Monday, February 03, 2020

Piper PA-28-150 Cherokee C, N5969W: Fatal accident occurred February 02, 2020 near Fremont County Airport (1V6), Canon City, Colorado

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Piper Aircraft; Phoenix, Arizona
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N5969W

Location: Florence, CO
Accident Number: CEN20FA072
Date & Time: 02/02/2020, 1355 MST
Registration: N5969W
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On February 2, 2020, about 1355 mountain standard time, a Piper PA28-150 airplane, N5969W, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from the Fremont County Airport (1V6), Florence, Colorado. The flight instructor and student pilot were both seriously injured, and the passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight had departed the airport at the time of the accident.

According to preliminary information, the airplane departed runway 29 at 1V6. An eyewitness watched the airplane's takeoff roll and remarked that the airplane's nose wheel appeared to lift from the runway, then settled back down. The airplane used almost the full length of the runway's 5,399 ft surface. The airplane did not climb and disappeared from sight, due to descending terrain from the runway's edge.

The wreckage was located in the high desert terrain. The initial impact point consisted of a scuff, consistent with the left wing and a divot containing the nose wheel at the base of a rising dirt berm. The airplane came to rest on the aft side of the berm, facing the opposite direction of travel. All major airplane components were found at the accident site.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5969W
Model/Series: PA28 150
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: KPUB, 4720 ft msl
Observation Time: 1350 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / -22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 14 knots / 27 knots, 220°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.73 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Florence, CO (1V6)
Destination: Florence, CO (1V6)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 38.430833, -105.118056

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.

Turner Aviation LLC


FREMONT COUNTY — One person was killed following a small plane crash on Department of Corrections property in Canon City Sunday, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Fremont County Coroner has identified the man who died in the plane crash as 39-year-old David Merritt of Colorado Springs.

The Piper PA-28-150 Cherokee C plane with three people onboard took off from Fremont County Airport around 2 p.m. on an instructional flight.

It crashed during takeoff in a ravine just west of the runway on property adjacent to Colorado's Supermax prison, the maximum-security facility known officially as the USP Florence ADMAX.

The three onboard included a flight instructor, a student pilot, and a passenger whose role was unknown. The fatal victim has not been identified. Details as to the extent of injuries to the other two victims were not released.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is underway. The National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on the scene Monday. They'll begin aircraft recovery and bring it to another location for further analysis.

The plane was recently sold to a company or person based in Fremont County, according to an Federal Aviation Administration tail number inquiry.

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



PENROSE, Colorado (KKTV) - One person was killed after a small plane crashed onto state prison property Sunday afternoon.

Authorities say two others on the plane were injured.

The Piper PA-28-150 Cherokee C plane had just taken off when it went down on Colorado Department of Corrections land between Penrose and Canon City around 2 p.m. Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board says it was an instructional flight, and a student pilot, flight instructor and a passenger were the ones onboard. 

Officials initially told 11 News all onboard were taken to the hospital. The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed the fatality Monday.

No one onboard has been publicly identified.

Chopper video from sister station KCNC shows the nose of the plane took the brunt of the damage; a wing is also broken off. The aircraft crashed near Highway 50.

Department of Corrections is the lead investigating agency. Department spokesperson Annie Skinner sent us the following statement:

At approximately 1:58 p.m., an emergency call came in about a possible small plane crash on Department of Corrections property in Canon City. At this time the scene has been secured by the Colorado Department of Corrections with assistance from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been notified and is on their way to the scene. At this time, we do not have any confirmation about who was on board the plane nor the extent of injuries.  Media will not be able to access the scene as it is on DOC property.

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



One person was confirmed killed in the plane that crashed on the Department of Corrections property Sunday and was part of an instructional flight that had just taken off at Fremont County Airport.

Peter Knudson, a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, said three people were onboard the Piper PA-28-150 Cherokee C – a flight instructor, a student pilot and a passenger who was in the backseat.

“There was one fatality,” he said. “The accident occurred on takeoff.”

Names of the deceased and injured have not yet been released.

The National Transportation Safety Board, who is investigating the crash, worked on documentation of the accident site Monday morning and currently is working on recovering the aircraft and moving it to a secure location, where they will do some additional examinations, Knudson said.

A preliminary report is expected to be released in one to two weeks. The entire investigation to get to probable cause and contributing factors can range from 12 to 24 months, Knudson said.

Annie Skinner, the spokesperson for DOC, said just before 2 p.m. an emergency call came in about a possible small plane crash on DOC property.

“At this time, we do not have any confirmation about who was onboard the plane nor the extent of injuries,” Skinner said.

Original article ➤ https://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com



CANON CITY, Colorado — One person was killed following a small plane crash on Department of Corrections property in Canon City Sunday, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Piper PA-28-150 Cherokee C plane with three people onboard took off from Fremont County Airport around 2 p.m. on an instructional flight.

It crashed during takeoff in a ravine just west of the runaway on property adjacent to Colorado's Supermax prison, the maximum-security facility known officially as the USP Florence ADMAX.

The three onboard included a flight instructor, a student pilot, and a passenger whose role was unknown. The fatal victim has not been identified. Details as to the extent of injuries to the other two victims were not released.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is underway. National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on the scene Monday. They'll begin aircraft recovery and bring it to another location for further analysis.

The plane was recently sold to a company or person based in Fremont County, according to an Federal Aviation Administration tail number inquiry.

Original article ➤ https://www.thedenverchannel.com


FREMONT COUNTY, Colorado — The Fremont County Sheriff has confirmed that a plane crashed on Department of Corrections (DOC) property near the Fremont County Airport, Sunday afternoon.

According to the DOC, a small plane crashed around 2 P.M. on the Department of Corrections property in Cañon City.

No reports on how many people were onboard, but according to the Sheriff, a couple of people were taken to the hospital.

At this time the scene has been secured by the Colorado Department of Corrections with assistance from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.

The Department of Corrections is the lead investigating agency and the National Transportation Safety Board is on its way to the scene. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is also assisting.

Story and video ➤ https://www.fox21news.com

30 comments:

  1. Damage looks survivable. Wonder if this aircraft only had lap belts? I fly a cherokee 235 and installed shoulder harnesses for this reason.

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  2. Follow up: Found a picture on the new owners Instagram. Clearly no shoulder harnesses. That photo was dated December 2019.

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    1. New owners flight school Facebook posting says this airplane became available for instruction December 25th.

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    2. Flight school web page uses a reduced size copy of this photo in the our aircraft section. Sure does appear to be lap belts only.

      https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9355280

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    3. There are multiple photos of the aircraft available. If it had should harnesses, you would see them hanging from the ceiling. There is none visible.

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  3. Shoulder harness in the back seat?

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    1. No panel, yoke or sharp edges for lap belted rear seat pax to bump into in a straight line stop. Front row lap only not so good.

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  4. Nice WX is recorded for the time period:
    https://w1.weather.gov/data/obhistory/K1V6.html
    Dy/ MST/ Wind/Vis / WX /Sky/T/Dp/Altimeter
    02 13:50 W 7 10.00 Fair CLR 75 5 29.78
    02 13:30 W5 G16 10.00 Fair CLR 73 5 29.79

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    1. So, airport elev ~5450, temp 75F, DP 5, Alt 29.78 converts to density altitude of approx 7900 ft., climbing to 6000 ft = density alt. of ~8500 ft. Having owned a Cherokee 140 (mod to 150 hp w/climb prop), I can tell you, with just the pilot and a light load, that this is pushing the limits of its lift. I suspect for the conditions, this airplane may have been overloaded and wouldn't climb after leaving ground effect. I had that happen to me a couple of times in the Cherokee. It is very touchy once the conditions reach its lift limits...it sinks without the characteristic stall warnings.

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    2. Also, they crashed on downwind leg losing even more lift....one of the times my Cherokee was sinking in high DA, it didn't regain lift until I turned back into the wind.

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    3. Looking at pictures on social media... I would guess the student pilot was in the 200-220lb range, and the passenger in the back was in the 170-190lb range.

      The instructor is pretty short, but a little hefty. I would guess no more than 170 on him.

      That puts total of 3 occupants somewhere in the 530 - 580 lb range.

      Depending on the fuel onboard we could be talking right about at max gross, or potentially as low as a couple hundred below max gross.

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  5. Video showing where the plane is relative to the runway (see 19 second mark). Ended up quite a long distance to the Port side of a runway 29 takeoff.

    https://youtu.be/LhyBY6U6zhQ

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    1. Trying to wrap my head around how they ended up over there. Also, I might be mistaken but I don't see any ground scars leading to the accident site. However the terrain is bumpy so it could have skipped across some of the woops.

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    2. Perhaps there was a turn back after takeoff and it was headed back around and did not stay up. Before posting that video link, I too looked at all images available for ground scars and don't make any out.

      That piece of left wing about 60 feet back of the tail means something about the path, but who knows what. Very little sliding flat land was available.

      Being it was afternoon at that industrialized airfield there is bound to be a basic flight path witness.

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    3. Good point. Possible spin situation, came in like a cartwheel, hit left wing and then nose first into the hillside.

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    4. Also, that main portion of left wing still with the aircraft is resting upside down, flap facing forward, leading edge has big dents. No obvious damage to right wing and tail. View from right side appears to show some cowl/nosegear area metalwork under the front right of the fuselage.

      Very difficult to visualize the ground contact sequence to produce that damage pattern.

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  6. The deceased male does not show up in FAA airmen database as student pilot. Possible he is brand new student without medical and/or doing discovery flight? Or other thought is he could have been the rear passenger.

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    1. Coroner who identified the man reportedly stated he was the passenger. That would be rear seat and coroners record positions when extracting.

      https://www.chieftain.com/news/20200203/update-victim-idd-in-canon-city-area-small-plane-crash

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    2. The flight school web page says "1 additional passenger allowed" on the Intro Flight and Discovery Flight listings. Probably was that type of flight.

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  7. My first thought also was that the cabin is completely intact so the fatality had to be a belt issue (lap only?). However, I noticed in the first pic, the closeup of the left side, and there is clearly a hole in the aft window section and what appears to be something hanging out of there like possibly part of the wing. Could that have caused the death of the rear passenger? The NTSB will let us know in time.

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  8. Re. 'looks survivable' ... back in the 70's NASA simulated crash landings of donated Piper aircraft at Langley Research; on board cameras showed how the airframe would bend and buckle to non-survivable positions, then spring back close to original dimensions after the crash - I remember one where the cabin overhead momentarily deformed level with the seat backs - front seat occupants would likely have sustained serious head trauma.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1yWkbJuqkE

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    1. Seeing the left main gear strut flip the Piper wing in that video at the 15:07 mark and at 15:57 makes it easy to understand the leading edge denting on the accident aircraft. Once the strut gets the wing rotating, the ground directly underneath can bash the leading edge and complete the flip. The sequence at 17:00 shows that the engine can stay attached even during a severe impact angle.

      Fortunate there was no fire. Hope the two survivors can recover.

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  9. Student pilot has some broken limbs. Instructor has severe facial trauma and fighting internal bleeding. Passenger in back seat was older brother of the student pilot.

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  10. Local news updates with statements from instructors family. The second article says student was piloting takeoff but may be an assumption since same article said instructor not yet communicating at time of writing.

    https://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/2020/02/06/gofundme-account-set-up-for-pilot-injured-in-sundays-plane-crash/

    https://www.chieftain.com/news/20200206/pilot-instructor-22-in-fatal-fremont-crash-faces-long-recovery

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  11. Prelim report is out. Eyewitness said it took the entire 5400ft runway for airplane to get airborne. Did not see the airplane climb. Sounds like another case of high DH. Analysis of passenger weights above shows they were likely close to gross weight.

    Also, used runway 29 but reported winds 14G27 @ 220*.

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    1. Strange that the report uses wind recorded 30 miles away at KPUB when there is a recording station right there at K1V6 (see earlier posts).

      Looks like the 150 horse just could not haul the loaded weight in those conditions. Decision to stay on the throttle and use all 5400 feet of runway when not able to climb makes no sense at all.

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    2. The report indicates the plane came to rest facing opposite direction of travel. Surprising that it could be nursed through the U-turn it had to make (after mushing off the end of the runway) to end up where they did.

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  12. This accident is a reminder for flight instructors and student pilots to utilize aircraft equipped with shoulder harness restraints (any certified small aircraft manufactured after December 12, 1986). Upgrade kits are available for many older aircraft.

    The Gofundme page for the instructor describes his injuries and the ongoing facial reconstruction and rehabilitation effort.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/provide-for-pilot-daniel-turners-medical-journey

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  13. I can confirm that shoulder harnesses do indeed saves lives. I was instructing in a Kitfox when the engine failed on takeoff at 200 feet. I was able to turn 90 degrees away from concrete building to a open area but in the process lost airspeed and the aircraft pancaked in with a slight nose down wings level attitude. The gear immediately sheared off and the airplane flipped. The Kitfox was equipped with a five point harness which kept our faces off the panel. The deceleration forces likely would have caused serious injuries but in this case we walked away just being sore as hell.
    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20021003X05279&AKey=1&RType=Summary&IType=LA

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