Saturday, February 3, 2018

Piper PA-32-300, N4027W: Accident occurred January 17, 2018 at Reno/Tahoe International Airport (KRNO) , Washoe County, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada
Piper Aircraft, Inc.; Vero Beach, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Reno, NV
Accident Number: WPR18LA070
Date & Time: 01/17/2018, 1520 PST
Registration: N4027W
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32-300
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On January 17, 2018, about 1520 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-32-300, N4027W, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground during a forced landing in Reno, Nevada. The private pilot and flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was operated as a personal flight, conducted under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the cross-country flight, which departed Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO), Reno, Nevada at 1520 and was destined for Hawthorne Industrial Airport (HTH), Hawthorne, Nevada.

According to the flight instructor, and pilot at the time of the accident, he was instructing the airplane owner to satisfy a checkout requirement imposed by the owner's insurance company. Prior to takeoff, the pilot and the owner performed a weight and balance computation, visually inspected the airplane for fuel quantity, verified oil quantity, and completed a walk-around inspection of the airplane's control surfaces. After an uneventful engine start, the pilot contacted ground control who instructed him to taxi to runway 16L. He followed the airplane's "before takeoff" checklist and performed an engine run-up to 2,000 rpm at which time he leaned the fuel/air mixture about 50° rich of peak to accommodate a departure from a high field elevation. The pilot observed a drop of about 100 rpms when he selected each magneto. He then set 10° of wing flaps, verified the fuel selector was on the left main fuel tank and turned the auxiliary fuel pump on. The takeoff and initial climb were normal; however, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power when it reached an altitude of approximately 300 ft. above ground level. According to the pilot, the engine stopped firing rapidly with no pre-indication. He started a turn to the right over runway 16R, but quickly determined the airplane would not be able to land on the remaining runway, but continued the turn. The airplane's stall warning horn annunciated during the descent, and the pilot responded by decreasing the airplane's pitch attitude. During touchdown, the airplane impacted gravel, slid, and came to rest between taxiways "A" and "B."

A postccident examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed substantial damage to fuselage and wings.

The wreckage has been retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N4027W
Model/Series: PA 32-300 301
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RNO, 4414 ft msl
Observation Time: 1539 PST
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 12000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 270°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 24000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: RENO, NV (RNO)
Destination: HAWTHORNE, NV (HTH)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  39.499722, -119.768056

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