Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior III, N558PU: Incident occurred December 02, 2019 near Vero Beach Regional Airport (KVRB), Indian River County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando

Aircraft experienced engine failure and landed on an abandoned golf course and struck a tree. 

FlightSafety International Inc


Date: 02-DEC-19

Time: 17:35:00Z
Regis#: N558PU
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

VERO BEACH, Florida — Zhuang Qu brought both of his hands up to his face in shock. The 22-year-old student pilot seemed stunned and without words.

About 45 minutes prior Monday afternoon, Qu was piloting a 2000 Piper PA-28 Cherokee airplane en route to Vero Beach Regional Airport from an airport in Okeechobee County on what flight safety officials told police is his first solo flight.

Suddenly, the aircraft lost power, police officials said. 

This was not the first time that exact plane lost power in flight. In November 2018, the aircraft's engine experienced a partial power loss, according to records from the Federal Aviation Administration. The pilot at that time was able to land the plane safely. It's unclear from records where that happened.

An inspection later found a crack in one of the engine's cylinders led to the power loss, FAA records showed. The cylinder was then "replaced with a serviceable part." 

Now, just over a year later, Qu brought the plane down into a field.

"The plane lost power and he decided to bring it here instead of crashing it into a residential area," said Master Police Officer Darrell Rivers. "He found a safe place to land, and so here we are." 

Qu was able to land the airplane into a clearing in the 4100 block of Aviation Boulevard just south of 26th Street, successfully avoiding nearby residential areas.  The airplane clipped a tree on its way down, ripping off its left wing. While debris from the plane was scattered across the open field, Qu was unharmed.   The plane is registered to FlightSafety International Inc, a flight school with a training academy at Vero Beach Regional Airport.

The Treasure Coast has been no stranger to plane crashes in recent months. 

A March 5 plane crash left one FlightSafety Academy student pilot dead after a Piper PA-28 Cherokee crashed deep in the woods south of Vero Lake Estates.

A pilot of a rare military aircraft died in Stuart, November 1st, as his plane crashed while he was practicing for the Audi Stuart Air Show. A final report for that particular crash from the National Transportation Safety Board could take more than a year.

Story and video ➤ https://www.tcpalm.com


Anonymous said...

Wing ripped off and the report says minor damage ?

Anonymous said...

I didn't even notice that initial report comment. I was however impressed how well the entire hull and even gear seemed to be in shape. But yeah, minor damage to me is not a wing missing.