Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Piper PA-32-300, N47831, A W Stiles Contractors Inc: Fatal accident occurred November 07, 2017 near Warren County Memorial Airport (KRNC), McMinnville, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee
Lycoming Engines; Atlanta, Georgia
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 

A W Stiles Contractors Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N47831

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report
National Transportation Safety Board
Accident Number: ERA18FA016
Date & Time: 11/07/2017, 1845 CST
Registration: N47831
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal
Location: Morrison, TN 

On November 7, 2017, about 1845 central standard time, a Piper PA-32-300, N47831, was destroyed after it impacted terrain near Morrison, Tennessee. The flight instructor and a private pilot were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Monroe County Aeroplex Airport (MVC), Monroeville, Alabama, about 1625. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and was destined for Warren County Memorial Airport (RNC), McMinnville, Tennessee.

According to preliminary air traffic control data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the controller cleared the airplane for the RNAV Runway 23 approach to RNC and switched the airplane to the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). A radar target identified as the accident airplane executed a missed approach and requested a clearance to Upper Cumberland Regional Airport (SRB), Sparta, Tennessee. The controller radar identified the airplane, issued a climb to 5,000 ft, a clearance to SRB, and issued the weather for SRB. The radar target reached 5,000 ft and turned toward SRB. Then, one of the pilots declared a "Mayday" and the radar target was observed in a rapid descent before radar contact was lost.

According to witnesses, the engine was "loud" and they reported hearing it "throttle up" before they heard the impact.

According to FAA records, the flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land, airplane single-engine land, glider, rotorcraft-gyroplane, and instrument airplane. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, glider, rotorcraft-gyroplane, and instrument airplane. He received a BasicMed certificate on June 22, 2017. According to the flight log found in the airplane, the flight instructor had accumulated about 2 hours of flight time in the accident airplane since October 6, 2017.

According to FAA records, the private pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The private pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on November 3, 2016. At that time, he reported 16 hours of total flight time, of which the 16 hours were within the previous 6 months of the medical examination. According to a flight log found in the wreckage, the private pilot had accumulated about 24 hours of flight time in the accident airplane since October 6, 2017.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1978. In addition, it was powered by a Lycoming IO-540 series, 300-horsepower engine that was equipped with a Hartzell constant-speed propeller. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2017, at a total time of 4,133 hours and a Hobbs time of 1549.3 hours. According to a flight log located in the main wreckage, at the time of departure, the airplane Hobbs indicated 1781.3 hours.

The main wreckage was located in a soy bean field at an elevation of 1,030 ft above mean sea level. The airplane impacted the field and came to rest about 100 ft beyond the initial impact point on a 040° heading. A 2.5 ft indent was noted in the field at the initial impact point. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage.

The wreckage came to rest upright and was partially consumed by postimpact fire. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the flight controls in the cockpit through cuts made to facilitate recovery. The right wing exhibited leading edge damage and sections were consumed by postimpact fire. The inboard section of the right flap remained attached to the right wing. The outboard right aileron remained attached to the right wing at the outboard hinge. The remainder of the right aileron was consumed by fire. The left wing was impact separated at the spar box and remained attached at the forward fuselage attach point. The leading edge exhibited impact damage and skin separation. Thermal damage was noted on the inboard approximate 5-ft section of the left wing. The outboard approximate 8-ft section of the left wing was impact separated and located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the fuselage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The stabilator remained attached at all attach points. The right side of the stabilator was deformed in the positive direction. The trim tab remained attached to the stabilator at all attach points. The trim tab control was measured and corresponded to the near full nose up position.

The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. All three propeller blades remained attached to the hub. There was leading edge damage noted along all of the blades

The engine remained attached to the firewall, but was removed to facilitate examination. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller flange to the accessory section of the engine. All cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and thumb compression and suction was observed on all cylinders. The rocker box covers were removed and no anomalies were noted with the valve springs and rocker arms. Valvetrain continuity was confirmed when the crankshaft was rotated through 360-degrees of motion. The vacuum pump was removed and disassembled. The vanes and rotor remained intact. The composite vacuum drive was consumed by post impact fire. Both magnetos remained attached to the engine. However, both magnetos were partially consumed by fire. The oil filter was removed and disassembled. The filter was charred and absent of metallic debris. The oil suction screen was removed from the engine and free of debris.

The 1845 recorded weather observation at RNC, which was about 5 miles northeast of the accident location, included wind from 350° at 6 knots, visibility 2 1/2 miles, mist, overcast clouds at 500 ft above ground level, temperature 12° C, dew point 11° C; and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

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



McMinnville, TN resident and Warren County, TN native Tommy Stiles, age 49, was born July 9, 1968 and died suddenly November 7, 2017.

The President of A.W. Stiles Contractors and a member of the Church of Christ, he was the son of A.W. "Catman" Stiles of McMinnville and Barbara Stiles of Spencer, TN.

He was married on December 15, 1994 to Christie Lorance Stiles of McMinnville. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Kathryn and Caroline Stiles both of McMinnville; brother and sister-in-law, Tony and Velma Stiles of Rock Island, TN; nephew, Lee Stiles and wife Brittany of McMinnville; three nieces, Amanda Sain and husband Jared of McMinnville, Adry Snow of Chattanooga, TN and Aryn Snow of Nashville, TN; great-nieces and great-nephews, Eli Sain, Isaac Sain, Lacy Sain, Sawyer Stiles and Knox Stiles; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gary and Barbara Lorance of McMinnville; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Lori and Chris Snow of McMinnville; and special survivors, Rage Softball Teams and A.W. Stiles Contractors Family.

When a life is missed this much, one knows how much it was cherished, and Tommy was definitely cherished by so many. He never wanted anyone to go without a home or without love. He's now in his eternal home after many years of hope, prayer, love, and fellowship. II Timothy 4:7-8 states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” After fighting his fight and finishing his race, the Lord called on him and Tommy answered. He will be greatly missed by all of those who loved him and knew him. After his many years of faithfully worshipping God, caring for and encouraging others, growing as a person, loving and teaching all those around him, learning as much as he could, and of course fishing and flying, he's finally in his eternal abode. "Home is where the heart is" is a very popular saying and his heart is with God now. We know he’s in Heaven teaching kids how to play softball, how to fish and fly planes, and teaching others everything else he knows. Although he will be dearly missed, we know God has received a good one.

Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Central Church of Christ with Doug Downs and Matthew Bouldin to officiate. Interment will follow in Mt. View Cemetery. Visitation will be 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at High's.

Memorial contributions may be made to McMinnville Special Games or Ronald McDonald House. Online condolences may be made at www.highfuneralhome.com.


Two people were killed Tuesday night when their plane crashed in a bean field on Sherrell Road in the Jacksboro community.

“It sounded like a 500-pound bomb going off,” said James Ledbetter who heard the explosion from his nearby home. “He throttled it, then let off and throttled it again.”

Law enforcement officials have positively identified the victims as Tommy Stiles of McMinnville and flight instructor Larry Barnes of Spencer. The Piper Saratoga in which they were flying was registered to A.W. Stiles Construction.

Calls began flooding into 911 just before 7 p.m. Tuesday after area residents reported hearing the plane fly over, throttle up and then down before hearing a loud explosion. 

“I did not see it actually hit the ground since I was a field over, but we were standing on the back porch and we heard the engine sputtering and cutting in and out,” said eyewitness Shelby Hillis. “You could see the plane going up and down, really unsteady, but he was obviously trying to get it steady. Not even two minutes later it was nose diving straight toward the ground and the whole sky lit up orange and I called 911.”

She added, “It was so sad knowing we could do nothing to help.”

Witness descriptions tend to confirm telemetry captured by aviation monitoring which shows a large fluctuation in engine speed and altitude over the last few minutes of the flight as the plane got as low as 1,800 feet before ascending to 4,500 feet four minutes before the fatal plummet. The last two minutes of telemetry data show the plane picking up speed and losing altitude before it disappeared from the radar.

When first-responders arrived at the location off Sherrell Road, they found the burning wreckage in the middle of a muddy soybean field and a two-foot-deep crater a few feet from where the remains of the aircraft were burning. 

Both occupants were dead at the scene. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were on hand Wednesday conducting their probe.

“We will be taking the aircraft back to a secure facility to continue our investigation once we are through investigating and photographing the scene,” said Heidi Moats, air safety investigator with the NTSB, noting a preliminary report regarding the accident will be available in about 10 days.

The doomed flight took off from Monroeville, Ala., at 4:24 p.m. and was supposed to arrive at Warren County Memorial Airport at 6:19 p.m., according to its flight plan. The two sidestepped a large thunderstorm in central Alabama on their way north.

However, the plane flew into more rainy conditions as it neared Warren County from the south.

Sometime around 6:30 p.m. the aircraft scrapped its approach to Warren County Memorial Airport and radioed it wanted to try a landing at Upper Cumberland Airport near Sparta. Flight experts say Upper Cumberland has better equipment for an approach using instruments. 

Visibility was practically zero around the time of the crash with rain and a ceiling less than 500 feet, meaning they would have to approach any landing from a cloud bank without benefit of visual cues.

The flight data revealed the aircraft, minutes before its crash, did a U-turn somewhere near Warren County Airport. It appears the U-turn was north of the airport, meaning the plane had passed it.

“That’s indicative of disorientation,” said Robert Kapz, a licensed pilot who investigates causes of aircraft crashes for a safety watchdog group, noting the telemetry data showing erratic moves in the last minute of the flight supports the theory the aircraft may have become lost in the dark sky.

Kapz pointed out Stiles held a private pilot’s license earned in March of this year and would not be permitted to fly under such conditions while Barnes was a licensed instructor and, while the conditions were poor for flying, would be allowed to operate the aircraft. It is not known who was in control of the aircraft at the time of the crash.

The crash happened about four miles southwest of Warren County Airport just as the plane made a turn to the north. It is not known if their plan in the final moments was to try another approach to Warren County Airport or head to Sparta.

http://www.southernstandard.com



A Warren County official says there "did not appear to be survivors" after a plane carrying two people crashed Tuesday night in Warren County.

According to a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, a Piper PA-32 aircraft crashed into a field off Highway 287 and Sherell Road as it was attempting to land at Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville.

"Fire substantially damaged the aircraft," Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen reported in a statement to USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee.

Chuck Haston, 911 director for Warren County, said the first call about the crash came in at 6:46 p.m. Dispatchers also received a call from Memphis air traffic control "that they had possibly lost contact with an aircraft in the vicinity," Haston said.

"Due to the condition of the aircraft, it didn't appear as though anyone had survived," Haston said, adding that the 911 center had not yet received official word on the occupants' conditions.

Authorities in Warren County will release the identities and conditions of the two individuals on board, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash as the FAA also investigates.

Haston said the Warren County Sheriff's Office has taken over securing the scene until FAA arrives, which will likely be in the morning.

No one from the sheriff's office was available to provide information Tuesday night.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.tennessean.com




MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. - A plane carrying two people crashed in Warren County.

According to the FAA, a Piper PA-32 aircraft crashed into a field off Tennessee Highway 287 and Sherell Road.

The aircraft was trying to land at Warren County Memorial Airport around 7 p.m.

The plane was substantially damaged by fire during the crash.

Officials said two people were on board. However, their names and conditions were not released.

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.newschannel5.com




WARREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A plane crashed into a field while trying to land at the Warren County Memorial Airport Tuesday night.

Sheriff Jackie Matheny told News 2 both people on board died. Their names were not released.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it happened at 7 p.m. off Tennessee Highway 287 and Sherell Road.

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://wkrn.com





UPDATE: Warren County officials have confirmed two people were killed in a small plane crash Tuesday evening.

The FAA said a Piper PA-32 aircraft crash into a field just off Tennessee Highway 287 and Sherell Road at about 7 p.m. while attempting to land at Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville.

There were only two occupants on board, both of whom were killed in the crash.

As of 10:25 p.m., first responders were still on scene investigating.

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.



WARREN COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) - The Federal Aviation Administration said a plane with two people on board crashed in Warren County Tuesday evening.

The FAA said a Piper PA-32 aircraft crashed into a field just off Tennessee Highway 287 and Sherell Road at about 7 p.m. while attempting to land at Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville.

The FAA said fire substantially damaged the plane. The conditions of the two people on board have not yet been released.

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://fox17.com

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