Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Piper PA-32R-300 Lance, N38523: Fatal accident occurred July 24, 2018 near Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport (KIPJ), North Carolina and Incident occurred August 16, 2017 in Taylorsville, Alexander County, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Piper; Vero Beach, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lincolnton, NC
Accident Number: ERA18FA197
Date & Time: 07/24/2018, 0520 EDT
Registration: N38523
Aircraft: Piper PA32R
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 24, 2018, about 0520 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-300, N38523, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport (IPJ), Lincolnton, North Carolina. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight was filed for the flight destined for Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

A witness reported that he was sleeping when he heard a low flying airplane followed by a "thud." He drove to the airport and located the airplane in an open field, about 1/2 mile from the departure end of runway 05.

The airplane was examined at the accident site; it came to rest in a shallow impact crater in a grass field. All major components were accounted for at the scene. The wreckage path was about 170 ft long and was orientated on 085° magnetic heading. The grass surrounding the wreckage path had been blighted by fuel.

The flaps and landing gear were in the up position. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all the flight control surfaces to the cockpit. The left wing was separated from the airframe and came to rest parallel to the wreckage. The right wing remained attached, the leading edge was crushed aft. The empennage remained attached and had impact damage to the vertical stabilizer and stabilator.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe; it was removed and suspended from a hoist for examination. A borescope inspection of the cylinders revealed the tops of all pistons and all intake and exhaust valves exhibited normal combustion signatures. The drive train was manually rotated, and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders. In addition, continuity of the crankshaft to the rear gears and to the valve train was confirmed. The spark plugs showed normal wear. The dual magneto remained attached to the engine but was impact damaged. It produced a spark at three of the twelve towers. Internal visual examination did not reveal any pre-impact failures or malfunctions. The fuel injectors and oil pump were free of debris.

The three-bladed Hartzell propeller was located about 50 ft forward of the main wreckage. All three blades were bent back and exhibited chordwise scratching and leading edge gouging; one blade also exhibited S-bending.

The six-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear equipped airplane was manufactured in 1977. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-540, 300-horsepower engine. The most recent annual inspection was completed on July 20, 2018.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration third-class special issuance medical certificate was issued on June 21, 2017, with the limitations, "Holder shall possess glasses for near and intermediate vision. Not valid for any class after June 30, 2018." At that time, he reported 587 hours of total flight experience.

At 0545, the weather conditions reported at IPJ included, wind calm, visibility 1 1/4 statute miles, mist, overcast 200 ft, temperature 21°C, dew point 21°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N38523
Model/Series: PA32R 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Drake Enterprises Of Lincolnton Nc Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIPJ, 875 ft msl
Observation Time: 0545 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling:  Overcast / 200 ft agl
Visibility:  1.25 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Lincolnton, NC (IPJ)
Destination: Oshkosh, WI (OSH)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  35.484722, -81.165833 (est)

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

The pilot was identified as 63-year-old Teddy Wayne Heavner and the passenger was 54-year-old Basil "Todd" Sain.

Rain was east of the airport at the time of the crash, but visibility was reported to be about 1 mile with low clouds and fog.

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - Officials have identified the two men who were killed Tuesday morning when the small plane they were in crashed near the Lincoln County Airport.

The pilot was identified as 63-year-old Teddy Wayne Heavner and the passenger was 54-year-old Basil "Todd" Sain.

Family members say the pair were the best of friends. 

"Just the laughter," brother-in-law Steve Warren said. "Just kidding and joking, just all the time." 

"It is so tragic but they were so excited to go. They were playing golf today and an air show tomorrow. Just the best of friends, they all had friends everywhere," another family member said. 

Both men were from Lincolnton.

Police and firefighters responded early Tuesday to the scene of the crash near the airport, between Denver and Lincolnton, off Highway 73.

Authorities said the single-engine plane crashed in a field just before 6 a.m. and that Heavner and Sain were they only people onboard.

Family members told Eyewitness News that the plane had just taken off from the airport and was headed to an air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin when it crashed.

Those family members also told Eyewitness News that the same plane had reported issues in August of last year after having to make an emergency landing in Alexander County and that Heavner only just got the plane back in the last two weeks.

Officials told Channel 9 that they received a 911 call around 5:45 a.m. from a neighbor who said he heard the plane crash.

Channel 9 could see the plane broken into pieces in a field about 300 yards from the runway.

State troopers said they responded to secure the scene for the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials with the FAA told Channel 9 that the aircraft was a Piper PA-32 and that they were investigating.

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the accident.

Story and video ➤

According to the Lincoln County Communications, a plane has crashed near the Lincoln County Airport early Tuesday morning.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, two people were onboard after a Piper PA-32 aircraft crashed in a field. NBC Charlotte has learned both of those on board the plane were killed.

Officials identify the two victims as 63-yr-old Teddy Wayne Heavner of Lincolnton, pilot, and 54-yr-old Basil "Todd" Sain of Lincolnton, passenger.

Officials report the call came in at around 5:39 a.m. stating a plane had crashed 714 Jack Dellinger Dr in Lincolnton.

According to an incident report from the Federal Aviation Administration, this same aircraft had issues last year. The report states when the aircraft left Lincoln County, the pilot heard two loud knocks/bangs and observed the engine RPM decrease and then quit. The pilot was forced to execute an emergency landing.

Story and video ➤

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

August 16, 2017:  Aircraft force landed in a field.

Date: 16-AUG-17
Time: 00:05:00Z
Regis#: N38523
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Above, Atlanta Air Recovery members Caleb Stephens (left) and Todd Thaxton are shown at work August 18, 2017, as they dismantle a Piper PA-32R-300 Lance, which suffered engine trouble. Pilot Ted Heavner made a forced landing in a field near the intersection of Hopewell Church Road and Sulphur Springs Road on August 16, 2017.

August 16, 2017:  A pilot who was operating a single-engine aircraft has made a forced landing in a field on Wednesday evening, August 16, 2017.

The Times has received a report from the scene which stated the plane was very quiet as it approached the area of Hopewell Church Road and Sulphur Springs Road. A motorist was at the intersection and observed the plane above a hill west of Sulphur Springs Road. The plane then landed in the hay field owned by Harold Bebber, east of Sulphur Springs Road, adjacent to Hopewell Church Road. Authorities were summoned.

The pilot, Ted Heavner, and his wife, Tammy, of Lincoln County, NC, spoke with The Times by phone August 28.

“The engine went out, and I had to set it down,” Mr. Heavner said, regarding the forced landing.

Tammy Heavner noted that “there was not a scratch on him,” and that Mr. Heavner is doing well. A couple of concerned citizens who observed his landing had approached Mr. Heavner after the plane landed, but he had exited the plane and ran toward them, fearing the nearly-full fuel tank might catch fire. Thankfully, it did not catch fire.

“My dad is the pilot of this plane and, by the grace of God, he was able to land it in this field without injury to himself or anyone else. He also avoided hitting a house, a barn, and cleared a power line,” stated Asheleigh Brusso, in an online submission to The Times. “My dad walked away without a scratch on his body and did an amazing job of handling himself in a crisis.”

It was observed at the scene that the extent of damage to the airplane was a visible dent in one wing and partially buckled landing gear.

A crew with Atlanta Air Recovery, of Griffin, GA, consisting of Caleb Stephens and Todd Thaxton, was on the scene Friday afternoon, August 18, to dismantle the plane and transport it to Georgia.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) lists the event as an “incident” and describes the plane as a 1977 Piper fixed wing single-engine aircraft.

Drake Enterprises, of Lincolnton, NC, is latest at the registered owner of the airplane.

Mr. Stephens added the plane is a Piper PA-32R-300 Lance.

Original article ➤

ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - No one was injured when a small plane force landed in Alexander County late Wednesday.

The fixed wing single-engine plane force landed in a hay field after the engine went out.

The pilot aboard the plane walked away without any serious injuries. The plane did not sustain serious damages and the nose gear remained intact. 

NTSB is expected to investigate the crash Thursday. 

Drake Enterprises of Lincolnton is the registered owner of the plane, according to the FAA registry. 

Story and video ➤

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