Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec E, N40285, registered to Lakelizard Aviation Training Company LLC and operated as an instructional flight: Accident occurred December 19, 2017 near Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Tennessee

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Knoxville, Tennessee


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


http://registry.faa.gov/N40285

Location: Knoxville, TN
Accident Number: ANC18LA016
Date & Time: 12/19/2017, 1500 EST
Registration: N40285
Aircraft: PIPER PA 23-250
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On December 19, 2017, about 1500 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-23-250 multi-engine retractable gear airplane, N40285, sustained substantial damage during an impact with trees while attempting to return to Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knoxville, Tennessee following a complete loss of engine power on the left engine during an attempted go-around. The airplane was registered to Lakelizard Aviation Training Company, LLC and operated as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and visual flight rules when the accident occurred. The certified multi-engine flight instructor (MEI), and certified flight instructor (CFI) observing from the back sustained minor injuries, the multi-engine rated pilot receiving instruction sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the MEI providing instruction, the purpose of the flight was to practice maneuvers for the student's upcoming commercial multi-engine check ride. After completing a series of maneuvers, they returned to execute the Localizer approach to runway 26 at KDKX. He stated that he simulated an engine failure outside the final approach fix by retarding the left engine's manifold pressure to 12 inches. After completing the approach to the missed approach point, they circled for landing on runway 26, but were too high on the approach. In an effort to correct for the high approach, the student retarded the right engine to idle, selected full flaps, and began a rapid descent. The runway threshold was crossed about 500 ft above ground level (AGL) and the MEI called for a go-around. The student applied full power to the right engine, and attempted to fly the pattern with a simulated engine failure. Shortly after initiating the go-around while making the left crosswind turn the student said he had lost the left engine. The MEI stated that he observed that the left prop was stationary and said, "I have the controls". He checked to ensure the throttles, props and mixtures were full forward and attempted to retract the flaps, but was unable due to the one hydraulic pump being operated by the left engine, and elected not to use the hand pump. He stated, that in his judgement the best option was to attempt to restart the left engine. Unable to reach the controls to restart the engine from the left seat he asked the student to restart the engine, while he concentrated on flying the airplane. He stated that lowering the nose to increase airspeed to Vyse with gear and flaps deployed and the left propeller unfeathered would have resulted in a rapid loss of altitude, so he elected to hold the airspeed at Vmc (80 mph) while banking slightly into the right engine and avoiding terrain. Unable to restart the left engine, he attempted to maneuver the airplane for a landing on runway 8 at KDKX but was unable to complete the required 180° turn and flew through the extended centerline and towards rising terrain. Approaching a residential area, the MEI maneuvered the airplane to avoid a house and impacted trees. The trees stopped the forward movement of the airplane and it fell to the ground, coming to rest on top of an automobile. After the accident, the MEI returned to the airplane to shut off the fuel and electrics when he noticed the left fuel selector was in between the on and off position.

According to the multi-engine rated pilot receiving instruction after the engine failure the MEI stated, "I got the controls" and attempted to restart the engine while flying away from KDKX. He stated that he became very concerned as the airspeed degraded to Vmc, and called the MEI's attention to the airspeed multiple times, and each time he reacted by lowering the nose of the airplane. He said that at some point he told the MEI the flaps were down, and the MEI moved the flap selector to the up position. In addition, he remembered the back-seat observer stating that the landing gear was down at which point the MEI selected the landing gear to the up position.

According to the CFI observing from the back seat, they were on a downwind leg to runway 26 at KDKX with a simulated engine failure. While turning base to final they realized the airplane was too high to land and attempted a two-engine go-around. Shortly thereafter, prior to the crosswind leg, the left engine lost all power. He stated that the airplane was maneuvered in an effort to avoid terrain and return for right traffic runway 8 at KDKX, but while attempting to turn right base to final the airplane continued to the left. He said the airspeed was too slow, right on the edge of 80 mph, and they lowered the nose in an effort to avoid a stall and a Vmc roll. While attempting to enter a left base for runway 8 at KDXX they were too low and on the edge of a stall when he heard them hollering "Were going to stall lower the nose" and he braced for impact.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, FAA Flight Training Handbook AC 61-21A, Engine Failure on Takeoff, states in part: "When the decision is made to continue flight, the single-engine best-rate of climb speed should be attained and maintained. Even if altitude cannot be maintained, it is best to continue to hold that speed because it would result in the slowest rate of descent and provide for the most time for executing the emergency landing."

The Aztec E Pilot's operating Manual, Emergency Procedures, Engine Failure During Takeoff, states in part:

"If no landing can be made directly after the failure, the following steps should be followed:

a. Apply full power to good engine.

b. Feather dead engine.

c. Retract landing gear and flaps, if extended (using hand pump if left engine is out). If enough altitude has been reached for reaching the airport with the gear extended, leave the landing gear in the down position.

d. Maintain a best rate of climb airspeed."

The closest weather reporting facility was Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knoxville, Tennessee. At 1553, an METAR from KDKX was reporting, in part: wind from 240 °at 7 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, broken clouds at 7,000 ft, broken clouds at 12,000 ft, overcast clouds at 25,000 ft; temperature, 59 °F; dew point 48° F; altimeter, 30.08 inches of mercury.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N40285
Model/Series: PA 23-250 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDKX
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:  15°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 240°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Knoxville, TN (DKX)
Destination: Knoxville, TN (DKX)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 35.968333, -83.900000 (est)














KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knoxville Police Department has identified the three people who were on board a plane that crashed into a neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.

Gerald Marotta, Michael Spinazzola and Robert Gintz, all from the Knoxville area, were on the plane that crashed just after 3:15 p.m. Tuesday east of downtown on Groner Avenue.

Police said the plane left Island Home Airport minutes before it crashed into the driveway of a home, hitting a car.

All three adults were taken to UT Medical Center. Marotta and Gintz have been discharged and Spinazzola is listed in stable condition. No one on the ground was hurt.

Just before the crash, witnesses reported the aircraft struggled to climb.

“I saw it. It flew over me,” Robert Wayne Foss said. “I was in the parking lot when it went overhead and I heard it and I realized that something was amiss and I saw it over the trees. It didn’t look like it could climb. There was obviously something wrong. What exactly went wrong we’ll find out in the study report by the NTSB.”

Foss is the chief flight instructor at the Knoxville Flight Training Academy.

He has been training people to fly planes for years. He said most pilots learn to fly single-engine aircraft, leaving the multi-engine planes, like the one that crashed Tuesday, to be flown by more experienced airmen.

“It’s a performance-based training,” he said. “When you have more than one engine, you have operating differences in particular. Systems are more sophisticated and the emergency procedures are different. You are normally already a licensed pilot and then you get the multi-engine training and start flying the more sophisticated airplanes.”

Though it still remains unclear what caused the plane to go down, whether it was human error or a maintenance issue, Foss said pilots are trained to make in the air decisions and to mitigate potential risks.

“Learning judgment… the FAA is big on decision making and risk management,” Foss said. “They attribute most of the accidents that occur to failures there.”

People who live close by to the crash site have a number of questions still.

“What the heck happened and how did it happen and why did it fall right here and did somebody die? Did it run out of gas? A whole bunch of questions, a little bit farther it could’ve been the house we were in. Just a whole bunch of questions and prayers,” said Dustin Turner.

Of the three people in the plane, two of them are certified flight instructors. Foss said experience saved lives.

“The fact that there are no fatalities says they did something right,” Foss said.

“I’m wondering why no one is calling him a hero and the reason why I say that is he could’ve crashed on the house, he could’ve hit a couple others, he saved his whole crew and civilians. The pilot did an amazing job. He really did,” added neighbor Jervis Brown II.

The plane was registered by the Lakelizard Aviation Training Company out of West Knoxville.

The FAA says its investigation will take some time.

http://wkrn.com


Aviation instructor Wayne Foss gestures to where he saw the struggling plane.


Federal officials are in Knoxville investigating what caused a small plane to crash into a front yard Tuesday afternoon.

The Piper PA-23 crashed in a neighborhood on the North side of the Tennessee River about a mile from Island Home airport. Three men on board survived the crash and were taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of their injuries. No one on the ground was hurt.

Knoxville Police identified the three men on the plane as Gerald Marotta, Michael Spinazzola, and Robert Gintz, all from the Knoxville area. The plane was registered to Lakelizard Aviation in Seymour.

Grintz and Marotta have been released from University of Tennessee Medical Center, where they were taken Tuesday afternoon. Spinazzola was in stable condition on Wednesday, according to the hospital.

The FAA has investigators at the crash, along with a salvage team that is working to remove the wreckage.

An FAA spokesperson told 10News that the pilot did not file a flight plan but did have some communication with air traffic controllers.

The NTSB will determine the cause of the crash, but will rely on the FAA investigators' observations.

Wreckage of the plane was removed Wednesday afternoon, and Groner Drive reopened.

Wayne Foss is the chief instructor at Knoxville Flight Academy. He said he saw the plane flying over South Knoxville minutes before it crashed.

"The were up over the trees, barely holding altitude, and the engine didn't sound right," Foss said.

Foss has been flying since the 70s, when he piloted helicopters in the Vietnam War.

"In 47 years, I've never had an engine failure," he said.

But based on his observations, he believes that could be a contributing factor to this crash. He believes at least one engine was out.

He said in a situation like that, the non-operating engine can increase drag from the air, and make the plane difficult to control. Some aircraft have the power to fly with one functioning engine, and some do not, he said.

He also noted that pilots practices incidents like this to perform under pressure.

"If you get over-anxious, you tend to make a mistake and that's part of training, is to practice those maneuvers over and over so you can deal with them without losing control," he said.

He doesn't want to speculate on the specifics of what may have happened, but he said one thing is sure -- the fact that no one was killed is either luck, or skill.

"The fact he didn't hit any houses or people, and they're alive and walked away from it -- the first thing you think is they must have done something right," Foss said.

An NTSB spokesman said the initial report should be ready in 7-10 days, and the final report could take more than a year.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wbir.com













Three people were taken to a hospital after a small plane crashed in the front yard of an East Knoxville home on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The plane landed on top of a car in the driveway of 1114 Groner Drive. 

The crash was reported to Knox County E-911 at 3:18 p.m.

Three adults inside the plane were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, according to Knoxville Police Department Sgt. Samuel Henard. Their conditions were not immediately available.

"I’ve seen a lot of plane crashes in the Knoxville area, but I’ve never seen one right here so close to all these houses," Henard said.

"Our hearts are going out to the folks that are obviously in the plane, but we’re also blessed that all the folks that were outside on this warm December day were not injured as well."

When the plane crashed, Tarell Bingham, 23, said he was inside the home at 1114 Groner Drive with his grandmother, uncle and three-year-old cousin.

Bingham said he was asleep when his family members heard a "boom."

"My granny walked outside and said, 'Oh it's a plane in the yard.' ... She opened the door, talking about it's a plane in the yard."

Bingham said the plane landed on a Mazda owned by his uncle, and that a piece of the plane fell onto another car, a BMW, also owned by his uncle.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane is registered as a 1973 Piper PA-23-250, also known as an Aztec, which can carry up to six people. The plane's owner is listed as John Burt III, of Seymour.

FAA officials will arrive Wednesday to investigate the crash, Henard said. KPD officers plan to stay overnight to secure the scene.

Residents of 1114 Groner Drive will stay at a hotel during the investigation due to "some concerns of gas coming down from the plane near the home," Henard said.

Jonathan Holloway said he was on Lombard Place off Riverside Drive when he saw the plane "coming up the hill ... flying low as the trees are tall."

Holloway said he and his friend began listening to a police scanner app on their phones, then traveled to where the plane had crashed.

"Eyes behold the plane is in these people's yard and whoever the pilot was, he had to be a good one because he avoided hitting these houses and blowing up," Holloway said.

"Could have been worse than what it is."

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.knoxnews.com







Three adults were injured when after a small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood near downtown Knoxville.

The plane went down Tuesday around 3:15 p.m., coming to rest on a vehicle in a driveway on Groner Drive, just off Riverside Drive, near the Tennessee River. The propeller of the plane when through another car. No one was in either vehicle.

Three adults in the plane were transported to UT Medical Center for unknown injuries, according to Sgt. Samuel Henard with KPD. No one on the ground was hurt.

The scene of the crash is on the other side of the river from Island Home Airport.

There's no word on what may have caused the crash or where it was headed. The names of those on board have not been released.

KFD has responded to about 4 crashes at Island Home in the past 10 years

“Fortunately they’ve all been minor-type injuries that the patients have all been able to walk away from,” said Knoxville Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran.

Corcoran told 10News the plane that crashed was a training plane with Lakelizard Aviation. According to registration information, the plane is a Piper PA-23-250 fixed wing multi-engine aircraft.

Corcoran said there was some fuel leaking from the plane, but they've got it contained and don't believe it poses any fire danger.

Local authorities are securing the scene while they wait for federal investigators to arrive. KPD said Faa and NTSB officials are on their way to the scene, and are expected to arrive Wednesday.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wbir.com











KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Police in Knoxville are on the scene of a small plane crash just north of Island Home Airport.

A witness reports to WATE 6 On Your Side the crash was reported around 3 p.m. Tuesday just east of downtown Knoxville on Groner Avenue. The plane hit a car in the driveway of a home.

The Knoxville Police Department says three adults were on the plane and were taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of unknown injuries. Knoxville Fire Department spokesman Capt. D.J. Corcoran says they walked away from the crash.

The crash involved a 1975 Aztec twin engine plane. 

The FAA shows it is registered with Lakelizard Aviation Training Company in Seymour.

No one in the home was injured. They will be put up in a hotel due to concerns about gas lines and a possible leak

The FAA and the NTSB are expected in the area on Wednesday.

Knoxville police will stay at the scene overnight.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wate.com

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