Friday, June 19, 2020

Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II, N543GS: Fatal accident occurred June 10, 2020 near Selma-Craig Field (KSEM), Dallas County, Alabama

Capt. Vincent Segars, commanding officer of the Naval Aviation Schools Command at Naval Air Station Pensacola. 

PENSACOLA, Florida (November 14th, 2019) Commanding Officer of the “Sabrehawks” of Training Squadron (VT) 86 Cmdr. Joshua Fuller gives remarks as he prepares to relinquish command to Cmdr. Eric Reeves during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Air Station Pensacola, November 14th. VT-86 trains the world’s finest combat-quality naval flight officers. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Steve Smith/Released) 191114-N-N0436-1005 

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama 
Lycoming Engines; Atlanta, Georgia 
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Selma, AL
Accident Number: ERA20LA212
Date & Time: 06/10/2020, 1630 CDT
Registration: N543GS
Aircraft: Piper PA32RT
Injuries:2 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On June 10, 2020, about 1630 central daylight time, a Piper PA-32RT-300T, N543GS, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Selma, Alabama. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight.

According to the fixed-based operator, the airplane was fueled with 55 gallons of fuel prior to departure from Walker County Airport – Bevill Field (JFX), Jasper, Alabama.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control communications and radar data, the airplane departed JFX at 1543 with the intended destination of Pensacola International Airport (PNS), Pensacola, Florida. After departure, the airplane climbed and leveled off at a cruise altitude of 15,000 ft mean sea level (msl). Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported an engine "fluctuation" to the controller and requested to divert to Craig Field Airport (SEM), Selma, Alabama. The controller cleared the airplane to SEM, and the pilot indicated that the propeller was turning; however, the airplane had experienced a total loss of engine power. Soon after, while in the descent to SEM, the pilot stated that there was a "fire as well." When the airplane was about 3 miles from SEM and about 3,100 ft msl, radar and voice communications were lost.

According to an FAA inspector, the airplane impacted a field and all components of the airplane were within the vicinity of the main wreckage. The initial impact crater was about 4.5 ft deep and the debris field was about 225 ft long by 120 ft wide oriented on a 125° heading.

The airplane was recovered and will be examined. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper

Registration: N543GS
Model/Series: PA32RT 300T
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: SEM, 167 ft msl
Observation Time: 1635 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 25°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / 15 knots, 220°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  9 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Jasper, AL (JFX)
Destination: Selma, AL (SEM)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.326944, -87.057222 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

DALLAS COUNTY, Alabama (WEAR) -- The Navy released new information Friday on the two NAS Pensacola pilots who died in Wednesday's plane crash in Alabama.

The Naval Air Station says Captain Vincent Segars and Commander Joshua Fuller were both decorated Naval officers who served in Afghanistan. Each received more than a dozen ribbons and medals.

Details about the crash are still limited as the investigation is ongoing.

The Navy says Captain Segars -- the commanding officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command at NAS Pensacola -- was a South Carolina native nearing a 30-year mark as a Naval officer.

Meanwhile, Commander Fuller was just two weeks away from a 20-year career.

The two pilots were flying a Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II less than 300 miles from Jasper, Alabama to Pensacola when the plane went down near a small airport in Selma.

Local organization West Florida Defense Alliance is dedicated to providing support to U.S. military and their families. It has pledged assistance to the families of these fallen officers.

“We’ll be working with the base on any plans and sort of taking their lead," said Todd Thompson with the organization. "Letting them take the first steps and we’ll be there as a support role if they need us in any capacity.”

The Navy added in its statement Friday that it's working closely with the FAA and local authorities to conduct a thorough investigation.

Per the Navy, here are the accomplishments and awards of both men:

Captain Vincent Segars

Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal (3)
Air Medal (5) (Strike/Flight – 4, Individual Action – 1)
Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3)
Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy “E” Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal (2)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal

Commander Joshua Fuller

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal (Strike/Flight)
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3)

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