Saturday, June 23, 2018

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee, N8703W: Accident occurred May 04, 2015 near Huntington Municipal Airport (KHHG), Indiana

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Bend, Indiana
National Transportation Safety Board Central Region; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Huntington, IN
Accident Number: CEN15LA216
Date & Time: 05/04/2015, 1145 EDT
Registration: N8703W
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-235
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 4, 2015, about 1145 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA28-235 airplane, N8703W, was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing at Huntington, Indiana. The pilot and a person on the ground sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provision of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed. The airplane departed from Anderson Municipal Airport (AID), Anderson, Indiana, and was destined for De Kalb County Airport (GWB), Auburn, Indiana, located about 76 miles away.

The pilot reported that during cruise flight, about 2,000 ft above ground level (agl), the engine had a sudden and complete loss of engine power. The pilot elected to conduct a forced landing to a two-lane paved highway. During the landing the airplane impacted the rear of a pickup truck that was stopped at a traffic signal. The impact resulted in substantial damage to the airplane and the complete separation of the right wing. The airplane came to rest inverted in a ditch about 250 ft from the initial impact point.

During a conversation with the NTSB investigator in Charge (IIC), the pilot reported that he had about 5 gallons of fuel in the left main fuel tank, about 16 gallons in the right main tank, and 6 gallons in the right tip fuel tank. He added that the fuel selector was on the left main fuel tank.

A review of the PA28's Pilot Owners Handbook, revealed that at 75 % power, fuel consumption is 14 gallons/hour. The handbook also noted that cruise speed was 146 mph (126.9 kts) at sea level and 156 mph (135.6 kts) at 7,000 ft. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 32
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; 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: 06/18/2012
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N8703W
Model/Series: PA 28-235
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-10235
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
Engine Model/Series: O-540 B4B5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 235 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: KHHG
Observation Time: 1135 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7500 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 9500 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Rain
Departure Point: ANDERSON, IN (AID)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: AUBURN, IN (GWB)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time:  EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 806 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5003 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  40.864167, -85.470000 (est)

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