Saturday, January 19, 2019

Piper Aztec PA-23 N269KW: Accident occurred September 12, 2019 at Cyril E. King Airport (TIST), Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Juan, Puerto Rico

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N269KW

Location: Charlotte Amalie, VI
Accident Number: ERA19LA279
Date & Time: 09/12/2019, 0400 AST
Registration: N269KW
Aircraft: Piper PA23
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 12, 2019, at 0400 Atlantic standard time, a Piper PA23, N269KW, was substantially damaged when the left main landing gear collapsed while taxiing at Cyril E King Airport (TIST), Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to Executive Airshares, LLC, and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the personal flight was destined for St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to the pilot's written statement, he "added throttle to get the temp[eratures]s up" while on back taxi to Runway 10. He cycled the propeller twice, pulled the throttle back to idle, heard an irregular noise and then felt ground contact. He immediately shut off the mixtures to both engines. The pilot reported that "the gear was slowly collapsing" while he was taxiing, "which could not be recognized in the dark."

Initial examination of the accident site and wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed a 60 to 70 ft ground scar on the runway leading to the runway edge, consistent with the left landing gear and wingtip. Ground scars were observed in the turf from the runway edge leading to where the airplane came to rest after striking a runway light. The left-wing leading edge was fractured and impact damaged in several areas. The trailing edge of the outboard left wing displayed damage consistent with ground and runway contact.

The landing gear was examined under the supervision of the FAA inspector. The inspector noted no evidence of landing gear structural damage and no malfunction of the landing gear actuator. A retraction test revealed no mechanical failures.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine land and sea. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued July 24, 2019, at which time he reported 7,035 flight hours.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the six-seat, low-wing, tricycle-retractable-gear airplane was manufactured in 1966. It was powered by two Lycoming IO-540 series engines rated at 250 horsepower, each equipped with a two-bladed controllable pitch propeller. According to maintenance records, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 1, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 5,250 total hours of operation.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N269KW
Model/Series: PA23 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Executive Airshares Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: TIST, 236 ft msl
Observation Time: 0353 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 25°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2200 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 80°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Departure Point: Charlotte Amalie, VI (TIST)
Destination: St. Croix, VI

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 18.337500, -64.967222 (est) 

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