Sunday, June 19, 2016

Piper PA-23-150 Apache, N1270P; fatal accident occurred June 19, 2016 near Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD, Alameda County, California -Kathryn's Report

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oakland FSDO-27

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA126
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 19, 2016 in Hayward, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 23-150, registration: N1270P
Injuries: 1 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 June 19, 2016, about 1149 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-23-150, N1270P, was destroyed after colliding with a rail car wash building during an approach to land at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD), Hayward, California. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The personal flight departed HWD at 1035. 

According to HWD air traffic control personnel, the pilot contacted the facility for landing about 9 nautical miles (nm) southeast of the airport. After issuing instructions and advising the pilot to expect a straight in approach for runway 28L, the pilot reported a loss of power to his left engine and stated that he would not be able to reach the airport. The tower controller suggested a road as a possible landing site, but the pilot elected to attempt a forced landing to a field near a group of rail tracks. A witness, who was about one half mile east of the accident site, observed the airplane enter a steep left banking turn to a westerly heading. Approximately 10 seconds later he heard the accident, which was immediately followed by a plume of dark smoke.

Nearby surveillance video showed the airplane enter a left wing low attitude, which gradually increased as the airplane traversed a set of rail tracks. The forward fuselage and right wing impacted the east wall of a small building. A mist covered the right wing, empennage, and tail as they fell to the ground and a postcrash fire ensued. 

Initial examination of the accident by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge revealed that the airplane came to rest at the base of a fiberglass rail car wash building about 5 nautical miles from HWD. All major airplane sections were accounted for at the accident site, which was contained within an area 35 feet long and 25 feet wide. The main fuselage came to rest inverted on a heading of 095 degrees magnetic and was destroyed by fire. With the exception of some thermal damage, the empennage was in one piece that remained connected to the fuselage through the airplane's control cables. The right wing was destroyed by fire and its corresponding engine was inverted and covered in soot. The left wing was co-located with the main wreckage in a near vertical position, at rest against the southeastern end of the building. An odor of fuel was detected near the left wingtip. Both sets of propeller blades remained attached to their respective hubs; the left engine blades were in the feathered position and were not damaged. The right engine propeller blades were in a low pitch position and displayed nicks, gouges, and tip curling. 

A wreckage examination will take place at a later date.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

HAYWARD -- The pilot who died Sunday when his plane crashed into a BART train yard appeared to maneuver the plane away from a neighborhood and may have saved several homes, according to a witness who said he saw the plane moments before its impact.

The Alameda County Coroner's Office on Tuesday identified the pilot as 60-year-old Robert Pursel Jr., of Fremont. Pursel was the registered owner of the Piper PA-23-150 that went down around 2:10 p.m. at BART's Hayward yard. The aircraft was registered out of Wailuku, Hawaii on Maui, according to a Federal Aviation Administration registry.

Pursel worked in technology since the mid-1990s and was a former director of investor relations at MagnaChip Semiconductor, a Korean-based manufacturer of semiconductors, according his page on the LinkedIn social network.

On Sunday, he flew in low while apparently heading to the Fremont airport. The crash happened around four miles east of the Hayward Executive Airport, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

A San Jose man who was at a nearby Hayward market on Sunday afternoon said it appeared the pilot was trying to avoid crashing into homes.

"It wasn't sputtering," said Tom Lynch, 37. "It looked almost as it was on a final approach for landing but turning and trying to avoid houses. He banked a couple of times and went around structures. I think the guy is a hero."

Lynch said he saw smoke rise from the crash and the plane caught fire.

Pursel died at the scene, authorities said. They didn't release any information about what may have caused the crash or confirm that the pilot appeared to turn to avoid a residential area.

Pursel, who has worked in technology since the mid-1990s, was a former director of investor relations for San Jose-based Atmel Corp., and handled investor relations and business analysis for Milpitas-based LSI Logic, his LinkedIn page.


HAYWARD (CBS SF) — The pilot of a small plane died after his plane went down on BART tracks in Hayward Sunday, prompting BART to briefly halt service in the area.

The incident was first reported at 11:57 a.m., after fire officials received a report that a Piper PA-23-150 Apache went down near 150 Sandoval Way, according to Hayward fire Capt. Don Nichelson.

The plane went down on tracks near the Hayward Yard, causing a small fire.

No other injuries were reported, Nichelson said.

BART initially stopped service between the South Hayward station and the Fremont station on the Fremont line, according to BART officials.

As of 2:30 p.m., the Union City and Fremont stations have reopened, with a 10-minute delay in the Fremont and Richmond directions, BART officials said.

The incident comes ahead of a major sporting event Sunday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland where thousands of basketball fans are expected at the seventh NBA Finals game between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at 5 p.m.

Story and audio:

HAYWARD -- A pilot died and BART service was interrupted hours before Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday after a small plane crashed on its tracks, authorities said.

There were no reports of injuries to anyone on the ground, including BART passengers or staff.

The Piper PA-23-150 Apache went down for unknown reasons about four miles east of the Hayward Executive airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. 

The plane crashed around 12:05 p.m. on BART's transfer tracks at its Hayward Yard, spokeswoman Denise Gonzales said, near the area of Whipple Road and Railroad Avenue.

The location is on the border of Hayward and Union City.

Gonzales confirmed the pilot's death. 

Nobody else was on the plane, which caught fire after the crash.

Fire crews from Hayward and Alameda County put it out.

BART stopped its service between the South Hayward and Fremont stations on the Fremont line. 

Trains headed north from Fremont and Union City were stopped at South Hayward and unable to make it to the Coliseum station, the landing spot for fans going to Oracle Arena to see the Golden State Warriors play the Cleveland Cavaliers in a winner-takes-all-showdown for the NBA crown.

The agency made an AC Transit bus bridge available between the stations but did not say how long they think the stations will be closed.

Original article can be found here: 

At least one person has died after a small plane went down and landed on BART tracks in Hayward on Sunday, prompting BART to halt service in the area.

At about 11:57 a.m., fire officials first received a report that a Piper PA-23-150 Apache went down near 150 Sandoval Way, causing a small fire, according to Hayward fire Capt. Don Nichelson.

Aside from the fatality, no other injuries have been reported, Nichelson said.

BART had closed the Union City and the Fremont Bart stations, but they were reopened after 2 p.m. BART is still expecting 10 minute delays between the South Hayward Station and the Fremont Station on the Fremont line, according to BART officials.

BART is asking passengers to find alternate means of transportation and suggests passengers take the AC Transit Buss line 99, which will take them between the South Hayward and Fremont stations.

Original article can be found here:

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