Monday, April 25, 2016

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N43576: Fatal accident occurred April 25, 2016 near Boone Inc Airport (NC14), Watauga County, North Carolina

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report:

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA169
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 25, 2016 in Boone, NC
Aircraft: PIPER PA32, registration: N43576
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 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 April 25, 2016, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N43576, was destroyed after a collision with trees, terrain and post-crash fire in Boone, North Carolina. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were seriously injured. The rear seat passenger was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. The airplane was originating at the time of the accident from Boone Inc. Airport (NC14), Boone, North Carolina.

According to a witness at the approach end of runway 31, he stated that the airplane was approaching at a high rate of speed prior to landing. He said that he did not see the airplane touchdown, but shortly after he saw a plume of smoke on a golf course. Another witness that was in a house on a hill on the right side of the departure end of runway 31, stated that when she saw the airplane, the left wing was low and it collided with a pine tree. She said that the airplane seemed as if it was attempting to gain altitude but collided with another pine tree before descending and "crashing into the golf course." Witnesses on the golf course reported that they watched the airplane climbout; they stated that the airplane was "bobbling" up and down before hitting the top of a stand of pine trees. The airplane nosed down and collided on the golf course before bursting into flames. The witnesses on the golf course observed the occupants exit the airplane and assisted them before the local authorities arrived.

Examination of the wreckage site revealed that the airplane initially impacted a stand of 75-foot-tall pine trees. Parts of the left wing and fresh cut branches were observed throughout the stand of pine trees. The airplane continued on the wreckage path until it came to rest on a golf course. The debris path was orientated on a magnetic heading of about 310 degrees and extended about 126 ft. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, the rudder and vertical stabilizer, the left and right horizontal elevator. The outboard section of the left wing was fragmented along the wreckage path. The right wing was located with the main fuselage and it was consumed by fire. A post-impact fire consumed the cockpit, cabin, and baggage area. The instrument panel and avionics were destroyed by fire. The airplane was retained for further examination.

At 1255, surface weather observation for NC14, about .50 miles northwest of the accident site, included wind from 330 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles. The temperature was 21 degrees Celsius (C), the dew point was 6 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.11 inches of mercury.

Steven Cox Berry, 43, of Banner Elk succumbed to injuries suffered in the April 25 plane crash on the Boone Golf Course. Berry is the second fatality registered in the plane crash that also took the life of former State Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Chappell, 69, of Boone.

The lone survivor is now John Field Worsley II, 68, of Lenoir. Although Worsley’s condition was initially described as critical by Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford, hospital staff at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is not allowed to release information pertaining to Berry’s status because Worsley is a “no-information patient.”

The plane crash occurred just before 1 p.m. on Monday, April 25. The plane took off from the nearby Boone Airport and immediately went into distress, according to witnesses playing golf. The plane clipped the tops of trees before crashing onto the course and bursting into flames.

A friend of the Berry family created a page a month ago to help pay for medical expenses. Throughout the past few weeks, Steve’s wife, Annette, posted updates on Berry’s severe condition.

Yesterday evening, the sixth update was posted: “It is with great sadness to tell you Steve passed yesterday. Arrangements are being finalized and will be posted shortly. Please continue to pray for Annette and their families.”

Click here to view the page.

Retired Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Chappell. Chappell was killed in a plane crash in Boone.

BOONE, N.C. —  A retired North Carolina state trooper was killed in a plane crash Monday in Boone. 

Ben Chappell, 69, of Boone died at the scene of the crash.

The two other occupants were John Field Worsley II, 68, of Lenoir and Steven Cox Berry, 43, of Banner Elk.

They were in critical condition Monday.

Officials said the Piper PA-32 crashed on a golf course west-northwest of Runway 13 at Boone Airport in North Carolina.

Witnesses scrambled to get to the downed plane as flames quickly engulfed much the aircraft in the middle of one of the fairways at the Boone Golf Club. 

Golfers like Bud Russell, a local minister, and his son, who works in law enforcement, tried to get those on board away from the fire.

"They clipped a couple of pine trees, and we knew they were going down, and it exploded on impact,” Russell said. “It was fully enflamed at that time and the two guys had barely gotten out and we continued to coach them to get them away from the plane."

Two medical helicopters landed feet away from the crash to airlift Worsley and Berry. One was flown to Winston-Salem and the other to Johnson City. 

A physician’s assistant was on his lunch break when he saw the plane touch down at the Boone airport and take off immediately.

"He came in really fast like a touch-and-go and came back up, and I was like, that was fast for coming into the little airstrip over there," Matt Baldwin said.

The Boone Police Department will be conducting the initial investigation; however the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be responding to conduct further investigation.

Story and video:

BOONE, NC (WBTV) - One person was killed when a small plane carrying three people crashed on a golf course in Boone Monday afternoon, the Boone Police Department says. 

The incident happened around 1 p.m. at the Boone Golf Club, located on Fairway Drive near Deerfield Road. It appears the golf course is not far from the Boone Inc Airport, off of Bamboo Road. Officials say the small plane took off from the airport just moments before the crash.

Several Boone neighbors heard the crash.

"It was a loud crash. It sounded pretty close, like right outside, when we heard it," said Jacob Wooldridge.

Witnesses on the golf course say the plane appeared be in trouble and clipped the tops of some trees and before crashing onto the course. Two witnesses turned into rescuers, police say, and were able to pull two people out of the plane. A third person on the plane did not survive.

Boone police officials say several people know the man who died. At this point, they are not releasing the identities of any of the passengers.

The plane, which caught on fire, was heavily damaged when it crashed.

Mike Howell heard the crash as he was leaving the nearby hospital. He says he rushed over to see if the rescue workers needed any help.

"Being a pilot myself, and a firefighter, I knew if there was something I could do to help, I would do it," Howell said.

Howell shot video of the rescue workers clearing the crash site. He says he has never seen anything like the explosions from the plane after it had crashed.

"The fireman you saw in the video was going up to it before the second explosion happened," Howell said. "The first one the flames went over the trees. It was big, big flames."

One survivor was flown to Winston-Salem and the other to Johnson City. They both are suffering from severe burns.

Police say the man who died is a local and his name will not be released until family has been notified.

"We are very saddened by this loss and extend our condolences to the family," Boone police said Monday evening. "We hope and pray that the survivors will be OK but serious injuries were sustained."

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be responding to conduct further investigation.

Original article can be found here:

UPDATE: Boone Police Department officers confirmed that one person died and two people were injured in a plane crash at the Boone Golf Club in Boone, N.C. Monday afternoon. 

According to a BPD news release, Boone Police, Boone Fire, The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to the golf course just before 1 p.m. in reference to the crash.

Police said a small plane took off from the Boone Airport moments before the crash.

Witnesses on the golf course said the plane appeared to be in distress and clipped the tops of trees, before crashing on the golf course.

According to the release, two witnesses were able to assist two victims in the crash. The third person on the plane did not survive.

One crash victim was flown to Winston-Salem for treatment, while the other victim was flown to Johnson City Medical Center.

Police said the man who died is a local resident, but his name has not yet been released as extended family members have not all been notified.

“We are very saddened by this loss and extend our condolences to the family,” Boone Police said to the release. “We hope and pray that the survivors will be ok, but serious injuries were sustained.”

Boone Police will be conducting the initial investigation, but the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be responding to investigate the crash.

According to the release, the High Country Chaplain Service all responded to the scene.

UPDATE: Boone Police Department officials will hold a news briefing concerning the plane crash at 4:15 p.m. at the Boone Golf Club in Boone, N.C., according to a news release.

No other information was released.

BOONE, N.C. (AP) – Three people are getting hospital care after a small plane crashed near a golf course in the North Carolina mountains.

Police in the town of Boone said the plane crashed early Monday afternoon near the Boone Golf Club.

Police say in a prepared statement that three people aboard the aircraft were transported to area hospitals.

Sgt. Matt Stevens says the names or conditions of the victims aren’t yet known.

Story and video:

BOONE — A local man is dead and two people were airlifted after a single-engine plane crashed into the Boone Golf Course at about 1 p.m. April 25.

The aircraft crashed moments after takeoff from the Boone airport, police said. The plane skimmed a line of trees at the course and then came down, landing near the fifth hole. The first 911 call came in at 12:56 p.m.

Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford confirmed that one man died in the crash and that the other two passengers, both men, were flown in “very serious” condition to Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn., and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

Speaking at a 4:15 p.m. press conference, Crawford said that immediate family members had been notified but that officials were not yet releasing the names of the victims pending notification of extended family members.

“The man who did not survive is a local resident; he is actually a friend to many in the community,” Crawford said at the conference. “We are very saddened by this loss and extend our condolences to the family.

“We hope and pray that the survivors will be OK,” he added, “but serious injuries were sustained.”

Crawford noted that “two witnesses turned into rescuers and were able to assist two victims from the plane crash.”

Bud Russell and his son Preston Russell — a Watauga sheriff’s deputy who was off duty — were golfing near the 14th hole at Boone Golf Course when they witnessed the plane come down.

“The plane came out of the Boone airport, didn’t get enough height and struck some trees,” Preston Russell said. “It took a nose dive and crashed into the golf course and was fully engulfed in flames.”

Added Bud Russell, “It just seemed to be having mechanical trouble, it was kind of bouncing coming up through there — it was struggling, and it was really low. We could tell it was having trouble before it ever hit the trees.”

The Boone Fire Department extinguished flames at the plane wreckage; the plane reportedly exploded upon impact with the ground, Crawford said.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on their way to Boone to conduct an investigation of the cause of the crash, Crawford said.

The tail number of the plane burned off in the fire from the crash, and no flight plan had been filed, Boone Police Capt. Andy Le Beau said.

Boone Police, Boone Fire Department, Watauga Medics, Watauga Rescue Squad, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the State Highway Patrol responded to the incident.

Original article can be found here:

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