 2014 at 11 A.M. with Pastor Matthew Wietfeldt officiating. After the services cremation will be performed and interment of ashes will be at a later date.


Friends may call at the Nashville District 49 Middle School gymnasium in Nashville, IL on Thursday from 4 P.M. until 8 P.M.


In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Sailor Gutzler fund at www.sailorgutzlerfund.com or will be accepted at the Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL, in charge of arrangements.


Source:   http://www.campagnafuneralhomes.com





Kim and Marty Gutzler



Kimberly (Lane) Gutzler

August 15, 1968 - January 2, 2015

Mrs. Kimberly Gutzler of Nashville, IL, along with her husband Marty and her daughter Piper, departed this life on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:15 P.M. due to an aviation accident near Eddyville, KY. She had attained the age of 46 years, 4 months and 18 days.

Mrs. Gutzler was born on August 15, 1968 at Pinckneyville, IL, the daughter of Jack and Janet (Kaufman) Lane. She was united in marriage to Marty Gutzler on July 10, 2004 in Nashville, IL.

Kim was a 1986 graduate of Nashville Commmunity High School. She loved her animals, traveling, painting and spending time with her family.

Left to mourn her passing are her three children, Kasie Dlubala and her husband Danny of Nashville, IL, Nicholas Brink and his wife Jentry of Key West, FL and Sailor Gutzler of Nashville, IL; parents, Jack and Janet Lane of Nashville, IL; 2 sisters, Kristy Brink and her husband Jason and Kara Lane and friend Dan Pasczkiewicz all of Nashville; brother, Jon Lane and his wife Jami of Nashville; grandmother, Marie Kaufman of Nashville; uncle, Tom Lane and his wife Carol of Nashville; nieces, nephews, other relatives and numerous friends.

In addition to her husband and daughter, she was preceded in death by her grandparents, Jack and Sally Lane and grandfather, Joe Kaufman.

Private funeral services for family and close friends will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Nashville, IL on Friday, January 9, 2014 at 11 A.M. with Pastor Matthew Wietfeldt officiating. After the service cremation will be performed and interment of ashes will be at a later date.

Friends may call at the Nashville District 49 Middle School gymnasium in Nashville, IL on Thursday from 4 P.M. until 8 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Sailor Gutzler fund at www.sailorgutzlerfund.com or will be accepted at the Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL, in charge of arrangements.

Source:  http://www.campagnafuneralhomes.com


Marty Gutzler

November 13, 1966 - January 2, 2015
Mr. Marty Gutzler of Nashville, IL, along with his wife Kimberly and daughter Piper, departed this life on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:15 P.M. due to an aviation accident near Eddyville, KY. He had attained the age of 48 years, 1 month and 20 days.

Mr. Gutzler was born on November 13, 1966 at Nashville, IL, the son of Jerry and Betty (Haake) Gutzler. He was united in marriage to Kim Lane on July 10, 2004 in Nashville, IL.

Marty was a 1984 graduate of Nashville Community High School and a 1988 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. He owned and operated the Gutzler Furniture Store in Nashville and was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church. Marty loved flying, boating and spending time with his family.

Left to mourn his passing are his three children, Sailor Gutzler of Nashville, IL, Kasie Dlubala and husband Danny of Nashville, IL and Nicholas Brink and his wife Jentry of Key West, FL; father, Jerry Gutzler and wife Nora of Swansea, IL; grandmother, Laura Haake of Hoyleton, IL; sister, Jackie Anderson and husband Paul of Alameda, CA; step-sister, Kimberly Perry of New York, NY; step-brother, Matthew Perry of Swansea, IL; niece and nephew, Ella and Adam Hoepker; aunts, uncles, other relatives and numerous friends.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Gutzler; grandparents, Budsie and Lavita Gutzler and Eldor Haake; and his sister, Jennifer Gutzler.

Private funeral services for family and close friends will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Nashville, IL on Friday, January 9, 2015 at 11 A.M. with Pastor Matthew Wietfeldt officiating. After the service cremation will be performed and interment of ashes will be at a later date.

Friends may call at the Nashville District 49 Middle School gymnasium in Nashville, IL on Thursday from 4 P.M. until 8 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Sailor Gutzler fund at www.sailorgutzlerfund.com or will be accepted at the Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL, in charge of arrangements.

Source:  http://www.campagnafuneralhomes.com







The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now investigating a Western Kentucky plane crash that killed four family members, leaving a sole 7-year-old survivor.

A distress call was made by pilot Marty Gutzler from the Piper-Seneca twin engine aircraft just after 5:30 p.m. Friday to the Memphis Traffic Control Center according to Officer Brent White with the Kentucky State Police. 

The plane was told to deviate from it's original flight path from Key West, Florida to Mt. Vernon, Illinois. 

The plane crashed shortly after in a forest near the Kentucky Dam State Airport. 

“I think the primary thing they would be concerned with at this point is the condition of the aircraft," Dr. Jose Ruiz with the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) Flight School said. 

Ruiz has more than 20 years experience in flight safety. He's now the chair of the department of  Aviation Management and Flight at SIUC. 

He explains that there are many factors the NTSB will consider during their investigation.

“I believe the weather, perhaps in concert with engine problems, perhaps the pilot was feeling overwhelmed, could have led to some poor decision making," Ruiz said. 

Weather conditions, visibility, mechanical failure, and split second decisions all could have played a role in this tragic crash. 

“We have such sophisticated aircraft that we typically don't suffer catastrophic mechanical failure, however, if we do have issues with the aircraft coupled with poor decision making, it could result in this sort of tragedy," Ruiz said. 

The NTSB announced that it will release preliminary results of the investigation in the next 10 days, but said it may take up to a year for the full investigation results. 

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Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, N81291













KEY WEST, Fla. (KMOX) - KMOX has learned the Nashville, Illinois family killed in Friday’s plane crash in western Kentucky may have been the victim of a scam in Florida a few days prior to the crash.

A Key West Police Department report filed December 27th, says Gerald Martin Gutzler Jr. and Kim Gutzler arrived in Florida to find a home they had rented for their stay was occupied and not a rental property.

The Gutzlers showed police documentation to prove they had prepaid with Vacation Homes LLC of Key West.

The occupants of the home said this is not the first time they’ve had to turn away unsuspecting renters.

Key West Police say the address given for Vacation Homes LLC is actually a doctor’s office.

Marty & Kim Gutzler died when their plane crashed January 2nd east of Paducah, Kentucky. So did their nine-year-old daughter Piper and 14-year-old relative Sierra Wilder. Their other daughter, 7-year-old Sailor, survived.

Story and Comments:      http://stlouis.cbslocal.com






















KFVS12 News 


Kentucky State Police Lt. Brent White, NTSB investigator Heidi Moats and another NTSB official at Sunday's news conference




The Gutzler Family 



LYON COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Members of the National Transportation Safety Board are on the site of the deadly plane crash in Lyon County, Ky. Sunday morning. A fund has been set up by the family of the 7-year-old survivor. 

The crash killed two adults and two children Friday night. A 7-year-old girl survived.

A web fund has been set up for Sailor Gutzler according to the family's attorney.

"Your generous donation will help Sailor obtain the emotional, physical and educational support she will need in the years to come. Thank you in advance for your cooperation," according to the website.

Kentucky State Police say NTSB crews expect to begin extricating the plane in pieces.
The NTSB did not arrive at the scene of the deadly plane crash in Lyon County until Sunday morning due to flight delays and other logistical concerns.

The NTSB says it will have preliminary report in 10 days. The full report and findings could take over a year.

NTSB investigator Heidi Moats says salvage crews have arrived.

Once the scene is clear, the plane will be taken to site in Tennessee for examination of engine and frame.

When asked how remarkable it is that the 7-year-old girl survived, Moats says "she's one remarkable young lady."

Kentucky State Police says investigators on the scene of a plane crash confirm four people are dead at the crash site. A 7-year-old girl walked away from the crash site to find help.

Members of the FAA were at the site of the deadly plane crash in Lyon County on Saturday. 

Kentucky State Police say they are remaining at the scene in a security capacity.

Officials have indicated a minimum of two days to conduct an investigation at the scene. Inclement weather hampered progress on Saturday. 

Police have released the  names of the victims.

Marty Gutzler, 48, the father; Kimberly Gutzler, 45, the mother; Piper Gutzler, 9, daughter; and Sierra Wilder, 14, cousin of Piper Gutzler.

The Gutzler family and Wilder were all from Nashville, Illinois.

The 7-year-old survivor of the crash was released from Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky. just after 1 a.m. 

Attorney Kent L. Plotner, released this statement on Saturday on behalf of the family:

"The Gutzler family mourns the loss of Marty, Kim and Piper Gutzler and Sierra Wilder. We are devastated by this loss, but are confident that they rest in God's loving arms. We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time. Please pray for us, especially for Sailor Gutzler."The bodies of those killed were taken to Louisville for autopsies. 

Police say the wreckage of a small plane was found in a wooded area off of Buckberry Trail, which runs off of KY 810 South in the Suwanee community of Lyon County.

Suwanee is located along U.S. 62, about five miles west of Eddyville.

According to police, the deaths account for the pilot and remaining passengers.

Kentucky EMA Regional Manager Mark Garland said there was one survivor, a young girl who managed to get out of the plane and find her way out of the wooded area to a house where she asked for help. He said the homeowner then alerted local officials to the crash site.

KSP says a caller reported they saw a plane go down around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2.

KSP says a caller told them that a 7-year-old girl had walked to his home saying that she had been involved in a plane crash.

Police say the child was in distress and was taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Police say the FAA Memphis Center confirmed a distress call from a private aircraft near the area of the reported crash.

The FAA says a Piper PA-34-200T aircraft crashed 7 miles east of the Kentucky Dam State Airport, about 30 miles east of Paducah.

The plane is described as a fixed wing, multiple engine aircraft.

The FAA says air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft as it was flying over Marshall County around 6:55 p.m. on Friday.

They say they lost contact shortly after the pilot reported engine problems.

According to police, the plane had left Key West, Florida earlier on Friday with a destination of Mt. Vernon, Ill.

Lyon County officials have set up a staging area for emergency equipment along KY 810, about one mile north of U.S. 62 at Suwanee to help their response to the crash site.

The public is asked to avoid the area so as not to impede emergency equipment and personnel.

Traffic along KY 810 was down to one lane in the area to allow nearby residents access to their homes.

This is a similar picture of what the plane looks like from the Piper website.

“I've got an 8-year-old child myself, that just turned 8-years-old. And when I saw this [what] appeared to be a 7-year-old child that walked through this dense Forrest," Lieutenant Brent White with the Kentucky State Police said. "Through some really tough terrain. Awful poor weather conditions – and survive this, it's just really a miracle."

Kentucky State Police Lt. White says that first responders " worked tirelessly to find this wreckage and hopefully salvage the lives of those that were on board. But, ultimately, it just wasn't meant to be."

According to CNN, Even with the plane upside down, the 7-year-old made it out, trekked three-quarters of a mile in the dark through what Wilkins described as "very, very rough territory" mired with fallen trees, creeks, ditches and blackberry briars.

Larry Wilkins went to his door. He opened it to see a young girl - her lips quivering, her nose bloodied, her arms and legs scratched up.

CNN reports the girl was barefoot except for one sock and was dressed for Florida -shorts, no coat - not for slogging through the January cold of Kentucky. Wilkins got her on his couch and called 911, alerting authorities that a plane had gone down and there was at least one survivor.

The Rev. Matthew Wietfeldt, from Nashville's Trinity Lutheran Church, said those killed, who he's known for four years "will be deeply missed."

"The Gutzlers were a wonderful family and wonderful members of our congregation and community," Wietfeldt said, according to CNN.

Heartland News talked to Troy Dunbar, a Gutzler employee and friend of family for more than 20 years. He said that Marty had been flying since he was 16 years old. He says Gutzler loved everything about aviation. He said Gutzler had flown the route to Key West in that very plane several times, and was a good pilot.

Dunbar says Marty and Kim Gutzler had two daughters together. 

The employee says Kim's son was in the military and stationed in Key West. The family was coming back from visiting for the holidays.

Marty Gutzler and his Dad, Jerry, owned the furniture store together.

Marty was described as being very involved in daughters lives. He coached youth softball and soccer.

KSP would like to thank all the agencies and personnel who assisted with the plane crash incident in Lyons County. 

Campagna Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for those killed.

Agencies taking part in this incident include: Kentucky State Police, Lyon County Sheriff's Office, Eddyville Police Department, Kuttawa Fire Department, Eddyville Fire Department, Aurora-Ross Fire Department, Lyon County Rescue, Marshall County Rescue, Lyon County EMS, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Lyon County Emergency Management, Marshall County Emergency Management and Lyon County Coroner's Office.


Marty (49), Kim (45) & Piper (9) Gutzler

January 2, 2015

Marty Gutzler age 49, his wife Kimberly age 45 and their daughter Piper age 9 all of Nashville, IL, departed this life on Friday, January 2, 2015 due to an aviation accident near Eddyville, KY.

Arrangements are pending at the Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville, IL.

Source:   http://www.campagnafuneralhomes.com

LYON COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -  Members of the National Transportation Safety Board are on the site of the deadly plane crash in Lyon County, Ky. Sunday morning. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

The crash killed two adults and two children Friday night. A 7-year-old girl survived.

Kentucky State Police say NTSB crews expect to begin extricating the plane in pieces.

An 11 a.m. news conference is set to release more details.

The NTSB did not arrive at the scene of the deadly plane crash in Lyon County until Sunday morning due to flight delays and other logistical concerns.

The press conference will be held at 309 Lee S. Jones Park Road in Eddyville. Lee S. Jones Park is located off of 93 South near Eddyville, Ky. NTSB and Lyon Co Emergency Management will be present along with FAA Officials.

Kentucky State Police says investigators on the scene of a plane crash confirm four people are dead at the crash site. A 7-year-old girl walked away from the crash site to find help.

Members of the FAA were at the site of the deadly plane crash in Lyon County on Saturday. 

Kentucky State Police say they are remaining at the scene in a security capacity.

Officials have indicated a minimum of two days to conduct an investigation at the scene. Inclement weather hampered progress on Saturday. 

Police have released the  names of the victims.

Marty Gutzler, 48, the father; Kimberly Gutzler, 45, the mother; Piper Gutzler, 9, daughter; and Sierra Wilder, 14, cousin of Piper Gutzler.

The Gutzler family and Wilder were all from Nashville, Illinois.

The 7-year-old survivor of the crash was released from Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky. just after 1 a.m. 

Attorney Kent L. Plotner, released this statement on Saturday on behalf of the family:

"The Gutzler family mourns the loss of Marty, Kim and Piper Gutzler and Sierra Wilder. We are devastated by this loss, but are confident that they rest in God's loving arms. We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time. Please pray for us, especially for Sailor Gutzler."

The bodies will be taken to Louisville for autopsies. 

Police say the wreckage of a small plane was found in a wooded area off of Buckberry Trail, which runs off of KY 810 South in the Suwanee community of Lyon County.

Suwanee is located along U.S. 62, about five miles west of Eddyville.

According to police, the deaths account for the pilot and remaining passengers.

Kentucky EMA Regional Manager Mark Garland said there was one survivor, a young girl who managed to get out of the plane and find her way out of the wooded area to a house where she asked for help. He said the homeowner then alerted local officials to the crash site.

KSP says a caller reported they saw a plane go down around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2.

KSP says a caller told them that a 7-year-old girl had walked to his home saying that she had been involved in a plane crash.

Police say the child was in distress and was taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Police say the FAA Memphis Center confirmed a distress call from a private aircraft near the area of the reported crash.

The FAA says a Piper PA-34-200T aircraft crashed 7 miles east of the Kentucky Dam State Airport, about 30 miles east of Paducah.

The plane is described as a fixed wing, multiple engine aircraft.

The FAA says air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft as it was flying over Marshall County around 6:55 p.m. on Friday.

They say they lost contact shortly after the pilot reported engine problems.

According to police, the plane had left Key West, Florida earlier on Friday with a destination of Mt. Vernon, Ill.

Lyon County officials have set up a staging area for emergency equipment along KY 810, about one mile north of U.S. 62 at Suwanee to help their response to the crash site.

The public is asked to avoid the area so as not to impede emergency equipment and personnel.

Traffic along KY 810 was down to one lane in the area to allow nearby residents access to their homes.

This is a similar picture of what the plane looks like from the Piper website.

“I've got an 8-year-old child myself, that just turned 8-years-old. And when I saw this [what] appeared to be a 7-year-old child that walked through this dense Forrest," Lieutenant Brent White with the Kentucky State Police said. "Through some really tough terrain. Awful poor weather conditions – and survive this, it's just really a miracle."

Kentucky State Police Lt. White says that first responders " worked tirelessly to find this wreckage and hopefully salvage the lives of those that were on board. But, ultimately, it just wasn't meant to be."

According to CNN, Even with the plane upside down, the 7-year-old made it out, trekked three-quarters of a mile in the dark through what Wilkins described as "very, very rough territory" mired with fallen trees, creeks, ditches and blackberry briars.

Larry Wilkins went to his door. He opened it to see a young girl - her lips quivering, her nose bloodied, her arms and legs scratched up.

CNN reports the girl was barefoot except for one sock and was dressed for Florida -shorts, no coat - not for slogging through the January cold of Kentucky. Wilkins got her on his couch and called 911, alerting authorities that a plane had gone down and there was at least one survivor.

The Rev. Matthew Wietfeldt, from Nashville's Trinity Lutheran Church, said those killed, who he's known for four years "will be deeply missed."

"The Gutzlers were a wonderful family and wonderful members of our congregation and community," Wietfeldt said, according to CNN.

Heartland News talked to Troy Dunbar, a Gutzler employee and friend of family for more than 20 years. He said that Marty had been flying since he was 16 years old. He says Gutzler loved everything about aviation. He said Gutzler had flown the route to Key West in that very plane several times, and was a good pilot.

Dunbar says Marty and Kim Gutzler had two daughters together. 

The employee says Kim's son was in the military and stationed in Key West. The family was coming back from visiting for the holidays.

Marty Gutzler and his Dad, Jerry, owned the furniture store together.

Marty was described as being very involved in daughters lives. He coached youth softball and soccer.

KSP would like to thank all the agencies and personnel who assisted with the plane crash incident in Lyons County. 

Agencies taking part in this incident include: Kentucky State Police, Lyon County Sheriff's Office, Eddyville Police Department, Kuttawa Fire Department, Eddyville Fire Department, Aurora-Ross Fire Department, Lyon County Rescue, Marshall County Rescue, Lyon County EMS, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Lyon County Emergency Management, Marshall County Emergency Management and Lyon County Coroner's Office.

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Larry Wilkins retells the story of how his dogs, Bonnie and Pete (left), alerted him to a noise on his front porch, where he would meet the seven-year-old sole survivor of a airplane crash. 







































Marty and Kim Gutzler with their two daughters, Piper and Sailor, at the family's furniture store in Nashville. The couple and their older daughter, Piper, were victims of a fatal plane crash Friday night which left their 7-year-old as the lone survivor.


NASHVILLE — An attorney serving as a spokesman for the Gutzler family of Nashville has released a statement the family is devastated by the loss of three family members during a plane crash in Kuttawa, Kentucky.

Attorney Kent Plotner, who was serving as family spokesman, said the Gutzler family was devastated by the loss.

"We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time," the information from attorney Kent Plotner states. "Please pray for us, especially for Sailor Gutzler," the family said in a statement.

Seven-year-old Sailor Gutzler is the only survivor of the crash, which killed her parents, 48-year-old Marty Gutzler and 46-year-old Kimberly Gutzler as well as her sister, 9-year-old Piper Gutzler and her cousin, Sierra Wilder, 14. Bodies of the victims are in Louisville, Ky., for autopsy.

Sailor Gutzler has been released to family after being treated at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky., according to the Kentucky State Police.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane took off from Tallahassee Regional Airport in Florida, bound for Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. 

The family had been celebrating the new year in Key West, Fla., and were returning to their home in Nashville. The plane reported engine trouble just before 6 p.m. on Friday, and air traffic controllers attempted to direct the Piper PA-34 to a nearby airport. About 40 minutes later, emergency personnel received the call the plane had crashed and there was a single survivor.

According to the Associated Press, Sailor Gutzler walked through woods and thick briar patches, wearing only a short-sleeve shirt, shorts and no shoes in near-freezing temperatures when she saw a light in the distance.

The beacon led her to Larry Wilkins' home, police said, and she knocked on the door. Wilkins answered to find a thin, black-haired girl, whimpering and trembling.

"I come to the door and there's a little girl, 7 years old, bloody nose, bloody arms, bloody legs, one sock, no shoes, crying," Wilkins, 71, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "She told me that her mom and dad were dead, and she had been in a plane crash, and the plane was upside down."

Wilkins told the AP he brought the girl inside, got a washcloth and "washed her little face off and her legs."

"Brave little girl, outstanding little girl," he said. "I feel real bad for her."

The girl had a broken wrist, but was coherent and calm when interviewed by authorities, Kentucky State Police Sgt. Brent White said.

White and Wilkins both described the terrain she walked through as heavily wooded with thick brush. White said the girl traversed two embankments, a hill and a creek bed. Wilkins said the temperatures were below 40 degrees when the girl showed up at his door.

"She literally fell out of the sky into a dark hole and didn't have anybody but her own will to live and get help for her family," White said. "Absolutely amazing."

In Nashville, a man stepped outside the family's white, split-level home on Saturday and politely waved off a reporter.

"Not now," he said, his head lowered, before he stepped back inside.

Marty ran the furniture store that his father started, and the couple was well-known and well-liked, said neighbor Carla Povolish.

With two basketball hoops in the driveway, the Gutzlers' home was the center of neighborhood fun on a block full of children.

"All the kids in the neighborhood are just so upset about this," she said.

Povolish said the two sisters — Sailor and Piper — were together constantly.

"That's what's going to be so devastating for the little one," she said.

- Original article can be found at: http://www.register-news.com




Larry Wilkins made the 911 call after the girl made it to his home

















     

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