Friday, October 25, 2019

Mooney M20J 201, N201BJ: Fatal accident occurred October 25, 2019 near American Falls Airport (U01), Power County, Idaho

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Hartzell Propellers

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: American Falls, ID
Accident Number: WPR20FA015
Date & Time: 10/25/2019, 1200 MDT
Registration: N201BJ
Aircraft: Mooney M20J
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 25, 2019, about 1200 mountain daylight time, a Mooney M20J airplane, N201BJ, impacted terrain near American Falls, Idaho. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and fuselage. The airplane was registered to the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Dinsmore Airport (D63), Dinsmore, California at an unknown time, and ultimately destined for Nashua Airport, New Hampshire.

According to a witness, who was driving about two miles from the accident site, she observed an airplane flying about treetop high. She stated that she observed the airplane turn in a way that revealed both wings, but she could not tell if the airplane was turning towards her or away from her. She then observed the airplane descend and she thought it could possibly be an Ag airplane spraying a field. She stopped her car and got out to look and see if there was smoke coming from where the airplane descended. Seeing none, she continued on her way home. Once home, she heard about an airplane accident that had occurred in the vicinity of where she saw the airplane descend.

The airplane came to rest in a generally flat soft sandy area on a heading of about 321° magnetic. The wreckage was contained in an area of about 120 ft by 45 ft. All major components were accounted for in the area. The propeller had separated and was found about 20 ft to the right of the airplane. The right wing had folded aft and detached from the airframe, and came to rest against the right side of the fuselage. There was no post-impact fire. The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: N201BJ
Model/Series: M20J No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PIH, 4451 ft msl
Observation Time: 1200 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / -7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Dinsmore, CA (D63)
Destination: Nashua, MA (ASH)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.777778, -112.895000

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

AMERICAN FALLS — The cause of a deadly single-engine plane crash in a field near American Falls on Friday remains a mystery.

The plane’s only occupants — the pilot and a dog — died in the crash, which was reported around 12:20 p.m. Friday in a field off Lamb Weston Road just west of American Falls, according to the Power County Sheriff’s Office. Both the pilot and dog were pronounced dead at the scene by Power County emergency responders.

The Power County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release Friday night saying that the plane was registered to Robert J. Wheeler, 52, of California.

The Sheriff’s Office said Wheeler’s family confirmed he had taken off from California around 7:30 a.m. Friday with his dog aboard. Authorities haven’t yet said where Wheeler was flying to or identified exactly where in California he had taken off from.

Although it appears likely that the person killed in the crash was Wheeler, authorities said they won’t know that for sure until an autopsy is performed on the pilot’s body Monday in Boise.

The American Falls and Pocatello airports are nearby but authorities haven’t yet said whether the plane was attempting to land at either one.

The plane had apparently not issued any distress calls prior to crashing, deepening the mystery of what caused it to fall out of the sky.

On Saturday afternoon National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators were at the scene of the crash looking at the heavily damaged plane. The crash scene is in a brush-covered field about 75 yards off Lamb Weston Road and about a mile west of American Falls city limits.

Most of the plane’s fuselage and tail appeared to be intact though the plane’s nose suffered heavy damage upon impact and one of its wings appeared to be crushed.

Weather conditions over the American Falls area on Friday were clear with no precipitation and some are speculating that the plane’s pilot suffered some sort of medical emergency causing the crash or perhaps the plane experienced a mechanical problem.

The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, NTSB and FAA.

Original article ➤

AMERICAN FALLS — Power County sheriff’s officials confirmed Monday the identity of a 52-year-old pilot killed in a single-engine plane crash near American Falls over the weekend.

They say the owner of the plane, California resident Robert J. Wheeler, died in the incident along with his black German shepherd.

Sheriff’s officials say an autopsy was performed in Boise on Monday morning, but they are waiting for official reports before they release any additional information about Wheeler’s death.

The sheriff’s office, National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are still investigating what caused the plane to crash into a brush-covered field off Lamb Weston Road, west of American Falls, on Friday.

Both Wheeler and his dog died at the scene of the crash.

Original article ➤

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho — Authorities in eastern Idaho say a man piloting a small plane died after crashing in a field just outside the small town of American Falls.

The Power County Sheriff's Office tells KIFI-TV that a dog in the single-engine aircraft also died in the crash on Friday afternoon.

Authorities haven't released the man's name.

The cause of the crash is unknown, but none of the landing gears were engaged, so authorities do not think the pilot was attempting to land.

The Power County Sheriff's Office said the plane was registered in New Hampshire.  At this time, authorities do not know where it came from or where it was headed.  There were no distress calls from the plane.

A FedEx driver spotted the plane in the field at around noon Friday.    

The National Transportation Safety Board says it's investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A single-engine plane pilot was killed when his plane went down in a field off Lamb Weston Road about a tenth of a mile outside American Falls in rural Power County shortly after noon Friday.  A dog on-board the plane was also killed.

The cause of the crash is unknown, but none of the landing gears were engaged, so authorities do not think the pilot was attempting to land.

The Power County Sheriff's Office said the plane was registered in New Hampshire.  At this time, authorities do not know where it came from or where it was headed.  There were no distress calls from the plane. 

A FedEx driver spotted the plane in the field at around Noon Friday.    

Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board personnel are expected to be on the scene Saturday.

Original article can be found here ➤

No comments:

Post a Comment