Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca III, N9148B, registered to and operated by Air Reldan Inc: Accident occurred February 06, 2018 in Patterson, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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


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


Air Reldan Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N9148B

Location: Patterson, LA
Accident Number: CEN18LA093
Date & Time: 02/06/2018, 1715 CST
Registration: N9148B
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-220T
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation 

On February 6, 2018, about 1715 central standard time, a Piper PA-34-220T twin-engine airplane, N9148B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a dual loss of engine power near Patterson, Louisiana. The pilot, pilot-rated passenger, and one passenger were not injured. The second passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Air Reldan Inc. as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation (photography) flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport (GAO), Galliano, Louisiana, about 1347 and was destined for the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport (PTN), Patterson, Louisiana.

The pilot reported that a preflight inspection was completed before departing from the operator's base at St. Tammany Regional Airport (L31). According to the pilot, fuel was visible "in each tank at the bottom of the sidewall" and the fuel gauges indicated about 45 gallons "a side." He completed the 30-minute flight to GAO to pick up the passengers without incident. The purpose of the accident flight was to photograph an oil rig located in the Gulf of Mexico about 185 miles southwest of GAO. At the request of the passengers, the aft cabin door was removed from the airplane to facilitate the photography mission, which limited the airspeed to 130 knots. The fuel gauges indicated about 40 gallons per tank at that time.

The flight arrived at the oil rig about 1 hour 20 minutes after takeoff and the pilot proceeded to circle for about 30 minutes. When the photography was complete, the pilot established a return course with an estimated time enroute of 1 hour 2 minutes. The fuel gauges indicated about 10 gallons in each tank at that time. With concern about the amount of fuel remaining, he leaned the engine mixtures as much as possible. He visually examined the airplane and did not observe any indication of a fuel leak. He elected to deviate to PTN as the "best bet" in light of the low fuel situation. The right engine subsequently lost power about 24 miles from PTN; the left engine lost power several minutes later. The pilot executed a forced landing to a canal adjacent to the Atchafalaya River.

One of the passengers stated that the pilot informed him the airplane had not been "topped off" but that sufficient fuel was onboard for the flight. The passenger utilized a GPS tracking application that "geotagged" the photos taken during the flight. He reported that the accident flight departed GAO at 1347 and arrived at the oil rig at 1514. The photography work was completed at 1607. During the return trip, the pilot became concerned about the remaining fuel quantity. He decided to divert to PTN about 1628. The first engine lost power about 1708, followed by the second engine about 1715.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector assigned to the accident reported that the airplane came to rest in shallow water. A post-recovery examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies that would have contributed to a loss of engine power. Recovery personnel informed the inspector that no fuel sheen was observed on the water, no fuel was observed in the fuel tanks, nor was any fuel observed during the recovery process. The inspector reported that based on the hour meter readings, the total flight time from dispatch at L31 until the accident was 3.8 hours. The airplane owner informed the inspector that the hour meter ran only when the landing gear was retracted. It did not record the engine run time when the landing gear was extended.

The Pilot's Operating Handbook noted a fuel flow of about 10 gallons per hour for each engine at economy cruise power. The maximum permitted airspeed with the aft doors removed was 129 knots. The handbook also stated that the airplane cruise performance will be reduced by approximately 5-percent when operated with the rear cabin and cargo doors removed.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/22/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/09/2017
Flight Time:  1400 hours (Total, all aircraft), 460 hours (Total, this make and model), 1020 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 110 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 51 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N9148B
Model/Series:  PA 34-220T 220T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1988
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3433128
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/12/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4751 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 38 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4854.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-360-KB
Registered Owner: Air Reldan Inc.
Rated Power: 220 hp
Operator: Air Reldan Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PTN, 9 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 235°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 21°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1400 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots, 150°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Galliano, LA (GAO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Patterson, LA (PTN)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1347 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Harry P Williams Memorial (PTN)
Runway Surface Type: Water
Airport Elevation: 9 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Water--calm
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  29.502222, -91.260556 (est)




The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people Tuesday evening from a downed airplane that made an emergency landing in a marshy area near Patterson, authorities said.

Four people were traveling in a Piper PA-34 twin-engine plane from Slidell to Patterson about 5 p.m. Tuesday when the aircraft began to run out of fuel, authorities said.

The pilot turned off the plane’s engines to conserve fuel and made a watery landing in the Atchafalaya River, about 17 miles south of Patterson, Coast Guard officials said.

Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office’s Water Patrol deputies were initially dispatched to the scene but were called off because there were no major injuries, sheriff’s Maj. Malcolm Wolfe said.

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from New Orleans to rescue the downed passengers. The chopper hoisted the four survivors and transported them to Perry’s Flying Center in Patterson, authorities said.

Authorities said one person suffered a minor arm injury.

The downed plane was owned by Air Reldan Inc., authorities said. The St. Tammany Parish-based company operates five aircraft serving both passengers and cargo. According to the company’s website, it offers flight training for single engine and multi-engine aircraft.

Company representatives could not be reached for comment today.




St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in a standby capacity during a US Coast Guard rescue operation Tuesday evening. 


St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call at 5:35 pm that a small plane with 4 occupants went down approximately 20 miles south of Patterson. 


It was later determined that the plane made an emergency landing in Bayou Chene in Terrebonne Parish. 


US Coast Guard conducted the rescue out of the Perry Flying Center (the Patterson airport).


Acadian Ambulance and the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department joined deputies to assist as needed. 


All 4 occupants survived the emergency landing.





The Coast Guard reports that they rescued four people from the Atchafalaya River approximately 17 nautical miles south of Patterson, Tuesday afternoon.


Watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District command center say they received notification from the Federal Aviation Administration at 4:59 p.m. that a Piper PA-34 twin-engine airplane traveling from Slidell, Louisiana, to Patterson with four people on board was low on fuel.


According to a release, the airplane pilot shut down the engines to conserve fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing. A rescue group from New Orleans was dispatched shortly after. It was later determined that the plane made an emergency landing in Bayou Chene in Terrebonne Parish.


The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office assisted with the rescue in a standby capacity during the rescue Tuesday evening. 


The aircrew hoisted the occupants and transported them to Perry's Flying Center in Patterson, Louisiana.


One person suffered a minor injury to the arm.



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

U.S. Coast Guard officers rescued four people from the Atchafalaya River about 17 miles south of Patterson after they performed an emergency landing in their Piper PA-34-200T Seneca III Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.


The Coast Guard's Eighth District command center received notification around 5 p.m. that a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca III traveling from Slidell to Patterson was getting low on fuel, according to a news release Tuesday evening from the Coast Guard. 


The pilot shut down the plane's engines to conserve fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing. 


The four passengers were rescued by helicopter, according to the release. Only one suffered a minor injury to the arm. 


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

The Coast Guard rescued four people from a downed plane in the Atchafalaya River south of Patterson on Tuesday (Feb. 6).


A Piper PA-34-200T Seneca III traveling from Slidell to Patterson in St. Mary Parish ran low on fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing around 5 p.m., the Coast Guard reported.


A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans hoisted the survivors and transported them to Perry's Flying Center in Patterson.


One person suffered a minor injury to the arm, the Coast Guard said.


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

Location: Patterson, LA
Accident Number: CEN18LA093
Date & Time: 02/06/2018, 1715 CST
Registration: N9148B
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-220T
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation 

On February 6, 2018, about 1715 central standard time, a Piper PA-34-220T airplane, N9148B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Patterson, Louisiana. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Air Reldan Inc. as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation (photography) flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport (GAO), Galliano, Louisiana, about 1430 and was destined for the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport (PTN), Patterson, Louisiana.

The pilot stated that the flight was conducted for the purpose of photographing an oil rig located in the Gulf of Mexico about 185 miles southwest of GAO. They arrived at the oil rig about 1 hour 20 minutes after taking off and circled for approximately 30 minutes. After the photography was complete, the pilot established a course to the intended destination with an estimated time en route of 1 hour 2 minutes. About that time, he noted that the fuel quantity gauges were indicating less than expected. He visually examined the airplane and did not observe any indication of a fuel leak. He elected to deviate to PTN as the "best bet" in light of the low fuel situation. The right engine subsequently lost power about 24 miles from PTN; the left engine lost power several minutes later. The pilot executed a forced landing to a canal adjacent to the Atchafalaya River.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N9148B
Model/Series: PA 34-220T 220T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Air Reldan Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PTN, 9 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots, 150°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1400 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Galliano, LA (GAO)
Destination: Patterson, LA (PTN) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None

Latitude, Longitude:  29.709444, -91.338889 (est)

6 comments:

D Naumann said...

"THE PILOT SHUT DOWN THE ENGINES TO CONSERVE FUEL"??? Either the pilot is a complete idiot or the author of the article is!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah ... What would you do to conserve fuel if all you had in the tanks and lines was vapor? Lol

Jim B said...


The fact that a beautiful Seneca III was destroyed buy stupidity is cooky enough.

The insurance company is going to insist someone to get out the check book.

This is why I still say Aviation is not dangerous. Aviation has dangers that must be mitigated to an acceptable level of risk.

A perfectly good airplane in the mud.


Anonymous said...

Looks like back door removed and camera equipment on top of the cabin

lcarson said...

Great job by the Coast Guard and St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Department.

Anonymous said...

The Coastguard and the Sheriff department and also the Crew of the Patterson Airport where super professional and helpful - They all did a great Job.

Talking about Dan Copp Staff Writer for houmatoday.com - firs of all most of the information where wrong and then this person is stealing pictures and claiming them as his own and publishing them as his own. Even after asking him to remove - he even don't answer the request.