Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N5948P: Accident occurred May 26, 2020 near William M. Tuck Airport (W78), Halifax County, Virginia

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: South Boston, VA
Accident Number: ERA20LA195
Date & Time: 05/26/2020, 1430 EDT
Registration: N5948P
Aircraft: Piper PA24
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On May 26, 2020, about 1430 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250, N5948P, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near South Boston, Virginia. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane before the intended 20 to 25 minutes flight, which included a check of each wing fuel tank sump drain and also the gascolator with no contaminants found. He also checked the flexible hoses in the engine compartment for condition and security, looked for fuel stains, and checked the P-Leads for condition and security. Prior to departure he performed an engine run-up noting that the magneto decreases were about 25 rpm or less from each magneto. After takeoff he proceeded towards the William M Tuck Airport (W78), South Boston, Virginia, where while on a close-in downwind leg of the airport traffic for runway 19 flying at 1,200 ft mean sea level, the engine experienced a sudden total loss of power. He turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, moved the fuel selector from the left tank where it had been since takeoff to the right tank, and moved the mixture control to full rich, but engine power was not restored. He turned towards the approach end of the runway with the airplane configured with the flaps and landing gear retracted and maintained 80 miles-per-hour (mph). The airplane subsequently impacted an obstruction light, touched down in tall/thick grass on airport property and slid an unknown distance before coming to rest upright.

The pilot added that he did not feel that the loss of engine power was due to carburetor ice because there was no loss of manifold pressure. The airplane was recovered to W78 for examination of the airframe and engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Model/Series:PA24 250 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator:On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: W78, 420 ft msl
Observation Time:  1435 EDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 80°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3800 ft agl
Visibility:   10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Clarksville, VA (W63)
Destination: South Boston, VA (W78) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

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

Virginia State Police responded to reports of an aircraft experiencing engine trouble near William M. Tuck Airport in Halifax County.

According to police, a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche experienced engine trouble as it was making its approach for landing.

The plane landed safely, but away from the runway, in an airport field Tuesday afternoon at approximately 2:34 p.m.

The pilot, Robert Overstreet, from Clarksville, Virginia, was the only person onboard and he was not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the incident.

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