Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N4385K: Accident occurred October 04, 2019 near Harrisburg International Airport (KMDT), Pennsylvania

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Harrisburg

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances and landed in a river.

Barjack Aviation LLC


Date: 04-OCT-19
Time: 21:13:00Z
Regis#: N4385K
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA46
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91

As investigators figure out what went wrong that led to a small plane ending up in the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg International Airport late Friday afternoon, others are scratching their heads over another predicament it creates: How to get the aircraft back on dry land.

“Obviously this is a very unusual circumstance,” said Tim Edwards, executive director of the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority. “It’s going to be a complicated aircraft recovery.”

Throughout the day Saturday, the Piper PA-46 remained in the water about 200 feet off the shoreline between Lower Swatara Township, Middletown and Royalton, two miles upstream from Three Mile Island. Edwards said the plane is stable and wedged between some rocks on the riverbed in water that a witness estimated was only about 3-feet deep.

The options to remove the plane from the river are limited given its distance from the shore, Edwards said.

“We may have to get a sky crane, which his a heavy lift helicopter to pull it out of the water and move it over to the shore," he said. "Now that’s a possibility. Those things take time to schedule of course. Those are very limited resources. They may be other options as well that I’m not aware of.”

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the plane’s owner will be responsible for moving the plane. Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission executive director Timothy Schaeffer said the commission was notified that one of its accesses to the river might need to be used in that effort. The commission also was told the fire company was marking the area around the plane for navigational purposes.

The aircraft, carrying a pilot and passenger aboard, left the Greater Rochester International Airport on Friday afternoon headed toward Harrisburg International Airport when the plane landed short of the runway around 5:15 p.m. likely due to engine failure, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Edwards.

A liveatc.net audio of communications between a Harrisburg International Airport air traffic controller and the pilot indicated the plane was cleared to land on Runway 31. Then a few minutes later, the pilot said "we’re not going to make it. "

The names of the pilot and passenger have not been released. One of them suffered a minor injury and was treated at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Edwards said. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. The Piper PA-46-310P Malibu is owned by Barjack Aviation LLC of Islamorada, Florida.

He said little more will be known about the cause of the accident and any environmental concerns it may have caused to the river until the aircraft is out of the water although he noted the aircraft’s body did remain intact.

Jonathan Witman was inside his Middletown home watching the news around the time the plane hit the water. He said a woman and her daughter knocked at his door and told him “something about a plane in the river. They didn’t have cell phones on them or anything. So I ran out and jumped on the boat."

He headed toward the plane running his jon boat’s throttle wide open to rush to help the man and woman who climbed onto the plane’s wing. He was the first to arrive. Witman said the woman was shaken up and sobbing as she climbed into his boat. River Rescue pulled up behind his boat and rescued the pilot.

“I never would have guessed I would have seen a plane in the river like that, let alone going and getting the people off of it,” Witman said. “I hope I never see this again, actually.”

The Harrisburg office of the Federal Aviation Administration will handle the investigation, Peters said. “it will be up to them to complete as expeditiously as possible but we do take a go-slow attitude. It’s a slow process to make sure we cover everything that we need to.”

Until that report is finalized, he said the Federal Aviation Administration will not be releasing any further information about the incident.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.pennlive.com

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pennsylvania -- A small single-engine plane went into the Susquehanna River Friday after landing short of a runway at Harrisburg International Airport, according to Scott Miller, a spokesperson for the airport.

Miller said there were two people on board the plane and they're OK.

It's not known if Harrisburg International Airport was the original destination.

The Federal Aviation Administration released the following statement:

A Piper PA-46 is in shallow water in the Susquehanna River after landing short of Runway 31 at Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania about 5:30 p.m. today. The two people aboard exited the aircraft onto a wing. Check with local authorities on their condition. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

Dispatch said the call came in around 5:10 p.m. and crews are just south of Three Mile Island in Lower Swatara Township.

“I ran out and saw the plane in the river and the pilot was on the wing waving his hands," said Jonathan Witman, witness.

Officials say both victims made it to safety with minor injuries and are being treated at Hershey Medical Center.

The cause of the crash is still unclear.

"We have no idea at this time other than it was an engine failure and that the aircraft could not make it to the runway and had to land in the river," said Tim Edwards, Executive Director, Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, Harrisburg International Airport.

Story and video ➤ https://fox43.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Plane was still sitting there in shallow water of the river on 11 October, seems like the owner could arrange for the local Sea Tow boat recovery operator to connect inflatable lift bladders and get the plane raised high enough for towing to shore or a boatyard for haul out. Sea Tow does that type of re-float routinely for sunk boats.