Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Piper PA-28-180, N9494J: Accident occurred May 01, 2018 in Pine Springs, Culberson County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Pine Spring, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA347
Date & Time: 05/01/2018, 2148 CDT
Registration: N9494J
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot reported that, while en route in mountainous terrain at night at 6,500 ft, he encountered turbulence and downdrafts and "felt a couple of impacts on the left side". He continued to the destination airport, where he noticed the ELT was transmitting over the radio. During the landing, the left main landing gear collapsed.

The pilot reported that he initially thought the airplane had struck a bird, but postaccident examination revealed that the left wing had impacted a tree. The elevation of the accident latitude and longitude, provided by the pilot, was about 5,000 ft.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/09/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/08/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3600 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3400 hours (Total, this make and model), 3550 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N9494J
Model/Series: PA28 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-3613
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3200 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGDP, 5456 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0351 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 339°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / -12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Eldorado, TX (27R)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: El Paso, TX (ELP)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2050 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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:  31.758056, -104.776389 (est)

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