Sunday, July 17, 2016

Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, A and N Company Inc., N2241Q: Fatal accident occurred July 16, 2016 near Hogan Airport (NY05), Esperance, Schoharie County, New York


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albany FSDO-01

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA257
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 16, 2016 in Esperance, NY
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R-201, registration: N2241Q
Injuries: 3 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 July 16, 2016, about 1845 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-201, N2241Q, was destroyed by collision with terrain and a post-crash fire after takeoff from Hogan Airport (NY05), Esperance, New York. The private pilot was seriously injured and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at NY05, and was destined for Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. There was no flight plan filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witness provided statements, and their accounts of the accident were consistent throughout. During the takeoff roll from runway 30R, the nose wheel of the airplane lifted off and then settled back onto the runway. The nose wheel lifted again and the airplane became airborne. Witnesses stated that the airplane rotated with approximately 500 feet of the 2,000-foot paved runway remaining. The airplane overflew a hangar at the departure end of the runway "at a very low altitude" as it began a left turn.

Preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation administration depicted a target correlated to be the accident airplane in a left turn after takeoff. The target climbed to about 100 feet above ground level (agl), and the radar track ended about 1,000 feet laterally beyond the departure runway.

The airplane was examined at the accident site on flat, swampy, wooded terrain, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage path began in trees about 50 feet above the ground, was oriented about 170 degrees magnetic. The main wreckage came to rest oriented 350 degrees magnetic and was consumed by post-crash fire.

The right stabilator and a portion of the right wing were separated and found in trees along the debris path. All flight controls surfaces were accounted for at the accident site, and flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to their respective control inputs. The left wing was separated at the wing root and had thermal damage on the inboard portion. The right wing was still attached to the fuselage and sustained substantial thermal damage. The cockpit and fuselage were destroyed by fire.

The flap control handle indicated a flap position of 10 degrees. Both propeller blades exhibited aft bending. The landing gear was retracted.

The four seat, low wing, retractable tricycle landing gear-equipped airplane, was manufactured in 1977. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360, 200 horsepower engine, equipped with a McCauley two-blade, constant-speed propeller.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on May 1, 2015, and he reported 385 total hours of flight experience on that date.

At 1851, the weather reported at Albany International Airport (ALB), Albany, New York, located about 23 nautical miles east of the accident site, included wind from 030 degrees at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds 5,000 feet agl, scattered clouds at 11,000 feet agl, a broken ceiling at 22,000 feet agl, overcast skies at 25,000 feet agl. The temperature was 27 degrees C, the dew point was 16 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.04 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.


ESPERANCE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say they've officially identified the three people who died when their single-engine aircraft crashed and burned soon after taking off from a rural airport in upstate New York last weekend.

Matthew Coltrain, a coroner in Schoharie County, identified the victims Thursday as 50-year-old Andrew "Mike" Mydlarz and his wife, Susanne Hilgefort, both of Stamford, Connecticut, and 48-year-old Lisa Marie Quinn of New York City.

A fourth person survived last Saturday's crash in the town of Esperance, about 30 miles west of Albany. That person was taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center. The person's name and condition information haven't been released.

The 48-year-old Hilgefort was a longtime Manhattan-based broadcasting employee of Major League Baseball. MLB officials on Tuesday confirmed the couple's death.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Susanne Hilgefort died in a small plane crash in upstate New York on Saturday.

An executive with Major League Baseball was among the three people killed in Saturday's plane crash in Schoharie County, according to

Susanne Hilgefort, the league's 38-year-old senior director of broadcasting business affairs, was one of the longest tenured employees of MLB, the league's official website noted.

Hilgefort's husband, Michael Mydlarz, also died in the crash, according to MLB.

The identity of the third person who died has not yet been released.

A fourth passenger was taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center.

The plane, a Piper PA-28, crashed Saturday evening just outside of the perimeter of a private airstrip in Esperance.

Schoharie County Sheriff Anthony Desmond said Sunday that three bodies were removed from the wreckage and transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital, where autopsies were expected to be performed Monday. Schoharie County Coroner Matthew Coltrain declared the passengers deceased at the scene.

The sheriff said the plane took off from the air strip called Hogan Airport, 212 Brandon Road, in the town of Esperance, and managed to stay airborne for about 1,000 feet before crashing southwest of the airport into a woody, swampy area. On Sunday, police were restricting access to a gravel, private road that runs along the air strip property named Whitetail Lane. A State Police helicopter was also stationed at the air strip, and was occasionally taking off to view the crash area.

Beloved MLB employee Hilgefort dies in plane crash:

What caused a small plane to crash and kill three on board and critically injure another is now a question for investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and State Police.

After the crash of the Piper PA-28 near Hogan Airport in the town of Esperance Sunday, three bodies were removed from the wreckage and transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital.

A fourth male passenger was flown to Alb Med and then transferred to the Westchester Medical Center burn unit, Schoharie County Sheriff Anthony Desmond said. 

The sheriff said the plane took off from the air strip called Hogan Airport and managed to stay airborne for about 1,000 feet before crashing southwest of the airport in a wooded, swampy area.FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the aircraft crashed around 6:45 p.m. Saturday and was destroyed by fire.

NTSB Investigator-in-charge Millicent Hoidal arrived at the airport and documented damage to the aircraft and marks made on the ground, and he interviewed two witnesses.

Hoidal, who in the past worked as an investigator in Anchorage, Alaska, said she hopes to move the wreckage from its swampy resting place to a more secure environment. The NTSB is charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States. It will release a report in seven to 10 days, a spokesman said.

Desmond said he did not know the identities of the victims, but said they were apparently traveling back to Connecticut.

The air strip, which sits on the border between Schoharie and Montgomery counties, is listed as being owned by Tim Hogan, who has an address near the air strip and in Bedford Hills, Westchester County.

ESPERANCE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – State Police and NTSB investigators are taking the lead on the investigation into the small plane crash in Schoharie County that left three dead and one severely injured Saturday afternoon.

Officials say four people took off in the small plane at Hogan Airport, a small private airport around 6:45 p.m.

Esperance Fire Chief Matthew Deffer says the plane did take off and go airborne, before it lost engine power and then crashed in the woods, about 1,000 feet from the runway.

Chief Deffer says he believes the only person to make it out of the plane alive was the pilot, a man the chief describes as in his 40s or 50s who was a trained pilot who has been flying for years.

The pilot was originally transported by helicopter to Albany Medical Center, but was then transferred to the Westchester Medical Center Burn Unit late Saturday evening.

Chief Deffer says all four passengers were from out of state, and flew into Hogan Airport for a part hosted by the owners of the airfield.

The crash occurred on their way home the party.

Chief Deffer says protecting the area was a joint effort between multiple police and deputies and roughly ten fire departments.

“it was a great sacrifice that we could work together,” said Chief Deffer. “And you know make the best attempt to do what our job is and to protect and save a life.”

It’s going to take investigators time to go through the aircraft, says Chief Deffer.

Investigators are going to pull maintenance records, in an effort to find out exactly what happened.

Officials say recovering the aircraft could still take a couple more days.

Autopsies are schedule for Monday.

Story and video:

ESPERANCE, N.Y. -- Three people are dead after a small plane crashed in Schoharie County. That's according to the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office.

The Federal Aviation Administration said four people were on board that plane. Sheriff Tony Desmond said one person was airlifted to an area hospital with serious injuries. The three deceased were taken to Albany Medical Center for autopsies. 

Authorities said the plane took off from Hogan Airport in Esperance around 7 last night, when it crashed about 1,000 feet from the airport. They are still working to determine what caused the plane to go down.

"It sounded like the engine lost power and that the plane started to decrease in the air," said Esperance Fire Chief Matthew Deffer. "And it went down into the trees and that's when we received the call." 

The plane was destroyed by fire. Crews said it could take days to clear the debris from the wooded area.

Story and video:

SLOANSVILLE – The Schoharie County Sheriff's Office said a small plane went down just outside of Hogan Airport in Sloansville Saturday at around 6:30 pm.

The plane landed in some woods nearby.

Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said four people were on board when the plane took off from the airport. 

"There were 4 people on that plane,” Desmond said. “One person somehow got out of the plane suffering some burns and was treated here by EMS and then flown by a medic helicopter I believe to Albany medical center,” he said. 

The plane made it about one thousand feet southwest of the airport before it crashed. 

At some point the plane caught fire.

At least one person was able to climb out of the burning plane alive. 

Fire Chief Matthew Deffer of the Esperance Fire Department said three other people on board the plane are presumed to be missing until investigators can confirm their status.

He also said Fire the plane was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene.  

It took an hour and a half to put out the flames. 

"There's approximately 10 fire departments on the scene and we did have quite an issue getting in there trying to gains access through the wooded area,” Deffer said. “We had to get ATV's and forest vehicles," he said.

Deffer also said witness who called to report the plane going down said it was flying very low.

The chief says the plane was never airborne. 

State police have taken over the investigation and ATF officials will also be assisting in the investigation. 

Fire officials said there is very little is left of the plane, which went down near the boarder of Schoharie and Montgomery counties.

Story and video:

SCHOHARIE COUNTY — A small airplane with four people onboard crashed on takeoff Saturday night in Schoharie County, possibly resulting in multiple fatalities, authorities said. 

The crash of the private plane occurred near the town of Esperance.

The Daily Gazette received unconfirmed reports that the crash killed three people and a fourth person was airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

“That’s what we think, but the coroner’s on-scene and nobody has been declared dead,” Schoharie County Sheriff Anthony Desmond said about 9 p.m.

All four were believed to be occupants of the plane. None of their identities were immediately available.

Desmond said the plane took off from a private airport near the Town of Esperance.

“The plane never became fully airborne and it went into the woods just southwest of the airfield,” he said.

The private field, called Hogan Airport, is located in the town of Sloansville. The scene of the crash appears to be near Old Brandon Road in Sloansville.

Tim Hogan, who owns the airfield, told The Daily Gazette he was told three people were killed.

“I wasn’t down there but apparently [three people died], that’s what the state police are telling me,” said Hogan. He said he could not comment further at the time.

“They didn’t gain altitude during takeoff and it went down,” said Desmond of the crash.

Desmond could not say what kind of plane was involved.

“It wasn’t in any shape that I could identify what kind of plane it was,” said Desmond.

Desmond said State Police are investigating the crash and that the National Transportation Safety Board is being advised.

Members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office, State Police and about a half-dozen area fire departments responded to the scene, Desmond said.<

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