Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Piper PA-28R-201, N6899C: Accident occurred October 27, 2018 near Lea County Regional Airport (KHOB), Hobbs, New Mexico

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hobbs, NM
Accident Number: CEN19CA017
Date & Time: 10/27/2018, 1940 MDT
Registration: N6899C
Aircraft: Piper PA28R
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Navigation error
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported he entered a left traffic pattern for runway 30 during night visual meteorological conditions. Shortly after turning final approach, the airplane impacted the terrain. The pilot thought he had sufficient altitude during the initial phase of the final approach based on his altimeter indication. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage, and the three occupants were not injured. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the pilot had an improper altimeter setting that resulted in the altimeter indication error of +800 ft mean sea level, and the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot stated that he must have had the wrong altimeter setting for the destination airport. Runway 30 was equipped with medium intensity runway edge lights, and a 4-light precision approach path indicator light system. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, 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: 01/16/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/24/2018
Flight Time: 192 hours (Total, all aircraft), 184 hours (Total, this make and model), 97 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6899C
Model/Series: PA28R 201
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28R-7837176
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/17/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360
Registered Owner: William Daughdrill
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 260°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Carlsbad, NM (CNM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hobbs, NM (HOB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1905 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Lea County Regional Airport (HOB)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 3660 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing:  Traffic Pattern

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:  32.682222, -103.221111 (est)


daveyl123 said...

The T-Tail Arrow IV has a trait of suddenly running out of energy and elevator authority if you neglect to hold the recommended airspeed on final. Most airplanes give you a little hint that you're on thin ice, but this plane doesn't hint much, if at all. The Tomahawk also exhibits this trait.

Anonymous said...

@davyel123, The aircraft in question did not have a T-tail. As far as the PA38, it gives plenty of warning that the airspeed is too low, in the form of a stall warning and airframe buffeting. The key is to simply fly the airplane.

daveyl123 said...

Perhaps, but Arrow model stabilators share that trait. The Tomahawk lulls you into thinking you've got flare authority, then you suddenly (Belatedly) realize you're in the last two inches of yoke travel, and you only have power to cushion the sink. One landing I made at the Rio Linda, CA Airport (Please, no Limbaugh Jokes..) with a Traumahawk registered on the Richter Scale.