Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, N656ST: Accident occurred March 12, 2020 near Beverly Regional Airport (KBVY), Massachusetts

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

Location: Beverly, MA
Accident Number: ERA20LA126
Date & Time: 03/12/2020, 1622 EDT
Registration: N656ST
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On March 12, 2020, about 1622 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA28-181, N656ST, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Beverly Regional Airport (BVY), Beverly, Massachusetts. The student pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the student pilot, he was practicing traffic pattern work on runway 16 and completed five landings without incident. During the subsequent takeoff, when the airplane was about 500 ft above ground level, it experienced a loss of engine power and would not climb. The student pilot noted a drop in engine rpm from 2500 to around 2,350, declared an emergency and made a 270° left turn to attempt an emergency landing on runway 27. The airplane touched down on the last 1/4 of the runway, was unable to stop and continued across the grass, and over a ditch before impacting trees near the airport property line.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane after the accident. The inspector removed the top and bottom engine cowling and performed a visual inspection which did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. He was also able to rotate the engine by hand using the propeller. The fuel recovered from the left tank was about 15-20 gallons, the right tank was breached and contained no fuel.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N656ST
Model/Series: PA28 181
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Beverly Flight Center Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BVY, 108 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Beverly, MA (BVY)
Destination: Beverly, MA (BVY)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 42.579722, -70.926667

Beverly Regional Airport manager Gloria Bouillon said in a press release on March 12th, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer III aircraft being flown by a student pilot crashed into trees on a residential property on that afternoon.  Beverly Regional Airport was notified of the crash shortly after 5 p.m.

Members of Beverly Police and Fire, Danvers Police and Fire, Wenham Fire, Middleton Fire and Massachusetts State Police all responded to the scene on Burley Street in Danvers. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation also responded to the scene, and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating as well.

The pilot, an adult male, was evaluated by EMS on the scene and declined transportation to an area hospital. He is a student at the Beverly Flight Center, a flight school which operates out of the airport. No one else was inside the plane at the time of the landing.

The plane sustained significant damage in the crash, and was leaking fuel when first responders arrived. The plane did not catch fire, however.

As a student pilot works to achieve their pilot’s license, it is a standard practice for the student to perform solo flights as they become more proficient in order to hone their flight skills.

“We’re very thankful for the quick and efficient response of our local police and fire departments today,” Bouillon said. “They did an incredible job assisting the student pilot. We’d also like to thank our pilots and businesses at the airport for their patience and cooperation through this incident.”

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Beverly Regional Airport temporarily closed Runway 09 following the crash until approximately 6 p.m.

Original article ➤ https://beverly.wickedlocal.com


  1. I wonder if the handpainted sign on the fence "Thank you Beverly airport" is in reference to the quick response of officials, or a snarky way to place blame on a facility that played no role in the accident? Maybe the airport forced the homeowner to buy a house at the end of a runway.

    1. Turns out the sign is neither of those two choices:
      "Beverly Airport recently cut down two or three trees in her backyard. She and her mother were upset at airport officials because she said they never fixed the deep ruts that were left in their front yard by heavy equipment."


  2. Now that the industry isn't go hung crazy to mint new pilots anymore and that new automation will take over once we go back to a semblance of normalcy. Then cfis will actually be cfis and not with 250 hrs like I see a lot and craftsmanship will be back to determine if a student pilot can actually not panic or do something stupid. Per CFR this accident is actually all on the cfi who endorsed the student here and wrecked a fairly new trainer.

    1. "Per CFR this accident is actually all on the cfi who endorsed the student here and wrecked a fairly new trainer."

      That was my exact thought when I read this story. IPs release students for solo when he or she is confident the student can manage the aircraft. However, the initial story here states there was a loss of engine power yet there was leaking fuel in the tank(s) after the crash.

      It could be pilot error in engine and/or fuel management or it could be something more. We have accident reports here from ~100 hour career student pilots just getting their solo checkoff and wind up crashing.

      Anyone can speculate, but this is just yet another "student" pilot crash that we'll have to see the cause of in the final report. What is missing here though is the hours of the pilot.

    2. "Per CFR this accident is actually all on the cfi who endorsed the student here and wrecked a fairly new trainer."

      The student made 5 successful landings and had a problem on the 6th. Just because the student didn't accomplish a perfect return to field and land after engine trouble doesn't make the CFI bad. You have no idea of the circumstances of this accident, yet you make continually make pronouncements as to the competency of other pilots, Part 135 operators, mechanics and instructors. It's really inappropriate.

  3. Why is the airport manager there all winter Tuscany dressed up and visiting the crash site? Did she have any witness input on what happened? This is a serious question because I've never seen airport managers show up at crashes at their airports for the media before.

  4. Why is the airport manager there all winter Tuscany dressed up and visiting the crash site?
    Well, according to Ms. Bouillon, she thinks of herself as an "visionary leader" ... --verbatim.
    About Gloria Bouillon:
    Energetic Airport Manager, commercial pilot, public speaker and aviation professional who creates strategic alliances with federal, state, and local agencies, to effectively improve airport infrastructure and regional economic development. Driven leader who builds consensus with a visionary approach and effective communication to stakeholders and community. Transformational change, lead two airports to largest infrastructure development through stakeholder engagement and collaboration with key decision makers.
    Public Speaking Engagements
    2020 New Orleans, Louisiana, C-Suite Perspectives Speaker Panelist ACI/AAAE Customer Experience Symposium
    2020 Monterey, California, C-Suite Speaker and Panelist SWAAAE Professional Development
    2019 Chicago, Airports Going Green Speaker and Panelist: Sustainability and Customer Experience
    2019 Texas, SMART Airport and Regions Expert C-Suite Speaker and Panelist: "Infrastructure Master Planning"
    2019 Speaker and Panelist, Massachusetts Airport Managers Association Conference, "Stakeholder Engagement"
    2019 North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Speaker and Presenter, "Beverly Airport Capital Planning"
    2019 Beverly Chamber of Commerce, Speaker and Panelist "Trailblazers, Creating their own Success"
    2019 North Shore Women in Business, Speaker and Panelist, Beverly
    2018 Airport Security Workshop, Presenter and Panelist, Beverly
    2018 Television Show, North Shore Journal, Speaker, “Capital Planning”
    Radio Guest Speaker, Pittsfield.

  5. https://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/beverly-airport-settlement-details-emerge/article_bd78450f-f1a7-54e4-b222-c6a264e3c8ae.html

    Mark Zuberek was rebuffed in his attempts to conduct a follow up on-camera interview with Airport Manager Gloria Bouillon, and interview an airport business owner, court documents show.

  6. ^^That pretty much explains a lot...


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