Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N55339, registered to and operated by, the pilot: Accident occurred April 03, 2017 in Whittier, Los Angeles County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California

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


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


http://registry.faa.gov/N55339

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Whittier, CA
Accident Number: WPR17LA092
Date & Time: 04/03/2017, 2200 PDT
Registration: N55339
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 3, 2017, about 2200 Pacific daylight time, a Piper 28-140 airplane, N55339, made an emergency landing in a trucking yard near Whittier, California, following a loss of engine power. The airline transport pilot was uninjured. The airplane's left wing was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Temecula, California at an unknown time, and was destined for San Diego, California.

The pilot reported to local law enforcement that while he was flying at 1,000 ft, the airplane's engine lost power, and he executed an emergency landing in a large trucking yard. While landing, the airplane's left wing struck a stop sign.

The trucking yard was 61 miles northwest of the departure airport, when his intended destination was 60 miles south of the departure airport.

A witness reported that he heard a "loud weird noise" coming from the sky. He observed the airplane, with no lights on, coming from the south area of the parking lot; it struck a stop sign and drug it along the ground until the airplane came to a rest. The witness went over to the airplane to make sure the pilot was ok; during their conversation, the pilot would be very distraught, then would suddenly appear as if nothing had happened. His emotions switched back and forth several times during their conversation.

Local law enforcement reported that they could smell a strong odor of alcohol emitting from the pilot's breath/person, and his eyes were blood shot, red, and watery. In addition, he was slurring and mumbling his words, and he was unable to standup. The on scene officers conducted a standardized field sobriety test and the pilot did not pass. Subsequently, he was arrested for operating an aircraft while under the influence. A formal blood test, which was administered about 5 hours after the accident, revealed the pilot had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16%.

A sergeant from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Aero Bureau examined the airplane and observed the fuel selector was set to the right fuel tank. He turned the master electrical switch "ON" and checked the fuel gauges; the right fuel gauge indicated empty, and the left fuel gauge indicated between 0-5 gallons. A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector examined the fuel tanks and reported that they were intact and undamaged.

Ethanol is a social drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant. After ingestion, at low doses, it impairs judgment, psychomotor functioning, and vigilance; at higher doses alcohol can cause coma and death. The effects of alcohol on aviators are generally well understood; alcohol significantly impairs pilots' performance, even at very low levels. Federal Aviation Regulations (FAA), Section 91.17 (a) prohibits any person from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 0.040 gm/dl or more alcohol in the blood.

Despite numerous attempts, neither the investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), nor the inspector from the FAA were able to make contact with the pilot. The pilot did not submit the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report Form 6120.1. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N55339
Model/Series: PA 28-140 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7325380
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 0 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: FUL, 96 ft msl
Observation Time: 1006 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 161°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 11°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 2900 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 170°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Temecula, CA (F70)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: San Diego, CA
Type of Clearance:  None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None

Latitude, Longitude:  34.018056, -118.038056 (est)

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA092
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 03, 2017 in Whittier, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140, registration: N55339
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 April 3, 2017, about 2200 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA28-140 airplane, N55339, made an emergency landing in a trucking yard following a loss of engine power in Whittier, California. The pilot, sole occupant, was uninjured and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The airplane was registered to, and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Temecula, California at an unknown time and was destined for San Diego, California.

The pilot reported to law enforcement that the engine lost power while at 1,000 feet and he executed an emergency landing onto a large trucking yard. During the landing roll, the airplane's left wing struck a stop sign.

Law Enforcement reported that the pilot's eyes were bloodshot, red, and watery; he was slurring and mumbling his words; and he was unable to stand up. 

Since the night of the accident, neither the National Transportation Safety Board nor the Federal Aviation Administration have been able to make contact with the pilot.




LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Deputies responding to the emergency landing of a small plane on top of a building in Southern California arrested the pilot on suspicion of being under the influence, authorities said Tuesday.

According to CBS Los Angeles, a preliminary investigation revealed the pilot ran out of fuel and made a hard landing late Monday on top of the Michael Kors distribution center building, located in the 3700 block of Workman Mill Road.

The Piper Cherokee’s left wing clipped a stop sign, but the single-engine plane remained upright after it landed, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva.

As deputies talked to the pilot, they suspected he might be intoxicated and took him into custody, Villanueva said.

Darrell Roberts, the only person on board, could face a misdemeanor DUI charge. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.

Roberts, 58, got lost and was running out of fuel during a planned flight from Temecula, in Riverside County, to San Diego, about 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) south.

“He was headed in the wrong direction and somehow ended up here in LA County,” said Villanueva.

The plane landed in Whittier, a Los Angeles suburb about 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) north of where it took off.

“A DUI involving an airplane, that doesn’t happen very often,” Villanueva said.

The 1973 Piper PA-28-140 is registered to a Darrell S. Roberts of Winchester, in Riverside County. A phone number for Roberts could not be found.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating, spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The fixed-wing plane sustained minor wing damage and remained in the parking lot early Tuesday. It was expected to be retrieved by a crew hired by an insurance company, Villanueva said.

Source:  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com



WHITTIER, CA —Flying under the influence was suspected when a pilot ran out of fuel for his small aircraft on Monday. The 58-year-old Temecula-area resident was en route from Temecula to San Diego when the airplane ran out of fuel, forcing him to land where he did, Villanueva said.

The pilot of a small plane was arrested on suspicion of operating an aircraft while under the influence after he ran out of fuel and landed in a business parking lot in the Whittier area, authorities said Tuesday.

Darrell Roberts, 58, of the Riverside County community of Winchester, was taken into custody after the Piper airplane landed late Monday night in the 3700 block of Workman Mill Road, said Lieutenant Alex Villanueva of the sheriff's Pico Rivera Station.

Roberts was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor operating an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and was held in lieu of $1,000 bail.
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His next court appearance was scheduled for July 5 in Downey.

Roberts was alone in the airplane and was not injured, and the airplane was not damaged police said.

Source:  https://patch.com

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

While inebriated private pilots are rare, they do exist.

Anonymous said...

Any photos? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Purdy lookin' craft ;)

Anonymous said...

Ask and you shall receive - Ha! Ha!

Anonymous said...

Any raw video of that hard landing?

gretnabear said...



For being drunk, he sure thread the needle onto a loading dock pad between the Michael Kors and Kuehne & Nagel bldgs. . see the earth view at Google maps http://tinyurl.com/lq72nze

Anonymous said...

My dear father (a longtime private pilot and aircraft owner) had a saying. At the time, there was a rule that said pilots couldn't drink within 24 hours of a flight, and father changed that to "pilots couldn't drink within 24 feet of a plane".