Monday, September 19, 2016

Cessna 172S, Christiansen Aviation Inc., N52265: Accident occurred September 18, 2016 near Spirit of St. Louis Airport (KSUS), Chesterfield, St. Louis County, Missouri

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: 


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA St. Louis FSDO-62

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA379
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 18, 2016 in Chesterfield, MO
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N52265
Injuries: 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 18, 2016, at 2006 central daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N52265, impacted terrain during a go-around from runway 26R at Spirit of St Louis Airport (SUS), Chesterfield, Missouri. The airplane descended after it entered into a right nose-down turn while turning downwind for runway 26R. The airplane was destroyed. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Christiansen Aviation Inc and operated by Air Associates of Missouri under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident for the flight that originated from SUS.

CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) – A Chesterfield pilot is expected to recover after the single engine plane he was flying crashed near the Spirit of St. Louis Airport Sunday night.

Authorities believe he may have been doing "touch and go” maneuvers when the plane stalled.  He was the only person on board.

The U.S. Air Force has credited the Missouri Civil Air Patrol with both a “find" and a "save", as in finding the plane and saving the pilot.

Their training and a search beacon led the way to the overturned plane and the injured pilot, Ranakrishna Vallurutalli, 70.

He was still trapped in the wreckage, hidden by the late night darkness and waist high soybeans.

“What we could see from the fence line when they actually found the airplane was just one of the wheels sticking up,” said Lt. Col. Keith Monteith of the MO Civil Air Patrol.

The plane went down not far Spirit Airport around 8:00 last night.

Helicopter searchers were picking up the plane’s emergency beacon, a steady radio tone activated by impact.  Still, they could not see the plane.  Their initial search focused on the Missouri River and Howell Island west of the airport.  But the handheld direction finder used by in civil air patrol’s ground search team locked onto the beacon and pointed them just north of the area where the helicopter searchers were looking.

“When we showed up with the direction finder, we got a bearing that said it was actually a lot close to the outlet mall, than Howell Island,” Monteith said.  “When the needle (of the direction finder) centers up then we just look straight ahead, that’s where the bearing should be to the airplane that we’re trying to find … so (we) directed the helicopter to relocate and search the soybean field that was just to north of the airport.  Within two passes he had lit up the crash site with his powered spotlight…we train for years to go out and find and hopefully rescue downed air crew before they are in too severe straits.  Many times you don’t find them in time.  It’s awesome if you find someone in time to make a difference.”

Shortly after 10:00, the search was over.  The FAA is investigating the incident but there is not yet any definitive word on what caused the crash.

Story and video:

A pilot of a small single-engine airplane that crashed near Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield on Sunday night reportedly suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Chesterfield Sgt. Keith Rider identified the pilot as Ramakrishna Vallurupalli, 70, of Chesterfield. Vallurupalli was found conscious and alert inside the upside down plane about two hours after the crash, according to Monarch Fire Protection Agency officials.  He was extricated from the plane and hospitalized at a local hospital.

The investigation of the crash now is largely up to the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA], Rider said. Vallurupalli was the only person in the plane.

Roger Herin, a spokesperson for the Monarch Fire Protection District, said about 8:07 p.m. on Sunday night the control tower at Spirit reported the plane had gone down somewhere to the west of it.  Tower officials couldn’t immediately pinpoint the location of the plane,  A police helicopter found the plane after 10 p.m.

It was thought that the plane may be on the riverbank of the Missouri River in the Howell Island Conservation Area.  The plane turned out to have landed in an area near airport property, south of Rombachs Farm in the 18000 block of Olive Street Road that  shielded by high grass and  difficult to see, particularly with darkness setting in, Herin said.

The pilot actually was able to call his wife via cellphone to tell her to call 9-1-1 but the call was dropped before he could give a better location, Herin said.  Herin said another agency was in cellphone contact and responders were able to pinpoint his positions from the pilot’s cellphone signal.

Herin said the plane was upside down when responders came on the scene.  He said fire fighters had to literally cut the pilot out of the plane.  The pilot was then transferred to a local hospital.

Herin said plane crashes aren’t common.  “It does happen,” Herin said.


No comments: