Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N3949K: Accident occurred July 08, 2015 near Dyer Airport (6LA4), Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Oakdale, LA
Accident Number: CEN15LA301
Date & Time: 07/08/2015, 1515 CDT
Registration: N3949K
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 08, 2015, about 1515 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140 airplane, N3949K, sustained substantial damage following a collision with an embankment and trees during takeoff from a private airstrip in Oakdale, Louisiana. The private pilot, who was the registered owner, and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight and an instrument flight plan had not been filed. The intended destination for the flight was the Livingston Municipal Airport (00R), Livingston, Texas.

The pilot reported a loss of engine power at 40 feet above ground level (agl) and the airplane settled back to the ground about 2,000 ft from the beginning of the takeoff roll. He reported that his grandson, who was watching, stated "the takeoff was normal and then it sounded like the engine quit running." The pilot also reported his neighbor was sitting outside and saw the airplane "lift off the ground for several feet as normal and it sounded as if [the pilot] let off the gas."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed the pilot the day after the accident. The pilot reported he looked at the wind sock prior to take off and noticed it was hanging down and not moving. He proceeded to takeoff to the north as he typically liked to do because of the height of the trees on the south end of the airstrip. As the airplane became airborne, about 40 ft agl, he realized he had a 10 to 15 knot tail wind and the aircraft began to lose altitude. He advanced the throttle to full power. The FAA inspector asked the pilot if the engine was producing power and the pilot confirmed it was. The inspector reported the pilot stated, "it was at that moment he realized he had messed up." The airplane hit trees, became inverted and hit the ground. The pilot added that his grandson told him he looked at the windsock during takeoff and noticed "a gust of wind had filled the windsock in the direction of departure." The pilot remarked the next time he flew he was going to get wind direction in his local area from the weather service. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/21/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/29/2015
Flight Time:  144 hours (Total, all aircraft), 89 hours (Total, this make and model), 144 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 29.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12.9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3949K
Model/Series: PA 28-140 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-23826
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/14/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4842 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 hp
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: KACP, 107 ft msl
Observation Time: 2035 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 191°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 24°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1200 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 200°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Oakdale, LA (6LA4)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LIVINGSTON, TX (00R)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1550 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: Dyer (6LA4)
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 117 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  30.906944, -92.652500

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