Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-24 Comanche, N9456P; fatal accident occurred April 09, 2018 near Scottsdale Airport (KSDL), Maricopa County, Arizona








































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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale

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


Investigation Docket National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N9456P

Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18FA119
Date & Time: 04/09/2018, 2048 MST
Registration: N9456P
Aircraft: PIPER PA 24-260
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries:6 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 9, 2018, about 2048 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-24-260 airplane, N9456P, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Scottsdale Airport (SDL), Scottsdale, Arizona. The airline transport pilot, the student pilot, and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to N9456P LLC and was operated by the pilots as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Nighttime visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight, which was destined for North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Las Vegas, Nevada.

Earlier that evening, the airline transport pilot flew the airplane from VGT to SDL to pick up the student pilot and the passengers and fly them to VGT. The inbound flight, which was the airline transport pilot's first flight in the airplane, departed from VGT at 1842 mst and landed at SDL at 2018.

A video surveillance camera at SDL located on the ramp where the airplane was parked captured the occupants as they began to board the airplane about 2028. The surveillance video, along with photographs and videos posted to social media by one of the occupants, revealed that the student pilot occupied the front left seat and that the airline transport pilot occupied the front right seat.

A video surveillance camera located midfield on the west side of the runway captured the airplane's departure from runway 03. The video showed that the airplane's wings were rocking during and shortly after rotation.

The tower controller reported that, as the airplane began the departure roll, the lights on the wings were alternating up and down as if the pilot was rocking the wings. The controller also reported that, as the airplane passed the tower, the wings appeared to be stable but that the engine sounded as if it was not producing enough power. At that time, the controller asked the pilot if the airplane was experiencing any difficulty. According to the controller, the pilot responded, "we're good. We're just in training mode." The controller observed the airplane continue straight out but noted that it did not appear to be climbing. Over the departure end of the runway, the airplane made a left turn. A review of radar data revealed that the airplane's last depicted altitude, between 2046:18 and 2046:28, was about 200 ft above ground level, which occurred during the left turn. As the airplane continued in the left turn, the controller observed the airplane enter a nose-down attitude.

A traffic camera located about 0.5-mile northwest of the end of the departure runway recorded the airplane in a left bank. The bank angle continued to increase as the airplane descended, and its wings were nearly vertical. The camera then depicted the airplane's impact with terrain and a fireball.

Video captured by the traffic camera and the airport tower camera were used to estimate the trajectory and speed of the airplane. The airplane's ground speed was estimated at 75 ± 4 knots shortly after takeoff, and its climb rate was 270 ft per minute (fpm). Twelve seconds later, as the airplane entered the left turn near the end of the runway, its ground speed decayed to 50 ± 4 knots. The airplane began to descend and impacted the ground several seconds later. The airplane was airborne for about 70 seconds.

A witness located near the departure end of the runway was listening to the tower frequency and overheard the controller asking the pilot if the airplane was experiencing any difficulties. The witness looked down the runway and observed the airplane proceeding toward him. As the airplane flew by, the witness noted that the airplane appeared to drift toward the west side of the runway safety area while at low altitude and that the engine sounded as if it was not developing full power. The witness stated that the airplane, before reaching the end of the runway, started "an early left crosswind turn." The witness also stated that the airplane continued in the turn and started to descend just before disappearing from sight behind buildings and trees. Seconds later, the witness heard an explosion and saw a plume of smoke and fire.

Another witness located on the ramp observed the boarding process and watched the airplane taxi toward the runway. The witness lost sight of the airplane but was able to hear what sounded like a typical preflight engine run-up. The witness then observed the airplane accelerate down the runway and stated that, about midway, the wings began to roll in an "extreme" motion. The witness reported that the oscillations eventually diminished, and that the airplane began to climb, reaching an altitude that was about level with the top of the adjacent airport buildings. The airplane continued at an altitude that was about the same altitude and then began a climbing left turn, which appeared similar but lower than most aircraft departing the traffic pattern. As the turn progressed, the airplane's attitude changed to pitch down, and the airplane disappeared from sight. A fireball ensued. The witness did not hear any unusual sounds or see the airplane emitting smoke, fire, or vapors, and she stated that the engine sounded similar to the airplanes that she observes.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and multiengine land ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine, airplane multiengine, and instrument airplane. On February 7, 2018, the pilot received a special issuance first-class medical certificate with the following limitation: "Not valid for any class after 08/31/2018." At the time of his most recent medical application, the pilot reported that he had 5,200 hours of total flight experience, 500 hours of which were in the previous 6 months. The pilot's employer reported that, from August 24, 2017 (his start date with the company), to April 8, 2018 (the day before the accident), the pilot had accumulated 161 hours of flight time, 69 hours of which were in 2018. The pilot had accumulated about 2 hours of flight time in the accident airplane.

The student pilot had been receiving lessons from another flight instructor. He did not possess a student pilot or airman medical certificate. The student pilot's total flight experience could not be determined.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-engine, retractable gear airplane was manufactured in 1970 and was powered by a 260-horsepower, 6-cylinder, fuel-injected Lycoming IO-540-N1A5 engine and a two-blade constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The airplane was equipped with six seats.

The last entry in the airframe logbook indicated that the airplane received an annual inspection on December 1, 2017, at a total airframe time of 6,158 hours.

According to a logbook entry dated August 1, 1973, the airplane's empty weight was 2,007 pounds, the useful load was 1,193 pounds, and the empty weight center of gravity (CG) was 87.22 inches. No additional weight and balance data were located. The airplane flight manual listed a maximum allowable gross weight of 3,200 pounds and a CG range between 80.5 and 93.0 inches aft of datum.

The last obtained fuel receipt was dated April 3, 2018, from VGT. A search of commercially available flight software indicated that the flight from VGT to SDL on the day of the accident was the first flight after the last refueling.

The combined weight of the pilot and the student pilot was about 375 pounds, the combined weight of the two passengers (a male and female) located in the middle row was about 320 pounds, and the combined weight of the two passengers (both female) in the aft row was about 252 pounds. All of the estimated weights included 15 pounds of carry-on baggage per person. An estimated fuel load of 63.44 gallons was calculated based on the maximum usable fuel (86 gallons) subtracted by the fuel burned during the flight from VGT to SDL (22.56 gallons based on an in-flight power setting of 75%).

Given the passenger weights along with the estimated fuel at the time of initial taxi, the airplane would have weighed about 3,335 pounds at the time of takeoff, and its CG would have been 95.22 inches aft of datum. These values were 135 pounds above the airplane's maximum gross weight and 2.22 inches aft of the CG.

With a calculated density altitude of 3,300 ft (based on meteorological conditions about the time of the accident), an airplane weight of 3,200 pounds, flaps at 15°, and the landing gear extended, the expected rate of climb is 700 fpm. When the airplane is in a clean configuration with the same weight and density altitude, the expected rate of climb is 1,110 fpm.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1953 SDL weather observation included wind from 160° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 28°C, dew point -5°C, and altimeter setting 29.94 inches of mercury. Based on these values, the calculated density altitude was about 3,300 ft.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in a golf course about 1/4-mile northwest of the end of the runway 03

at an elevation of 1,484 ft. All major sections of the airplane were recovered at the accident site. The main wreckage sustained extensive impact and thermal damage and was contained within a debris field about 180 ft in length and 40 ft wide. The right wing, which remained partially attached to the fuselage, appeared to have struck a tree during the impact sequence. The left wing had fragmented into several sections and had separated from the fuselage. Both the left and right main landing gear had detached from their respective wings.

The empennage was intact and had separated from the aft fuselage due to thermal damage. The stabilator and rudder remained secured at their respective attach points. The rudder cables remained attached to the rudder horn. The stabilator cables remained attached to the stabilator horn tube. The stabilator trim drum exposed 0.25 inch of the jackscrew, which corresponded to a slight nose-down trim setting.

The fuselage section came to rest in an upright position. The forward cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed by fire, and the engine remained attached to the firewall. Flight control continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the respective cockpit controls. The landing gear retraction transmission screw exhibited 30 threads, which was consistent with a landing-gear-retracted position at impact.

The electric flap system sustained extensive fire damage. The transmission assembly coupling exhibited nine exposed threads, which was consistent with the flaps in the retracted position at impact. The fuel selector handle and valve assembly sustained fire damage and were found in the left main fuel tank position.

The four cockpit and middle row seat assemblies sustained impact and fire damage. The seats had detached from the floor tracks, most of which were destroyed. The seat fabric and belt webbing material were consumed by fire. The aft row seat assemblies were completely consumed by fire and could not be examined.

The engine crankshaft was manually rotated at the flywheel, and compression was obtained on all six cylinders. Valve and gear train continuity was established. The color of the top spark plug electrodes was consistent with normal operation. The rear accessory case sustained thermal damage, partially consuming most of its associated components. The accessory gears, including the crankshaft gear, bolt, and dowel, were intact and undamaged. The left and right magnetos, which were observed at their respective mounting pads, sustained fire damage, so the magnetos could not be functionally tested. The fuel pump, vacuum pump, and oil filter were destroyed by postcrash fire. The injector fuel screen was clean, and the throttle and mixture arms were attached.

The propeller had separated from the crankshaft flange at the hub. The fracture surfaces exhibited signatures consistent with overload. The spinner was attached to the propeller. The propeller blades remained attached at the hub and displayed significant leading-edge gouging, torsional twisting, chordwise striations across the cambered surface, and trailing edge "S" bending. One blade was rotated about 180°. The propeller governor was intact, the linkage was attached, and the governor gasket screen was clear.

The engine examination revealed that the No. 3 cylinder outer intake valve spring was broken. The cylinder was removed, disassembled, and visually examined. The spring had broken into four pieces and exhibited a polished and pitted appearance. Examination of the intake and exhaust springs for the other five cylinders revealed no anomalies.

The spring fragments from the No. 3 cylinder were sent for further examination to the National Transportation Safety Board's Materials Laboratory.

Examination of the three fracture faces using a scanning electron microscope revealed that two of the fractures initiated at pits on the inside diameter of the helix and propagated due to fatigue crack growth through about 40% to 50% of the diameter before final fracture due to overstress. The fracture surfaces on the third fracture were obscured by mechanical damage; therefore, the fracture origin could not be determined.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION

The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner, Phoenix, Arizona, performed autopsies on the pilot and the student pilot. Their cause of death was blunt force injuries and thermal trauma.

Toxicology testing at the FAA's Forensic Sciences Laboratory was conducted on specimens from the pilot and student pilot. For the pilot, the results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol and all drugs tested.

For the student pilot, the testing identified benzoylecgonine in his blood (0.03 mg/L) and urine (2.608 mg/L) specimens and ecgonine methyl ester and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in his urine samples. No carbon monoxide or ethanol was detected.

Benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester are inactive metabolites of cocaine, which is a central nervous system stimulant. The half-life of cocaine is about 1 hour. The half-life of benzoylecgonine is 6 hours and it may persist in the urine at detectable concentrations from 2 to 4 days. A study found that after intranasal administration of 106 mg of cocaine, average peak plasma concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine were 0.22 mg/L at 30 minutes and 0.61 mg/L at 3 hours, respectively.

MDMA is a controlled substance (ecstasy) used recreationally for its stimulant, mild hallucinogenic, and empathogenic properties. MDMA is rapidly absorbed and has a half-life of about 7 hours. Peak concentrations of MDMA are observed 1.5 to 2 hours after administration. No clear correlation exists between MDMA blood concentrations and effects. The onset of desired effects occurs after 20 to 30 minutes and lasts about 1 hour; other general effects may last 2 to 3 hours.

The use of MDMA is associated with cognitive and perception impairments. Users may experience fatigue, decreased fine motor skills, slowed reactions, impulsivity, and difficulty maintaining attention and performing complex tasks. In a study of subjects who were arrested for driving under the influence, MDMA was detected at blood concentrations of less than 0.05 to 0.58 mg/L.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/07/2018
Occupational Pilot:Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 5200 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 28
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N9456P
Model/Series: PA 24-260 260
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:1970 
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-4964
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:6 
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3201 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6158 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: TI0-540-N1A5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 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: KSDL, 1473 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 MST
Direction from Accident Site: 221°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Scottsdale, AZ (SDL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LAS VEGAS, NV (VGT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:2047 MST 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: SCOTTSDALE (SDL)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1510 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:2 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage:Destroyed 
Passenger Injuries:4 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 6 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  33.635556, -111.897778 (est)


Elliott Simpson
 National Transportation Safety Board. 


Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18FA119
Date & Time: 04/09/2018, 2048 MST
Registration: N9456P
Aircraft: PIPER PA 24-260
Injuries: 6 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 9, 2018, about 2048 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-24-260 airplane, N9456P, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Scottsdale Airport (SDL), Scottsdale, Arizona. The airline transport pilot, student pilot, and 4 passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to N9456P, LLC and operated by the pilots as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night time visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was destined for North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Las Vegas, Nevada.

Earlier that evening, the air transport pilot flew the airplane from VGT to SDL with the intention of picking up the passengers and flying them back to VGT. The inbound flight was his first flight in the airplane. Preliminary information indicated that the flight departed from VGT at 1842, and landed at SDL at 2018.

The airplane was equipped with 6 seats. A video surveillance camera at SDL, located on the ramp where the airplane was parked, captured the occupants begin to board the airplane about 2028. The footage revealed that two female passengers boarded the airplane first and were seated in the two aft seats. Next, a male passenger boarded the airplane and initially sat in the middle right seat but moved to the middle left seat when the third female passenger boarded; she then occupied the middle right seat. The student pilot then occupied the front left seat and the airline transport pilot occupied the front right seat. An onboard video posted to social media by the female passenger in the middle row incorrectly depicted the locations of each occupant, because the video was posted as a mirror image.

Additional video surveillance footage located midfield on the west side of the runway, captured the airplane departing from runway 03. The footage appeared to indicate that the airplane's wings were rocking during and shortly after rotation.

A traffic camera, located about 0.5 miles northwest of the end of the departure runway, recorded the airplane in a left bank executing a left turn. As the turn progressed, the bank angle increased, and the airplane started to descend. The wings became nearly vertical, and the view of the airplane was lost behind a berm. Seconds later, the camera caught a fireball when the airplane impacted terrain.

A witness located on the ramp observed the boarding process and watched as the airplane taxied towards the runway. She lost sight of it but was able to hear what sounded like a typical preflight engine run-up. She then observed the airplane accelerate down the runway, and about midway, the wings began to rock in a manner that she thought was excessive. She reported that the oscillations eventually diminished, and the airplane began to climb, reaching about level with the top of the adjacent airport buildings. It continued roughly at the same altitude, until it began a climbing left turn, which appeared similar, although lower, than most aircraft departing the traffic pattern. As the turn progressed, the airplane's attitude changed to pitch down, and the airplane disappeared out of her sight. A fireball ensued. The witness did not hear any unusual sounds, or see the airplane emitting smoke, fire, or vapors, and stated that the engine sounded typical compared to the airplanes she regularly observes.

The airplane came to rest in a golf course about ¼ mile north of the end of the departure runway. The main cabin was mostly consumed by fire. The outboard section of the right wing was separated, and in addition to thermal damage, exhibited substantial impact crush damage. The inboard section of the right wing remained attached to the fuselage, and the majority of the left wing was found separated from the fuselage. The wreckage was recovered to a secure facility for subsequent detailed examination.

SDL is equipped with a single paved runway, designated 03/21. The runway is 8,249 ft long, and the airport elevation is 1,510 ft.

The 1953 SDL automated weather observation included winds from 160o at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 28° C, dew point -5° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N9456P
Model/Series: PA 24-260 260
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: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSDL, 1473 ft msl
Observation Time: 1953 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / -5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Scottsdale, AZ (SDL)
Destination: LAS VEGAS, NV (VGT) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 4 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 6 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  33.635556, -111.897778 (est)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) - Cocaine was detected in the student pilot who attempted to fly a Piper PA-24 Comanche that crashed on the TPC Scottsdale Champions course killing all on board. 

Maricopa County medical examiners released autopsy and toxicology reports on Tuesday. According to the report, 28-year-old James Pedroza tested positive for cocaine.

Pedroza was a student pilot from Las Vegas who owned the 6-seater plane, a Scottsdale police report said. He was flying the aircraft along with 32-year-old airline transport pilot Erik Valente, who was also from Las Vegas, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board. 

On the evening of April 9, 2018, Valente flew the plane from the North Las Vegas Airport to the Scottsdale Airport to pick up Pedroza and four other passengers. A report said their plan was to return to Las Vegas immediately after picking up the group, although an official flight plan was not filed. 

Shortly after takeoff, the plane lost lift and began to descend rapidly. A traffic camera showed the plane's wings became nearly vertical before crashing and bursting into flames on the golf course, which is adjacent to the airport, according to the NTSB report. 

Investigators believe the plane was overweight. 

The victims of the crash include Helena Lagos, 22, Iris Carolina Rodriguez, 23, Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23, Anand Kamlesh Patel, 28, Valente and Pedroza.

According to the autopsy reports, Coogan was ejected from the plane. The other five victims perished from thermal and multiple blunt force injuries. 

Lagos was a student pursuing a bachelor's degree in international business at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Coogan was a model from San Diego, according to an online profile. Rodriguez was visiting Lagos from Honduras, according to family members, and Patel was an entrepreneur.

The accident remains under investigation by the  National Transportation Safety Board. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.fox5vegas.com


   

The official cause of the crash is under investigation. We showed traffic camera video of the crash to an aviation expert to get a better understanding of what went wrong. 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The fact that cameras are everywhere these days is helping crash investigators get a better understanding of what exactly could have gone wrong in the moments leading up to a deadly plane crash in Scottsdale.

Six young adults onboard a Piper Comanche lost their lives back on April 10 after the plane went down and exploded on a golf course north of the Scottsdale Airport.

Newly released traffic camera video shows the chilling moment the small plane went down.

Bill Waldock is a professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He took a look at the video to analyze what may have caused the crash.

Waldock said it appears the plane may have been trying to go back to the airport at the time of the crash.

"The two tip lights, the strobe lights clearly show the airplane is rolled over to the left a little bit. He's probably trying to come back to the airport," Waldock said.

The plane bound for Las Vegas began to drop out of the sky above TPC Scottsdale.

"You can even see how he proceeds and starts to lose altitude. He's rolling over and over to the left, to the point where he stalled the airplane and it rolls in," Waldock said.

That means the wing of the plane wasn't producing enough lift to keep the plane flying.

Still, the pilot had time to use his radio, assuring the tower that they were fine seconds before the traffic camera caught the plane exploding in a ball of fire.

But based on the traffic camera video, Waldock says the pilot made the wrong decision to make that turn.

"That's what we try to teach pilots. If you have a problem, particularly if it's below 500 feet, don't try to turn back to the airport, as almost always, you'll lose control of the airplane and roll it in," he said.

There's also still the possibility the plane was overweight.

"If he indeed had six adults on that airplane, he's going to be, not only overweight, but probably tail-heavy," he said.

The six victims were from across the country and had been in the Valley for the Phoenix Lights Festival, an electronic dance music festival. Several of those killed in the crash also had massive social media followings.

The official cause of the crash is under investigation.

Story and video ➤ https://www.12news.com



Surveillance video from a traffic camera shows the moment a small aircraft crashed in Scottsdale, Ariz., killing six people, including a San Diego model.

The small plane can be seen traveling across the frame before its wings appear to go vertical and it disappears. Seconds later a flash of light appears over the horizon, followed by a ball of flames.

The video, provided by Scottsdale Police, mimicked an NTSB report released this month describing how the airplane "wings became nearly vertical, and the view of the airplane was lost behind a berm."

A cause of the crash has not been released. It was last reported the wreckage was being examined at a secure facility.

The plane was heading to Las Vegas, Nev., before it crashed in a golf course about a quarter mile away from Scottsdale Airport shortly after takeoff on April 9.

Two crew members and four passengers died: Erik Valente, 26; James Louis Pedroza, 28; Anand Anil Patel, 28; Helena Lagos, 22; Iris Carolina Rodriguez, 23; and San Diego-based Instagram model Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23.

Coogan's father, Chris, says Mariah was the oldest of five siblings.

"We’re trying to be 'family strong.' That’s our new motto here," Chris Coogan, said. 

"It's been very hard," Stacey Coogan, her mother, said. "We miss our daughter so much."

Her family says in recent months, Mariah had recently moved to West Hollywood. They told 10News she was in Phoenix for a concert and she was flying to Las Vegas for work.


Story and video:  ➤ https://www.10news.com


Erik Kenneth Valente 
FEBRUARY 5, 1986 – APRIL 9, 2018

Erik Kenneth Valente and fiance, Ashley M. Cole





Erik Kenneth Valente, age 32, of Las Vegas, passed away April 9, 2018, doing what he loved, flying.

Erik was an avid pilot who was adventurous and had a loving, generous heart, with a strong faith in the Lord.

He finished Aviation Academy at Rancho High with his Private Pilot license. 

He graduated from the University of North Dakota with a BA in Aviation Management. 

Erik was certified as a Commercial Pilot, with Instrument and Multi Engine ratings, and a Flight Instructor. 

He flew corporate jets and private aircraft for many clients.

He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and an Eagle Scout. 

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Kenneth and Esther Ainsworth, and John and Josephine Valente; and cousin, Audrey Malone.


He is survived by his parents, John and Lynda; uncle and aunt, Denny and Barb Malone, cousin, Amanda Malone, her husband, Mark Crisman and their families, all of Denver, Colorado; cousin, Carmela Lombardo, and her son, George, of Pennsylvania; the love of his life and fiance, Ashley M. Cole, and her family of Louisiana; and Riley, their canine companion. Memorial will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Green Valley Baptist Church, 270 N. Valle Verde Drive, Henderson. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Erik can be sent to Boy Scouts of America, Las Vegas area council or www.gofundme.com/qxjpvf-erik-valente


James Louis Pedroza


Mariah Coogan (l.), Anand Patel (c.) and James Pedroza



Absent the official narrative of why a small plane crashed on a Scottsdale golf course moments after takeoff, killing all six aboard, aviation experts agree the aircraft's weight likely had something to do with it.

Three factors — all related to loading — may have contributed to the small Piper PA-24 Comanche crashing less than a mile away from Scottsdale Airport on Monday night, according to Brent Bowen, professor and dean of the College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. 

Six adults, fuel and, likely, luggage could have skewed the center of gravity, Bowen told The Arizona Republic. Based on the details released so far, the loaded weight and balance of the aircraft appeared to have exceeded capacity. Additionally, a calculation — density altitude — to determine performance demands based on temperature and atmospheric conditions could have been incorrect, he said.

“A disaster could occur by miscalculating any of those components,” Bowen said, speaking generally about aircraft incidents and the ability of the Piper PA-24.

The National Transportation Safety Board has worked throughout the week to collect evidence and move the wreckage to a Phoenix site where it will be meticulously evaluated. 

A preliminary report is expected later this month, and a report outlining in greater details what occurred could take up to 18 months, as is typical in aviation crash investigations, said Eliott Simpson, an NTSB investigator.

But details available through public records and social-media profiles paint a clearer picture about what might have happened and where the focus of the investigation will likely narrow in weeks and months to come.

'Whoohoo 6 seats'

One of the victims — James Pedroza — posted photos and videos of the plane Feb. 7, not long after saying he bought a share in it last summer.

The video shows a second and third row of seats in the plane, suggesting it could have technically accommodated six people. 

"Can’t wait to take this bad boy up and around for some adventures Whoohoo 6 seats," he wrote

One of the primary questions investigators will seek to answer is when and how the Piper PA-24 Comanche was outfitted with its third row of seats.

The specific model of plane, and that serial number, suggests it came off the production line in 1970 equipped with four seats and a single engine. While there are some models that included six seats, it remains unclear whether this particular plane was built that way or modified later, Simpson told reporters Tuesday. 

Immediately accessible public records do not indicate when changes might have been made.

If it was modified, it's unclear whether the engine was updated to handle more horsepower — a change that would have to be made by a certified mechanic who revamped specs about the plane's center of gravity and recommended weight distribution. 

But there's a bigger problem that is widely known in the aviation world, Bowen said. 

"Most airplanes have two more seats than they can really use," he said.

A six-seater should really only be used to fly four people, plus luggage and and fuel, Bowen said. Perhaps small children could have fit in the third row without throwing off the distribution, but weight adds up fast, especially in a small plane like that, he said. 

Where it was going

Online flight records show the plane departed North Las Vegas Airport at 6:42 p.m. Monday. It flew over the western arm of Lake Mead National Recreation Area and climbed to a cruising altitude of 11,500 feet. 

At 8:16 p.m., 96 minutes after takeoff, the plane landed in Scottsdale, records show. 

Mariah Coogan had posted a photo of the plane, the words “Off to Vegas” across the bottom along with a check-in at Scottsdale Airport. Once in the cabin, she recorded a video showing the group together, smiling and enjoying the moment.

Online flight records do not show the plane's Scottsdale departure. It crashed at about 8:45 p.m., killing all six people aboard.

They were identified as Pedroza, 28; Coogan, 23; Erik Valente, 26; Anand Anil Patel, 28; Helena Lagos, 22; and Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia, 23.

Weight issues

Mathematically, the plane was almost certainly at, or over, its weight capacity.

The basic Piper PA-24-260 fixed-wing, single-engine airplane has an empty weight of 1,700 pounds, according to aircraft databases. Its gross weight is 2,900 pounds. That means the plane can carry about 1,200 pounds — fuel, cargo and people — before exceeding maximum capacity. 

Based on fuel-burn rates, the plane would have needed roughly 40 gallons of gas, including reserves, to make the 90-minute trip to Las Vegas. Assuming a 6-pound-per-gallon weight, that means 240 pounds would have been allocated for fuel. 

That leaves 960 pounds for cargo, passengers and other accessories. 

Assuming a conservative weight of 150 pounds per passenger — the FAA average for commercial flights is 170 — there could be no more than 60 pounds left over for luggage and other items.

This cautious scenario would leave a razor-thin margin for error that would make most pilots immediately think twice, Bowen said. 

Registration in question

The plane's registered owner prior to 2015 was Cecil Ice, a South Dakota pilot and flight instructor who trained World War II pilots before joining the Air Force, according to public records.

He was well-known in the region's aviation circles after starting a charter service in Pierre. Ice also sold airplanes and started a repair shop, working on the side as a crop-duster before his death in 2012 at age 89.  

Additional records about the plane, including its apparent ownership transfer in 2015, were not immediately available.

The plane's current registration was pending out of Las Vegas. But the official filing was not deemed fit because it was terminated or in question, possibly because of a paperwork or technical issue, according to FAA records.

Though no names are listed on the most recent publicly available documents, FAA records for the pending registration list a Las Vegas address.

That address is for a small home on the dusty, northwest outskirts of the city. 

No additional information about the property's owner is readily accessible. 

Focus of investigation

As family and friends mourn, NTSB investigators are working to figure out what caused the plane to go down. They will likely look for the flight logbook, assuming it wasn't on the plane, as well as the official weight and balance document required to be on board.

Bill Waldock is a professor of safety science and specializes in aircraft accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

He said there are two types of engines that could have been used in the plane that crashed on Monday. Depending on which was installed there could have been weight limitations, coupled with any number of other factors. 

The age of the 48-year-old plane could have been an issue, Waldock said, though not necessarily as much as people might think. 

"You can keep almost any aircraft airworthy," he said, adding the caveat that it takes more time and money as more time passes. 

There are several things in particular investigators will review, based on available evidence, to better understand what exactly happened, he said.

Investigators will likely use data about the plane's altitude profile, along with witness statements, to piece together what sort of climb the plane made as it departed the runway. They will also seek information about the engine and any unusual engine sounds witnesses heard about 8:45 p.m. that night.  

The type of crash scene might be most revealing, Waldock said. 

With a controlled crash, like one cause by engine failure or a mechanical issue, a plane will leave a lengthy impact slide as the pilot tries to east the aircraft to the ground.

That doesn't appear to be what happened Monday. 

The scene was contained to a relatively small area of TPC Scottsdale. Based on local television footage, the smoldering wreckage was contained, and the debris field was particularly small.

"It's less likely the airplane was under control at the time it hit the ground," Waldock said.

Mechanical questions aside, other significant questions remain.

Who was in the pilot's seat at the time of the crash?

And perhaps more importantly, what amount of consideration went into deciding whether the plane was overloaded and should have lifted off from Scottsdale Airport Runway 3 in the first place?


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

PHOENIX - We're learning new information about the likely cause of the plane crash that killed six people. Highly placed aviation sources with intimate knowledge of the investigation say the leading theory is that the aircraft was overweight and simply lost lift during takeoff.

23-year-old Mariah Coogan, one of the six people killed in the crash, posted a video moments before the plane took off. 

Sources tell FOX 10 that investigators believe the Piper PA-24 Comanche was likely overloaded, and with passengers and luggage in the back of the airplane, it also was out of balance with too much weight in the rear.

Sources say one of the telling signs was the takeoff. The plane seemed to rise just feet off the runway, not gaining any altitude. It alarmed the person in the tower to the point where she radioed the pilot, asking if there was trouble.

Tower: "Comanche 5 6 ... experiencing any difficulty?"

Pilot: "Ah, we're good.. we're just in training mode."

Moments later, the plane crashed. 

Too much weight in the rear of an airplane makes it easier to stall an aircraft, harder to recover and increases the chances it will go into a spin.

Sources say the pilot likely saw the 30-foot tall berm that lines the Central Arizona Project Canal just across Bell Road -- 300 yards or so from the end of the runway. The pilot likely pulled back on the stick to clear the berm, putting the airplane in a stall, where there isn't enough air flowing over the wings to keep it aloft.

Sources believe the plane maneuvered to the left, inverted and crashed nose first into the ground on the second hole of the TPC Champions Golf Course. The small, confined area of wreckage would confirm this.

Early examination of the propeller marks indicate it was turning on impact, meaning the engine was working properly at the time of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤  http://www.fox10phoenix.com








"Can't wait for my wings" - James Louis Pedroza 
aka itsactuallyprettydope




Erik Kenneth Valente, age 32 


James Louis Pedroza, age 28


Helena Lagos,  age 22
Anand Anil Patel,  age 28

Iris Rodriguez,  age 23 

Mariah Sunshine Coogan, age 23


The six people who died when the Las Vegas-bound plane they were in crashed onto a Scottsdale golf course Monday and burst into flames ranged in age from 22 to 28, officials announced Wednesday.

The Scottsdale Police Department identified those killed as Erik Valente, 32; James Louis Pedroza, 28; Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23; Anand Anil Patel, 28; Helena Lagos, 22; and Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia, 23.

Final medical examiner results are pending that will determine exactly how each died.

Additional details about the crash's cause have not yet been officially released. 

Valente was certified as an airline transport pilot, most recently on March 15, according to FAA records. He was also certified as a flight instructor.

He worked part time as an instructor for All in Aviation, a Cirrus flight school based in Las Vegas.

He was not working for the company at the time of the crash, Paul Sallach, president of All in Aviation, told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday.

Valente started flight training at age 16 and became a private pilot before graduating from high school. He attended the University of North Dakota, where he majored in aviation management and went on to manage a separate flight school in Las Vegas, according to an online profile.

He earned more certifications and accrued more than 4,500 hours of flight experience, including 2,500 hours of instruction in more than 40 different kinds of aircraft. Recently, he flew corporate jets around the world, and he wrote frequently about flying up and down the West Coast.

Sallach has known Valente for about 10 years and described him as a true professional, among the most respected pilots and flight instructors in the West.

Though the crash had nothing to do with Sallach’s business, he has wondered what possibly could have gone so wrong on the return trip to Las Vegas.

“This certainly wasn’t due to lack of experience,” Sallach told The Republic. “I’m scratching my head at what the hell happened.”

Like seemingly everyone aboard the plane Monday night, Valente lived an active lifestyle and enjoyed traveling.

Pedroza recently became interested in flying and in posted photos on social media of him with the plane that crashed Monday.

Authorities have not yet said who was piloting Piper PA-24 Comanche when it crashed Monday.

Lagos was a part-time Las Vegas fashion model who excelled in high school and college and had big plans for her future, longtime friend Katelyn Putman wrote Wednesday in comments to The Republic. 

She and Pedroza were dating, Putman said. 

Lagos participated in DECA, a not-for-profit group that teaches young people nationwide about business planning, marketing and finance. She went on to pursue entrepreneurship opportunities in college and recently started her own business, Rebel Fruits LLC, according to Nevada records. 

"She always had bright ideas and was confident in everything she did," Putman wrote. "She was going to do amazing things. ... She will be sorely missed, and the world is darker without her."

The Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper featured her in a 2013 story that chronicled her journey from Honduras to a Las Vegas High School. 

Garcia, who apparently went by Iris Rodriguez according to social media posts, was slated to travel on Sunday to her home country, Honduras. She had spent six months with family in Virginia while attending graduate school, according to comments posted in an online fundraising effort started for the woman's family.

Joshua Alexander, a restaurant manager in Virginia, came to know the woman in recent months. 

“One of the most amazing people I’ve ever met,” he told The Republic on Wednesday night. “The world could have used a lot more of her.”

All six died after the small, private plane they were flying in crashed shortly after takeoff Monday night from Scottsdale Airport and burst into flames at TPC Scottsdale.

The Republic on Tuesday verified through family or friends the identities of three victims — Pedroza, Coogan and Patel.  

Patel was “an entrepreneur with lots of energy and lots of charisma,” his twin brother, Akash Patel, told The Republic. The two came to the United States from India in 2009 to attend college. 

“Anand” translates to “happiness.” So, Akash Patel said, his brother was widely known by the name “Happy.”

An Oklahoma resident, Happy co-founded a clothing line and worked as an event promoter, flying coast to coast with friends and clients on trips that often included stops in Scottsdale.

Cooga was a horse trainer who did equestrian sports and left high school in 2012 to pursue modeling opportunities, said Graham Rutherford, principal of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, California, who learned of the woman's death Tuesday.

"She was eager for adventure, and I always found her easy to speak with," Rutherford told The Republic. "She got on well with many students, too." 

Coogan, who continued pursuing modeling, was visiting the Valley for the Phoenix Lights Festival, according to a post Saturday on her Instagram profile. “Forgot my sunnies” she wrote in a caption for a photo of her wearing a new pair of aviators for her nearly 27,000 followers.

Also on board was James Pedroza, who worked as a VIP host at a gay nightclub at the Mirage in Las Vegas. He was an "ally to the LGBTQ community," his friend and co-worker, Garrett Pattiani, told The Republic. 

"I am sad that he is gone, but loved how he lived life to the fullest. He was wanting to see the world and travel. He will be missed," Pattiani said. "He never judged anyone and was always there to stand up for equal rights."

Pedroza described himself as an "avid traveler" and posted on Instagram that he was looking forward to visiting his 37th country. He recently traveled to Lake Tahoe and posed next to the plane that crashed Monday, a plane that he said he bought a share in last summer. Investigators, however, have not confirmed that he was piloting the aircraft when it crashed.

For reasons investigators have not yet determined, the plane crashed about three-fourths of a mile away, and 30 degrees to the left of the runway it took off from at Scottsdale Airport.

A preliminary report is expected in 10 to 14 days. A report outlining in detail what occurred could take up to 18 months, as is typical in aviation investigations. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is overseeing the investigation with help from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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



Investigators are working to determine whether a small airplane that crashed on a Scottsdale golf course, killing all six aboard, was equipped to carry that many people, including three whose identifies were confirmed by The Arizona Republic, officials said Tuesday afternoon.  

“Right now, it’s something we’re trying to find out,” said Eliott Simpson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, during a news briefing near where the Piper PA-24 Comanche crashed Monday night shortly after takeoff from Scottsdale Airport. The NTSB is leading the investigation. 

The identities of those killed in the Monday night crash had not been officially released by investigators as of Tuesday evening, pending formal family notification, officials said. They did not have a timeline for when their names would be formally announced, Scottsdale police said in a statement. 

However, widespread accounts of some of the victims were circulating on social media.

Anand Patel was “an entrepreneur with lots of energy and lots of charisma,” his twin brother, Akash Patel, told The Republic. The two came to the U.S. from India in 2009 to attend college. 

“Anand” translates to “happiness.” So, Akash Patel said, his brother was widely known by the name “Happy.”

An Oklahoma resident, Happy co-founded a clothing line and worked as an event promoter, flying coast to coast with friends and clients on trips that often included stops in Scottsdale.

“My brother was taken away from us doing what he loved to do the most, which was spending time with his friends and flying,” Akash Patel said, adding that he lived a “celebrity life” as an "Instagram star."

Mariah Coogan, another person on the plane, was an equestrian and horse trainer who left high school in 2012 to pursue modeling opportunities, said Graham Rutherford, principal of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, California, who learned of the woman's death Tuesday.

"She was eager for adventure, and I always found her easy to speak with," Rutherford told The Republic. "She got on well with many students, too." 

Coogan, who continued pursuing modeling, was visiting the Valley for the Phoenix Lights Festival, according to a post Saturday on her Instagram profile. “Forgot my sunnies” she wrote in a caption for a photo of her wearing a new pair of aviators for her nearly 27,000 followers.

Her mother, Stacey Coogan, told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat in California she also learned of the crash Tuesday morning.

On Monday night, Mariah Coogan had posted a photo of the plane, the words “Off to Vegas” across the bottom along with a check-in at Scottsdale Airport. Once in the cabin, she recorded a video showing the group together, smiling and enjoying the moment, apparently minutes before the plane crashed into the golf course and burst into flames.

Also on board was James Pedroza, who worked as a VIP host at a gay nightclub at the Mirage in Las Vegas. He was an "ally to the LGBTQ community," his friend and co-worker, Garrett Pattiani, told The Republic. 

"I am sad that he is gone, but loved how he lived life to the fullest. He was wanting to see the world and travel. He will be missed," Pattiani said. "He never judged anyone and was always there to stand up for equal rights."

Pedroza described himself as an "avid traveler" and posted on Instagram that he was looking forward to visiting his 37th country. He recently traveled to Lake Tahoe and posed next to the plane that crashed Monday, a plane that he said he bought a share in last summer. Investigators, however, have not confirmed that he was piloting the aircraft when it crashed.

Information about the other three victims was not immediately available Tuesday. 

Simpson said Tuesday that investigators were working to determine everyone who was on the Las Vegas-bound plane when it departed from Runway 3 at about 8:45 p.m. on Monday. They are also looking into the pilot and his qualifications.

The aircraft was built in 1970, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Though the plane was listed as a four-seater, Simpson said there were various iterations and modifications that could have been made that year, expanding its seating capacity. 

Even though the plane was registered in Las Vegas, the official registration was not deemed fit because it was terminated or in question, possibly because of a paperwork issue or technical issues, according to FAA records. 

For reasons investigators have not yet determined, the plane crashed about three-fourths of a mile away, and 30 degrees to the left of the runway it took off from at Scottsdale Airport.

It then burst into flames. Aerial footage taken Tuesday morning showed the charred remnants of the plane, which crash-landed in an area next to the green at the second hole on the Champions Golf Course at TPC Scottsdale just north of the airport.

“You could actually feel the ground kind of shake,” said Debbie Robinson, a Scottsdale resident who lives near the golf course. She said she saw the smoke after the crash and knew something major had happened. “… For the ground to shake and to feel it all the way up there, it was really unbelievable.”

Simpson said crews were working to collect perishable evidence from the scene Tuesday. The wreckage will then be transported to a site in Phoenix for further evaluation. 

A preliminary report is expected in 10 to 14 days. A report outlining in detail what occurred could take up to 18 months, as is typical in aviation investigations. 

The FAA also will assist in the investigation, according to Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman at the agency. 

The Champions course was closed Tuesday for the investigation, but the TPC Stadium Course, where the popular annual Waste Management Phoenix Open is held, was open for play, TPC administrator Taylor Farley said.

Monday's crash is the deadliest in recent Arizona history and among a half-dozen fatal aviation incidents since the start of 2017, according to NTSB records.

Five British tourists died after the Papillon Airways helicopter flight they were on approached a landing pad Feb. 10 in Grand Canyon West, spun twice and smashed to the ground, where it burst into flames.

The investigation into that crash is ongoing, though the company said it would retrofit helicopters with a fuel tank that is more resistant to fire. Three of the seven occupants died at the scene, and two others succumbed to their injuries days later in a Las Vegas hospital.

There were six fatal aviation incidents in 2017 that killed 13 people, according to NTSB records.

The deadliest involved a Scottsdale-based attorney whose New Year's ski trip to Colorado ended in tragedy. The small plane he was flying crashed on the south face of the Mogollon Rim, about 12 miles north of the Payson Airport, on Jan. 2, 2017, killing the pilot as well as his wife and two daughters.


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


SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -  Friends and family are mourning the loss of six people who were killed in a fiery plane crash on a Scottsdale golf course.

The group was heading to Las Vegas on Monday night before crashing on the TPC Champions Golf Course.

A couple of videos were posted to social media minutes before the plane went down.

One of those on board was a young woman named Mariah Coogan.

"I saw that she was hopping on this plane, headed to Vegas," said close friend Ryan Beatty. "She's just a free spirit, fun loving person. She just didn't have a negative bone in her body, just the most positive girl I've ever met."

Another person on the plane and in an Instagram video was 26-year-old Anand Patel, whose nickname was Happy.

"He was taken away from us doing what he loved to do, what he liked to do the most, be with his friends and have a good time," said Akash Patel, Anand's twin brother.

Investigators with the NTSB were on the scene on Tuesday prowling the crash site, trying to pinpoint a cause. A preliminary report won't be released for another 10 to 14 days.

"Everybody on that plane was just getting their lives started, so much ahead of her, really bright future, really sad to see this happen," said Beatty.

A final National Transportation Safety Board report is not expected for at least 12 months


Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.azfamily.com




A 23-year-old Forestville woman has been identified as one of six victims in a fatal Monday night plane crash in Scottsdale.

Mariah Coogan, a model and former Cardinal Newman High School student, was on her way to Las Vegas Monday night from the Scottsdale Airport when the Piper PA-24 Comanche she boarded crashed into a nearby golf course shortly after takeoff.

Social media posts from Coogan and the plane’s five other passengers shortly before takeoff show the group boarding the plane and posing for pictures from the plane’s backseat as its engine whirs in the background.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The plane took off around 8:45 p.m. for what should have been a 1½-hour flight to Las Vegas, said National Transportation Safety Board investigator Elliott Simpson in a news conference.

The plane, which can seat up to six people, crashed moments later on the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course, about ¾ mile from the departure end of the runway, Simpson said. No one on the ground was injured.

TPC Scottsdale is the annual site of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which wrapped up Feb. 4.

Coogan was a member of the 2013 class of Cardinal Newman High School, but left school after fall semester her junior year to pursue a modeling career, said Principal Graham Rutherford.

News of Coogan’s death rippled through the school Tuesday, shocking the tightknit campus where many current students know Coogan and her family, Rutherford said.

“At this point, we’re just trying to digest it,” he said. “She wanted to have opportunities to do things that were exciting and fun, and that’s what she was doing. So it’s just very sad that she would die doing some of the stuff that she really wanted to do because she was open to life and open to the possible adventures that were out there.”

Rutherford remembered Coogan as a kind and popular girl, and a serious equestrian.

“We’ve got her family in thought and prayer,” Rutherford said. “It’s a very difficult time when that happens, and you know, the grief — everybody feels it because she touched people’s lives.”

The Scottsdale Police Department would not confirm any of the victims’ names, pending family notification.

But one of Coogan’s Instagram posts, shared to her 27,000 followers, identified the pilot as James Pedroza. His Instagram account was updated Tuesday afternoon with a photo of him and a caption that reads, “Last night the world took James Pedroza from us in a plane crash. There were also thought to be 5 other beautiful souls on board. James had a wide network of friends and loved ones. We are all in shock over this tragedy and have no words.”

National Transportation Safety Board investigators worked Tuesday to gather “perishable evidence” at the site of the crash, along with video and audio recordings from the airport. The agency planned to recover the plane Tuesday evening, before taking it to a storage facility in Phoenix for further inspection, Simpson said.


Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.pressdemocrat.com





Mariah Coogan texted a selfie video to a friend on Monday night, minutes before her airplane crashed into the ground, killing all six people aboard. 



Victims in a horrific plane crash late Monday night in Scottsdale were planning to fly to Vegas to party with friends, social media accounts show.

Six people died when the Piper PA-24 Comanche plunged into the TPC Scottsdale Champions Golf Course and exploded into flame after taking off from Scottsdale Airport about 9 p.m. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

Scottsdale police spokesman Sergeant Ben Hoster could not confirm the victims' names, saying an investigation team from National Transportation Safety Board was scheduled to arrive in Scottsdale about noon.

Facebook and Twitter filled with sorrowful messages from the victims' friends on Tuesday. A Facebook friend of the victims posted videos and photos that appear to have been shot minutes before the crash.

"RIP Anand Happy Patel," Marcus Walls tweeted on Tuesday morning. "He was on his way to come party with us in vegas from Scottsdale and his plane crashed. Was my favorite guy to party with."

Walls included a link to the Facebook site of Jeremy Gail, who wrote on his site early Tuesday morning that the victims included Anand "Happy" Patel, Mariah Coogan, "Helena L.," and pilot James Pedroza. Gail wrote that he could not confirm the names of two others who were on board.

Gail wrote that Pedroza bought the Piper PA-24 Comanche four years ago. Gail didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.

"I can’t believe I’m reading this. My heart is completely broken," Facebook user Christina Sharp wrote on Gail's site, one of dozens of people who gave their condolences on the site.

"Just got the news and my heart is broken," wrote Natalie Dauer. "I'm in total shock. Can’t stop [bawling.] Can’t believe we were texting as he was getting on the plane. Can’t believe it."

Two videos posted by Gail show Coogan, a fashion model, boarding the plane, then filming a selfie as she sat in the plane's back seat. Two people can be seen seated behind her.

Akash Patel of Dallas mourned the loss of his twin brother on Twitter:

"I have never felt so empty," Patel tweeted. "I lost my only brother - my young and dynamic 26-year-old twin last night to a plane crash in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was a point of light who brought happiness to thousands around the world. RIP Anand Happy Patel ... I love you."

Original article ➤ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com










SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -  Six people are dead after a small plane bound for Vegas crashed and caught fire on the TPC golf course in Scottsdale Monday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Piper PA-24 Comanche took off from the Scottsdale Airport at around 8:45 p.m.

Minutes later, the plane went down less than a mile away, at the TPC Scottsdale Champions Golf Course.

The crash sparked a fire on the golf course.

Ofc. Kevin Watts with the Scottsdale Police Department said none of the six passengers aboard the aircraft survived.

Nobody on the ground was hit.

The  National Transportation Safety Board is not releasing any names or passenger information at this time.

At the time of the crash, the weather had clear skies with winds from the south only at 3 miles per hour with a temperature of 83 degrees.

The NTSB is not speculating on the cause of the crash.

Instead, crews were spending Tuesday gathering evidence from the scene.

"Today, we're going to be basically gathering perishable evidence and on-scene data; factual data gathering," said Eliott Simpson with the NTSB. We're going to be taking it to a remote storage facility and looking at it in a slightly more forensic environment."

Investigators are also working to obtain video from the airport, audio from the tower, and statements from witnesses

On Tuesday, Arizona governor Doug Ducey tweeted about the deadly plane crash. He said that he was "praying for those lost" and adding that "our hearts are with their families and loved ones." 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.azfamily.com








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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9456P

Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18FA119
Date & Time: 04/09/2018, 2048 MST
Registration: N9456P
Aircraft: PIPER PA 24-260
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries:6 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 9, 2018, about 2048 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-24-260 airplane, N9456P, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Scottsdale Airport (SDL), Scottsdale, Arizona. The airline transport pilot, the student pilot, and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to N9456P LLC and was operated by the pilots as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Nighttime visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight, which was destined for North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Las Vegas, Nevada.

Earlier that evening, the airline transport pilot flew the airplane from VGT to SDL to pick up the student pilot and the passengers and fly them to VGT. The inbound flight, which was the airline transport pilot's first flight in the airplane, departed from VGT at 1842 mst and landed at SDL at 2018.

A video surveillance camera at SDL located on the ramp where the airplane was parked captured the occupants as they began to board the airplane about 2028. The surveillance video, along with photographs and videos posted to social media by one of the occupants, revealed that the student pilot occupied the front left seat and that the airline transport pilot occupied the front right seat.

A video surveillance camera located midfield on the west side of the runway captured the airplane's departure from runway 03. The video showed that the airplane's wings were rocking during and shortly after rotation.

The tower controller reported that, as the airplane began the departure roll, the lights on the wings were alternating up and down as if the pilot was rocking the wings. The controller also reported that, as the airplane passed the tower, the wings appeared to be stable but that the engine sounded as if it was not producing enough power. At that time, the controller asked the pilot if the airplane was experiencing any difficulty. According to the controller, the pilot responded, "we're good. We're just in training mode." The controller observed the airplane continue straight out but noted that it did not appear to be climbing. Over the departure end of the runway, the airplane made a left turn. A review of radar data revealed that the airplane's last depicted altitude, between 2046:18 and 2046:28, was about 200 ft above ground level, which occurred during the left turn. As the airplane continued in the left turn, the controller observed the airplane enter a nose-down attitude.

A traffic camera located about 0.5-mile northwest of the end of the departure runway recorded the airplane in a left bank. The bank angle continued to increase as the airplane descended, and its wings were nearly vertical. The camera then depicted the airplane's impact with terrain and a fireball.

Video captured by the traffic camera and the airport tower camera were used to estimate the trajectory and speed of the airplane. The airplane's ground speed was estimated at 75 ± 4 knots shortly after takeoff, and its climb rate was 270 ft per minute (fpm). Twelve seconds later, as the airplane entered the left turn near the end of the runway, its ground speed decayed to 50 ± 4 knots. The airplane began to descend and impacted the ground several seconds later. The airplane was airborne for about 70 seconds.

A witness located near the departure end of the runway was listening to the tower frequency and overheard the controller asking the pilot if the airplane was experiencing any difficulties. The witness looked down the runway and observed the airplane proceeding toward him. As the airplane flew by, the witness noted that the airplane appeared to drift toward the west side of the runway safety area while at low altitude and that the engine sounded as if it was not developing full power. The witness stated that the airplane, before reaching the end of the runway, started "an early left crosswind turn." The witness also stated that the airplane continued in the turn and started to descend just before disappearing from sight behind buildings and trees. Seconds later, the witness heard an explosion and saw a plume of smoke and fire.

Another witness located on the ramp observed the boarding process and watched the airplane taxi toward the runway. The witness lost sight of the airplane but was able to hear what sounded like a typical preflight engine run-up. The witness then observed the airplane accelerate down the runway and stated that, about midway, the wings began to roll in an "extreme" motion. The witness reported that the oscillations eventually diminished, and that the airplane began to climb, reaching an altitude that was about level with the top of the adjacent airport buildings. The airplane continued at an altitude that was about the same altitude and then began a climbing left turn, which appeared similar but lower than most aircraft departing the traffic pattern. As the turn progressed, the airplane's attitude changed to pitch down, and the airplane disappeared from sight. A fireball ensued. The witness did not hear any unusual sounds or see the airplane emitting smoke, fire, or vapors, and she stated that the engine sounded similar to the airplanes that she observes.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and multiengine land ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine, airplane multiengine, and instrument airplane. On February 7, 2018, the pilot received a special issuance first-class medical certificate with the following limitation: "Not valid for any class after 08/31/2018." At the time of his most recent medical application, the pilot reported that he had 5,200 hours of total flight experience, 500 hours of which were in the previous 6 months. The pilot's employer reported that, from August 24, 2017 (his start date with the company), to April 8, 2018 (the day before the accident), the pilot had accumulated 161 hours of flight time, 69 hours of which were in 2018. The pilot had accumulated about 2 hours of flight time in the accident airplane.

The student pilot had been receiving lessons from another flight instructor. He did not possess a student pilot or airman medical certificate. The student pilot's total flight experience could not be determined.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single-engine, retractable gear airplane was manufactured in 1970 and was powered by a 260-horsepower, 6-cylinder, fuel-injected Lycoming IO-540-N1A5 engine and a two-blade constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The airplane was equipped with six seats.

The last entry in the airframe logbook indicated that the airplane received an annual inspection on December 1, 2017, at a total airframe time of 6,158 hours.

According to a logbook entry dated August 1, 1973, the airplane's empty weight was 2,007 pounds, the useful load was 1,193 pounds, and the empty weight center of gravity (CG) was 87.22 inches. No additional weight and balance data were located. The airplane flight manual listed a maximum allowable gross weight of 3,200 pounds and a CG range between 80.5 and 93.0 inches aft of datum.

The last obtained fuel receipt was dated April 3, 2018, from VGT. A search of commercially available flight software indicated that the flight from VGT to SDL on the day of the accident was the first flight after the last refueling.

The combined weight of the pilot and the student pilot was about 375 pounds, the combined weight of the two passengers (a male and female) located in the middle row was about 320 pounds, and the combined weight of the two passengers (both female) in the aft row was about 252 pounds. All of the estimated weights included 15 pounds of carry-on baggage per person. An estimated fuel load of 63.44 gallons was calculated based on the maximum usable fuel (86 gallons) subtracted by the fuel burned during the flight from VGT to SDL (22.56 gallons based on an in-flight power setting of 75%).

Given the passenger weights along with the estimated fuel at the time of initial taxi, the airplane would have weighed about 3,335 pounds at the time of takeoff, and its CG would have been 95.22 inches aft of datum. These values were 135 pounds above the airplane's maximum gross weight and 2.22 inches aft of the CG.

With a calculated density altitude of 3,300 ft (based on meteorological conditions about the time of the accident), an airplane weight of 3,200 pounds, flaps at 15°, and the landing gear extended, the expected rate of climb is 700 fpm. When the airplane is in a clean configuration with the same weight and density altitude, the expected rate of climb is 1,110 fpm.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1953 SDL weather observation included wind from 160° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 28°C, dew point -5°C, and altimeter setting 29.94 inches of mercury. Based on these values, the calculated density altitude was about 3,300 ft.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in a golf course about 1/4-mile northwest of the end of the runway 03

at an elevation of 1,484 ft. All major sections of the airplane were recovered at the accident site. The main wreckage sustained extensive impact and thermal damage and was contained within a debris field about 180 ft in length and 40 ft wide. The right wing, which remained partially attached to the fuselage, appeared to have struck a tree during the impact sequence. The left wing had fragmented into several sections and had separated from the fuselage. Both the left and right main landing gear had detached from their respective wings.

The empennage was intact and had separated from the aft fuselage due to thermal damage. The stabilator and rudder remained secured at their respective attach points. The rudder cables remained attached to the rudder horn. The stabilator cables remained attached to the stabilator horn tube. The stabilator trim drum exposed 0.25 inch of the jackscrew, which corresponded to a slight nose-down trim setting.

The fuselage section came to rest in an upright position. The forward cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed by fire, and the engine remained attached to the firewall. Flight control continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the respective cockpit controls. The landing gear retraction transmission screw exhibited 30 threads, which was consistent with a landing-gear-retracted position at impact.

The electric flap system sustained extensive fire damage. The transmission assembly coupling exhibited nine exposed threads, which was consistent with the flaps in the retracted position at impact. The fuel selector handle and valve assembly sustained fire damage and were found in the left main fuel tank position.

The four cockpit and middle row seat assemblies sustained impact and fire damage. The seats had detached from the floor tracks, most of which were destroyed. The seat fabric and belt webbing material were consumed by fire. The aft row seat assemblies were completely consumed by fire and could not be examined.

The engine crankshaft was manually rotated at the flywheel, and compression was obtained on all six cylinders. Valve and gear train continuity was established. The color of the top spark plug electrodes was consistent with normal operation. The rear accessory case sustained thermal damage, partially consuming most of its associated components. The accessory gears, including the crankshaft gear, bolt, and dowel, were intact and undamaged. The left and right magnetos, which were observed at their respective mounting pads, sustained fire damage, so the magnetos could not be functionally tested. The fuel pump, vacuum pump, and oil filter were destroyed by postcrash fire. The injector fuel screen was clean, and the throttle and mixture arms were attached.

The propeller had separated from the crankshaft flange at the hub. The fracture surfaces exhibited signatures consistent with overload. The spinner was attached to the propeller. The propeller blades remained attached at the hub and displayed significant leading-edge gouging, torsional twisting, chordwise striations across the cambered surface, and trailing edge "S" bending. One blade was rotated about 180°. The propeller governor was intact, the linkage was attached, and the governor gasket screen was clear.

The engine examination revealed that the No. 3 cylinder outer intake valve spring was broken. The cylinder was removed, disassembled, and visually examined. The spring had broken into four pieces and exhibited a polished and pitted appearance. Examination of the intake and exhaust springs for the other five cylinders revealed no anomalies.

The spring fragments from the No. 3 cylinder were sent for further examination to the National Transportation Safety Board's Materials Laboratory.

Examination of the three fracture faces using a scanning electron microscope revealed that two of the fractures initiated at pits on the inside diameter of the helix and propagated due to fatigue crack growth through about 40% to 50% of the diameter before final fracture due to overstress. The fracture surfaces on the third fracture were obscured by mechanical damage; therefore, the fracture origin could not be determined.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION

The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner, Phoenix, Arizona, performed autopsies on the pilot and the student pilot. Their cause of death was blunt force injuries and thermal trauma.

Toxicology testing at the FAA's Forensic Sciences Laboratory was conducted on specimens from the pilot and student pilot. For the pilot, the results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol and all drugs tested.

For the student pilot, the testing identified benzoylecgonine in his blood (0.03 mg/L) and urine (2.608 mg/L) specimens and ecgonine methyl ester and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in his urine samples. No carbon monoxide or ethanol was detected.

Benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester are inactive metabolites of cocaine, which is a central nervous system stimulant. The half-life of cocaine is about 1 hour. The half-life of benzoylecgonine is 6 hours and it may persist in the urine at detectable concentrations from 2 to 4 days. A study found that after intranasal administration of 106 mg of cocaine, average peak plasma concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine were 0.22 mg/L at 30 minutes and 0.61 mg/L at 3 hours, respectively.

MDMA is a controlled substance (ecstasy) used recreationally for its stimulant, mild hallucinogenic, and empathogenic properties. MDMA is rapidly absorbed and has a half-life of about 7 hours. Peak concentrations of MDMA are observed 1.5 to 2 hours after administration. No clear correlation exists between MDMA blood concentrations and effects. The onset of desired effects occurs after 20 to 30 minutes and lasts about 1 hour; other general effects may last 2 to 3 hours.

The use of MDMA is associated with cognitive and perception impairments. Users may experience fatigue, decreased fine motor skills, slowed reactions, impulsivity, and difficulty maintaining attention and performing complex tasks. In a study of subjects who were arrested for driving under the influence, MDMA was detected at blood concentrations of less than 0.05 to 0.58 mg/L.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/07/2018
Occupational Pilot:Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 5200 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 28
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N9456P
Model/Series: PA 24-260 260
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:1970 
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-4964
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:6 
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3201 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6158 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: TI0-540-N1A5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 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: KSDL, 1473 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 MST
Direction from Accident Site: 221°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Scottsdale, AZ (SDL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LAS VEGAS, NV (VGT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:2047 MST 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: SCOTTSDALE (SDL)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1510 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:2 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage:Destroyed 
Passenger Injuries:4 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 6 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  33.635556, -111.897778 (est)


Erik Kenneth Valente 

James Louis Pedroza


Mariah Coogan (l.), Anand Patel (c.) and James Pedroza






"Can't wait for my wings" - James Louis Pedroza 
aka itsactuallyprettydope

Erik Kenneth Valente, age 32 


James Louis Pedroza, age 28


Helena Lagos,  age 22


Anand Anil Patel,  age 28

Iris Rodriguez,  age 23 

Mariah Sunshine Coogan, age 23








Mariah Coogan texted a selfie video to a friend on April 9th, 2018, minutes before the airplane crashed into the ground, killing all six people onboard. 















The parents of an Instagram model killed in a plane crash have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Las Vegas.

Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23, was among six people killed in an April 9, 2018, crash in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday by Stacey and Christopher Coogan, alleges that a student pilot from Las Vegas, James Pedroza, 28, and a pilot trainer, 32-year-old Erik Valente, violated federal aviation regulations and operated the Piper PA-24 Comanche “in a careless and reckless manner so as to endanger the life of Coogan.”

Coogan, who had more than 31,000 followers on Instagram, posted a video to the social media site from the plane shortly before it went down.

Coogan, Pedroza and Valente died in the crash, along with Anand Anil Patel, 28, Helena Lagos, 22, and Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia, 23. Lagos was an international business student at UNLV.

Pedroza was seated in the front of the plane, which was headed for North Las Vegas Airport, and had cocaine in his system, according to an Arizona Republic story that cited a Maricopa County medical examiner’s office report.

The lawsuit cites regulations prohibiting “using any drug that affects the person’s faculties in any way contrary to safety.”

A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary accident report does not list a cause of the crash but states that runway surveillance video captured the airplane’s wings “rocking during and shortly after rotation.”

Coogan and the others died of blunt-force injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office website.

The suit was filed in Clark County District Court against the administrators of Pedroza’s and Valente’s estates.

It also names Blake Brooksby, who could not be reached for comment Monday, as an owner of the plane.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff on the TPC Scottsdale Champions Golf Course — the sister to the Stadium Course where the PGA’s Waste Management Phoenix Open is held each February.

After the crash, the president of Las Vegas’ All in Aviation flight school recalled Valente as an experienced pilot.

According to a pilot biography page on All in Aviation’s website, Valente, who was independently contracted by the school, began flight training when he was 16 at Rancho High School’s aviation academy. He received his private pilot certificate before he graduated.

Valente’s Facebook profile also shows that he had worked as a corporate jet pilot since 2014 and studied aviation management at the University of North Dakota. He also was an Eagle Scout, his family said.

The families of Lagos and Patel are expected to file a lawsuit this week in connection with the crash, according to their Las Vegas attorney, William Kemp.

https://www.reviewjournal.com

10 comments:

  1. more innocent victims of you cant fix stupid !!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Behold the expected outcome in a world where "likes" and number of views guide behavior.

    No regard for weight and balance, laws of physics or the rest of those silly constraints that others live by. It is kind of "dope" to die from social media influence...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah ... All that ... At the least the drugs knocked the edge off a bit.

    RIP all

    ReplyDelete
  4. The indian dudes parents, the Patels are suing Las Vegas for his death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suit is against MGM and the estates of front seat guys and another person involved in the plane LLC. MGM owns Mirage, where student pilot was a VIP Host, unclear how that ties in to the mishap.

      KR readers who are share owners in an aircraft will be interested to see how things go for the surviving LLC partner.

      https://yourvalley.net/stories/ntsb-report-on-arizona-plane-crash-to-shape-nevada-lawsuits,152132

      Delete
  5. The really sad part is the waste of a nice Commanche.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How much loss of power would occur from the broken outer intake valve spring? Seems like it had been that way for some time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The report stated "The color of the top spark plug electrodes was consistent with normal operation", suggesting no loss of power.

      There would be a loss of fuel/air charge volume available for the compression stroke if the intake valve was dynamically floating (staying open a bit as the piston came up on the compression stroke). This would only occur if the valve inertia could not be pulled back by the remaining spring as the rocker let up on the valve stem.

      Like any cause of lower compression, the spark plug would experience lower temperature and not burn off oil deposits if intake valve float was going on. Electrode appearance would change.

      You can be certain that Lycoming worked the design out so that breaking one of the two springs does not float a valve if advertised RPM limits are not exceeded.

      Delete
    2. The ATP should have just said "no".

      Delete