Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-32RT-300 Lance II, N31934; accident occurred September 02, 2019 at Mackinac Island Airport (KMCD), Mackinac County, Michigan

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Mackinac Island, MI
Accident Number: GAA19CA520
Date & Time: 09/02/2019, 1205 EDT
Registration: N31934
Aircraft: Piper PA32RT
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 6 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, while landing, the airplane encountered a sudden crosswind and drifted left. The airplane bounced on touchdown and veered left, exited the runway, impacted a runway light, traveled through a ditch, and the main landing gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and the right wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The airport's automated weather observation station reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 360° at 11 knots. The pilot was landing the airplane on runway 26. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/16/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/13/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 147.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18 hours (Total, this make and model), 78.3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 2.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N31934
Model/Series: PA32RT 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32R-7885143
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/18/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7248.1 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: West Michigan Flying Club
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: West Michigan Flying Club
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMCD, 740 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1615 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2700 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Muskegon, MI (MKG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Mackinac Island, MI (MCD)
Type of Clearance: VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1030 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Mackinac Island (MCD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 741 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 26
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3501 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 5 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.865000, -84.637222 (est)

Mackinac Island Fire Department

There were no injuries today when a single-engine aircraft carrying a pilot and 5 passengers made a hard landing at the Mackinac Island Airport.

No known cause for the incident which is under investigation by the FAA/NTSB.

The airport has been closed since the incident, but is expected to open soon. 

Ladder 1, Ladder 2, Engine 1, Squad 1, and Battalio all took in the run as did the Island Police, Island EMS and units from the State Park.

THANKFUL there were no injuries.

-Mackinac Island Fire Department

MACKINAC ISLAND, Michigan  (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating a hard landing of a plane at the Mackinac Island Airport Monday around noon.

Mackinac Island Airport officials said the Piper PA-32RT-300 Lance II aircraft went off runway as it was landing.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause, officials said, and as of now it is believed to have experienced some sort of mechanical issue.

None of the six people on board were injured, officials said, and none of them were island residents.

The airport has been closed since the incident, but is expected to open soon

Officials said Island Police, Island EMS and units from the State Park all responded to the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. This aircraft was obtained by the West Michigan Flying Club in 2015 according to their website. Looks to me like a botched go around. Appears the pilot attempted to land, landed hard and bounced (possibly a few times) and then applied full power for a go around. My guess is he stalled it at low speed. Appears it rolled and tore the gear off. They are lucky it wasn't worse, not to mention the airplane was almost fully loaded (possibly overloaded)?! 6 people is a lot for a lance, I will say that. Honestly the pilot created a massive situation involving many rescue personnel and police. This accident could have been avoided by simply reviewing go-around procedures. Evidently this gentleman did not do his he has a broken piper lance. Good luck salvaging that because the cost of repairs will be more then the airframe

  2. If you think he botched a go around and was at full power, then why is the propeller unscathed? I do not think any portion of your claim is close to being correct.

  3. The pilot had the nerve to clock the propellor at last few seconds so it would not cause a prop strike prior to the crash. That way engine is worth more to a salvage company. Good thinking on his part. Maybe club should stick to C-150’s?

  4. If that prop was running at full power when the gear let go, I'll eat the ends off of it, all the way to the paint. Sheesh . . .

  5. I wish I had a like button for your comment

  6. I think my comment regarding clocking of the propeller is funnier than carb ice. But, what about the ‘ol inertia separators?

  7. Wow, all 6 seats filled. I flew a 300hp Saratoga for years and the only time we could truly fill 6 seats was with kids or leaving a lot of fuel behind.


  8. Either the pilot was able to shut the engine down or it wasn't turning to start with on touchdown.
    I'm guessing fuel exhaustion or mismanagement with near/exceedance of max gross weight being a casual factor.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. If anyone here is ignorant to write there opinion on here about what they think happened is just that “ignorant”. It obvious the writer had or has no clue.
    Remember folks when that time comes? Will you be ready? Let be thankful they survived.
    Let the pros figure it out not the JO’s!
    PS if you have the gall to critical about anyone’s flying habits put your name out the instead of hiding anonymously. Glad there all OK.

  11. If the pilot lost the engine and everyone walked away, it was a good save regardless of why the engine quit.

  12. Unknown used the wrong spelling of there TWICE! I only mention this because he was calling some posters on this thread "ignorant". Perhaps a look in the mirror and you'll see the ignorant one.

  13. Landed at Mackinaw today...the plane is still there. Local said bounced landing.

  14. I used to own this Lance before the flying club buying It.
    Sad about the hull loss... thankful no one hurt.