Monday, March 16, 2020

Ground Collision: Piper PA-28-161, N8408E; accident occurred January 11, 2020 at Santa Barbara Airport (KSBA), California

Photo of the right wing.

Photo of the right wing.

Photo of the parked aircraft. 

Google Earth Image of Collision Area.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Accident Number: WPR20CA087
Date & Time: 01/11/2020, 2010 PST
Registration: N8408E
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Ground collision
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that upon receiving clearance to taxi from air traffic control, he proceeded to taxi onto what he thought was the centerline of taxiway Charlie in nighttime conditions. During the taxi, the airplane suddenly turned to the right. The pilot stated he stopped the airplane and thought something on the ground made "the wheel turn" and he looked at the right wing, noting nothing abnormal. He added that after they were airborne, he saw that part of the right wingtip was separated. The pilot continued the flight and landed uneventfully at his destination.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the right wing was structurally damaged. A portion of the accident airplanes right wingtip was located underneath a damaged wing on an unoccupied airplane that was parked adjacent to taxiway Charlie at the departure airport.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 28, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:Yes 
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/17/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/19/2019
Flight Time:  104.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 28 hours (Total, this make and model), 43.3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 36.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20.7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 27, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/20/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  213.1 hours (Total, all aircraft), 93.7 hours (Total, this make and model), 108.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 70.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 26.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N8408E
Model/Series: PA28 161
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:Normal 
Serial Number: 28-8116259
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/30/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2440 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 32 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 18991 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D2A
Registered Owner: Candace A Larned Enterprises Inc
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSBA, 20 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0553 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 225°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Santa Barbara, CA (SBA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Long Beach, CA (LBG)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  PST
Type of Airspace: Class C 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 13 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.432778, -119.834722 (est)


  1. Never, EVER fly with this guy. FAA should revoke his license.

  2. Young and feeling invincible, their guardian angels were definitely looking out for these two young pilots ! Hopefully they will learn how dangerous their decision to continue their flight was and learn to make better decisions in the future.

  3. "learn to make better decisions in the future."

    No they won't. Judgement is a mental attribute that can't be taught.

  4. "The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation."

    Except that it was not airworthy ....

    Oh well.

  5. They knew darn well they hit 'something'...

  6. my guess is they panicked figured lets leave the airport no one will know ,mid flight it dawned on them they left evidence, stevie wonder would have known he hit something

    1. Go open the photo pdf from the docket and enlarge the photos - the marks on the Gulfstream show that the Piper climbed way up the tip, leaving a lot of blue paint from the underside. Probably had the right main wheel up in the air during the entanglement, then slid back down and whumped the pavement.

      Yes, they knew darn well they hit it. The only question is did the fiberglass at the tip break point tear cleanly and drop that piece of tip or did they tear off the remnant during the "Oh my!" inspection that they certainly got out and made. Leaving that chunk on the ground helped the fake story work. If they did not leave it no story would suffice.

    2. I have to disagree with your idea that the Piper "climbed way up the tip". I cannot fathom how the Piper could have that much contact while under power and moving without causing significant damage to the winglet. This looks much more like nothing other than part of the aircraft's paint design.

    3. You are correct - the contact area is not associated with that original factory blue stripe, did not mean to imply in saying "way up" that the nicely applied original paint stripe there is from the Piper climbing that high.

      If you want to see the damage and paint transfer marks from the Piper riding up the lower portion, it is necessary to open the NTSB photo pdf, enlarge photo #3 to 400% and examine the tiplet leading edge wrapper.

      The first few inches of the wrapper in the portion with closely spaced fasteners has scrape marks that run parallel to the inclined wrapper. Further down is paint transfer and damaged horizontal surface at the corner turn. Not way up compared to total tip height, but probably enough to lift the Piper wheel off the ground.

    4. That big blue stripe is tape. Not very nice looking if you zoom into that on the original photo - wonder what the story is on that?

  7. Yank both their tickets. This would be a hit and run in car land. Further, if it was as bad as someone posted above saying the wing got stuck at a point, that could have caused structural damage to the wing. They not only put their own lives in danger, but others on the ground as well when they chose to take off. That is why both rated pilots need their tickets permanently revoked.

  8. Let them fly only flight sims from now on.

  9. Don't forget they took off an NIGHT with a possible non-op starboard wing lighting system! They both need serious action taken against them if the FAA is to be taken seriously.

  10. No wonder my aircraft insurance keeps going up,
    These Morons need a Moped, not an airplane..Helmet optional.
    I'm tired of paying the Dumb A$$ Surcharge as the industry compensates for

  11. ^^Don't forget it was these same reckless moron types that caused Cessna and Piper to cease production of their bread and butter 172s and Warriors in the 1980s for several years due to frivolous lawsuits (ie: pilot error) from families.

  12. Well from the docket looks like both pilots had their PPL reissued a few months ago. So yes most likely had their 709 rides and reexamination.
    Passenger says:

    "The PIC,Hao-Ting Sun, he said he knows the taxiway well so he started to taxi out the ramp to taxiway Charlie. As we just taxi out, a big shake of the aircraft woke me up. I asked him what happened? And I found out that he was not taxi on the centerline of Charlie but off to the right. We both first thought that we just taxi over a rock or obstacle on the taxiway, but after checking out from the window, we found out there's a damage on the right wingtip. The damage part was not so clear for me that I still could see the light on the wingtip. We took off from runway 33L and landed at KLGB on runway 30. After we reached school, I took a closer look at the right
    wingtip. The damage was more severe than what I thought. If I knew the damage is like that, I would never take off. From this incident I learned a lesson, whenever you feel something wrong on the ground, just stop and check it out. It is better than you find out the aircraft is out of control after airborne. "

    You think Captain obvious??? I hope they get never hired by any airline based on this most keen sense of decision making displayed here. I bet the damage to the gulfstream is worth several airplanes and yes insurance for all will go up with those clowns not even paying anything.