Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee 235, N8983W, registered to and operated by TEKO Air LLC: Fatal accident occurred September 20, 2016 at Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (KLXT), Missouri

Kelli Brooke Basile 

Vincent Louis Basile II

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri
Piper Aircraft Company; Vero Beach, Florida 
Lycoming Aircraft Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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

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

TEKO Air LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N8983W

Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Accident Number: CEN16FA378
Date & Time: 09/20/2016, 1820 CDT
Registration: N8983W
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-235
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 20, 2016, about 1820 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-235 airplane, N8983W, impacted terrain near Lee's Summit, Missouri. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by TEKO Air, LLC, Des Moines, Iowa, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal fight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The cross-country flight originated from Ankeny Regional Airport, Des Moines, Iowa, and was en route to Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (KLXT), Lee's Summit, Missouri.

A review of the airplane's radar flight track revealed that the airplane was on a southernly heading to KLXT and then made a straight-in approach to runway 18. As the airplane neared KLXT, a passenger filmed the approach section of the flight using her phone, which was found on scene. The camera captured portions of the approach to the runway. The approach appeared normal; however, during the landing flare, the airplane drifted slightly right. The camera then recorded the sound of the engine power increasing, followed immediately by the airplane touching down right of the runway centerline. The camera captured images of the control yoke, which showed the pilot manipulating it aft and turning it left. The sound was consistent with the engine at high power until the end of the recording. The National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Personal Electronic Device Specialist's Factual Report is located in the docket for this accident.

Several witnesses reported seeing segments of the accident flight. Additionally, several of the airport's security cameras captured portions of the flight. A review of the security camera videos and witness statements revealed that the airplane touched down on runway 18 and then lifted off in a nose-high, right-wing-low attitude. The airplane then made a steep, right climbing turn; one witness reported that the airplane reached about 200 to 300 ft above ground level. The airplane completed a 180° turn with about a 90° bank angle and then entered a rapid descent, impacted terrain in a right-wing-down, nose-low attitude, slid along the ramp, and came to rest on its right side.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/28/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  92.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 64.1 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate, which was issued on June 9, 2016, with an airplane single-engine land rating. Additionally, he held a control tower operator certificate. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on Sept 29, 2015. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had 92.3 total flight hours, 18.2 hours of which were accrued since the pilot certificate was issued, with the last entry dated September 14, 2016. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N8983W
Model/Series: PA 28-235 235
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-10562
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  12/31/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2883.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 0-540 SERIES
Registered Owner: TEKO Air LLC
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operator: TEKO Air LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The accident airplane was a Piper PA-28-235, which is a low-wing, single-engine airplane with fixed landing gear. It was powered by a reciprocating 235-horsepower Lycoming, six-cylinder engine that drove a fixed-pitch propeller. A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the last annual inspection was conducted on December 31, 2015, at a total time of 2,780.32 hours. A review of the engine maintenance records revealed that the engine was removed, overhauled, and reinstalled on August 22, 2016, at an airframe tachometer time of 2,822.2 hours. The tachometer read 2,883.6 hours at the accident site. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLXT
Observation Time: 1753 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 23°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 190°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  30.04 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ankeny, IA (KIKV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lee's Summit, MO (KLXT)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: 

At 1853, the weather observation facility at KLXT recorded wind from 190° at 10 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 90°F, dew point 73°F, and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: Lee's Summit (KLXT)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1004 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4016 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Straight-in 

KLXT is a publicly owned, nontowered airport located 3 miles north of Lee's Summit, Missouri. Pilots are to use the common traffic advisory frequency for communications. KLXT has two concrete runways 18/36, which is 4,016 ft by 75 ft, and 11/29, which is 3,800 ft by 75 ft. The airport is at an elevation of 1,004 ft mean sea level. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  38.960556, -94.375556 

The on-site examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane impacted terrain and an asphalt ramp just behind a building west of runway 18. Propeller cuts in the asphalt and ground scars were consistent with a right-wing-down, nose-low impact. The right wing had separated from the fuselage and was located about 92 ft from, and west of, the initial impact point. The wreckage path was 305 ft long and proceeded from the initial impact point on a heading of about 340° to the main wreckage, which consisted of the fuselage, left wing, empennage, and engine compartment. The two-bladed propeller had separated from the engine's crankshaft flange and was located about 20 ft beyond the main wreckage. About 8 inches of one propeller blade was torn off, whereas the other blade was severely distorted. There was no postcrash fire.

The airplane's left wing remained with the fuselage but was only partially attached. An undetermined amount of fuel remained in the left- and right-wing fuel tanks. An area near the right wing showed evidence of a fuel spill.

The main cabin floor and engine firewall were pushed back into the cabin area, and the front, right side of the fuselage had also sustained extensive damage. The top engine cowling was impact separated and was located along the wreckage path. The empennage sustained major damage to the right side of the stabilator.

Left aileron continuity was established from the control surface to the bellcrank; the aileron control and balance cable were attached to the left bellcrank, aileron control wheel chain, and right bellcrank. The right aileron remained attached; however, the control rod was broken, and the bellcrank had separated, pulled through wing ribs, and was found with the fuselage. Rudder control continuity was established to the cockpit rudder pedals. The flap handle was in the retracted position; however, due to damage to the flap controls, the actual position of the flaps during landing could not be determined.

The engine sustained impact damage and was examined on-site by the NTSB and a technical representative from the engine manufacturer. The engine was cut from the airframe and hung by a forklift to aid examination. The bottom set of spark plugs were removed and exhibited light-colored combustion deposits, and the electrodes exhibited normal wear signatures. The engine was rotated by hand; a thumb suction compression test was conducted, and continuity through the engine valve train and accessory section was confirmed. The left and right magnetos were removed from the engine and tested by hand; spark was observed on each terminal. The fuel pump and carburetor were examined, and no abnormalities were noted.

No preimpact abnormalities were noted during the airframe or engine examinations. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Jackson County Medical Examiner, Kansas City, Missouri, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was determined to be "multiple blunt force injuries."

The Federal Aviation Administration's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on specimens from the pilot. The tests were negative for ethanol and tested drugs.

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA378
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in Lee's Summit, MO
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-235, registration: N8983W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 20, 2016, about 1820 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-235 airplane, N8983W, impacted terrain near Lee's Summit, Missouri. The private rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by TEKO Air LLC, Des Moines, Iowa, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal fight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The cross country flight originated from the Ankeny Regional Airport (KIKV), Des Moines, Iowa, and was en route to the Lee's Summit Municipal airport, (KLXT), Lee's Summit, Missouri.

Several witnesses reported seeing segments of the airplane's accident flight. Additionally, several of the airport's security cameras captured a portion of the flight. A review of the security camera video's and witness statements, revealed the airplane touched down on KLXT's runway 18, the airplane then continued on the runway for a little way, before departing. The airplane was then seen with nose high, left wing low attitude. The airplane continued and entered into a right steep turn; one witness reported that the airplane was high as 200 to 300 ft above ground level. The airplane continued to make a 180-degree turn, with a wing bank angle of about 90 degrees. The airplane made a rapid decent, impacting terrain in a right wing, nose low attitude. The airplane then slid along the ramp for about 250 ft, coming to rest on its right side. 

After the initial on-site documentation of the wreckage, the airplane was recovered for further examination.

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