Saturday, December 28, 2019

Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II, N42CV: Fatal accident occurred December 28, 2019 near Lafayette Regional Airport (KLFT), Louisiana

Dr. Jennifer Rodi and  Bruce Landsberg 
Air Safety Investigators
National Transportation Safety Board




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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration; Washington, District of Columbia
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Piper Aircraft; Phoenix, Arizona
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Pratt and Whitney Canada

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N42CV

Location: LAFAYETTE, LA
Accident Number: CEN20MA044
Date & Time: 12/28/2019, 0921 CST
Registration: N42CV
Aircraft: Piper PA 31T
Injuries: 5 Fatal, 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Executive/Corporate 

On December 28, 2019, about 0921 central standard time, a Piper PA 31T airplane, N42CV, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from the Lafayette Regional Airport/Paul Fournet Field (LFT), Lafayette, Louisiana. The commercial pilot and four passengers were fatally injured; one passenger sustained serious injuries. Two individuals inside a nearby building sustained minor injuries and one individual in a car sustained serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postimpact fire. The airplane was owned by Cheyenne Partners LLC and was piloted by an employee of Global Data Systems. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK), Atlanta, Georgia.

The pilot contacted the LFT ground controller and requested a clearance to PDK. The controller issued the IFR clearance to the pilot with an initial heading of 240° and an altitude of 2,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller then instructed the pilot to taxi the airplane to runway 22L. As the airplane approached the holdshort line for the runway, the pilot advised that the airplane was ready for takeoff and the controller cleared the airplane to depart from runway 22L. After takeoff the pilot was given a frequency change and successfully established communications with the next air traffic controller. The pilot was instructed to climb the airplane to 10,000 ft and to turn right to a heading of 330°.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data provided by the FAA identified and depicted the accident flight. The ADS-B data started at 09:20:05 as the airplane climbed through 150 ft. msl, or 110 ft. above ground level (agl). The peak altitude recorded was 925 ft msl, from about 09:20:37 to 09:20:40, after which, the airplane entered a continuous descent to the ground. The last ADS-B data point was at 09:20:59, as the airplane descended through 175 ft msl in a steep dive.

Preliminary analysis of this data indicates that after departing runway 22L, the airplane turned slightly to the right toward the assigned heading of 240° and climbed at a rate that varied between 1,000 and 1,900 feet per minute. At 09:20:13, the airplane started rolling back towards wings level. At 09:20:20, the airplane rolled through wings level in a continued roll towards the left. At this time, the airplane was tracking 232°, the altitude was 475 ft msl, and the speed accelerated through 165 kts. calibrated airspeed. The airplane continued to roll steadily to the left, at an average rate of about 2 degrees per second. At the peak altitude of 925 ft msl at 09:20:40, the roll angle was about 35° left, the track angle was about 200°, and the airspeed was about 172 knots. The airplane then started to descend while the left roll continued, and the airplane reached a roll angle of 70° left at 09:20:52, while it descended through 600 ft msl, between 2,000 and 3,000 feet per minute.

According to the FAA, as the airplane descended through 700 ft msl, a low altitude alert was issued by the air traffic controller to the pilot; the pilot did not respond. No mayday or emergency transmission was recorded from the accident airplane.

According to multiple witnesses on the ground, they first heard an airplane flying overhead, at a low altitude. Several witnesses stated that it sounded as if both engines were at a high rpm. Multiple witnesses observed the airplane appear out of the low cloud bank in a steep, left-bank turn. One witness stated that the airplane rolled wings level just before it struck the trees and transmission lines on the south edge of Verot School Road. The airplane then struck the road and continued across the United States Postal Service (USPS) parking lot. Two USPS employees received minor injuries from flying glass inside of the building. One individual was seriously injured after the airplane struck the car she was parked in. The car rolled several times before it came to rest inverted; a postimpact fire consumed the car.

The wreckage path included fragmented and burned pieces of the airplane and tree debris, and extended from the trees and transmission line, along an approximate bearing of 315°, for 789 ft. The right wing, the outboard left wing, both engines, both elevator controls, the rudder, the instrument panel, and forward cabin separated from the main fuselage and pieces were located in the debris field. The main wreckage consisted of the main fuselage and the inboard left wing.

Before the accident the Automated Surface Observing System at LFT reported at 0853, a wind from 120° at 5 knots, overcast clouds with a vertical visibility of 200 ft and ¾ statute mile ground visibility. The temperature was 19° C, the dew point was 19°C, and the altimeter was 29.97 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N42CV
Model/Series: PA 31T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Cheyenne Partners Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLFT, 42 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 120°
Lowest Ceiling: Indefinite (V V) / 200 ft agl
Visibility:  0.75 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Lafayette, LA (LFT)
Destination: Atlanta, GA (PDK)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 4 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 5 Fatal, 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 30.176111, -92.007500

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

Dr. Jennifer Rodi
 Investigator In Charge and Senior Air Safety Investigator
  National Transportation Safety Board
B-Roll


Bruce Landsberg
 Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
Media Briefing

Ian Edward Biggs
May 29, 1968 ~ December 28, 2019 (age 51)

Friends and family gathered Saturday to celebrate the life of Ian Biggs, the 51-year-old pilot who died last week in a crash along with four others just minutes after taking off from Lafayette Regional Airport.

Hundreds packed the Walters Funeral Home chapel — and along the hallway and in the lobby — to honor Biggs, hailed on social media and during the service as a hero who saved lives by avoiding populated areas when his crashing plane was coming down near a residential area and a shopping center.

"The lives lost were precious, families and friends will be devastated for a very long time," Pamela Stella Flyte wrote on Facebook. "But I believe the person Ian was led him to the path he chose making this tragic accident that much less devastating."

The service included a final salute ceremony from the Acadiana Veterans Honor Guard and several other veterans in attendance, honoring Biggs' service in the U.S. Army Reserves.

The Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II slid across a U.S. Post Office parking lot near Verot School Road and made a fiery stop in an adjacent field. 

Chuck Vincent, whose daughter-in-law and grandchild were killed in the crash, spoke about Biggs' love of his family, friends and his hobbies — hunting, fishing, camping and flying, among others. Several attendees of the service wore camouflage.

"He was truly a part of our family," said Vincent, who is founder and chairman of Global Data Systems, where Biggs worked for the last 20 years. 

Gretchen Vincent, the chairman's 51-year-old daughter-in-law, and her son Michael "Walker" Vincent, killed the day before his 16th birthday, were also killed in the crash. Friends and family mourned the mother and son at a joint funeral service Thursday.

Biggs was born in Franklin, Louisiana, on May 29, 1968 to Sharon and Donald Biggs. He graduated from Acadiana High School, and enlisted in the United States Army Reserves before marrying Shannon Webb in 1990. 

He worked in the oil industry for many years, before becoming employed as a pilot with Global Data Systems.

Known as "Country Rat" to friends and family, Biggs lived a life "full of adventure," his family noted in his obituary. "As an avid outdoorsman and true Southern boy, Ian enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, frogging, and making memories at the camp.

"His friends knew him as a jack-of-all-trades, he could fix just about anything and cook just about anything, too. His family will fondly remember him prancing around the kitchen in his robe while he cooked and listened to music. He'll also be remembered for his sand art skills he inherited from his parents."

Biggs is survived by his wife, Shannon Webb Biggs of Lafayette; two children, Madison and Ethan Biggs of Lafayette; his parents, the former Sharon Richard and Donald Lester Biggs of Lafayette; four sisters, Shadon Hannie (Edward) Shaleen Biggs Pellerin (Ben Huval), Shauna Price (Troy), and Shanette Cormier (Todd), all of Lafayette; and one brother, Donald Biggs II (Candace) of Clinton, La.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Richard and Mr. & Mrs. Basal Edward Biggs; his wife's grandparents, Emily "Mim" & Lannie Webb, and Martin & Aline Stutes; and several aunts and uncles.

Robert Vaughn Crisp, another Global Data Services executive killed in the crash, had a service Friday in Mamou.

Carley McCord, a well-known Louisiana sports reporter, had a funeral and burial service Saturday in Baton Rouge

Stephen "Wade" Berzas was transported to Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center after the plane headed for Atlanta crashed Saturday. He is recovering from injuries.

According to Dr. Joey Barrios, Chief of Medical Staff at Our Lady of Lourdes, Berzas arrived at the emergency room Saturday morning conscious, with burns on 75% of his body, and with a shoulder dislocation.

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

Ian Edward Biggs
May 29, 1968 ~ December 28, 2019 (age 51)

Memorial services will be held Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm in the Sunrise Chapel at Walters Funeral Home for Ian Edward Biggs, 51, who passed away December 28, 2019. Dr. Rick Smith will conduct the services. Inurnment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Shannon Webb Biggs of Lafayette; two children, Madison and Ethan Biggs of Lafayette; his parents, the former Sharon Richard and Donald Lester Biggs of Lafayette; four sisters, Shadon Hannie (Edward) Shaleen Biggs Pellerin (Ben Huval), Shauna Price (Troy), and Shanette Cormier (Todd), all of Lafayette; one brother, Donald Biggs II (Candace) of Clinton, La.; his in-laws, Glenn and Madeline Webb; two godchildren, Regan Price and Kati LeBlanc; and numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Richard and Mr. & Mrs. Basal Edward Biggs; his wife's grandparents, Emily "Mim" & Lannie Webb, and Martin & Aline Stutes; and several aunts and uncles.

Ian was born in Franklin, Louisiana on May 29, 1968 to Sharon and Donald Biggs. He graduated from Acadiana High School, and enlisted in the United States Army Reserves before marrying his high school sweetheart, Shannon Webb, in 1990. 

He worked in the oil field industry for many years. Most recently he was employed as a corporate pilot with Global Data Systems.

Ian will be remembered for being the life of any party he attended. His piercing blue eyes and heartwarming smile captivated others and instantly drew people to him-- and that's when his fun-loving and infectious personality would make you his friend forever. 

Ian, a.k.a. "Country Rat", was a patriot. He loved his country, and loved watching episodes of "M.A.S.H.", Nascar, and "Naked and Afraid." His life was one full of adventure. As an avid outdoorsman and true Southern boy, Ian enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, frogging, and making memories at the camp. His friends knew him as a jack-of-all-trades, he could fix just about anything and cook just about anything, too. His family will fondly remember him prancing around the kitchen in his robe while he cooked and listened to music. He'll also be remembered for his sand art skills he inherited from his parents. 

Most importantly, Ian was a devoted and loving husband and father. He took good care of his family, physically, emotionally, and spiritually providing for their needs. Whether it was dancing in the kitchen or playing tug-of-war with Sammy the family pup; having family game night and staying up late to work on a jigsaw puzzle with his beautiful baby girl, or bonding with his son over "Forged in Fire," his joie de vivre was there for all to witness and enjoy. He lived his life out loud, and inspired others to do the same. His love for life was fierce, and he will be deeply missed.

Visiting hours will be observed Saturday from 9:00 am until time of service. A rosary will be led by Glynn Stutes and Harold Lee Stutes at 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made in Ian's name to the Wounded Warrior Project at http://support.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Sign the virtual register book and leave online condolences at www.waltersfh.com.

Walters Funeral Home, 2424 N. University Avenue, Lafayette, Louisiana 70507; 337.706.8941 is in charge of arrangements.