Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I, N456AG: Fatal accident occurred July 28, 2019 near Gainesville Municipal Airport (KGLE), Cooke County, Texas

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

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

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


Location: Gainesville, TX
Accident Number: CEN19FA238
Date & Time: 07/28/2019, 1622 CDT
Registration: N456AG
Aircraft: Piper PA34
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On July 28, 2019, about 1620 central daylight time, a Piper PA-34 airplane, N456AG, impacted terrain near Gainesville Municipal Airport (GLE), Gainesville, Texas. The airplane was owned and operated by US Aviation Group, LLC. The instructor pilot and student pilot were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by post-crash fire. The airplane was operated under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 141 as an instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at Denton Enterprise Airport, Denton, Texas.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N456AG
Model/Series: PA34 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: US Aviation Group Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:

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.

Francesca Norris, Flight Instructor

Yu Qui, Student Pilot

A 25-year-old flight instructor and her 22-year-old student pilot are dead after a fiery crash at the Gainesville Municipal Airport Sunday afternoon, officials say.

The Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I came down at about 4 p.m. Sunday as they prepared to land in Gainesville, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

The plane crashed about a quarter of a mile (440 yards) east of the runway and caught fire after impact.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that 22-year-old Chinese student pilot Yu Qui died at the scene. The second passenger, 25-year-old instructor Francesca Norris, of North Richland Hills, was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where she later died.

Norris' father, a former Navy pilot currently flying for American Airlines, spoke with NBC 5 Monday about his daughter and said she loved to travel, was passionate about flying and was chasing her dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot like he and her brother.

Before becoming an instructor, Norris attended Baylor University on scholarship where she graduated pre-med in 2016. After Baylor, Norris taught English at a vocational school in Bangkok, Thailand, for a year, according to her profile on Linkedin, before starting as a flight instructor in November 2018.

Norris' family and friends described her as "brilliant" and someone who was incredibly strong and full of passion.

"It's a tremendous loss. It's truly sad. She was just such a good -- she was a wonderful person and it's sad to have something like this happen," said Jeff Leisten, a family friend and American pilot.

Leisten said Norris was happy to be doing what she was doing, had found her place and was a good aviator.

"These things do happen and unfortunately this was just a horrible, horrible circumstance," Leisten said.

Norris' flight school, U.S. Aviation Academy, canceled flights Monday and released the following statement.

"All of our hearts are heavy as we collectively mourn our student and instructor. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and loved ones," said Justin Sykes, assistant CFO, U.S. Aviation Academy. "We are assisting with the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities as they investigate the accident.

Sykes added the academy will be conducting their own internal investigation and that they'll provide grief counselors on campus throughout the week

"The grief we feel at this loss is immense," Sykes said.

The Denton-based academy created a memorial inside for students to write kind words about both victims. It plans to pass the messages along to family members.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined and it's not clear who was in control of the plane when it went down.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, the FAA spokesman said.

Story and video ➤ https://www.nbcdfw.com

GAINESVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A flight instructor and her student pilot have died after a small plane they were in crashed Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the crash happened just after 4 p.m. as the Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I was preparing to land at Gainesville Municipal Airport (about 75 miles north of Dallas). The plane crashed about a quarter mile from the runway.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said student pilot Yu Qiu, 22, of China was pronounced dead at the scene.

Instructor Francesca Norris, 25, of North Richland Hills was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas with critical injuries. She later died, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

The US Aviation Academy has since come out with a statement regarding the crash.

“All of our hearts are heavy as we collectively mourn our student and instructor. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and loved ones. The safety of our students and instructors remains at the cornerstone of our training program and, with that in mind, we are assisting with the National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities as they investigate the accident,” the academy said. “We will also be conducting our own internal investigation. We will have grievance counselors on campus throughout the week to assist our students and staff. The grief we feel at this loss is immense.”

The National Transportation Safety Board said it will be investigating the crash.

Story and video ➤ https://dfw.cbslocal.com


  1. "...graduated pre-med in 2016. After Baylor, Norris taught English at a vocational school in Bangkok, Thailand, for a year... before starting as a flight instructor in November 2018."

    So, assuming flight lessons for PPL started in 2017, and then she became an instructor in 2018, it sounds like she went through an accelerated flight training "puppy mill".

    I'd never get in an aircraft with an instructor with only a year's worth of flight experience, regardless of their ratings.

    1. Before judging whether or not she had the training maybe you should look more into the maintenance of the aircraft. I won’t say more than that.

    2. What a stupid comment. I. Being from one of those “puppy mills” you call them. Went through all the same checkrides and tests you did. I passed every single one on my first attempt. Studied hard every day to prepare for the next in order to keep up with the pace. Had two engine outs while I was instructing. Did just fine. Trained future pilots in the multi over 600hrs before moving on to my regional. And still going strong working on Captain now. But yet, in your eyes, I’m somehow “inferior” to you. All because I managed to have the time and money to get my ratings in under a year. You don’t know how hard you have to work to get it done that fast. How much study. Stress is involved. You and I are no different. A pilot is a pilot. A good pilot will be a good pilot wether it took them 2 years to get their ratings or 10 months. You and I aren’t any different. I just got through it faster because I could. Doesn’t mean I’m any less or more capable than you are. What an ignorant comment.

    3. On top of that. “I would never get in the cockpit with an instructor with only a years worth of experience”. I had 400hrs before I ended my first year flying. But sure. If you want. You can go to the one with 300 that has been flying two years who just recently became a CFI. But they flew two years. Just not every day. Somehow that translates in to more experience for you. All instructors start somewhere man and they all start with little experience. It’s fine if you want to find an instructor with high hours. But don’t throw the ones with low hours under the bus. They still have valuable experience and information of their own to share.

  2. She may have had a PPL since high school, especially with such an aviation-minded family.

    Tragic and surprising since, given this was a multi engine training flight, all involved likely had a reasonable degree of experience.

  3. A quarter mile from runway..Looks like it pancaked or hit hard when coming out of a stall, and burned. A CFI??

  4. Multi training is “NO JOKE”!! Take a look at this = https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N456AG -could possibly explain something. Lots of new CFI’s get their “MEI” to build that valuable multi-time the regionals require. Propeller twins are extremely dangerous when TSHTF. Unfortunately, most of the time canned training doesn’t really prepare for the real emergency. A pilot friend of mine once told me “a man’s got to know his limitations”. Applies to all. So sorry for this - RIP to those involved.

  5. Typical takeoff under/near vmc where one of the engines quit/got low on power at the worst moment.
    And I concur she was a low time cfi who probably never experienced an engine out in her short career.
    I experienced 3! Among other various incidents too.
    Emergency training is a thing because emergencies will happen.

  6. The maintenance of the aircraft doesn't matter. The fact is not if an engine out will happen on a twin but rather when.
    Every takeoff is not routine and every takeoff needs specific briefings as to when and where either abort the takeoff or be damn sure to be above vmc and push the nose down and retract gears and flaps.
    I am a CPL SEL MEL.

    You never EVER takeoff at vmc or below and you EXPECT an engine out then with fingers ready to do the push up, pull up, secure routine that you had in your head.

    I expect at 80% probability the NTSB report to blame the PIC for failing to maintain the critical angle of attack resulting in a stall, with an unknown cause of failure of one of the engines as a contributing factor. As is the case in all of these light twin crashes.

  7. Lanaguage barrier, confusion of who had the controls at a critical stage of flight between the CFI and her foreign chinese student.

  8. If preparing to land maybe a balked landing and go around and engine failure at that stage... pretty easy to slip under Vmc and apply full throttle with one of the engines quitting then.

    And what's worst is one is not on the runway accelerating but up in the air where it will just love to flip.

    One thing I learned in my MEL training is keep it ready to retard throttles at the slightest issue on the roll. Anything even slightly amiss bam! all the way back. Even more so on a go around.

    Flying multis require that level of endless discipline the airlines crave but get complacent and it will bit you fatally in the ass,

    At 25 the CFI's brain just finished maturing according to most human factor studies and those just give out a mean. Some people less and some people more.

    I strongly suggest no one under 30 should teach in light multi engines, the same way some suggest no one under 30 should be allowed to ride crotch rockets. Just a neurological development fact.

  9. It’s a fact that cognitive abilities begin their decline when people get into their 50’s. I strongly suggest no one over 55 teach in light multi engines. Just a neurological degradation fact.

  10. Interesting comments.
    Multi-engine training is by far the riskiest training cfi', and students, can do. Things WILL go wrong. Students will identify the wrong engine, feather the wrong prop, cross feed the wrong way/configure fuel pumps wrong, try to VMC the plane due to lack of scan or stimulus saturation, and a dozen other issues that can get you hurt. All after take off, give the student time to process it and decide on a course of action, be wrong or do the wrong thing to fix it, and still give the MEI time to correct everything before it hurts you, and look cool doing it without unduly scaring the student away. All this in a perfectly good airplane meaning no reall life mechanical issues!
    I was very lucky. I worked for a Chief Instructor that said to me the day after I got my MEI at his school, "now that you have your MEI we are going back up. I'm going to teach you all the things you need to learn to stay alive while doing this. ........ on the house!"
    Try a Minimum Controlable Airspeed demo, 10 knots below VMC with a stall and only getting one engine to respond on the recovery.
    Really, it's no environment for anyone that's not committed to proficiency.

  11. "no environment for anyone that's not committed to proficiency". BINGO

    Proficiency with different airplanes, different crews, different checklists, different conditions...... that is a high standard for a MEI in GA.

  12. Not speculating here just commenting...We have quite a few of the foreign nationals training in the airspace where I generally fly. I feel so damn bad for the controllers sometimes dealing with poor English speakers. Also when these guys get out to the uncontrolled airports they can be downright dangerous with their lack-of or incorrect comms in the traffic pattern. English proficiency and enunciation should be a FAA requirement.

  13. English proficiency is requirement alas in practice there's a lot of foreign students mostly from South Asia that are trained in puppy mills only interested in their certified checks clearing and then mowing them through bare bones training in a quick succession.

    I have the feeling quality is sacrificed for quantity. Maybe the CFI above was victim of poor CRM and a deficient young new trainee for that very reason, besides her own youth and short career.

    MEL isn't a bam mam see you around rating with a few hours in type, it's a deadly trap for anyone caught in any sort of unexpected emergency, in the most complex airplane short of a jet any of those pilots will ever see in their lives.

  14. Can't you just pull both throttles back at the same time if you lose an engine? If your at VMC should be able to level off and give you time to identify which engine.

  15. Amusing to read the know-it-all comments, lol!

  16. RIP, terrible loss. If it was a VMC roll, it would have crashed upside down. May have got to slow behind the power curve, student panicked and pulled up.. Maintenance is everything. Crappy maintenance leads to problems.

  17. I won’t fly in a twin because of the Vmca handling problem.

  18. Many flight schools are dependent on foreign students who come here for the training and to improve their English.

    It’s sad that flying now is too expensive for most Americans.

  19. The fact is any light twin under 12500 lb DOESN'T guarantee keeping altitude on one engine even in the best of circumstances so the right thing to do is treat any engine failure in a light twin as a double engine failure and apply the ABC used for single engine airplanes.

    At the very least assume under 1000 ft AGL that the twin is now an SEL and react accordingly. Just like trying to salvage a stall-spin on final is impossible I believe trying to salvage an engine out on approach or departure from an airport in a twin is impossible and both engines shall be retarted and an emergency landing be made fully controlling the plane.

  20. I have a solution to Vmc problems: fly Cessna 337, a centerline thrust. No Vmc, but probably there are other issues as number of sales suggest that low production. Not to mention airlines don't give credits unless it is a conventional twin. But if I'm flying a twin for fun and transportation, then I'd choose 337 or King Air or something that has auto feather.

  21. my feeling on light twins is the same as others treat an engine out on departure as total power loss put the nose down power back and make a controlled crash that you have a much better chance of surviving then becoming a vmc lawn dart - unless your in my air cam in which case you add a little more rudder climb out normally and come back to land
    very sad for these families R.I.P.

  22. "It’s a fact that cognitive abilities begin their decline when people get into their 50’s. I strongly suggest no one over 55 teach in light multi engines. Just a neurological degradation fact."

    Says someone obviously under 55. I'll take a 70 year-old with 5,000 hours any time.

  23. "Says someone obviously under 55. I'll take a 70 year-old with 5,000 hours any time."

    And you will probably end up dead, like most of them.

  24. Ageism is rampant and discrimination based on age (or even tattoos for that matter) is fully legal as people in it not part of a protected class.

    Good diet, exercise, lack of drug abuse or cigarette usage mean some 55+ year olds are in better shape than some 25 year old snowflakes raised on ADHD medication and drug abuse.

    Most responsible pilots qualify for 10-20 years younger than their real age. Occupational pilots even lower in actual age.

  25. Not much info in the preliminary report ... compared to most others.


  26. poster who defines light twin as any twin under 12500 lbs won't maintain altitude on one engine knows absolutely NOTHING about light twins and probably about any certified aircraft for that matter. he also comments about it's like salvaging a stall spin on final. why on earth would you EVER be trying to salvage a stall spin on final and what does it remotely have to do with this subject. another stupid thing he says is retard both throttles on approach if one engine quits. god help you if you ever get in a plane with this moron. single engine ILS is required on the multi check ride with instrument privileges and you can hardly even tell you are on one engine in a descent. you simply add about one to two inches of manifold pressure to maintain the glide slope and that is the ONLY difference from an approach with both engines running normally. why would you want to die or end up in the hospital by shutting down both engines on an approach to landing? the genius giving advice who flies an aircam is really a joke also! i would never get in a plane with about 90& of the nitwits offering their free 2 cents worth of mental flatulence either!

  27. “you simply add about one to two inches of manifold pressure to maintain the glide slope"

    Well now, Fx the propeller on the inoperative engine first, then add power to maintain AIRSPEED!!

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