Friday, September 13, 2019

Piper PA-28-201T Turbo Dakota, N2890T: Accident occurred September 11, 2019 near Boca Raton Airport (KBCT), Palm Beach County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Boca Raton, FL
Accident Number: CEN19LA317
Date & Time: 09/11/2019, 1032 EDT
Registration: N2890T
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 11, 2019, at 1032 EDT, a Piper PA-28 airplane, N2890T, impacted terrain near Boca Raton, Florida, following a total loss of engine power. The airline transport rated pilot received minor injuries and one passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight originated from Boca Raton Airport (BCT), Florida.

The pilot reported he departed BCT on a cross country flight with full fuel when the engine began running rough as the airplane reached about 500 ft. He returned to BCT and landed uneventfully. He troubleshot the engine problem with the assistance of a local mechanic and did not find any anomalies or perform any maintenance on the airplane. He elected to perform a local flight with the mechanic onboard. During climb-out the engine again began running rough as the airplane reached about 400 ft. The pilot initiated a turn back to the airport and the engine quit completely. The airplane hit trees and other obstacles as it descended. The airplane has been retained for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N2890T
Model/Series: PA28 201T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Eckelson Robert Alan
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 14 knots / 19 knots, 80°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Boca Raton, FL (BCT)
Destination: Boca Raton, FL (BCT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  26.378611, -80.108333 (est)

BOCA RATON, Florida — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a small plane crash at the Boca Raton Airport Wednesday morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Piper PA28 single-engine aircraft with two people on board crashed shortly after takeoff around 10:30 a.m.

“I heard a loud boom and I thought it was a truck or something out here on I-95 like normal,” said Rick Seymore, works for Jet Parts Inc.

The Boca Raton Airport Authority said as soon as the plane took off, the pilot alerted the control tower there was some type of problem.

The pilot, identified as Dr. Robert Eckelson, a Boca Raton Orthodontist, was trying to circle back to the runway but instead crashed in a parking lot behind a hangar for a company called Reliable Jet Maintenance. The aircraft may have hit a tree, a spokesperson said.

Video from WPTV Chopper 5 showed the Piper smashed up with its tail and nose sheared off, and covered in white foam. Part of a mangled wing and other debris were located several feet away near a tree.

“I ran and I got the door open, I got Mark out, we got him pulled away from the fuel and then we got the pilot out and got him away,” Seymore said.

Eckelson was taken to Delray Medical Center as a trauma alert, fire officials said. He was later listed in good condition. The other person on board was treated at the scene for a minor injury.

Airport Road was closed between the Cinemark movie theater and NW 40th St., after the crash.

“It’s a miracle of God because other than the bloody nose that the pilot had and mark maybe had a broken leg were talking a miracle,” Seymore said.

Story and video ➤

BOCA RATON, Florida - A small plane crashed Wednesday morning outside Boca Raton Airport.

According to Boca Raton police, the plane crashed in a parking lot adjacent to one of the hangars shortly after takeoff.

Two people on board at the time could be seen walking around after the crash. 

The pilot was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The crash was caught on surveillance video from Reliable Jet Maintenance in Boca Raton.

The aircraft can be seen skidding out of control, barely missing hitting an employee.  

Officials say the plane took off around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday from the Boca Raton Airport. 

A short time later, the pilot calls over the radio that he needs to return to the tarmac, but the plane never made it. 

A view from Sky 10 showed the badly damaged single-engine plane in pieces and covered in white foam.

According to the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the plane may have struck a tree on the way down.

The plane was registered to local orthodontist Dr. Robert Eckelson in Boca Raton.

Local 10 learned that Eckelson and his passenger were pulled out of the wreckage bumped and bruised, but alive. 

In July, a small plane skidded off the tarmac and crashed into a fence bordering the airport's perimeter. 

The airport remained open, but police said Airport Road was closed between the Cinemark movie theater and Northwest 40th Street.

The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation.

Story and video ➤


  1. Hope the Thumper BattleTruck is ok.

  2. Trying to circle back to the runway is never a good idea!!

  3. The first video has a few seconds of what appears to be the aircraft spinning, slightly nose down. It's hard to catch but there are a couple of frames.

  4. Test flight. That second video at 0:28 gave me the chills.

  5. There is a video by VAS Aviation on youtube. The pilot is completely unprofessional and clueless on the radio. Didn't hold short of a taxiway when told to do so and wasn't listening when he should have been. A total clown who showed poor judgement.

  6. @smaze17 Yet he was apparently a ATPL pilot. That seems to make his comms procedures even more egregious.