Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, N6143J: Fatal accident occurred December 19, 2018 near Blairsville Airport (KDZJ), Union County, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia
Piper Aircraft Company; Vero Beach, Florida
Textron Lycoming; White, Alabama

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


Location: Blairsville, GA
Accident Number: ERA19FA070
Date & Time: 12/19/2018, 1936 EST
Registration: N6143J
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 19, 2018, at 1936 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N6143J, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain while on final approach to runway 8 at the Blairsville Airport (DZJ), Blairsville, Georgia. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and another passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from DZJ about 1840.

According to law enforcement, the pilot was taking the passengers on a planned, local flight to look at Christmas lights.

The pilot was not talking to air traffic control; however, a preliminary review of radar data revealed a target squawking a 1200 transponder code heading west away from DZJ around the time the airplane departed. The target then made a left turn to the south before turning east back toward the airport. The target, then made a long straight-in approach toward runway 8 at a ground speed of 110 knots before radar contact was lost about 2 miles from the airport.

A witness stated she was on her front porch when she saw the lights of the airplane approaching the airport. The airplane's engine was running smoothly (no knocking or sputtering), but it sounded as if the airplane was lower to the ground than normal. The witness heard the airplane impact trees and then the ground. She said the airplane was not going very fast and appeared to be on a normal glidepath to the runway, but it was "just too low." The witness went inside her home and called 911.

The initial impact point (IIP) was a stand of 60 to 70-foot-tall trees located about a half-mile from the end of the runway. The airplane's right-wing tip was found at the base of these trees. The airplane continued to impact trees as it descended before it came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of about 142° about 262 ft from the initial impact. An on-scene examination of the airplane revealed that all major components of the airplane were located at the accident site and there was no post-impact fire.

The Piper PA-28-181 is a 4-seat, low-wing airplane powered by a 180-hp Lycoming engine. The airplane's last annual inspection was performed on January 20, 2018. The airplane had accrued a total airframe time of 4,481.19 hours at the time of the accident. The engine was overhauled in 2014 and had accrued a total time of 403.5 hours at the time of the accident.

The pilot, who purchased the airplane in 2010, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. A review of his pilot logbooks revealed that as of November 11, 2018, he had accrued a total of 822.9 flight hours, of which, 752.5 hours were in the accident airplane. He had a total of 51.4 hours at night. His last logged flight at night was on August 16, 2018, at which time, he logged only one landing. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on April 10, 2017, with no limitations.

Weather reported at DZJ, at 1935, was wind from 200° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles and clear skies. The temperature was 9° C, dewpoint 2°C, and a barometric altimeter setting of 30.00 in Hg. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6143J
Model/Series: PA28 181
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KDZJ, 1909 ft msl
Observation Time: 1935 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Blairsville, GA (DZJ)
Destination: Blairsville, GA (DZJ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  34.852500, -84.015556 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.
A friend and colleague says the people killed in the Blairsville plane crash were nurses and a pharmacist. He shared these photos of them and the sole survivor, in the black shirt.

A small plane crash near a North Georgia airport killed three people and sent a fourth person to an area hospital in critical condition, authorities confirmed.

The single-engine Piper plane crashed near the Blairsville Municipal Airport on Wednesday just after 7:30 p.m., the Union County Fire Department and Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.

The three people killed were identified Thursday as Blairsville residents: 56-year-old Robert Atkinson, 55-year-old Renea Greiner and 50-year-old Michelle Seay.

The injured person was flown to a nearby hospital in critical condition, officials said.

The victims were nurses and a pharmacist who were well-known in the community, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The plane was found next to an open field near the airport, officials said.

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.

Union County borders North Carolina, and Blairsville is about 100 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.ajc.com

UNION COUNTY, Ga. - Three people are dead after a small plane crashed in northeast Georgia.

The crash happened in a wooded area near the Union County Airport in Blairsville just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Union County borders North Carolina, and Blairsville is about 100 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.

The victims who died have been identified as Robert Atkinson, 56; Renea Greiner, 55; and Michelle Seay, 50.

Emergency Management officials said a fourth person was on the plane and survived. First responders airlifted that victim to a hospital. She's in critical condition.

Jared Eggleston worked with the victims and he called them friends.

Eggleston said Atkinson's passions were flying his plane and caring for the patients at his Blairsville pharmacy.

"He would try to find any way possible to make sure the patient got what they needed," Eggleston said.

Eggleston said the women who died were nurses in Blue Ridge. He said they helped a lot of people over the years.

"They'll be remembered for the love and care they had for everybody. I mean, they've done a lot for the people of Blue Ridge," Eggleston said.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are looking through the wreckage. It could take up to a year to officially release the cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsbtv.com

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