Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Piper PA-28R-200, N550D: Accident occurred December 24, 2017 at Riverton Regional Airport (KRIW), Fremont County, Wyoming

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Casper, Wyoming Aviation

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


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


Oracle Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N550D


Location: Riverton, WY
Accident Number: CEN18LA052
Date & Time: 12/24/2017, 1740 MST
Registration: N550D
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R-200
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 5 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The private pilot was attempting to take off and noted that the airplane's landing light was not working. Although the runway lights provided him with good visibility, his depth perception was limited. As the airplane approached the intersection with the crossing runway during the takeoff roll, the pilot thought that the airplane was approaching the end of the runway. He rotated the airplane to lift off, but it had not gained enough airspeed to become airborne, so he decided to reject the takeoff. As he reduced engine power, he lost directional control, and the airplane departed the left side of the runway.

The pilot stated that there were no issues with the airplane during the accident takeoff other than the inoperative landing light. He noted that a better review of the airport diagram and a working landing light might have improved his situational awareness during the takeoff. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of directional control during the rejected takeoff. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's lack of familiarity with the airport runway configuration, which led to his premature attempt to take off, and the airplane's inoperative landing light.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause) 

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Flight planning/navigation - Pilot (Factor)
Use of charts - Pilot (Factor)


Factual Information

On December 24, 2017, about 1740 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28R-200 airplane, N550D, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion on takeoff from runway 28 (8,204 feet by 150 feet, asphalt) at the Riverton Regional Airport (RIW), Riverton, Wyoming. The pilot and four passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to Oracle Aviation, LLC and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. The intended destination was the Stanford Field Airport (U12), St Anthony, Idaho.

The pilot stated that he initially departed from Millard Airport (MLE), with planned fuel stops at Gordon Municipal Airport (GRN) and RIW. After refueling at RIW, the pilot recognized that the landing light was not working. He noted that it was working during the previous flight into RIW. The pilot recalled having good visibility with the runway lights, but he did not have good depth perception. As the airplane approached the intersection with the crossing runway during the takeoff roll, he thought that they were approaching the end of the runway. He rotated the airplane in an attempt to lift off, but the airplane had not gained enough airspeed to become airborne at that point. He decided to reject the takeoff and, as he reduced engine power, he lost directional control and the airplane departed the left side of the runway.

The pilot stated that there were no issues with the airplane during the accident takeoff, other than the inoperative landing light. He noted that a functioning landing light and a better review of the airport diagram might have prevented the accident.

A review of the available weight and balance data indicated that pilot's calculation was complete and correct, and that the airplane was loaded within limits during the accident takeoff. The airplane was equipped with four seats and seatbelts. The pilot stated that two children occupied one seat and were sharing a seatbelt at the time of the accident takeoff.

Federal Aviation Administration regulations do not require a landing light for operations under Part 91 unless they are conducted for hire. However, any inoperative equipment must be deactivated and placarded according to the regulations. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 35, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/13/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/28/2017
Flight Time:  109 hours (Total, all aircraft), 14 hours (Total, this make and model), 57 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N550D
Model/Series: PA 28R-200 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28R-35783
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/28/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 42 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4095.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:  C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-C1C
Registered Owner: Oracle Aviation LLC
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: RIW, 5516 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 280°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: -18°C / -22°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 60°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Riverton, WY (RIW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: St. Anthony, ID (U12)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1740 MST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Riverton Regional (RIW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5516 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Snow
Runway Used: 28
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8204 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 4 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  5 None
Latitude, Longitude:  43.064167, -108.459722 (est)

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