Monday, March 13, 2017

Piper PA-28-181, N288PA, Bird Acquisition LLC: Accident occurred March 11, 2017 at Gila Bend Municipal Airport (E63), Maricopa County, Arizona

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA189 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Gila Bend, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/22/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N288PA
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight instructor reported that he and two student pilots were on a night, visual flight rules, instructional flight. The instructor tried to activate the pilot-controlled lighting at the destination airport, but he believed that it was inoperative. He reported that he could see the windsock on the airfield but that he did not see the “X” near the runway numbers and performed a touch and go. During rotation the instructor reported that, “I heard a red cone make impact with the nose gear section.” He had to apply continuous forward pressure to the yoke because the nose continued to pitch up with the trim set to the full-down position. He asserted that the flight characteristics were “acceptable” and continued the flight about 47 nautical miles to their home airport. Upon arrival, the instructor alerted the tower that he had a stabilator malfunction and landed the airplane with zero flaps. The instructor reported that he did not check the notices to airmen (NOTAM). The airplane sustained substantial damage to the stabilator.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 
According to Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM 03/058, the airport runways were closed at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor’s failure to review the notices to airmen related to the airport, which resulted in his landing on a closed runway and the airplane striking runway closed markers. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Bird Acquisition LLC: http://registry.faa.govN288PA

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA189
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Gila Bend, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N288PA
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight instructor reported that he and two student pilots were on a night, visual flight rules, instructional flight. The instructor tried to activate the pilot controlled lighting at the destination airport, but he believed that it was inoperative. He reported that he could see the wind sock on the airfield but he did not see the "X" near the runway numbers and performed a touch and go. During rotation the instructor reported that, "I heard a red cone make impact with the nose gear section." He had to apply continuous forward pressure to the yoke because the nose continued to pitch up with the trim set to the full down position. He asserted that the flight characteristics were "acceptable" and continued the flight about 47 nautical miles to their home airport. Upon arrival, the instructor alerted tower that he had a stabilator malfunction and landed the airplane with zero flaps. The instructor reported that he did not check the Notices to Airman. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the stabilator.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM 03/058, the airport runways were closed at the time of the accident.

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