Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Piper PA-28-R-180, registered to a private company and operated by the pilot as a personal flight, conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N4992J: Accident occurred May 13, 2019 at Gila Bend Municipal Airport (E63), Maricopa County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N4992J

Location: Gila Bend, AZ
Accident Number: WPR19LA144
Date & Time: 05/13/2019, 0926 MST
Registration: N4992J
Aircraft: Piper PA28R
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 13, 2019, about 0926 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28R, N4992J, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion at Gila Bend Airport, Gila Bend, Arizona. The commercial pilot and sole occupant received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to a private company and operated by the pilot as a personal flight, conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was filed, but not activated for the cross-country flight that departed Marana, Arizona at 0915.

According to the pilot's recount, he descended the airplane from 4,500 ft and used the standard acronym "GUMP" as a landing checklist, which requires the pilot to verify that the landing gear is in the desired position. During this time, he may not have verified the position of the landing gear through the gear indicator due to heavy traffic in the airport traffic pattern. In the last 2 minutes of his approach to the runway an aural alarm engaged, which he dismissed as a false stall warning. The pilot later surmised that the aural warning may have been part of a feature that automatically extends the landing gear when the airplane reaches a low altitude. As he reached the runway surface, he flared the nose and the airplane touched down on the main landing gear. He heard a sound as he lowered the nose and decided to add some power. The airplane turned about 45° to the left, despite the pilot's attempt to maintain directional control and departed the left side of the runway before coming to rest in the dirt.

A witness who was piloting an airplane on a nearby taxiway observed the accident airplane when it was about 30 ft above ground level without the landing gear extended. The landing gear was not extended when the airplane began to flare. The witness attempted to advise the pilot of the landing gear anomaly on the airport's Common Traffic Advisory Frequency, but the airplane impacted the ground and departed the left side of the runway.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration revealed substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. Additionally, the runway surface showed striated gouges and two long skid marks that traced the airplane's departure path from the runway. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4992J
Model/Series: PA28R 180
Aircraft Category:Airplane 
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 883 ft msl
Observation Time: 0958 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Marana, AZ (AVQ)
Destination: Gila Bend, AZ (E63)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 32.960000, -112.670000 

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