Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, N400JM: Fatal accident occurred March 12, 2019 in Madeira, Hamilton County, Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cincinnati, Ohio

The aircraft was Visual Flight Rules (VFR), arriving at Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field (KLUK).  Aircraft reported fuel problems. Aircraft crashed five (5) miles north of Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field (KLUK).

Marc Inc

Date: 12-MAR-19
Time: 17:23:00Z
Regis#: N400JM
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: 31
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Operator: MARC INC.
Flight Number: N/A
State: OHIO

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

David Sapp

NTSB investigator Todd Gunther

MADEIRA, Ohio —  Nation Transportation Safety Board investigators said they will have to rely on evidence at the scene and witnesses to determine what caused a Piper 31 PA to crash into a Madeira neighborhood Tuesday.

“About two miles north of Lunken, there was a simultaneous loss of radar and radar contact with the aircraft,” NTSB investigator Todd Gunther said. “There was no distress call.”

Gunther said there are no flight recorders on the plane, so they won’t get details about what was happening with the systems on board.

At the scene, investigators have started to put together the final moments of the flight.

“The airplane struck a tree somewhere above ground level with the right wing first, spun approximately 180 degrees, as it came down on top of a house and came to rest in the opposite direction of what it’s flight path was,” Gunther said.

The pilot was David Sapp, 62.

His sister, who didn’t want to be identified, said he was a father and a grandfather.

“He loved playing hockey. He loved everything athletic. In Arizona, he was a big brother,” the sister said.

She said he was from Cleveland originally, but moved to Phoenix and considered that home unless he was flying.

“He said that was his second home,” his sister said.

Sapp’s sister also said they believe there was a problem with the plane.

“He had concerns, when he spoke to his wife, about the plane acting up,” the sister said.

The NTSB will have a team of four members in the area through the weekend.

Story and video ➤

A Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain plane crashed into a house in Madeira on Tuesday as it was heading back to Lunken Airport, killing the pilot, officials said.

Officials identified the pilot as 62-year-old David Sapp.

A man who lives behind the site of the wreckage said the sound of splintering wood was so intense, he thought his own home had been struck.

Carter Waide ran outside, toward the wreckage in his neighbor's yard. The front end of the plane was obliterated, he said, adding "anybody that would have been in the first two seats didn’t have a chance."

The plane burst into flames.

Waide alerted authorities, sickened by the scene.

"It was so strange to see a plane," Waide said. "Felt sick cause you knew it was really bad. I said a quick prayer and tried to help but nothing (could) be done."

No other fatalities were being reported Tuesday evening. Ohio State Highway Patrol did not specify how Sapp died or where he was from. 

The plane, which fire officials said had been gathering images for maps and geographic information systems (GIS), went down at about 3:18 p.m. It hit the addition on the back of the house, knocking part of the addition down, said Madeira/Indian Hill Fire Chief Stephen Ashbrock.

A neighbor said no one was at home at the time of the crash, and two dogs were rescued. 

The house is on Rollymeade Avenue, near Kenwood and Shawnee Run roads, just east of the Kenwood Country Club. It's a neighborhood filled with children. The streets are lined with single-family brick homes with big front yards and some large mature trees.

Other neighbors described hearing a thud, but not a violent explosion, when the plane struck the home.

Jenny Brock, who lives near the crash scene, has grown accustomed to the sound of airplanes passing overhead because the neighborhood is directly on the flight path to Lunken.

"I just heard a good three seconds of what sounded like an engine failure, then a loud bang," Brock said.

Judith Lampe, who also lives nearby, said the plane "made a terrible noise."

The back of the house, Lampe said, was "pretty much open to the elements." 

Officials with the FBI, Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board responded or were en route to the scene, Ashbrock said.

The FAA released the following statement:

"A twin-engine Piper PA-31 crashed into a home… near Madeira, Ohio. FAA investigators are on their way to the crash site, and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation. The FAA and NTSB do not release names of pilots or passengers.", which tracks the movement of planes, shows the Piper left Lunken Airport and then flew north to Springfield, Ohio. The Piper made at least six passes over the Springfield area, then went south and made at least four passes between Middletown and Mason. It then headed south, in the direction of Lunken, which is about five miles south-southwest of the crash site.

The plane was built in 1980, FAA records show. A plane with the same tail number was involved in an accident in 2002, according to documents on AviationDB.Net. The plane hit power lines during a landing at Front Range Airport in Colorado about 20 miles east of Denver. The pilot couldn't see through the windshield because of a window heater failure.

The plane currently is owned by Marc Inc., which a company website describes as "North America's largest provider of contract aircraft and flight crews for airborne GIS survey and surveillance projects." Marc bought the Piper in 2007, FAA records show.

The company's owner, Billy H. Miller, said he was not aware of the crash and directed requests for information to the company's office, which is based at John Bell Williams Airport in Bolton, Mississippi. The airport is owned by Hinds Community College. The company, which owns and operates its own fleet, referred all questions to their attorney, Thomas Bryson, who was not available for comment.

Madeira resident Bill Heckle had been out flying Tuesday, testing his plane’s radio gear. He described the conditions as clear with little wind.

When Heckle landed at Lunken Airport, he noticed that his wife had been calling his cellphone. They live down the street from the crash scene.

She was worried because she knew he would have been flying in the area.

“She was pretty distraught when I called,” Heckle said. “She was concerned that it might have been me.”

Story and video ➤

Mandatory credit: Carter Waide
  A body is removed from the site of a plane crash on Rollymeade Avenue, March 12th, 2019, in Madeira, Ohio. Authorities say a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain has crashed into a house in a suburban Cincinnati community, killing the pilot.

MADEIRA, Ohio (FOX19) - The pilot killed in a plane crash in a northeastern Cincinnati suburb Tuesday had a current commercial flying license, according to online federal aviation records.

David J. Sapp, 62, is from Sun City in Maricopa County, Arizona, said troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Hamilton County post in Blue Ash.

Sapp’s commercial pilot license was issued Jan. 9, 2018, according to online Federal Aviation Administration records.

It’s unclear how long Sapp was a licensed pilot.

We have a call and email into FAA corporate officials for more information.

He was qualified to fly the plane he was in, but the company that owns the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain is dissolved, according to online records with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.

We also are checking with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office to see why the company that owns the plane is dissolved.

The plane has no prior incidents, according to online federal aviation records.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to arrive at the crash scene Wednesday morning as the investigation continues, troopers said.

The plane crashed at 3:18 p.m. Tuesday on Rollymeade Avenue and caught fire after it struck a remodeled portion of a home, said Madeira & Indian Hill Joint Fire District Fire Chief Stephen Ashbrock.

Story and video ➤

MADEIRA, Ohio (WKRC) -- A Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain crashed into a Madeira home Tuesday afternoon, killing the pilot who was the only person on board.

As first responders rushed to the scene, neighbors also rushed to help.

Carter Waide didn’t have to go far, the plane crash happened in the yard right next to his.

“The flames started and 911 said don't go near it. It was engulfed in flames pretty fast,” said Waide. He says he couldn’t see inside the cockpit and it didn’t look good as parts of the plane's top were missing.

Waide says he spoke to some other neighbors who saw the plane crash.

“They said they both saw that it was coming in very loud. We get a lot of planes going overhead that land at Lunken but they both said it was very low.

The left wing dipped, banked sharply, spun around and went into that house and entered the ground,” said Waide.

The neighborhood sits in the flight path of Lunken Airport, where the pilot was heading when he crashed.

Bill Heckle lives in the neighborhood and is also a pilot. Heckle was flying at the time and says his phone kept ringing, but he didn’t answer it. It was his wife calling.

"She was a bit distraught when I called her because she couldn’t get a hold of me,” said Heckle. “She was concerned that the plane that crashed could have been mine.”

The pilot has been identified as David Sapp, 62, of Glendale, Arizona.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in Madeira Wednesday morning to investigate.

Story and video ➤

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't and will most likely not fix its self.