Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Piper PA-34-220T, N34JM, registered to and operated by Auto Milestones LLC: Accident occurred May 18, 2017 at Skyhaven Airport (76N) Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tunkhannock, PA
Accident Number: GAA17CA293
Date & Time: 05/18/2017, 1000 EDT
Registration: N34JM
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, during landing and while in ground affect, "the airplane suddenly, and without an aural stall warning, lost lift and was 'forced' onto the runway". Subsequently the nose gear collapsed, and the airplane veered off the runway to the right.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The automated weather observation system located about 15 miles from the accident site reported, about 6 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 230° at 10. The pilot landed on runway 19. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack during landing in crosswind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. 


Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)
Hard landing
Landing gear collapse
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/15/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 3186 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1342 hours (Total, this make and model), 3126 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 24 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 24 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N34JM
Model/Series: PA 34 220T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3449177
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/19/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1422 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-360RB1B
Rated Power: 220 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAVP, 962 ft msl
Observation Time: 1354 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 140°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 230°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: FALMOUTH, MA (5B6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tunkhannock, PA (76N)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0820 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: SKYHAVEN (76N)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 639 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 19
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2007 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Valley/Terrain Following; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  41.527500, -75.945833 (est)

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