Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow III, N106ER, registered to and operated by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Fatal accident occurred April 04, 2018 near Daytona Beach International Airport (KDAB), Volusia County, Florida

NTSB Issues Investigative Update on Piper In-Flight Breakup

​WASHINGTON (May 15, 2018) — The National Transportation Safety Board issued Tuesday an investigative update on its investigation of the April 4, 2018, crash of a Piper PA-28R-201 near Daytona Beach, Florida.

Two people suffered fatal injuries following an in-flight separation of the airplane’s left wing shortly after takeoff. The airplane subsequently collided with terrain and was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as an instructional flight under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91.

The preliminary report for this accident was published April 16. Parties to this investigation include the FAA, Piper Aircraft and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Initial examination of the left wing main spar at the NTSB Materials Laboratory revealed more than 80 percent of the lower spar cap and portions of the forward and aft spar web doublers exhibited fracture features consistent with metal fatigue. The fatigue features originated at or near the outboard forward wing spar attachment bolt hole.

None of the surfaces exhibited visible evidence of corrosion or other preexisting damage. The right wing also exhibited fatigue cracks in the lower spar cap at the same hole location extending up to 0.047-inch deep. The remainder of the lower spar cap, spar web doublers, and upper spar cap displayed fracture features consistent with overstress.

The structures group of the NTSB’s investigation conducted an inspection of another Piper PA-28R-201 April 18 and 19. The plane inspected had a similar number of total airframe hours and cycles and was used exclusively for flight training of students. That inspection revealed a crack indication at the left lower outboard forward wing spar attachment bolt hole. The crack measured about 0.040-inch long and deep. The airplane’s wings were subsequently reinstalled and examined using new inspection procedures developed by Piper Aircraft. A bolt-hole eddy current inspection probe was used to confirm the location and size of the previously identified crack.

Nine additional PA-28R-201 airplanes have been inspected using ECI techniques under NTSB supervision. No crack indications were detected in these nine inspections.

The NTSB investigative team is examining corrective actions taken in response to the March 30, 1987, Piper PA-28-181 in-flight wing separation which resulted in three recommendations to the FAA and a subsequent Airworthiness Directive, which has since been rescinded.

The NTSB’s investigation of this crash is ongoing and as such, no conclusions about probable cause should be drawn from this investigative update or the preliminary report. Additional information will be provided as warranted.

The complete investigative update is available at https://www.ntsb.gov

https://www.ntsb.gov

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida 
Federal Aviation Administration Accident Investigation and Prevention; Fort Worth, Texas
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Daytona, Florida

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N106ER

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Accident Number: ERA18FA120
Date & Time: 04/04/2018, 0953 EDT
Registration: N106ER
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On April 4, 2018, at 0953 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-201, N106ER, collided with terrain following an in-flight breakup shortly after takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona Beach, Florida. The airline transport pilot and private pilot were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight, which departed DAB at 0927.

According to the operator, the private pilot was conducting his commercial pilot single-engine land practical test, and the airline transport pilot was acting as a designated pilot examiner (DPE).

Preliminary radar and voice communication data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane flew to the southeast after departure; after maneuvering, it returned to DAB. The airplane entered the airport traffic pattern and performed a touch-and-go landing. While climbing out after the takeoff from runway 25L, air traffic control issued the pilot a discrete transponder code, and shortly after, the pilot asked if they could make a left turn to the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. The controller responded by telling the pilot to continue upwind. Radar data indicated that the airplane climbed to 900 ft mean sea level at a groundspeed of 80 knots on a heading of 240° before radar contact was lost.

According to multiple witnesses, all located within 2,500 ft of the accident site, they saw the airplane flying normally, then watched as the left wing separated from fuselage. The fuselage impacted a field, while the wing descended separately and landed in an adjacent field.

According to FAA records, the pilot, age 25, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on June 17, 2016. He reported 201 hours of flight experience as of his most recent logbook entry on March 19, 2018.

According to FAA records, the DPE, age 61, held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine land. In addition, he held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on April 5, 2017. At that time, he reported 27,600 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA airworthiness and operator records, the airplane was manufactured on September 17, 2007 and was issued a standard airworthiness certificate in the normal category. It was a single-engine, low-wing, four-place airplane with a 200-horsepower, Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 four-cylinder engine and a McCauley two-blade, constant-speed propeller. The airframe had accumulated 7,690.6 hours of operation at the time of the accident, and 28.3 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was completed on March 21, 2018.

A surface observation weather report taken at DAB at 0953 indicated the wind was from 260° at 7 knots, the visibility was 10 statute miles, and few clouds at 25,000 ft. The temperature and dew point were 24°C and 19°C, respectively, and the altimeter setting was 30.03 inches of mercury.

The debris path was about 450 ft long, and the debris path began about 2 statute miles southwest of the departure end of runway 25L. The first items along the debris path included a rubber wing root seal and small pieces of window plexiglass, followed shortly thereafter by the left wing. The main wreckage impacted the adjacent field about 200 ft from the wing on a magnetic heading about 230°.

The forward portion of the fuselage, including the engine, exhibited significant impact-related damage. There was a strong odor of fuel at the site, and a large area of grass surrounding the wreckage was discolored. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. An impression of the right wing leading edge was observed in the ground, and the right wing leading edge surface was crushed aft to the wing spar along the entire span of the wing. The flap and aileron of the right wing remained attached. The right landing gear was in the down and locked position.

The vertical stabilizer, rudder, horizontal stabilator, and trim tab control surfaces remained attached. Rudder control continuity was confirmed from the rudder to the rudder pedals. Elevator control cable continuity was established through cuts made to facilitate the wreckage recovery from the control column to the elevator control surface. Aileron control continuity was confirmed from the right aileron to the control column. Continuity of left aileron control cables was traced from the control column through fracture features consistent with tensile overload separation to the aileron.

The left wing separated from the fuselage near the wing root and exhibited mid-span buckling of the surface skin. The left wing flap remained connected and moved freely with no resistance. The left main landing gear was in the down and locked position. The left wing fuel tank remained intact and contained about 15 gallons of fuel.

The fractured left wing main spar portions, along with the box assembly and attached inboard end of the right wing main spar, were forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for detailed examination. Preliminary examination of the left wing main spar revealed that more than 80% of the lower spar cap and portions of the forward and aft spar web doublers exhibited fracture features consistent with metal fatigue (see figure 1).


Figure 1 - Left wing main spar lower cap fracture surface.

The remainder of the lower spar cap, spar web doublers, and upper spar cap displayed fracture features consistent with overstress fracture. The fatigue features originated at or near the outboard forward wing spar attachment bolt hole (see figure 2). None of the surfaces exhibited visible evidence of corrosion or other preexisting damage. The right wing also exhibited fatigue cracks in the lower spar cap at the same hole location extending up to 0.047-inch deep.



Figure 2 – Exploded view of left wing spar assembly and attachment bolts.

The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N106ER
Model/Series: PA28R 201
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: DAB, 34 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 260°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Daytona Beach, FL (DAB)
Destination: Daytona Beach, FL (DAB) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 29.158611, -81.085000

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


Zachary Michael Capra

John's Obituary

John S. Azma, age 61, passed away in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018. John was a devoted husband, father, and brother. Professionally, John was an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner and the founder of Azma FLT Inc., an Orlando-based flight school providing training in jet aircraft around the world. As an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for over twenty years, John was known and respected throughout the aviation community.

John was a highly decorated pilot; his experience included flying the F-4 Phantom. John conducted thousands of FAA Practical Tests for many flight schools in the central Florida area, and was known for his calm, professional demeanor.

John was one of the most accomplished Pilot Examiners in the country, qualified to conduct FAA Practical Tests in over forty different jet aircraft. As the founder of Azma FLT Inc., John had a strong desire to share his wealth of knowledge and experience with his clients both during and after their training. John was an invaluable resource and made it a point to offer his assistance to anyone, at any time. He was just a phone call away, day or night. 

John frequently made use of both humorous and serious sayings. One serious saying he often used was, "We don't take shortcuts". It was John's policy in his personal, as well as his professional life, to do what was best for others and never cut corners. He would spare no effort or expense to live up to that standard. John's legacy continues through his wife, Isabelle, and his sons. 

A memorial service is scheduled for noon, Saturday, April 21st at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 526 North Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. A Celebration of Life is scheduled from 1:30pm to 5:00pm, Saturday, April 21st at Sheltair Hangar 15, 2948 East Livingston Street, Orlando, FL 32803.

Zachary Michael Capra, 25, of Thornton, Colorado, passed away April 4, 2018, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Zachary was born February 22, 1993 and raised in Thornton, Colorado. He had a passion for sports growing up, playing golf, lacrosse and hockey. Zachary's love of travel began with hockey tournaments both in and out of the United States. Zachary graduated from Mountain Range High School in Westminster, Colorado in 2011. Zachary enjoyed flying, traveling and hiking.

He enlisted in the United States Navy in July 2012 and served thru 2016 as an Aviation Boatswain's Mate aboard the USS Harry S. Truman and was deployed twice to the Persian Gulf. Zachary enjoyed the traveling the Navy afforded him, which ultimately led him to his next adventure in August 2016, when he started college at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Zachary was awarded a posthumous degree of Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Zachary passed away doing what he loved. 

Zachary is survived by his father, John (Patsy) Capra; mother, Janet Swink; siblings, Jennifer (Aaron) Bloom, Caylen (Jenessa) Hunter, Brenna Hunter, and Candice Martinez; nieces and nephews, Gabriella Martinez, Kayden Martinez, and Eila Bloom; grandparents and a number of cousins, uncles, and aunt. Zachary is preceded in death by his grandparents, MaryAnn and Michael Capra.

A Prayer Service honoring Zachary will be Tuesday, April 17, 2018, beginning at 11:00 AM, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 11385 Grant Drive, in Northglenn, Colorado 80233. Committal Services with Military Honors will be Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 11:30 AM, at Fort Logan National Cemetery, gathering at Staging Area "B", 3698 South Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80235.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:

Embry Riddle Honor a Fallen Eagle - Zachary M. Capra Memorial Scholarship Fund in Zachary's name at http://givingto.erau.edu/

ON APRIL 21, 2018 IT WOULD BE MY HONOR TO HAVE YOU JOIN US TO REMEMBER AND CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF

JOHN S. AZMA

MEMORIAL SERVICE
12:00PM
St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church
526 North Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

Following the service we will be gathering to share our favorite memories and stories over food and drinks.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE
1:30PM – 5:00PM
Sheltair Hangar 15
2948 East Livingston Street
Orlando, FL 32803

DAYTONA BEACH — Zach Capra was doing what so many people never do. He was living his dream.

Capra’s Facebook page is painted with photos from all over the world. There are shots of him standing on majestic mountaintops, and others of breathtaking sunsets in far away places. He had been to the Persian Gulf, Dubai, Croatia, Monaco, Spain and Hawaii.

After four years in the Navy, and two years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the 25-year-old was on course to become a commercial airline pilot. He was set to graduate May 7, and then if all went well it was off to Atlanta or Alaska to begin a career of floating above the clouds.

It all ended in a mangled pile of wreckage Wednesday morning, when the small plane Capra and an instructor were flying in Daytona Beach suddenly catapulted into the ground.

“This was his last flight to get his license,” his stunned father, John Capra, said in a phone interview Thursday from his Colorado home. “That was his dream and his passion. He wanted to travel the world. He was just starting his adventure.”

Capra and a Federal Aviation Administration pilot examiner were practicing routine take-offs and landings when one of the aircraft’s wings fell off, causing the catastrophic crash that killed them, a federal investigator said Thursday. That teacher was John S. Azma, an experienced pilot examiner and father of four sons. Azma was the founder of AZMA Flt Inc. of Orlando.

Azma’s wife, Isabelle, posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon that “few details are known at this time. As information becomes available, we will inform you.”

The plane — a Piper PA-28 aircraft, better known as an Arrow — crashed sometime around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday in a cow field along Tomoka Farms Road near the Daytona Flea & Farmers Market. Witnesses said they saw the wing detach before the crash.

Aaron McCarter, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said the Piper Arrow is a commonly used aircraft.

“There is no reason to think there are any holistic problems” with the plane, McCarter said during a news conference Thursday morning about a quarter-mile from the crash site.

McCarter also said that a wing detaching from a plane in mid-air is “very uncommon.” He emphasized the maintenance records for that particular plane will be reviewed.

The pair was working on “touch-and-go maneuvers,” which basically means the student was practicing how to take off and land the aircraft, McCarter said. The wing fell off the plane during the “cruise climb” following take off, he added.

The wreckage was still on the scene Thursday morning, but McCarter said he anticipated removing it later in the day and taking it to an indoor facility in Jacksonville where a “closer examination” could be conducted.

A preliminary report is expected to be finished within 10 days. A full report takes about 18 months to complete, McCarter said.

Flight operations at Embry-Riddle resumed Thursday for all of the school’s planes except the Piper Arrow, the model involved in Wednesday’s crash, said Ginger Pinholster, assistant vice president for news and research communications. Those planes will remain tied down until full inspections can be conducted, which will probably take at least a week.

Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler confirmed the identities of the two people who lost their lives in the crash in an email sent across the campus about 3 p.m. Thursday, saying he was “deeply saddened” to share the news of the “tragic aircraft accident.”

Butler wrote that Capra had planned to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics. He was a member of Embry-Riddle’s Student Veterans Organization, having transferred to the university following his service in the Navy from 2012 to 2016. Capra had been an aviation boatswain’s mate on the USS Harry S. Truman.

Capra graduated from Mountain Range High School in Westminster, Colo., and he attended Adam State University in 2011. Butler said Capra was an aspiring pilot who was described by a friend as “someone who smiled often and never hesitated to provide encouragement to others.”

Butler said in his written statement that Azma “was well known and respected by many in the Embry-Riddle community. He was a highly decorated FAA-designated pilot examiner as well as a pilot proficiency examiner and a flight instructor. John had at least 20 years of flight experience and nearly a dozen unique jet aircraft-type ratings. His proficiencies encompassed many aircraft, from single-engine piston aircraft to multi-engine turbine powered jets. He was known for his calm professionalism in the cockpit.”

Butler said the NTSB is conducting an in-depth investigation, and the school is working closely with authorities “to support their efforts in any way we can.”

“We will provide additional information on an ongoing basis, as soon as we possibly can,” Butler said. “We have all been shocked and devastated by this tragedy.”

He said campus members in need of support are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center or the chaplain’s office.

John Capra said there will be a memorial service on campus at noon Monday. He’ll be there along with his, wife, Patsy. She was Zach Capra’s stepmother, and had been in his life since he was 8 years old. His birthmother is Janet Swink of Colorado. He had one brother and three sisters.

John and Patsy Capra will fly to Daytona Beach on Friday to bring home their son’s remains. They had already purchased other plane tickets to come for the graduation ceremony next month, and they were trying to decide on a gift. John Capra said it doesn’t fully seem real.

“Being so far away, there’s not the finality of it yet,” he said.

The 54-year-old father said his nightmare began Wednesday morning when he was at work and happened to look at ERAU’s website. He saw a post about the crash, so he texted his son. He waited for a reply, and he waited some more.

When he heard nothing back, he contacted the school. About 30 minutes later, a chaplain called back. It’s been a surreal blur since.

He’s thinking back to the quiet little boy who always had a smile and a hunger for adventure. The talented athlete who loved hockey and lacrosse. The teenager who spent his life in Denver, enlisted in the Navy, and trained in Chicago and Pensacola.

John Capra said his son “cared about other people more than himself.”

“He inspired and he pushed people to do what he did, achieve his dreams,” he said.

A memorial to Zach posted on John Capra’s Facebook page holds some words of encouragement: “Follow your hopes and dreams. Don’t let anyone keep you from doing what you have been determined to accomplish. There might be difficult times when you could think about giving up, but just keep pushing and reach your set goals.”

Original article ➤ http://www.news-journalonline.com





DAYTONA BEACH — Federal investigators are working to determine what caused a small plane’s wing to fall off mid-air, resulting in a crash that killed an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student and his instructor, a Federal Aviation Administration pilot examiner.

Witnesses, which included air traffic controllers, said that following takeoff the plane’s wing “departed the aircraft,” causing it to spin out of control and then slam into a cow field about a half mile from Daytona Beach International Airport on Wednesday morning, said Aaron McCarter, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

“With the wing departure, we are focusing our efforts initially on that part right now,” he said during a news conference Thursday.

“We are looking at the engineering, and any kind of maintenance records.”

Maintenance records for the plane — a Piper PA-28R-201 aircraft, better known as an Arrow — have already been provided by the school, he said. The student and instructor, he said, were working on “touch-and-go maneuvers,” which basically means the student was practicing how to take off and land the aircraft. The wing fell off the plane during the “cruise climb” following takeoff, he added.

Determining what caused the plane’s wing to fall off will take an investigation lasting between 18 months to two years, which is the typical length of time it takes for the NTSB to reach a conclusion about what caused a plane to crash.

The investigation into the crash will include metallurgists examining the plane’s wreckage, McCarter said. He said that a wing detaching from a plane in mid-air is “very uncommon” and that “there is no reason to think there are any holistic problems” with the plane. A search of NTSB records examining crashes involving Piper planes found no mentions of a wing detaching.

A 2015 FAA bulletin, however, warned that the plane’s model has the “potential for corrosion on the wing rear spar at the fuselage attach fitting.” There were also two separate bulletins in 2011 that said there is the the potential for corrosion “on the wing front spar at the fuselage attach fitting” and “on the “aileron hinge fitting.”

All three bulletins say variables increasing the potential for corrosion include age, incompatible materials, and certain environmental conditions, such as “high moisture or salt water.”

The FAA makes clear on its website that Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins are “an information tool that alerts, educates and makes recommendations to the aviation community” and that they do not require mandatory actions. The 2015 bulletin recommends that all Piper PA-28 models and others receive inspections and take certain steps if damage is found.

Jacqueline Carlon, senior director of marketing and communications at Piper Aircraft, said that the company is working with the NTSB in its investigation but can not comment on the accident. Flight operations at Embry-Riddle resumed Thursday for all of the school’s planes except the Piper Arrow, the model involved in Wednesday’s crash, said Ginger Pinholster, assistant vice president for news and research communications. Those planes will remain tied down until full inspections can be conducted, which will probably take at least a week.

Two YouTube videos published last month show Roy Williams of Airframe Components in Indiana going over how to inspect a Piper plane’s main wing spar and aft wing attach fittings for corrosion. Both inspections require a hole be cut in the plane’s wing to allow for the insertion of a camera scope to see the wing’s interior.

In the video for the aft fittings, he shows corrosion on the rear spar at the attach plate.

“This is an extreme case, with so much corrosion that we actually have deformation of the rear spar and also metal missing,” he says in the video.

He goes on to explain how the “most dangerous situation” is when corrosion is hidden between the outside steel plate and the aluminum spar.

“Where the problem lies is the mating surface,” he says. Williams could not be reached Thursday.

Brian Willis, director of aviation safety with the University of North Dakota John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, said that Piper planes are commonly used in flight training. He said that the aviation program there has more than 30 of them and that the single-engine planes with retractable landing gear are used in training pilots of varied experience, from those seeking their private pilot license to those looking for commercial training.

He said maintenance standards are strictly regulated by the government and that routine annual inspections would have examined for corrosion.

“We look at our planes all the time,” he said. “We pride ourselves on maintenance, and I know Embry Riddle would do the same on what they are putting out.”

News of the deadly crash had already filtered through much of the tight-knit community involved in aviation training, Willis said.

“We have been in contact with Piper and been in touch with Riddle,” he said. “We understand what they are going through, and any way we can be of assistance we are willing to do it.”

Original article ➤ http://www.news-journalonline.com

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The National Transportation Safety Board Federal continued its investigation Thursday into an airplane crash in Daytona Beach that killed an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student, identified as Zach Capra, a 2011 Mountain Range High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, and a Federal Aviation Administration examiner, officials said.

The plane owned by Embry-Riddle crashed Wednesday on Tomoka Farms Road near the Daytona Flea and Farmers Market in Volusia County.

Officials said the plane was accomplishing a touch-and-go landing at the time of the crash.

“There are thousands of this airplane out there. Today, we are looking at this airplane and this airplane alone and their maintenance practices,” said an NTSB official.  

The NTSB said the wreckage from the Piper PA-28 will be taken to a controlled environment in Jacksonville, where it will be examined further. 

No distress call was made from the people aboard the Piper PA-28 plane, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

"The wing flew off, and all of a sudden, we thought it was going to hit us, and then all of a sudden, it just fell, and the airplane went straight down," said an eyewitness who chose to remain anonymous.

Chitwood said it appears the plane broke apart in midair because the tail of the plane was found 100-200 feet from the wreckage.

"It could have been a lot worse. Fortunately for us, the plane crashed in a field. All you see behind us is cows, but a quarter of a mile to the north, and you are in the flea market and the campground," Chitwood said.

It's not clear where the plane was headed, but Chitwood said a preliminary investigation revealed it was on a training flight from Daytona Beach International Airport.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University officials are providing counseling to students and staff, and have grounded the planes for the time being.

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


https://youtu.be/-D5vCoWKgII 
Roy Williams of Airframe Components shows how to inspect the Piper Aircraft aft wing attach fittings, in Service Bulletin 1244B.

https://youtu.be/7WHNw289csE
Service bulletin 1006 talks about replacing fuel tanks in the Piper Aircraft wings. Airframe Components shows you how to check your wings to find out if you need this repair.




The Volusia-Flagler county area is among the busiest civilian flight training centers in the country, thanks to the temperate weather.

Training flights account for 60 to 80 percent of the local airport traffic, with more than a dozen local flight schools. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the largest local flight training operation, with roughly 400 flights departing and arriving daily, according to the university’s website.

Of the 99 aircraft incidents reported in the two-county area since 2006, about a third involved instructional flights. That includes four fatal crashes.

It isn’t known whether any of the 32 instructional flight incidents involved aircraft or students from Embry-Riddle.

In total, two airports account for about half the crashes, with eight incidents involving instructional flights at Daytona Beach International Airport and eight at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport. No airport was listed in six of the incidents.

A Cessna aircraft was involved in more than half the incidents, 18 of the 32. A Piper aircraft was involved in six of the incidents.

Fatal Embry-Riddle Plane Crashes

Wednesday’s accident was the first fatal crash this century involving an Embry-Riddle plane. Between 1990 and 1999, 15 people died in crashes involving school plans and other aircraft. Here are details of those incidents.

December 1999: Four people were killed when an Embry-Riddle plane collided with a plane from Phoenix East Aviation near DeLand Municipal Airport. An instructor and student aboard the Embry-Riddle plane and an instructor and commercial pilot aboard the Phoenix East plane were killed. The NTSB faulted both pilots for not looking out enough for other planes.

July 1996: Embry-Riddle student died when his small plane crashed in a wooded area off State Road 44 and east of Hunting Camp Road during a practice flight. The student had rented Cessna 152 at a flight center.

March 1996: A midair collision involving an Embry-Riddle student and a Phoenix East Aviation plane killed six people when the planes slammed into each other and burst into flames off the coast of Flagler County. The Embry-Riddle student and three of his friends were in a single-engine plane while the Phoenix East plane carried an instructor and a pilot. The NTSB found that the pilots did not see each other in time to avoid the crash.

Original article ➤ http://www.news-journalonline.com



A Federal Aviation Administration pilot examiner and a student pilot were killed when an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University plane crashed during a training flight Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport, officials said.

The plane crashed about 25 yards west of Tomoka Farms Road, near the Daytona Flea & Farmers Market. Emergency calls came in at 9:54 a.m. with witnesses saying they saw a wing fall off a plane before it crashed. The wing was across Tomoka Farms, to the east and 150-200 yards from the rest of the mangled fuselage.

The identity of the student and the examiner were not being released pending confirmation of their identifications, officials said. The victims’ families had been notified.

“We are devastated by today’s tragic aircraft accident that has taken the lives of one of our students as well as another member of the aviation family, an FAA-designated pilot examiner,” ERAU spokesperson Ginger Pinholster said in an email statement. “We are devoting every ounce of our energy to learning the details of what happened, and we are working closely with authorities to do so. ... Our entire community is heart-broken. Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by this devastating loss.”

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Dan Boggs said at the scene that a press briefing will be at 9 a.m. Thursday near the crash scene.

Boggs said the Piper Arrow airplane is well built and he hadn’t heard of another losing a wing in flight.

Two 9-1-1 callers said they saw a wing or a piece of the plane come off the aircraft before it crashed across from the flea market.

A dispatcher asked one caller whether the plane had crashed or landed. The man said the wing had fallen on the other side of the road.

“Unfortunately it crashed very badly,” the caller said. “It looked like the wing, it looked like the wing just pulled off and then the fuselage kept on going past the road. And it crashed. I mean it’s crashed. I hope the people survived. I don’t know.”

Another caller said he was on his way to his jobsite when he saw the crash.

“I saw a piece become detached and the plane crashed in a field,” he said.

The dispatcher asked if he saw anyone get out of the plane.

“No I’m there right now,” the caller said. “But I don’t see how anybody survived this.”

Embry-Riddle students were gathering at the scene late Wednesday morning.

“My information is that it was a training flight that took off from Daytona Beach,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. No distress call was received before the plane went down.

The FAA said in an email that it was investigating the crash of the plane it identified as a Piper PA-28. The Piper PA-28 is a small single-engine aircraft with low-mounted wings.

Embry-Riddle reports 400 training flights departing and arriving daily at Daytona Beach International Airport. The school’s website reports the students fly four kinds of aircraft: Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Piper Arrow, Diamond DA42 L-360 and one ACA Super Decathlon.

Given the amount of ERAU planes are airborne, the university’s accident rate was comparatively low, Pinholster said.

“We have had 10 minor accidents in our last 1.25 million hours. Those 10 accidents were hard landings and bird strikes with no injuries,” she said. “The industry average is 5 accidents for every 100,000 hours flown. Our record is more than 5x better than the industry average.”

This is the first fatal crash involving an ERAU in nearly two decades.

From 1990 to 1999 there were 15 people killed in crashes involving Embry-Riddle planes, FAA records show. Those include ERAU students and those killed in other aircraft, including six deaths in a 1996 mid-air collision. In one of those incidents, in 1998, a student stole an ERAU airplane and purposely crashed it in an act of suicide. Another ERAU student died in a crash involving a private plane in 1996.

Original article ➤  http://www.news-journalonline.com




DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student pilot and an instructor were killed Wednesday after a small plane crashed near the Daytona Beach Flea and Farmers Market, officials with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

The plane crashed at 9:54 a.m. near 1496 Tomoka Farms Road, deputies said. Witnesses said the plane lost a wing before crashing south of West International Speedway Boulevard.

"The wing fell off some 150 to 200 yards away from where the plane finally rests in this field behind us," said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood standing in front of the wreckage.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University officials said the two on board were a student pilot and a passenger.

"It is with profound sadness that I must inform you of an aircraft accident today that resulted in the loss of one of our student pilots as well as a passenger who was a designated pilot examiner with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration," university president Dr. P. Barry Butler said in a statement.

The two people were the only ones on board the Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft. They have not been identified.

National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration officials are en route to investigate the crash. Embry-Riddle officials said they are cooperating with authorities.

"The witnesses that we're interviewing say this happened very quickly," Chitwood said. "No distress call was sent out as we can tell right now."

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
















VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Two people have died in a plane crash in Volusia County, deputies said.

The crash happened at 9:54 a.m. Wednesday at 1496 Tomoka Farms Road, near the Daytona Flea and Farmers Market.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said no distress call was made from the people inside the plane.

The identities of neither the passengers nor the owner of the plane have been released.

Chitwood said it appears the plane broke apart mid-air because the wing of the plane was found 100 to 200 feet from the wreckage.

"It could have been a lot worse. Fortunately for us, the plane crashed in a field. All you see behind us is cows, but a quarter of a mile to the north, and you are in the flea market and the campground," Chitwood said.

It's not clear where the plane was headed, but Chitwood said preliminary investigation revealed it was on a training flight from Daytona Beach International Airport.

NTSB and FAA are investigating the crash.

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

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the plane struck a tree on takeoff which knocked the wing off and caused the crash. Otherwise, if the wing fell off on takeoff we should be grounding PA-28R's until the cause is found. I fly one of these and wouldn't want this to happen to me!

Anonymous said...

You don’t need the FAA to ground you. That can be a personal choice. Ground yourself and this won’t happen to you.

There will be something structurally terribly wrong with this wing and plane and/or a messed up reassembly after an inspection.

Anonymous said...

I used to flight instruct in these. Great airplanes. These flight school aircraft deal with a great deal of abuse. This person was on some sort of check ride requiring a complex aircraft so I’m assuming commercial or CFI. Some of those maneuvers are aggressive I.e. steep spiral, Chandelles or 8’s on pylons. Getting low, high. Or off in general could make a candidate react aggressively to recover the maneuver to pass the checkride. This in a aging aircraft could result in structural failure. I’m no expert and these are all of course ideas. The final report will state the truth. Maybe some AD’s or urgent maintenance bulletins will be the result. Sad stuff.

Anonymous said...

Departed left wing has a replacement aileron installed (unpainted) See last photo
Likely not properly balanced, flutter developed and tore wing off.
A real screw up for ERAU

Anonymous said...

I fly a 1971 PA-28R for instrument training and I thought there was an AD awhile back requiring inspection holes to be cut in the wing to check for corrosion of the wing spar. I'm wondering if since this plane lived in a highly corrosive environment of sea salt it suffered more severe corrosion? What a sad way to go. RIP fellow aviators.

Anonymous said...

I think the above comment hit it on the head. Look at the FlightAware track for this flight on 4-4-18 from takeoff from DAB (0927) to near landing at DAB (0952) and you can see some maneuvers with some wild changes in groundspeed and altitude. I'm wondering if they did an inadvertent spin and structurally damaged the airframe during recovery. The FAA registration shows the plane was a 2007 model so I would assume that corrosion wouldn't have been an issue yet. I wonder what the total time was on the airframe?

Anonymous said...

According to Flightaware records this aircraft was a 2007 model (not exactly ancient)and was a Danbury Conneticut airplane up until 2015 when Embry Riddle bought it per registration data. Wings just don't fly off as there are a lot of classic/legacy aircraft still soldiering on, it will be interesting to see what is found out.

Anonymous said...

There are no trees at Daytona Beach airport.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Piper Arrows in the maintenance hangar before with the wings separated from the fuselage for transportation on a truck. There are at least 15 to 20 bolts that hold the wings to the fuselage on each side. This airplane possibly suffered prior unreported wing damage in order for the wing to fall off like that.

Anonymous said...

>Look at the FlightAware track for this flight on 4-4-18 from takeoff from DAB (0927) to near landing at DAB (0952) and you can see some maneuvers with some wild changes in groundspeed and altitude.

Given that one of the individuals on board was a designated pilot examiner, this was almost certainly a checkride, during which such maneuvers would be normal/expected.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the tower communication, they were doing a touch and go. Tower gave Squawk info and about 5 seconds later, directed a crosswind turn. Subsequently, when vehicular traffic spotted the aircraft, the aircraft was already in an unusual attitude (wings vertical) and low, less than 200-300' AGL when the witness stated "wing came off" and the remaining fuselage only traveling 450' hitting a pine tree and spinning to a stop. I was not there and not in the cockpit, but it would seem possible, more likely, that it may have been a stall 1st and then the air-frame stress possibly shearing the wing. Changing squawk code a distraction, with flaps adjustment for climb, maybe not full throttle (?) adding tower direction for a left crosswind turn and an examiner sitting next to you watching every move? Tremendous amount of stress on a new, young pilot. I can see how it could happen more easily than a "wing falling off" in controlled flight. If the wing came off unaffected by pilot input, at 1000' while turning crosswind, I would think there should have been much greater separation of the debris and less of a direct line impact.

Anonymous said...

>Anonymous said...
Departed left wing has a replacement aileron installed (unpainted) See last photo
Likely not properly balanced, flutter developed and tore wing off.
A real screw up for ERAU<

It is almost impossible to get a piper aileron to be out of balance limits, short of removing the weight, which there is no need to do, unless you are building a aileron out of parts. There are Arrows flying with tens of thousands of hours on the airframe, lets wait and see what the wreckage tells us.

Anonymous said...

Just to add a little more specific info. They were 2 miles, 10,000+ lf from the end of 25 L, When turning crosswind. Crash site is only 1,800 lf off of the centerline of 25 L. Should have been at TPA of 1,000 +/- that far from runway. It is a very sad loss of life, regardless of the reason.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, NTSB investigator Boggs can school himself before making further stupid comments. ‘Boggs said the Piper Arrow airplane is well built and he hadn’t heard of another losing a wing in flight.’ In fact, there have been several.
NO ONE knows the cause yet but investigation will no doubt take into account long history of spar corrosion ADs (and new one proposed just last fall - see discussion: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/new-piper-pa-28-ad.106837/ )
My heart goes out to the victims and families.

Anonymous said...

https://youtu.be/-D5vCoWKgII

https://youtu.be/7WHNw289csE


Anonymous said...

What is Mr. Boggs saying? They are looking at this airplane only? The ERAU fleet needs to be grounded immediately and last that I heard from an employee there, it has been. He also doesn't seem to know that there is a corrosion issue on these aircraft.

Anonymous said...

There are rumors circulating that the airplane experienced a “hard landing” the day before, it was reported and put into the shop for maintenance/inspection, and was released as “good to go” for the flight that crashed. I cannot confirm this, but it would certainly make a lot more sense than other possibilities as it could have cracked a spar and not been found.

Anonymous said...

I think the cause of this accident will end up coming from over-stressing the airframe while performing maneuvers OR the results of a very "hard" landing OR repeated combinations of both. Given the relative age of a 2007 model I wouldn't think corrosion would be an issue but I'm no expert. I trust the NTSB and the FAA will make the right recommendations to keep all of us Piper PA-28 pilots safe. Hopefully something positive can come from such a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

What a tragic loss. I don't want minimize the loss of the student, but John Azma was a personal friend, and a fantastic trainer/Examiner. I got my first Type rating in a Citation with him. He is the most knowledgable, calming, inspiring instructor I have ever come across in the many years I have been flying. There will be a huge loss in the aviation world without him.
I hope Isabelle can find comfort in knowing how many people John touched in a positive way.
Prayers to her and the family.

RL

Anonymous said...

Hardly the speed range to induce flutter, let us not judge things we don’t yet know about. The Commercial flight test doesn’t induce great stress on the airframe. Chandelles and Lazy 8’s are coordination maneuvers, not high stress aerobatics. I administered one in a 12,000+ hour Arrow today, the wings remained in place. Wait for the facts and look after of those who suffered from the loss.

Gina Crowley said...

Please.....
Just because you have a pilots license with a bunch of hours or a CFI, doesn't mean you know squat about Engineering, stress, design or aero. Most of these comments don't even make sense to those of us that do this everyday. (37 years)
So, out of respect for our fallen aviators please, just pay your respects and try to take away some perspective that accidents happen and the NTSB will find the cause.
I don't say any of this to be pompous or arrogant, but have been flying for 40 years, have thousands of hours and worked for a major aircraft manufacturer (for 37 years) and still don't consider myself "the expert".
Oh, I'm also an A&P and CFII

Anonymous said...


I'll bet the NTSB already has pretty good idea what caused the structural failure based on metal signature. I'm guessing it was either stress overload or corrosion. I like to think ERAU routinely inspects their aircraft for corrosion being in a coastal area so I'm going with unreported hard landing on previous flight.

Anonymous said...

Missing bolts will do this.

Anonymous said...

O Gina , your such a goddess, looks like you’ve done it all, well done

Anonymous said...

I am an ERAU Alum (aero eng) and live in the area. One of the first responders on the scene is a friend, and also well versed in aircraft and aircraft construction. He saw the wing spar, and estimates it was half gone due to corrosion, with corroded cracks thru spar bolts. ERAU is going to end up looking incompetent(to say the least) on this.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this new information is huge. Since no corrosion was found but cracks from metal fatigue were, I'm wondering was this an "isolated incident". I would feel more comfortable piloting one of these Pipers (Warrior, Archer, Arrow) if the FAA would make it mandatory that inspection panels be installed in the wing so that the suspect area of the spar can be visually inspected during annuals or 100 hr inspections. That could help catch corrosion issues on the older planes or possibly metal fatigue on the newer "trainers". Short of removing the wings on every Piper plane of similar design to check for issues, this might be the best way to insure something this like won't happen again. I feel very sorry for the families of the two deceased pilots as they drew the unlucky straw that day. R.I.P. fellow aviators.

Gerry said...

NTSB report now out information also above everyone should be interested in this information.

Anonymous said...

the preliminary report is out.. WITH PHOTOS!

Preliminary examination of the left wing main spar revealed that more than 80% of the lower spar cap and portions of the forward and aft spar web doublers exhibited fracture features consistent with metal fatigue (see figure 1).

the remainder of the lower spar cap, spar web doublers, and upper spar cap displayed fracture features consistent with overstress fracture. The fatigue features originated at or near the outboard forward wing spar attachment bolt hole (see figure 2). None of the surfaces exhibited visible evidence of corrosion or other preexisting damage. The right wing also exhibited fatigue cracks in the lower spar cap at the same hole location extending up to 0.047-inch deep.

NTSB Report is here: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20180404X13226&AKey=1&RType=Prelim&IType=FA

Anonymous said...


"Overstress" such as repeated hard landings, air loads or a combination?

Jim B said...


We have two of these, a 1977 PA-28R-201T and a 1968 PA-28R-180. It makes us concerned.

As of Monday evening the "201T" hit the 100hr mark and is getting an extensive annual.

So far our mechanics have not spotted any significant corrosion other than normal surface oxidatoin or indications of over-stress in the wing box or root cap. Metal, unlike composites will show indications of yield stress before fracture.

We will pull the fuel tanks too later this week to expose more of the spar and re-verify the AD. They are using a bore-sight camera for the hard to see places.

As in all aircraft wing internals these collect dirt and fine grit with time. We found a light accumulation of this and thus has been cleaned out. Dirt, when wet can form a pasty electrolyte between the aluminum skin and steel spar.

The only other thing I can think of is folks should use mild pH soaps when cleaning aircraft surfaces. Caustic soaps like Purple Power (TM) have a high sodium hydroxide (lye) content and are great de-greasers but have no place being used for cleaning aircraft aluminium, and especially areas of dissimilar metals.

The wing-to-fuselage seal must be good to minimize moisture intrusion. Water always gets in somehow, but a good seal should at least minimize the amount.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that less than 30 days after this accident, the FAA just yesterday removed the requirement to utilize a complex aircraft during the practical exams for the Comm ASEL and CFI Initial. This change should have been implemented years ago, when many in the aviation community warned the FAA that exactly this sort of thing might happen because of the age of the available airplanes. ER is an exceedingly busy flight training school. How many landings did this plane have between the time ER obtained it and this crash? I am guessing many thousands. All that repetitive concussion on that aluminum had to be very detrimental to the structural integrity of the metal and mounting hardware. So many FAA regulations are outdated and need revision. Its a shame it seems to always take deaths to facilitate the FAA into action. RIP pilots. So sad and yet so preventable.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 Service Bulletins for Piper Spars.

1- SB1304 INSPECTION OF MAIN WING SPAR
2- SB1244B INSPECTION OF AFT WING ATTACHMENT FITTINGS

LIKELY ONE OR BOTH SB's WILL BECOME AN AD VISITED AT ANNUAL AND PERHAPS MANDATORY FOR 100 HR INSPECTIONS FOR AIRCRAFT FOR HIRE.

EARLY PA-28s HAD HERSHEY BAR WINGS AND MAY NOT HAVE AN INSPECTION PLATE FOR SPAR TO AIRCRAFT ATTACHMENT AREA. TAPERED WING IN LATER MODELS MAY HAVE THIS PLATE.

INSPECTION PLATE ACCESS KIT PIPER # 765-106 MAY ALSO BE REQUIRED.

YOU TUBE VIDEO ON KATHRYN'S REPORT ON NTSB ERAFA120 PA-28 LOSS OF WING IN DAB.

COMMENT. MANY HRS 7,000 + LOTS OF LANDING CYCLES, TRAINING AIRCRAFT INITIALLY AT DANBURY, CT. IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY YOU HAVE TO AVOID MOUNTAINS, NOT SURE DOING SO IN A TRAINING ENVIRONMENT WOULD CAUSE STEEP DECENT AND CLIMBS PUTTING MORE LOAD
ON THE AIRCRAFT. SLIGHT CRACK MENTIONED ON RIGHT WING MAKES THIS INCIDENT EVEN MORE INTERESTING.

HOPE FOR VERY DETAILED ANALYSIS BY FAA, SO A POTENTIALLY UNIQUE OCCURRENCE IS NOT BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION, BUT ALSO PROTECTS US FROM AN OCCURRENCE IN THE FUTURE.

mz

Anonymous said...

An endurance limit of 69,000 hrs was claimed to be for the PA-28 Aircraft? The 2007 PA-28 Piper Arrow III with tapered wing has contains~72 gals. of usable fuel. The earlier Piper Arrow II s had ~48 gals. of usable fuel. The spar and attachment(s) are likely the same for both models. The Piper Arrow in the April 4, 2018 crash has approx. 7,690 hrs on it. To calculate stress vs. cycle the following needs to be done. Stress = An average stress, or to be conservative give a max. stress seen per each landing or “bounce” (a bounce needs to be included as a cycle). Cycles= # of landings and bounces/hour.

For a training aircraft (worst case application due to it usage) likely near full fuel and the later model “tapered Wing” PA-28s will have more weight (stress) due to the 72 gals. useable.

Question what is the worst case or 95% ile # of Cycles per/hr.? Close pattern touch and bounce goes for one whole hour with initially full fuel in both tanks. Say it is a short strip. 3,4,5,6, 7, 8 or more ?

Example #___6___ bounces-landings/hr X # of hrs. __7,690_____ = 46,140 Cycles.

* This example does not include any stress/partial or whole cycles due to turbulence or flight maneuvers.

For the given stress you have given for each bounce and landing event, locate the number of cycles.
If cycles are exceed for the given material’s stress per the stress vs. cycles curve. You have a problem.

It is often the case that for a 1 hr training flight you do not switch tanks. So one wing sees full fuel (max. weight) for all these bounce and landing events. Contemplate alternating every hr of flight which tank you will first draw from first. (Hopefully not exceed the fuel selector cycle life). You are sharing the stress cycles.

A personal aircraft not used as a trainer, will not see this level of cycles. So 100 hr inspection for hire for trainers is where the focus should be on and their annuals. Some personal aircraft have been trainers an awareness of its past usage needs to be contemplated.

mz

Anonymous said...

An endurance limit of 69,000 hrs was claimed to be for the PA-28 Aircraft? The 2007 PA-28 Piper Arrow III with tapered wing has contains 72 gals. of usable fuel. The earlier Piper Arrow II s had 48 gals. of usable fuel. The spar and attachment(s) are likely the same for both models. The Piper Arrow in the April 4, 2018 crash has approx. 7,690 hrs on it. To calculate stress vs. cycle the following needs to be done. Stress = An average stress, or to be conservative give a max. stress seen per each landing or “bounce” (a bounce needs to be included as a cycle). Cycles= # of landings and bounces/hour.

For a training aircraft (worst case application due to it usage) likely near full fuel and the later model “tapered Wing” PA-28s will have more weight (stress) due to the 72 gals. useable.

Question what is the worst case or 95% ile # of Cycles per/hr.? Close pattern touch and bounce goes for one whole hour with initially full fuel in both tanks. Say it is a short strip. 3,4,5,6, 7, 8 or more ?

Example #___6___ bounces/landings/hr X # of hrs. __7,690_____ = 46,140 Cycles.

This example does not include any stress/partial or whole cycles due to turbulence or flight maneuvers.

For the given stress you have given for each bounce and landing event, locate the number of cycles.
If cycles are exceed for the given material’s stress per the stress vs. cycles curve. You have a problem.

It is often the case that for a 1 hr training flight you do not switch tanks. So one wing sees full fuel (max. weight) for all these bounce and landing events. Contemplate alternating every hr of flight which tank you will first draw from first. (Hopefully not exceed the fuel selector cycle life).

A personal aircraft not used as a trainer, will not see this level of cycles. So 100 hr inspection for hire for trainers is where the focus should be on and their annuals. Some personal aircraft have been trainers
an awareness of its past usage needs to be contemplated.

mz

Anonymous said...

I just watched a Youtube video of supposedly a 1977 Piper Arrow with the right wing coming loose at the wing root by pushing back and forth on the leading edge out at the wingtip! This was discovered during preflight and if it real this is extremely shocking. The video claims the aircraft is located in south Florida but no "N" is shown and not enough of the plane is shown to tell if it's an Arrow. It was posted on 4-20-18. Here is a link to view the video: https://youtu.be/GFYf42UE9gk

Jim B said...


Previous post -

"Interesting that less than 30 days after this accident, the FAA just yesterday removed the requirement to utilize a complex aircraft during the practical exams for the Comm ASEL and CFI Initial."

A CFI mentioned to me this is because the FAA gave in to lobbying by Cirrus. It had nothing to do with crashes, etc.

The Cirrus is high performance, but not complex with the fixed gear.

Quite frankly if my CFI or Comm ASEL did not demonstrate in a complex aircraft I would think I was short-changed.

Your choice.

Jim B said...


I had a conversation with someone who knows a little history on the ER bird.

The NTSB is on to it and they are not missing so much as a speck of dust.

Wait for the report.

I have taken to the habit of wiggling the Piper wings now rather vigorously. I have always done it (up and down movement) on the Cessnas, but the fore-aft movement on a Piper seems to be a reasonable check even with the wheel bearing a ground load (based on the well-appreciated video).

Our 201T did not have any cracks or corrosion in spar cap in the annual this week. Other than some oily dust/dirt accumulation at the joint that is now cleaned up the 77' bird looks pretty good.


Anonymous said...

I hope to get the thoughts and recommendations from others here.My son is a student at ERAU in Daytona and we own a 1973 PA-28-235 which has 42 gallons of fuel in each wing. I am having all the related service bulletins completed. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have eddy current NDT completed while I am having these service bulletins completed?

Anonymous said...

I would ask that on the Piper Forum. If you don't know the complete history of the airplane or have doubts whether everything was 'disclosed' in the "complete logs" and you can afford it, I would say yes. My understanding is it might be possible to remove one bolt at a time and use ultrasound or eddy current to check that one area, reinstall and move to the next one (18 per side). This would avoid wing removal per Piper SB886 and SB997. The big issue with wing removal is its involved, expensive and spar damage can occur if the bolts are forcibly removed or installed. If bolt can't be removed or reinstalled with finger pressure its not aligned and damage could occur that would turn into a crack.