Friday, September 7, 2018

Piper PA-28R-180, registered to a private individual and operated by Space City Aviators, N7430J: Fatal accident occurred August 31, 2018 in Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Piper Aircraft Inc; Vero Beach, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Kaplan, LA
Accident Number: CEN18FA359
Date & Time: 08/31/2018, 0756 CDT
Registration: N7430J
Aircraft: Piper PA28R
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 31, 2018, about 0756 central daylight time, a Piper PA28R airplane, N7430J, impacted a tower near Kaplan, Louisiana. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Space City Aviators under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, which departed about 0746 without a flight plan from Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport (IYA), Abbeville, Louisiana.

After departing IYA, the airplane flew about 15 miles to the northwest, where it struck a television/radio tower in a rural area. The tower's height was 1,793 ft above ground level and the airplane impacted about 200 ft below the apex of the tower. The highly fragmented wreckage was dispersed over an area about 700 ft wide. The tower collapsed and the buildings at the base of the tower, which were unoccupied, caught fire and were destroyed. No ground injuries were reported. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7430J
Model/Series: PA28R 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Space City Aviators
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIYA, 50 ft msl
Observation Time: 0755 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 50°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Abbeville, LA (IYA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  30.038889, -92.370833

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

Caylee Isabella Sampson, age 6 years.

Funeral cost for Caylee:

Friday’s tragic plane crash in Vermilion Parish that claimed the lives of a father and daughter from Texas, also took down the signal for a small Christian radio station in Crowley.

During one of Friday morning’s shows, the KAJN’s signal suddenly blinked off the air.

“He went out there thinking it was a problem with the transmitter,” said Barry Thompson, KAJN President.

An engineer drove out to the stations transmitter building in Kaplan in search of the problem.

“He drove up and said but there’s no tower here,” said Thompson.

It’s what he didn’t find however, that caused even more concern.

“He saw the tower was on the ground,” said Thompson.

A plane had crashed into the 1800 ft tower causing it to fall and take down almost everything in it’s path.

“Our antenna, cable and all of the transmission line. Its gone,” said Thompson.

Shockingly, the only thing the tower spared was the station’s nearby transmitter building.

“All of our transmitter equipment and broadcaster equipment was safe inside the building,” said Thompson.

An act that Thompson calls a miracle. Also, one that has left them able to reach only some of their listeners.

“We’re broadcasting to only a portion of our audience,” said Thompson.

Thompson said they’re hoping to get back on another tower that is at least 1560ft or higher.

“We want to get at least that high or higher to bring our signal back to our regular audience,”said Thompson.

Story and video ➤

The victims killed in a plane crash on August 31, 2018 in Vermilion Parish have been identified as 45-year-old Marcus Todd Sampson of Seabrook, Texas and his daughter, 6-year-old Caylee Isabella Sampson.

The National Transportation and Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Earlier, we reported a different spelling for the child’s first name. The correct spelling of her first name is Caylee.

The plane hit an old KATC tower in the Kaplan area Friday.

According to the FAA, the plane was a Piper Cherokee (PA-28).

The tower stood at 1,800 feet and was being rented by KAJN radio.

KAJN is broadcasting on a 1500 Watts station for now while new equipment is being built, which will take a few weeks. Listeners can catch the station live streaming at or by using the free Simple Radio app.

The station usually broadcasts at 100,000 watts, so some listeners may not be able to catch them right now.

Original article can be found here ➤

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