Sunday, August 5, 2018

Piper PA-28-236 Dakota, registered to a private company and operated by the pilot, N8161X: Accident occurred June 17, 2016 at Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD), Charlotte County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Air Traffic Operation (ATO) Safety and Technical Training, AJI-12 / Federal Aviation Administration
National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA); Cleveland, Ohio

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N8161X

Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Accident Number: ERA16LA225
Date & Time: 06/17/2016, 1709 EDT
Registration: N8161X
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-236
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 17, 2016, about 1709 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-236, N8161X, sustained substantial damage during landing roll out at the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), Punta Gorda, Florida. The private pilot and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to a private company and operated by the pilot. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida, about 1630 and was destined for PGD. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated that he was cleared by air traffic control (ATC) to land on runway 22, a 150-foot-wide runway. During the landing roll, the airplane suddenly departed the left-side of the runway and ended up in the grass. The pilot initially thought he had blown a tire, but when he exited the airplane he noticed an Allegiant Air McDonnell-Douglas MD-83 parked on the movement area of Taxiway A2 performing a maintenance test run of its engines. He told the control tower that he thought he had been blown off the runway by the MD-83's jet blast.

Prior to the accident, a maintenance crew for Allegiant Air had requested clearance from the control tower to taxi to the intersection of taxiway A and A2 to conduct a run-up of its engines. Upon arriving at the intersection of taxiway A and A2, the maintenance crew realized that the prevailing wind was from the west and not conducive to a successful engine run-up and asked the tower if they could reposition facing the wind. Due to the width of taxiway A, about 60-feet-wide, the MD-83, a 146-foot-long airplane, could not complete a 180° turn on taxiway A and had to proceed to the approach end of runway 22 and then down the runway to taxiway A2. Upon reaching taxiway A2, the maintenance crew reported clear of runway 22. The MD-83 was positioned on taxiway A2 facing away from runway 22 into the prevailing wind, heading approximately 270°. This resulted in the engines of the MD-83 being directed toward the first third of runway 22 and its resultant engine exhaust being positioned closer to the runway than if it had conducted an engine run-up from taxiway A.

After the MD-83 was in place to start the engine run-up, the control tower cleared the accident airplane to land on runway 22, but did not warn the pilot of the parked MD-83 or that it was conducting a test-run of its engines as required per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, paragraph 3-1-5, Vehicles/Equipment/Personnel Near/On Runways. After the excursion, when the pilot told the tower that he encountered jet blast from the MD-83, a controller queried the crew of the MD-83. The maintenance crew advised that they had not started the engine test yet and had not advanced the engines beyond idle. The controllers said they did not think it was possible that the MD-83 had an effect on the accident airplane going off the runway and entered the event into the control tower logs as loss of control event on the airplane's account with no mention of the MD-83.

The accident airplane had a belly-mounted camera that recorded the runway excursion. The video displayed a normal landing and rollout on the runway centerline. When the airplane was about 1,700 ft down the runway, it showed the MD-83 ahead and to the right just as the right wing lifted and the airplane departed the left side of the runway. Photographs taken of the airplane after the accident revealed the left wing spar was bent.

A review of Allegiant's MD-80 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, jet engine exhaust velocity contours at idle power can reach 35 miles per hour (mph), or about 30 knots, at a distance of 100 ft behind the aircraft centerline. The wind was 270° at 9 knots (10.3 mph). This would have resulted in the accident airplane encountering a sudden and unexpected right crosswind of nearly 45 mph, or about 39 knots.

According to the air traffic controllers on duty at the time of the accident, the control tower's air traffic manager (ATM), and the airport's Director of Aviation, engine run-ups were usually conducted on taxiway A or on taxiway D between the approach end of runway 4 and 33; however, the location of engine run-ups was not specified by airport, ATC, or Allegiant Airline company procedure. The location for an engine run-up was determined by the on-duty controller, who based the location on existing traffic and weather conditions. Following this accident, the Punta Gorda Tower Standard Operating Procedures, (SOP), PGD Order 7210.3 appendix O, Special Problem Areas, was modified in order to proceduralize the engine run-up process at PGD for transport category airplanes. The modifications stated, in part:

Clearance Delivery/Ground Control Potential Problem Areas:

3. Use caution when approving run-ups for turbo jet aircraft. Run-ups (anything above idle) may only be approved in areas that do not direct jet exhaust across an active/advertised runway or taxiway. Situate aircraft requesting cross bleed starts, or run-ups away from any other aircraft or hold taxiing aircraft away from aircraft in question (taxiway Delta and carrier ramp).

Local Control Potential Problem Areas:

8. Use caution when approving run-ups for turbo jet aircraft. Run-ups (anything above idle) may only be approved in areas that do not direct jet exhaust across an active/advertised runway or taxiway. Situate aircraft requesting cross bleed starts or run-ups away from any other aircraft or hold taxiing aircraft away from aircraft in question (taxiway Delta and carrier ramp).

These procedures were disseminated to Allegiant Airlines and the air traffic control tower.

FAA order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, which outlines air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by personal providing air traffic control services, Paragraph 3-1-5, Vehicles/Equipment/Personnel Near/On Runways, stated:

A. Vehicles, equipment and personnel in direct communications with the control tower may be authorized to operate up to the edge of an active runway surface when necessary. Provide advisories as specified is Paragraph 3-1-6, Traffic Information.

B. Ensure that the runway to be used is free of all known ground vehicles, equipment, and personnel before a departing aircraft starts takeoff or a landing aircraft crosses landing threshold.

Paragraph 3-1-6, Traffic Information, states is part:

A. Describe vehicles, equipment or personnel on or near the movement area in a manner which will assist pilots in recognizing them.

B. Describe the relative position of traffic in an easy to understand manner such as "to your right" or "ahead of you."

Paragraph 3-3-3, Timely Information, states in part:

Issue airport condition information necessary for an aircraft's safe operation in time for it to be useful to the pilot. Include the following, as appropriate:

A. Construction work on or immediately adjacent to the movement area.

B. Rough portions of the movement area.

C. Braking conditions caused by ice, snow, slush, or water.

D. Snowdrifts or piles of snow on or along the edges of the area and the extent of any plowed area.

E. Parked aircraft on the movement area.

F. Irregular operation of part or all of the airport lighting system.

G. Volcanic ash on any airport surface area and whether the ash is wet or dry (if

known).

H. Other pertinent airport conditions

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
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: 01/26/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/10/2015
Flight Time:   344 hours (Total, all aircraft), 211 hours (Total, this make and model), 45 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N8161X
Model/Series: PA 28-236 236
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-8011076
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/07/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 78 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2821.9 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 0-540 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 236 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: PGD, 25 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 EDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 7500 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Tampa, FL (TPF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Punta Gorda, FL (PGD)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1630 EST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: PUNTA GORDA (PGD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 25 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7193 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.918889, -81.990833 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA225
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 17, 2016 in Punta Gorda, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-236, registration: N8161X
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 17, 2016, about 1820 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-236, N8161X, sustained substantial damage during landing roll out at the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), Punta Gorda, Florida. The private pilot and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to a private company and operated by the pilot. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida, about 1630 and was destined for PGD. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

The pilot stated that the flight was normal until after he landed. During the landing roll, the airplane suddenly departed the left-side of the runway and ended up in the grass. The pilot initially thought he had blown a tire, but when he exited the airplane he noticed an McDonnell-Douglas MD-83 parked on Taxiway A2 performing a maintenance test run of its engines. 

A review of airport surveillance video captured the accident airplane as it landed on runway 22. During the landing roll, the airplane's right wing was suddenly lifted into the air causing the left wing to strike the ground as it passed directly behind the MD-83. The airplane then veered off the runway into the grass. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the left wing spar was bent and the landing gear was damaged. 

The weather conditions reported at PDG, at 1753, included wind from 270 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 10 statute miles and clear skies.

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