Sunday, September 29, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-34-200 Seneca I, N99GN; accident occurred May 08, 2018 at Porter County Regional Airport (KVPZ), Valparaiso, Indiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Plaines, Illinois

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Accident Number: CEN18LA165
Date & Time: 05/08/2018, 1415 EST
Registration: N99GN
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On May 8, 2018, about 1315 central daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200 airplane, N99GN, collided with terrain following a go-around at the Porter County Airport (KVPZ), Valparaiso, Indiana. The flight instructor was seriously injured and the pilot receiving instruction had minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Griffith Aviation, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight departed Griffith-Merrillville Airport (05C), Griffith, Indiana, about 1000.

According to information provided by representatives from the Griffith Aviation Inc. flight school, the pilot receiving instruction was performing approaches to KVPZ. The second approach was a simulated engine out approach to a planned go-around. During the go-around, the airplane's speed dropped below the single-engine minimum controlled airspeed as the pilot advanced the throttle of the operating engine to full power. He lost control of the airplane, and the airplane descended and collided with terrain.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage and did not find any preimpact anomalies which would have contributed to the accident. Substantial damage was sustained to the right wing spar and fuselage. 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/28/2017
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/18/2018
Flight Time:   204 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Total, this make and model), 151 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/09/2017
Flight Time:  2093 hours (Total, all aircraft), 94 hours (Total, this make and model), 1945 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 127 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N99GN
Model/Series: PA 34-200 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 34-7250030
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/02/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3999 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 89 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8558.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-C1E6
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVPZ, 770 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1756 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 141°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: 
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: GRIFFITH, IN (05C)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: GRIFFITH, IN (05C)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 770 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7001 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 41.453889, -87.006944 (est)


  1. what do we have here, another engine fully shut down?? no mention either way just wondering why they didnt advance the throttle on the supposed "simulated" failed engine

  2. Pretty lucky for those 2 pilots; everything ahead of their knees is basically gone.