Friday, September 07, 2018

Controlled Flight into Object: Piper PA-28R-180, 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 Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


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

https://registry.faa.gov/N7430J

Location: Kaplan, LA
Accident Number: CEN18FA359
Date & Time: 08/31/2018, 0756 CDT
Registration: N7430J
Aircraft: Piper PA28R
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 31, 2018, about 0756 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28R 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 without a flight plan from Abbeville Chris Crusta Memorial Airport (IYA), Abbeville, Louisiana, about 0746.

The pilot and his daughter were returning toward their home state of Texas following a vacation to Florida. They arrived to IYA on the afternoon before the accident and stayed overnight at a hotel in Abbeville. According to a hotel surveillance camera, they departed this hotel at 0708.

Following departure from IYA, an uncontrolled airport, 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 occurred.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/27/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 6000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 100 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The pilot, age 45, held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airline transport pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings, as well as a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine land and multi-engine landing ratings. On February 27, 2017, the pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate with no restrictions and reported a total flight time of 6,000 hours. The pilot was employed as an FAA operations inspector. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7430J
Model/Series: PA28R 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28R-30774
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/18/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 36 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3980 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-B1E
Registered Owner: Private
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Space City Aviators
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane was manufactured in 1968 and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine, serial number L-5225-51A, and a Hartzel two-blade, all-metal propeller. The airplane underwent an annual inspection on July 18, 2018. At the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated 3,980 hours, with a total engine time of 4,726 hours and time since engine overhaul of 1,782 hours. The airplane was one of four in a fleet offered for rent at a flight club based at La Porte Municipal Airport (T41), La Porte, Texas. The pilot was a member of the flight club.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIYA, 50 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0755 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 104°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 50°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Abbeville, LA (IYA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0746 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G  

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 

The wreckage was in four principal sections: fuselage, empennage and cabin; engine and propeller; right wing; and left wing. Near the base of the tower, which collapsed on heading of 255°, a 20 ft wide area of fuel blight was noted to the grass. The empennage remained attached to the fuselage and lay on its right side with the cabin underneath. Buckling was noted throughout the empennage skin.

The aileron control tee bar was impact damaged and the chain was displaced, with the left aileron drive cable attached to the chain. The chain was pulled down into the cabin floor tunnel and a broomstraw separation occurred inboard of the turnbuckle barrel. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and rudder cables retained continuity from the pedal bar in the cockpit to the rudder. The vertical stabilizer and stabilator remained attached to the empennage, with normal cable continuity from the tee bar in the cockpit to the stabilator balance weight.

The transponder was found in the off position. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal flight operations.


Medical And Pathological Information

On August 31, 2018, a forensic pathologist from the Louisiana Forensic Center, Youngsville, Louisiana performed an autopsy on the pilot and passenger. The cause of death for the pilot and passenger was blunt force injuries. Toxicology testing performed at the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory on the pilot was negative for drugs and alcohol.

According to the pilot's second wife, she and the pilot were in the process of getting a divorce following several family-related challenges. She had been very concerned when the pilot left with their daughter without notice and until the evening before the accident, she had not seen or spoke with her daughter since July 27, 2018. According to his FAA supervisor, the pilot's behavior became erratic before the accident. He was unresponsive to phone calls and made purchases for personal items with his work credit card while in Florida, which was not authorized. On the day before the accident, the pilot was informed by his attorney that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Additional Information

The impacted tower was correctly depicted on the FAA sectional chart. Surveillance video of the tower taken during the early morning hours before the accident revealed lighting anomalies. Instead of blinking in unison, the tower's lights would illuminate in a chaotic, random manner. Due to sun glare, video surveillance was not available after 0607 on the morning of the accident.

A witness who lived near the tower stated the lights were often erratic. An aerial application pilot who frequently flew near the tower stated the intensity of the tower's lights ranged from very bright to dim. This pilot flew during the morning of the accident and recalled the tower's lights as bright. A direct course from IYA to the pilot's home airport at T41 would have positioned the flight over five miles south of the tower. 

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)
Destination: 

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

Caylee Isabella Sampson, age 6 years.

Funeral cost for Caylee:  https://www.gofundme.com


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 ➤ https://kadn.com




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 www.kajn.com 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 ➤ https://katc.com

2 comments:

  1. Intentionally struck that tower 😡😡😡

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sick SOB. Someone should have intervened. He could have killed himself without taking his precious 6 year old daughter with him. Divorces can snap people. Those who show erratic abnormal behavior need to be watched closely. There is very little information about his background from what I could find, but these situations almost always root back to trouble in finances (lost job, failing business, etc.). It's hot where he is now.

    ReplyDelete