Monday, February 19, 2018

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca, N14GQ: Fatal accident occurred February 19, 2018 near Minden–Tahoe Airport (KMEV), Douglas County, Nevada

Stephen Santo Filice
April 1, 1953 ~ February 19, 2018


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada
Piper Aircraft; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Group; Mexico, Missouri 

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

Stunad LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N14GQ

Location: Minden, NV
Accident Number: WPR18FA091
Date & Time: 02/19/2018, 1130 PST
Registration: N14GQ
Aircraft: PIPER PA34
Injuries:  1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 19, 2018, about 1130 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T airplane, N14GQ, collided with the ground northwest of the Minden-Tahoe Airport (MEV), Minden, Nevada. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to the Stunad, LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from Meadows Field Airport (BFL), Bakersfield, California, about 0900 with an intended destination of MEV.

A witness, who was located outside her residence, about 2 miles north of the accident site, reported that she heard a loud noise that sounded like a sonic boom. She looked up and saw an airplane descending, while trailing smoke. The witness further stated she never saw any flames.

Review of preliminary radar data revealed a primary target, consistent with the accident airplane, was traveling on a northeast heading over the Sierra Mountain range, south of Lake Tahoe at an altitude between 14,100 and 14,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The target continued on a northeast heading until it was northwest of the accident site, where it proceded to make a wide right turn towards MEV. Shortly after, the track continued south and appeared to enter a descending spiraling pattern until the radar contact was lost with the target.

Initial examination of the airplane by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in an inverted, wings level, slightly nose down attitude. There was no debris located within the vicinity of the main wreckage. The nose cone assembly, empennage, right wing outboard full-span-flap assembly, and left outboard wing section were not located with the main wreckage. A debris field was located about .5 miles south of the main wreckage, and contained the separated airplane parts. The debris field was about 800 feet wide by 3,100 feet in length.

The nearest weather reporting station was MEV, about 4 miles south of the accident site. According to recorded information at 1115, the winds were 350o at 15 knots, gusting to 29 knots, visibility 10 statute miles or greater, sky clear, temperature -2° C, dew point -13° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury. Satellite imagery 30 minutes prior to the accident revealed extensive cloud coverage over the region but also significant breaks in the cloud cover where the ground can be seen. A pilot reported about 30 minutes after the accident, about 10 miles east of the accident site, clouds between 9,500 and 13,000 ft msl.

The wreckage was relocated to a secure facility for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N14GQ
Model/Series: PA34 200T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MEV, 4729 ft msl
Observation Time: 1915 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots/ 29 knots, 350°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.82 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: BAKERSFIELD, CA (BFL)
Destination:  MINDEN, NV (MEV) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  39.049722, -119.794167 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Stephen Santo Filice
April 1, 1953 ~ February 19, 2018

Stephen Santo Filice flew his last flight on February 19, 2018 while travelling home from Bakersfield, CA, after finishing Second Place in the Cal Club Championship at the Buttonwillow raceway at the age of 64.

Steve was born in Morgan Hill, California on April 1, 1953 to Edith and Gennero Filice. His fondest memories were of growing up in Morgan Hill, playing on the streets of Spring Avenue and Monterey Road. He spoke dearly of the time he spent at the family grocery store with his Nana and Nanu (grandparents) before the family settled in Gilroy.

Steve was truly a jack of all trades. He could fix or build just about anything. At every opportunity he would give you a history lesson or recount a wealth of minutiae. His passions were his children, flying, snow skiing, racing, travelling and a good glass of wine or whiskey while relaxing after a long day. Steve lived his life to the fullest, always challenging the status quo.

Steve is preceded in death by his parents, Edith and Gennero Filice.

He is survived by his brothers Frank Filice with his wife Marilyn and Larry Filice with his wife Lauren; along with Steve's children, Stephanie, Marco with his wife Monica, Gennero, and Mario Filice; and his grandchild Enzo Filice .

A beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, Steve will be missed dearly by all those who were blessed to share in his life.

Following Steve's wishes there will be a small private celebration of life with immediate family on March 10th and his ashes will be spread at a later date.


In lieu of flowers his family is requesting donations be sent to AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) https://www.aopa.org to support their foundation as it is a cause he supported.




DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirms a body inside the wreckage of a plane that crashed was the only person on board.

About 11:30 AM February 19, 2018, Douglas County deputies and firefighters from the East Fork Fire Protection District responded to reports of a possible plane crash. 

Witnesses had reported seeing the plane go down in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, in the northern portion of Douglas County. 

One witness reported seeing an explosion before the plane crashed, and the plane came down in more than one piece.

About an hour later, deputies and firefighters found the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca in the Hobo Hot Springs area, west of U.S. 395 and south of Plymouth Drive. The site is on Washoe tribal land northwest of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

The pilot has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Filice of Minden. 

The plane was headed to Minden from Bakersfield, California, and there had been no emergency communication leading to the crash.

When the crash happened, emergency crews say it was cold and windy with some clouds.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

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


A 64-year-old Minden man was identified as the victim in a plane crash that occurred near Indian Hills on Monday.

Stephen Filice was killed after the Piper PA-34-200T Seneca he was flying crashed into a field at about 11:30 a.m.

Filice was flying the aircraft from Bakersfield, Calif., to Minden.

Sheriff's Capt. Dan Coverley said Filice called for a local weather report before the aircraft disappeared from radar and radio communications.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, one caller reported seeing smoke coming from the plane as it went down.

Witnesses also reported seeing a piece of the aircraft fall off.

The aircraft may have been circling in preparation for landing at Minden-Tahoe Airport.

East Fork firefighters and sheriff's deputies combed northern Carson Valley, and a Care Flight rescue helicopter flew over the area, in search of the wreckage.

Filice was found with the aircraft, which was located upside down in a field on the Washoe Tribe's Stewart Ranch about 45 minutes after the first report.

The scene was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration and Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft involved in the crash was built in 1978 and was not due for recertification until 2019.

The aircraft is registered to Stunad LLC out of Stateline. It is based out of Minden-Tahoe Airport, where Felice is a tenant.

Filice owns a home in Wildhorse that has been in his family since 2015.

It has been more than a year since the last fatal aircraft accident occurred out of Minden.

On Aug. 7, 2016, a motorized glider crashed east of the airport, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Joseph N. Lowenhardt, 74, of Minden was killed when his glider crashed in the Pine Nut Mountains eight miles east of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Prior to that, the last aircraft fatality occurred was in February 2013.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.recordcourier.com




MINDEN — The person who died in a plane crash on Monday in Douglas County has been identified.

Stephen Filice, 64 of Minden, died as a result of the crash.

At about 11:30 a.m., the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and East Fork Fire Protection District responded to a report of a plane crash in northern Douglas County.

They located the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, located west of US Highway 395 and south of Plymouth Drive at about 12:20 pm.

The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.nevadaappeal.com



The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has identified the pilot killed in Monday's plane crash in Minden.

Authorities say the body of 64-year-old Stephen Filice was found inside the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca.

"They thought they saw a small explosion and part of the aircraft fall from the sky before it crashed," Captain Dan Coverley, DCSO, says after speaking with witnesses.

Authorities say the plane crashed near the area west of Highway 395 and Hobo Hot Springs Road in Minden. Authorities say it took off from Bakersfield and was headed to Minden when it crashed near the airport around 11:30 a.m.

Authorities say the pilot was in communication with flight control as the crash was happening, but were unable to stay in communication with him for long and eventually fell off of the radar.

Crews found the wreckage just after 12:15 p.m. in the northern part of the county.

The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

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



DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirms a body inside the wreckage of a plane that crashed was the only person on board.

About 11:30AM February 19, 2018, Douglas County deputies and firefighters from the East Fork Fire Protection District responded to reports of a possible plane crash. Witnesses had reported seeing the plane go down in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, in the northern portion of Douglas County. One witness reported seeing an explosion before the plane crashed, and the plane came down in more than one piece.

About an hour later, deputies and firefighters found the wreckage of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca in the Hobo Hot Springs area, west of U.S. 395 and south of Plymouth Drive. The site is on Washoe tribal land northwest of Minden-Tahoe Airport.

No name is being released yet. The plane was headed to Minden from Bakersfield, California, and there had been no emergency communication leading to the crash.

When the crash happened, emergency crews say it was cold and windy with some clouds.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have crews on the way. 

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




MINDEN, Nevada (News 4 & Fox 11) — 1 person is dead after a small plane crashed east of Jacks Valley Road in Minden late Monday morning, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Terry Taylor with East Fork Fire Protection District says the aircraft was located in the area of Hobo Hot Springs Road, west of US 395 shortly before noon on February 19.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says the FAA lost radar and radio with a Piper PA-34 Seneca inbound to the Minden-Tahoe Airport from Bakersfield at 11:25 a.m.

A man who identified himself as the pilot's son tells News 4-Fox 11 that his dad, who was from the Minden area, was flying home alone from central California. Authorities have not confirmed whether or not there was anyone else on board.

Witnesses told authorities they reported seeing some kind of explosion before the plane crashed indicating that the aircraft may have experienced some type of technical malfunction.

Dan Coverley with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the plane appeared to be missing a portion of a the wing and tail.

The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the remainder of the investigation. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://mynews4.com



Update 1:45 p.m.: One person is confirmed dead in the crash of a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca off of Hobo Hot Springs Road south of of Carson City.

"The wreckage contains at least one body of a deceased person," Douglas County Undersheriff Paul Howell said in a statement. "The identification of this person is being withheld pending the confirmation of the identity and notification of their next of kin."

Rescue crews found the wreckage of the Piper PA-34-200T Seneca just west of U.S. 395 and south of Plymouth Drive in Jacks Valley about 12:20 p.m.  

Update 12:20 p.m.: Crews have located a downed plane in Jacks Valley in the area of Hobo Hot Springs Road, said Capt. Terry Taylor with the East Fork Fire District.

No details are available on the condition of those aboard the plane.

Original story: Rescuers with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and East Fork Fire District are searching for a plane that may have crashed in Jacks Valley near the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Capt. Terry Taylor said crews are searching in the area of Heybourne Road, which runs along the west side of the airport. He said two people reported seeing a plane go down in the area.

"We have Care Flight searching from the air," he said. "Still haven't found anything yet."

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

MINDEN, Nevada (News 4 & Fox 11) —   One person is dead after a small plane crashed east of Jacks Valley Road in Minden late Monday morning, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Terry Taylor with East Fork Fire Protection District says the aircraft was located in the area of Hobo Hot Springs Road, west of US 395 shortly before noon on February 19.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says the FAA lost radar and radio with a Piper PA-34-200T Seneca inbound to the Minden-Tahoe Airport from Bakersfield at 11:25 a.m. 

A man who identified himself as the pilot's son tells News 4-Fox 11 that his dad, who was from the Minden area, was flying home alone from central California. 

Authorities have not confirmed whether or not there was anyone else on board.

Witnesses told authorities they reported seeing some kind of explosion before the plane crashed indicating that the aircraft may have experienced some type of technical malfunction.

Dan Coverley with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the plane appeared to be missing a portion of a the wing and tail.

The National Transportation Safety Board will take over the remainder of the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://mynews4.com

Authorities have identified the person who died Monday in a plane crash in northern Douglas County.

Stephen Filice, 64, of Minden, was confirmed dead in the crash of the Piper PA-34-200T Seneca, according to a news release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The crash was in the vicinity of Hobo Hot Springs, located west of US Hwy 395 and south of Plymouth Drive, at about 12:20 p.m., according to the release.

Only Filice was on board the plane.

The incident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

According to the POH, Vne is 205 kts OR 236 mph for this model of aircraft. When I pulled up the FlightAware info it shows the aircraft cruising in level flight at 15,000' @188 mph then suddenly descending through 13,400' with the last recorded speed at 281 mph! I think this was his ground speed,not airspeed. I'm sure the explosion the witness heard was the airframe coming apart due to the stress. I wonder if the pilot had a medical emergency or if he had an oxygen malfunction. He flew almost half of the flight between 13,500-15,000' up until flight tracking ended. I'll be curious as to the official NTSB cause of this accident.