Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee D, N5167L: Fatal accident occurred August 03, 2019 near Ontonagon County Airport - Schuster Field (KOGM), Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Piper Aircraft Inc; Vero Beach, Florida 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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


Location: Ontonagan, MI
Accident Number: CEN19FA247
Date & Time: 08/03/2019, 1143 EDT
Registration: N5167L
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 3, 2019, about 1143 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N5167L, collided with trees and terrain near Ontonagon, Michigan. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned by private individual and operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. Day instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The cross-country flight to Ontonagon County Airport (OGM) departed Gogebic-Iron County Airport (IWD), near Ironwood, Michigan, about 1115.

According to the pilot's brother, the pilot intended to fly to OGM to meet some friends and go fishing on Lake Superior. The pilot's brother stated that the pilot had called him a couple hours before the flight to inquire if the recently installed engine had completed its break-in period and if there were any restrictions on its use. The pilot's brother noted that the engine had accumulated about 9.2 hours before the flight, and that the cylinders had already been broken-in and the engine's oil consumption had stabilized. The pilot's brother sent a text message to the pilot at 1115 concerning a "little bit of weather" north of his campsite located near Lake Gogebic. At 1118, the pilot replied, "wish I had ForeFlight" and that he had his Apple iPhone with him. The pilot's brother explained that the pilot did not have his own ForeFlight account, and that he had to log out of the application to allow the pilot to log onto the application using his Apple iPhone. At 1120, the pilot's brother texted the pilot the username and password for the ForeFlight application. The pilot's brother stated that he did not receive any additional text messages from the pilot during the flight.

According to track data downloaded from an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) device recovered at the accident site, at 1115 the airplane departed runway 27 at IWD and began a climbing right turn toward the east-northeast and the intended destination. At 1124, the airplane began a left turn from an easterly course toward north and entered a descent from 4,900 ft mean sea level (msl). A postaccident review of available weather radar data revealed that between 1127 and 1132 the airplane flew north toward Lake Superior and between two areas of moderate precipitation. At 1129, the airplane entered a right turn toward the southeast and continued to descend. Between 1132 and 1136 the airplane flew through a thunderstorm with moderate to heavy precipitation. The airplane's altitude was between 2,100 and 2,800 ft msl as it flew through the thunderstorm. After 1136, the airplane emerged from the thunderstorm on a southeast course. At 1136:45, the airplane briefly turned northeast before making a left 270° degree turn back to a southeast course. The airplane continued to the southeast, ahead of the depicted precipitation and thunderstorm. However, the weather radar was only able to detect precipitation at or above 6,000 ft msl in the vicinity of the accident site. According to the downloaded track data, the airplane flew at varying altitudes between 2,100 and 2,900 ft msl after it emerged from the thunderstorm.

At 1141:50, the airplane entered a right turn to a southwest course at 2,600 ft msl. At 1142:30, the airplane entered an increasingly tighter left turn. The airplane initially descended from 2,900 ft to 2,600 ft msl, then climbed back to 2,900 ft msl, which was immediately followed by a second descent that continued until the final track point. At 1143:04, the final track point was recorded about 240 ft east of the accident site at 1,562 ft msl (about 80 ft above the ground) and the airplane on a west heading.

A postaccident review of infrared satellite imagery indicated there was an overcast cloud ceiling above the accident site at the accident time. The cloud cover was cumuliform in nature and spreading southeastward. Ahead of the main cumulonimbus cloud line, there was an outflow boundary moving southeastward across the accident site location. The cloud cover was moving from northwest to southeast with multiple outflow boundaries present moving southward ahead of the main cumulonimbus cloud area. Based on infrared satellite imagery, the cloud-top heights were about 15,000 ft msl over the accident site. Additionally, there were two convective Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET) advisories issued by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) valid for the accident site at the accident time. The first convective SIGMET, issued at 0955 and valid through 1155, warned of an area of embedded thunderstorms moving southeast at 15 knots with thunderstorm tops reaching 41,000 ft msl. The second convective SIGMET, issued at 1055 and valid through 1255, warned of an area of embedded thunderstorms moving southeast at 15 knots with thunderstorm tops reaching 38,000 ft msl.

The airplane, a low-wing monoplane of aluminum construction, serial number 28-4453, was manufactured in 1967. The airplane was powered by a 180-horsepower, 4-cylinder, Lycoming O-360-A4A reciprocating engine, serial number RL-41681-36E. The engine provided thrust through a fixed-pitch, two-blade, Sensenich 76EM8S50-60 propeller, serial number 100867K. The four-seat airplane was equipped with a fixed tricycle landing gear and wing flaps. The airplane had a maximum allowable takeoff weight of 2,400 pounds. According to maintenance documentation, the last annual inspection was completed on July 14, 2019, at 7,508.4 total airframe hours. The airplane had accumulated 9.7 hours since the annual inspection and had a total service time of 7,518.1 hours when the accident occurred. The factory remanufactured engine had accumulated 9.7 hours since it was installed on the airplane during the last annual inspection.

According to FAA records, the 36-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot certificate was issued on October 9, 2017. His last aviation medical examination was on May 13, 2017, when he was issued a third-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings.

The pilot's flight history was established using his logbook. The final logbook entry was dated February 13, 2019, at which time he had 78.6 hours total flight time all of which had been flown in the accident airplane. As of the final logbook entry, the pilot had flown 49.5 hours as pilot-in-command, 8.0 hours at night, and 3.2 hours in simulated instrument conditions. According to the pilot's logbook, he had flown 3.7 and 1.6 hours during the previous 1 year and 6 months, respectively. The accident flight was about 0.5 hours and the only flight completed within the previous 90 days. The pilot's only flight review, as required by Title 14 CFR 61.56, was completed upon the issuance of his private pilot certificate.

The accident site was in a heavily forested area. A 140 ft long wreckage debris path preceded the main wreckage on a west heading. The entire airplane had fragmented during the impact with trees and terrain. There were several broken tree branches located along the wreckage debris path. All airframe structural components and flight control surfaces were located along the wreckage debris path or amongst the main wreckage. All observed structural component separations were consistent with overstress and there was no evidence of an inflight or postimpact fire. Flight control cable continuity could not be established due to impact damage; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress or had been cut by first responders. The flap torque tube position was consistent with the wing flaps being fully retracted at impact. Both fuel tanks had ruptured during impact; however, uncontaminated 100-low lead aviation fuel was observed in the fuel selector, electric fuel pump, and carburetor bowl. The fuel selector valve was positioned to draw fuel from the left tank, and a functional test of the fuel shutoff valve did not reveal any anomalies. The firewall mounted gascolator had shattered during impact. The postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal airplane operation during the flight.

The engine had partially separated from the firewall and remained attached by cables and fuel lines. The propeller had separated from crankshaft during impact. The propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratches and burnishing, S-shape spanwise bends, blade twist toward low-pitch, and minor leading edge damage. Internal engine and valve train continuity were confirmed as the crankshaft was rotated through the vacuum pump accessory drive gear. Compression and suction were noted on all four cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. A borescope inspection of each cylinder did not reveal any anomalies with the cylinders, pistons, valves, valve seats, or lower spark plugs. The right magneto remained attached to its installation point and provided spark on all posts when removed and rotated by hand. The left magneto was destroyed during impact. The oil pickup screen was free of metallic material. The carburetor had separated from the engine during impact. The carburetor bowl contained about 2 fluid ounces of fuel, and there was no evidence of water or particulate contamination. Disassembly of the carburetor did not reveal any anomalies with the single-piece venturi, accelerator pump, metal floats, or needle valve. The vacuum pump remained attached to the engine and functioned normally when removed and rotated by hand. The postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation during the flight.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N5167L
Model/Series: PA28 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: IWD, 1230 ft msl
Observation Time: 1128 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 34 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 330°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1400 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ironwood, MI (IWD)
Destination: Ontonagon, MI (OGM)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 46.699167, -89.472778

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. 

Jack Jeffrey Maccani
June 01, 1983 - August 03, 2019

WASHBURN, Wisconsin – Jack Jeffrey Maccani, 36, of Washburn, entered eternal life Saturday, August 3rd , 2019. He was born June 1st, 1983, in Bessemer Township, Michigan, the son of William L. and Diane Maccani. He was the youngest of five children.

Jack attended elementary and junior high in Bessemer, Mich., and high school in Bessemer and Calumet, Mich., and Superior, as he traveled to pursue his passion of playing hockey. Jack graduated from Bessemer’s A.D. Johnston High School in 2001, and also a certificate of completion in building trades from Gogebic Community College.

He continued his education for one semester at GCC, where he took his prerequisite classes. He then went to Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior, where he pursued his degree as an HVAC technician. He also took classes in machining.

Jack was employed by Brown Plumbing and HVAC of Ashland. Previously, he was employed by Mukavitz Heating of Ironwood, Mich.

Jack was an extremely talented athlete playing baseball, hockey and football. As a youth he played Little League, Senior League and high school baseball. He played on several all-star baseball teams, including the strictly-Bessemer team who won the U.P. District Little League title, for the first time since 1947. He was currently playing for the Hurley Timberjaxx and Mellen Expos, both amateur baseball teams. Jack also played league softball and tournament softball, which included coed teams with his girlfriend.

Jack played youth hockey for the Ironwood Polar Bears. His Pee Wee B team won the state title in 1996. To further his hockey skills, Jack skated with the Midget AA teams in Calumet and Superior while he was in high school. Before Jack went to college, he played junior hockey in Escondido, Calif. for the San Diego Surf. Jack played men’s amateur hockey with the Calumet Wolverines through 2018.

Jack was active for several years in area beagle clubs. He ran his hounds at trials throughout the Midwest. He also was a certified beagle trial judge and judged several events.

Jack was an avid hunter and enjoyed hunting deer, rabbits, grouse, pheasant and ducks. Jack loved nature and often referred to the woods as his “church.” Jack had many special memories of hunting with his dad and brothers.

Fishing was one of Jack’s great loves, especially on Lake Superior. He was a charter captain and he and his brother, Mark, ran a charter business on the FV Glacier Girl. Jack’s great uncle, Ray Niemi, and his cousin, Ray Junior, taught him how to fish the Big Lake on their boat the FV Riku, and now Ray Junior’s sons, Nick and Anthony, often are the first mate for Jack and Mark.

Jack is survived by his fiancé, Kaitlyn Josephine Fryer, his parents, William L. and Diane Maccani, Bessemer; his brothers, William K. (Gina) Maccani, Aurora, Minn., and Mark (Jenna) Maccani, Bessemer; sisters, Robin (Brad) Nezworski, Ironwood, and Heidi (Tim) King, Washburn. He is also survived by eight nieces and nephews, Austin, Ty and Haley Nezworski, Cody and Madi Maccani, Emma and Zoey Thompson and Huston King. He is further survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins and special friends.

Jack was preceded in death by his grandparents, William C. and Jeanne Maccani and Carl (Rudy) and Nelmi Martinson; and his special great uncle, Ray Niemi.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be Friday, August 9th, at Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer, Reverend William Jacobson will officiate. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. with the service to follow at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow in Kastman Hall at the church.

Jack had many loved ones and friends. His absence has left a huge hole in all our hearts. Jack will be fondly remembered for his genuine smile, sense of humor and unmistakable laugh. He will also be remembered for his kind heart, as Jack would go out of his way to help anyone in need and always made time for others. We are all thankful we will have a part of Jack back when his daughter, Kali Jean, is born in late October. Memorial can be made to the Kali Jean Maccani Trust Fund.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, Mich. Condolences may be expressed online at lakesidememorialchapel.com.


CARP LAKE TOWNSHIP, Michigan (WLUC) - UPDATE August 5, 2:48 p.m.: Authorities in Ontonagon County have identified the pilot who was killed in a plane crash on Saturday.

Jack Maccani, 36, of Ironwood was taken to Portage View on Sunday, Aug. 4 for an autopsy by the FAA and NTSB, according to Ontonagon County Sheriff Dale Rantala.

Rantala said the plane is a Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee D.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will be at the crash site to investigate Monday.


The Ontonagon Sheriff's Department received information in regards to a possible missing airplane in Ontonagon County on Saturday.

The Gogebic County Sheriff's Department had received information that an aircraft had departed from the Gogebic County Airport and was headed to the Ontonagon Airport. Officials reported that the aircraft did not arrive as scheduled.

Using the pilot's last known cellular telephone location coordinates, investigators performed a ground and air search in an extremely remote and inaccessible area of Carp Lake Township.

The aircraft was located by ground search personnel and the pilot/lone occupant was pronounced dead at the scene. The name of the pilot has not yet been released.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and will be performing an investigation.

Assisting the Ontonagon County Sheriff's Department was the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department, Civil Air Patrol, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement, Michigan State Police Wakefield Post, Rockland Township Fire Department and Porcupine Mountains State Park Rangers.

Original article ➤ https://www.uppermichiganssource.com


  1. Looks like another VFR into IMC event (non-instrument rated pilot) to add to the statistics. RIP fellow aviator.

  2. I don't get it. I checked the FlightAware tracking and see that he flew directly into a storm cell. What in the heck was he thinking? I live just East of there and I'm perplexed why he decided to go up with hazards like that. Especially considering his charter boat captain experience on the Lake Superior he should have sincere respect for weather.

  3. You weren't in the right seat so you anonymous commentors don't know the situation. Maybe he had a problem with the plane, maybe he had a medical or other issue, and his best option was to try to get to Ontonagon instead of turning back into a worse situation. If memory serves as a native Yooper most bad weather comes from the Southwest in summer and North and Northeast in Winter. I started flying out of KIWD in 1966 and there is nothing but heavy forest between there and KOGM. If you guys want to comment at least have the stones to put your name to your comment.

    Loren Sievila


  4. "the pilot did not have his own ForeFlight account"
    ForeFlight basic plus is $99.99 per year = 27 cents per day; all the Essentials for VFR and IFR Flying.
    What is wrong with today's pilots!?!?! Cheap-ass pilots should not be flying PERIOD.

  5. I owned 67L at one time she was an awesome plane I was saddened to her she was laid to rest in a hillside by a pilot who didn’t know his own limits, unfortunately another VFR into IMC tragedy and flying directly into a thunderstorm makes this a tragic event