Sunday, November 12, 2017

Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six, N3371W: Fatal accident occurred November 12, 2017 in Fountain Run, Monroe County, Kentucky

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Louisville, Kentucky
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Scott Thomas Foster:

Location:  Fountain Run, KY
Accident Number:  ERA18FA022
Date & Time: 11/12/2017, 1410 CST
Registration: N3371W
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32-260
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November12, 2017, at 1410 central standard time, a Piper PA-32-260, N3371W, was destroyed during an in-flight break-up and collision with trees and terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering near Fountain Run, Kentucky. The private pilot/owner and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed Everett-Stewart Regional Airport (UCY), Union City, Tennessee, at 1303, and was destined for Lake Cumberland Regional Airport (SME), Somerset, Kentucky. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot and his passengers were returning from a hunting trip. Preliminary radar and voice information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed the airplane contacted the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and was receiving flight following services. The airplane was in cruise flight travelling eastbound about 5,500 feet for about 30 minutes before the radar track depicted a slight turn to a northeasterly heading. At 1356, the radar track indicated a climb to between 7,000 and 7,500 feet and a series of left and right turns while maintaining a generally northeast track. Shortly thereafter, the radar track depicted an erratic series of left, right, and 180-degree turns before a sharp right turn. From that point, the radar target descended from about 7,000 feet to 2,800 feet over a 30-second span, before radar contact was lost in the area of the accident site.

One witness near the accident site described seeing the airplane "in a nosedive" before he lost sight of it behind trees.

The pilot/owner held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land. The pilot did not possess an instrument rating.

His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on October 17, 2014. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed the pilot had logged 251 total hours of flight experience, of which 246 were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1965, and had accrued 2,776.97 total aircraft hours. The most recent annual inspection was completed October 10, 2017, at 2,771.94 total aircraft hours.

The 1415 weather observation at Glasgow Municipal Airport (GLW), 15 miles north of the accident site, included a broken ceiling at 500 ft, an overcast ceiling at 1,300 ft and 10 miles visibility. The wind was from 210°at 4 knots. The temperature was 11°C, the dew point was 11°C, and the altimeter setting was 30.25 inches of mercury.

A preliminary review of high-resolution weather data by an NTSB meteorologist suggested a solid cloud layer between 2,000 feet and 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl) in the area surrounding the accident site.

The ceiling at SME at the estimated time of arrival was 600 feet overcast.

The pilot did not file a flight plan nor obtain a weather briefing from Lockheed Flight Services or through the Direct User Access Terminal Service prior to departure.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site on November 13, 2017. There was an odor of fuel, and all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene except for the left aileron balance weight, left tip tank, the stabilator trim tab, and about 6 feet of the right wing and right aileron. Parts associated with the rudder and right wing were located about .75 miles prior to the main wreckage. The entire wreckage path was oriented about 240°magnetic, and the main wreckage path was approximately 100 ft in length.

The initial impact point was in treetops approximately 60 ft high, and the main wreckage came to rest wedged in between tree trunks. The cockpit, cabin area, and empennage were destroyed by impact. Pieces of angularly-cut wood were entangled with the wreckage.

The engine was separated from the airframe and marked the end of the debris path. The propeller was separated from the engine, and came to rest 25 feet prior to the engine. The propeller blades displayed similar "S" bending, trailing-edge gouges, and chordwise scratching.

The airplane was fragmented and scattered along the length of the wreckage path. Control continuity to the wings, rudder, and elevator was confirmed through the control cables and bellcranks to the cockpit area. Separations in the control cabling displayed signatures consistent with cuts by recovery personnel or overload separation.

The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand through the vacuum pump drive pad. Continuity was confirmed through the accessory section to the valve train and crankshaft. Compression was confirmed on all cylinders using the thumb method. The magnetos were intact in their mounts. Once removed, they produced spark at all terminal leads when tested.

The vacuum pump rotated smoothly, and the when disassembled, the rotor and vanes were intact.

The carburetor and fuel pump were destroyed by impact.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3371W
Model/Series: PA 32-260 260
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GLW, 716 ft msl
Observation Time: 1415 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 210°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 500 ft agl
Visibility 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Union City, TN (UCY)
Destination: Somerset, KY (SME)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.773333, -85.992222 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Honorable Scott T. Foster 
Second to his passion for his family, were his passions for flying, hunting, restoring cars, woodworking, movies, and traveling. Scott was a member of the Kentucky and Tennessee Bar Associations, and the National Rifle Association.

Noah Thomas Foster
Noah had an appreciation and love for flying, whether it was a radio controlled airplane or “wheels up” in the sky. 

Quinton Douglas Whitaker
Doug was a man of God who touched the lives of many people with his life. He was an Attorney, Police Chaplain, and Air Force Veteran. 

Dr. Kyle Patrick Stewart
More than having DMD behind his name, Kyle was a loving, outgoing and kind hearted individual with the ability to love others unconditionally. Kyle enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time with his family and friends as well as traveling the world. With his passion for outdoors he became an avid waterfowl hunter.  As a Dentist, Dr. Stewart was considerate, compassionate, caring and treated his patients with dignity, professionalism and respect.

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The sudden loss of four Somerset residents left the Kentucky town in shock.

A plane crash in Barren County on Sunday claimed the lives of attorney Scott Foster, his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster, Dr. Kyle Stewart, a local dentist, and Somerset Police chaplain Doug Whitaker; all were well-known in the Somerset community.

"Each of these individuals were contributing to our community. They were at the age part of our future. Tragically being taken away from us leaves a void in our heart," said Mayor Eddie Girdler.

Noah Foster was a sophomore at Pulaski County High School. Principal Rodney McAninch says Noah had several close friends and was active in the school's technology program.

"Obviously subdued, somber. It's a sad day no doubt about it," McAninch said.

Students are signing messages on a banner that will be given to the Foster family. School officials are also making grief counselors available during this difficult time.

"We had a prayer circle for our students in the gym; the students actually initiated that, and it went very well. We want to make sure we support them as well as we can. At the same time, we feel like we need to give them as normal a day as we can here at school to help them cope with the grieving that's happening."

Whitaker attended Grace Baptist Church in Somerset. The pastor there says many people are wondering why this happened.

"The only answer I know is I don't know. Do I believe there is a why behind this? Yes, I do believe there is. I believe God has a purpose and God has a plan. Why he would take a 40-year-old who has a family who loves him? I don't know," said Pastor Bill Haynes.

The four were returning home from a duck hunting trip when the plane went down. All were supporters of the Lake Cumberland Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Dr. Stewart served on the committee.

"They leave behind an important legacy of care and conservation for their natural resources and taking care of their fellow man," said District Chairman, Jeff Adams. "I think that's a pretty nice legacy to leave behind."

Mayor Girdler says the town will be doing several things to pay honor and respect to the four victims, including lowering the flags to half-staff for three days.

Funeral arrangements are still pending for each victim. Lake Cumberland Funeral Home will handle Scott and Noah Foster's arrangements, Pulaski Funeral Home will handle Doug Whitaker's, and Southern Oaks will handle Kyle Stewart's.

Original article can be found here ➤

Kentucky State Police have identified the four people killed in a single-engine plane crash about 2:20 p.m. Sunday in Barren County.

Scott T. Foster, 41, and his son, Noah Foster, 15, both of Science Hill, and Kyle P. Stewart, 41, and Quinton D. Whitaker, 40, both of Somerset, were killed when the plane went down near Bewleytown Road in a remote area near Fountain Run, according to KSP.

Scott Foster was an attorney with a law office in Somerset, said Stephen Poindexter, a Burkesville attorney.

“Scott was a mentor to many attorneys,” Poindexter said. “He was a very skilled attorney who had innovative trial skills that would really bring a case to life. He will be deeply missed by many lawyers, clients and friends.”

Three of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Another person was taken to The Medical Center at Bowling Green and was pronounced dead there, KSP Post 3 spokesman Trooper Jeremy Hodges said.

“We’ve contacted the Federal Aviation Administration,” Hodges said Sunday. “It may be hours before they get here.”

Due to fading daylight, state police locked down the scene Sunday until the FAA crew arrived, Hodges said.

Troopers and deputies with the Barren County Sheriff’s Office planned to remain on-site until FAA investigators arrived. 

Hodges said Monday morning that FAA investigators were meeting with troopers to discuss what local authorities have learned about the crash and will travel to the crash site later Monday to gather information.

The plane “went through two or three tree tops” before striking a larger tree, Hodges said. A portion of the plane was lodged in the fork of the larger tree with the remainder of the aircraft on the ground. The debris field is about 200 to 250 feet long, Hodges said, and the total scene spans about 500 feet.

First responders used a rope system to descend an earthen embankment to get photos and mark items of evidence. “We’re trying to mark everything now,” Hodges said Sunday evening.

Original article can be found here ➤

Scott T. Foster (left), 41, and his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster (right) were also involved in the plane crash that took place in south-central Kentucky.

GLASGOW, KY (WSMV) - Four people were killed after a single-engine plane crashed in Barren County, Kentucky, Sunday afternoon.

The plane, which was a Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six, was headed to Lake Cumberland Regional Airport in Somerset, Kentucky, when it went down at 2:21 p.m. near Bewleytown Road in the Fountain Run community. 

According to the Kentucky State Police, it struck multiple tree tops when it crashed. 

Three people were pronounced dead at the scene, and a fourth person died after arriving at the Medical Center Hospital in Bowling Green.

The victims have been identified as:

Scott T. Foster, 41, of Science Hill, KY
Kyle P. Stewart, 41, of Somerset, KY
Noah Foster, 15, of Science Hill, KY (biological son of Scott Foster)
Quinton D. Whitaker, 40, of Somerset, KY 

No details have been released about a cause of the crash.

The FAA will arrive to the scene on Monday to assist with the investigation. 

Original article can be found here ➤

The four appeared to be on a duck hunting trip according to Facebook post by Whitaker the day of the plane crash. Noah Foster (top right) can be seen sitting on a boat.

'#TNDucks #Ducks #Cut’em,' he said in the photo post showing that they had checked in at Reelfoot Lake at 7.41am.

BARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) – Four people were killed in a plane crash near Glasgow, Kentucky Sunday afternoon.

Police say the crash happened somewhere off of Bewleytown Road and Capitol Hill Church Road.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that a Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six crashed near Glasgow, Ky. just before 2:30 p.m.

FAA officials said the plane’s destination was the Lake Cumberland International Airport in Somerset, Kentucky.

The victims have been identified as Dr. Kyle Stewart, Doug Whitaker, Scott Foster and his fifteen-year-old son, Noah Foster. Friends told WBKO the four were returning from a hunting trip in Tennessee.

Kentucky State Police Public Information Officer Jeremy Hodges described the wreckage as “mangled”. He also said there is a field of debris up to 200 feet wide.

Hodges described the state of the plane, saying it looks to have hit some tree tops before being halted by one of the trees.

A KSP Trooper said that the Barren County Sheriff’s office has secured the scene and will stay there until the NTSB comes Monday to do their investigation.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

In a separate crash in Warren County, Tennessee Tuesday, two men died when their Piper PA-32 also crashed.

Original article can be found here ➤

Whitaker changed his profile picture on November 11 showing him on the duck hunting trip.

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP/ WTVQ) – State Police continue to investigate a small plane crash in south-central Kentucky that killed four people.

The Barren County Coroner has identified the victims as 40-year-old Quinton D. Whitaker of Somerset, 41-year-old Kyle P. Stewart of Somerset, 41-year-old Scott T. Foster and his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster of Science Hill.

The Federal Aviation Administration says in a statement that a Piper PA-32 crashed near Glasgow at 2:21 p.m. CT Sunday.

The FAA says the plane was heading to the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport in Somerset.

The statement didn’t say where the plane was coming from.

Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Jeremy Hodges tells the Bowling Green Daily News that three people were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth victim was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Bowling Green.

Hodges says part of the plane was lodged between large branches in a tree. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams says NTSB investigators planned to arrive at the site on Monday.

Original article can be found here ➤

GLASGOW, Ky. (LEX 18/AP) - Kentucky State Police say four people have died in the crash of a small plane in south-central Kentucky.
The Federal Aviation Administration says in a statement that a Piper PA32 crashed near Glasgow at 2:21 p.m. CT Sunday. The FAA says the plane was heading to the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport in Somerset. The statement didn't say where the plane was coming from.
Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Jeremy Hodges told LEX 18 three people were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth victim was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Bowling Green. He says the plane crashed after it hit several tree tops in a wooded area. 

KSP released the identities of the deceased as Scott Foster, 41, of Science Hill, his son Noah Foster, 15, of Science Hill, Dr. Kyle Stewart, 41, of Somerset, and Somerset Police chaplain Quinton D. Whitaker, 40.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams says NTSB investigators planned to arrive at the site on Monday.

Story and video:

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) —  Authorities say four people have been killed in a plane crash in Kentucky.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports that Kentucky State Police say 41-year-old Kyle P. Stewart, 40-year-old Quinton D. Whitaker, 41-year-old Scott T. Foster and his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster were killed Sunday afternoon when the small plane crashed in Barren County in south-central Kentucky.

KSP Post 3 spokesman Trooper Jeremy Hodges says three people were pronounced dead at the scene, and the fourth person was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Hodges says the plane went through multiple tree tops before striking a larger tree, leaving a debris field about 200 to 250 feet long. The total scene spans around 500 feet.

Original article can be found here ➤

UPDATE: The Barren County Coroner's Office has confirmed the identity of the four people who died in a plane crash near Fountain Run Sunday. 

The names of the deceased have been released by the Kentucky State Police. They are: Scott T. Foster, 41, and his 15-year-old son, Noah,  of Science Hill; Kyle P. Stewart, 41, of Somerset; and Quinton D. Whitaker, 40, of Somerset. 

AUSTIN — Four people have died in a plane crash in Barren County. 

Emergency crews were called to a plane crash at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon in southern Barren County near Tracy.

Some details including the names of the deceased have not been confirmed by authorities, but witnesses said they observed a small plane that appeared to be struggling with control shortly before it crashed in a field on a farm just off Capitol Hill Church Road near Bewleytown Road. 

In a news release issued by the Kentucky State Police on Sunday evening, authorities said the single engine aircraft struck multiple tree tops in a wooded area. 

Misty Keele said she was hunting on property adjacent to the site of the crash when she saw the plane just before it went down. 

She said debris apparently from the plane landed near her. 

"My heart was just pounding," Keele said. 

She was hunting along with Matt Poynter and Gabriel Knudson, both of whom said the plane appeared to be struggling to maintain control before it went down. 

Poynter said at first, he thought the plane was performing tricks as it looked like it barrel rolled just before crashing. 

"But I realized [the pilot] had lost all control," he said. 

Poynter had a photograph on his cell phone of what appeared to be debris from the crash he said had landed close to Keele. 

Knudson said he heard a loud sound like an explosion just before the crash and saw debris falling from the sky. 

"That's one sight you don't ever want to see," he said. 

Kenneth Strode lives near the site of the crash, and said he was cleaning a deer from a recent hunting trip along with a friend when they both heard a loud noise. 

"I thought it was going to take off the top of the house," he said. 

Multiple witnesses said they heard the engine of the plane cut on and off before the crash. 

The site where the remainder of the plane came to rest is several hundred feet from the roadway behind a line of trees near a small creek. 

The KSP and the Federal Aviation Administration were conducting a joint investigation as of Sunday evening. 

Three of the occupants of the plane were pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was pronounced dead after being transported to the Medical Center in Bowling Green. 

Original article  ➤

GLASGOW, Ky. - Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed a single-engine plane crash in Barren County, Kentucky killed four people.

Reports stated the plane crashed near Bewleytown Road in the Fountain Run community of Barren County around 2:21 p.m. Sunday.

Details on the crash had not been released; however, authorities confirmed three people died at the scene, and a fourth victim died after being taken to the Medical Center in Bowling Green.

The identities of those killed were released Sunday night. Scott T. Foster, age 41 of Science Hill, Kentucky, and his son, 15-year-old Noah Foster, both died in the crash. Troopers identified the other two victims as 41-year-old Kyle P. Stewart and 40-year-old Quinton D. Whitaker, both of Somerset, Kentucky.

Authorities with the FAA said the plane was a Piper PA32 that was headed to the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport in Somerset.

Further details were not released as the investigation continued by the FAA and Kentucky State Police. Officials with the NTSB were set to determine the probable cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤


Anonymous said...

Looks like in-flight structural failure.

Anonymous said...

^ That's what I was thinking, too.

Anonymous said...

probably only after loss of control and high G attempt to correct once ground was in sight.

Private pilot in IMC is liklely the cause of the loss of control

Anonymous said...

Article state is was IMC conditions? To early to speculate

Anonymous said...

"probably only after loss of control and high G attempt to correct once ground was in sight."

That goes without saying.

"Private pilot in IMC is liklely the cause of the loss of control"

By PP I assume you mean a non-instrument rated PP.

PP is a license.

An instrument rating allows a pilot to fly by sole reference to the instruments, and without any reference to the ground outside. This rating can be added on to a private pilot certificate or commercial pilot certificate.

Anonymous said...

It was quite harsh IMC here, that day. I like about 45 minutes from where the crash occurred. Low ceilings and low visibility. The PIC was not instrument rated.

I am instrument rated, and I would not have gone flying in a single engine, especially without an autopilot, that day.

Sad thing.

Gerry said...

As a former corporate pilot if I felt uncomfortable taking off without a autopilot I wouldn't takeoff with one either. Just my opinion you understand everyone has one.