Thursday, May 4, 2017

Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six, N3457W, Klamath Aviation LLC: Accident occurred May 02, 2017 near Snohomish County Airport (KPAE), Everett, Washington

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.
Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Renton, Washington

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Klamath Aviation LLC:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 02, 2017 in Mukilteo, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32-260, registration: N3457W
Injuries: 1 Minor, 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 have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 2, 2017, at 1529 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-32-260 airplane, N3457W, struck powerlines and traffic lights, and collided with the ground in Mukilteo, Washington, after a loss of engine power during takeoff from Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field). The airplane was registered to Klamath Aviation LLC., and operated by the private pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot was not injured, the passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The cross-country flight departed Paine Field about 1527, with a planned destination of Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot had just serviced the airplane with 41.2 gallons of fuel, and reported that he filled the main tanks to the "tabs", and both tip tanks to capacity. He performed a preflight airplane walkaround, and checked the fuel for contamination at the sump drains. No anomalies were noted, and he boarded the airplane, sitting in the left seat. Due to a Boeing 787 airplane performing tests at the arrival end of runway 16R, the pilot accepted an intersection departure from runway 16R, at taxiway A4 (with about 6,400 ft of runway remaining). He taxied to the runup area adjacent to the intersection, and performed pre-takeoff checks, and an engine runup. He stated that all systems were normal, and after turning on the auxiliary fuel pump, and confirming the fuel selector valve was set to the right tip tank, he taxied onto the runway and began the departure roll.

The pilot stated that the airplane accelerated appropriately, and he initiated a rotation at a speed of 80 mph. The airplane rotated, and continued to accelerate to 90 mph during the initial climb. The air traffic controller requested that the pilot perform a right turn when able, due to departing traffic behind, and the pilot reported that as soon he began the turn the airplane lost power.

The pilot estimated that the power loss occurred at an altitude of about 400 ft agl, and the airplane was not able to maintain altitude. He declared an emergency, and checked both the fuel selector valve and fuel mixture position, and confirmed the engine primer was in and locked. With limited time to troubleshoot, he began to turn his attention to performing a forced landing.

He could see an area of swamps and tall trees directly ahead, and to his right a busy six-lane road, running north-south. He could see to the right an east-west oriented road, which was free of traffic in the westbound lane. He maneuvered the airplane for landing in this lane, and has he approached, the right wing stuck a power transmission cable. Both wingtips then struck separate traffic light signals, rupturing the tip tanks, and spraying ignited fuel over cars waiting at the intersection below. The airplane then collided with the ground, and came to rest on the pavement.

A witness, who was positioned in his automobile at an intersection adjoining the runway, reported that his attention was drawn to the airplane before the collision, because it was emitting intermittent puffs of visible "exhaust".

MUKILTEO, Wash. - There were no injuries after a small plane force landed in Mukilteo on Tuesday afternoon.

The force landing happened at Harbour Pointe Boulevard Southwest and Mukilteo Speedway. 

Video from witness Guanting Li, who was in his car when the crash happened, shows the moments the plane crashed onto the street.

Plane fuel and fire rained down on the road and cars.

It clipped power lines, then the traffic light at Mukilteo Speedway,  and then hit at least five cars as it barreled down Harbour Pointe Boulevard.

Then, a ball of flames erupted when the plane crashed.

The pilot and passenger were able to get out and were not hurt.

The Federal Aviation Administration told KIRO 7 the aircraft was a single-engine Piper PA32. It crashed immediately after taking off from Runway 16R at  nearby Paine Field.

The pilot said he started started losing power and couldn't restart the engine.  As he began to go down, he saw that Harbour Pointe Boulevard was clear and open, and steered that direction.

 State Route 525 traffic was blocked in both directions but later reopened.

Snohomish County PUD said about 9,000 customers lost power in the area. 

 The FAA and NTSB will investigate. 

Paine Field is located in unincorporated Snohomish County, between Mukilteo and Everett, and about 30 miles north of downtown Seattle. The airport is home to more than 650 aircraft, including single-engine and corporate jets, and also is home to the Boeing manufacturing plant for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft. 

Story and video:

MUKILTEO, Wash. -- A small plane that had just taken off from Paine Field crashed on a busy Mukilteo road Tuesday afternoon, sending a rain of fire down on cars idling in early rush hour traffic below.

Miraculously, only two people suffered minor injuries in the event, and only one needed to be hospitalized.

Dramatic dash cam video captured by driver Guanting Li shows the plane clip some power lines then erupt into a ball of fire as it hit the ground.

"I'm so lucky," said driver Amanda Hayes, who told KOMO News the plane's wing actually scraped her car as it came down. "I just said, 'Get down!' And before I know it, I could feel the heat on my face... and like the fireball and the wing clipped at the end."

"When it was over, I wasn't sure if we were OK, if our van was OK. I don't know, that's probably the closest I've come to really thinking, 'oh this is the end, ' " added Hayes.

"I heard an explosion, a big 'boom!' like this, and you saw the smoke blow up and then, 'whoosh' he hit the cars and then he went to the side of the road," said Elaine Warbus who witnessed the crash while stopped at the red light. "A plane literally fell out of the sky, right there on top of three or four other cars. It's a mess out there."

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane is a single-engine Piper PA32, and that it crashed on Harbour Pointe Boulevard after taking off from Runway 16R at nearby Paine Field.

Mukilteo police say the plane lost power at around 500 feet and the pilot attempted to find an empty spot on the road to set down. However, the plane struck a power line and clipped a traffic signal, rupturing a fuel tank that ignited a mid-air fuel spill, dousing an SUV waiting at the traffic light below in burning fuel. The plane skidded to a stop on the southbound lanes of Harbour Pointe Boulevard, just yards from a gas station and hotel and a half block from Mukilteo's City Hall.

One person was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries while a second person was treated at the scene, Mukilteo police said. The pilot, a 30-year-old Oregon man, didn't report any injuries.

The ensuing crash and power outage created gridlock in the area as the busy Mukilteo Speedway was shut down at the start of the evening commute.

Tyler Smith told KOMO NewsRadio that he was coming out of the supermarket when he saw a cloud of smoke and discovered the small plane had crashed.

He said he saw a pilot and passenger walking away, and described it as a small plane with its wings clipped away.

Power was knocked out to several nearby homes and businesses. Snohomish County PUD crews restored power to all affected customers about an hour later.

The NTSB is now investigating the crash.

Story, video and photo gallery:


Anonymous said...

This happened 60 miles from my home town. The two people are very lucky to be alive!

Terry L. Miller said...

A lot of things happened here this day, bad things. But through it all our precious God and Savior was with the Pilot and occupant(s). I am so happy that all human life was saved, we need to give God his due in that he was right there with them.

Mr. Terry L. Miller
408 Airstrip Road
Luray, Virginia 22835-2810