Sunday, July 12, 2020

Lancair ES-P, N444TW: Accident occurred July 06, 2020 in Pauls Valley, Garvin County, Oklahoma

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

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Location: Pauls Valley, OK
Accident Number: CEN20LA266
Date & Time: 07/06/2020, 1205 CDT
Registration: N444TW
Aircraft: Lancair LANCAIR
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 6, 2010, about 1205 central daylight time, a Lancair ES-P, N444TW, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. The pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot's accident report, he departed the University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport, Norman, Oklahoma, approximately 1130 for a flight to the Ardmore, Oklahoma, area and return. According to FlightAware, the first contact with the airplane was when it was at 1,700 ft when it was heading south. The airplane climbed to 4,500 ft, then turned back to the north at 1158. It began a 500 ft per minute descent and turned to the east, then southeast. The last contact was at 1205 when the airplane was at 1,700 ft, heading of 143°, and flying at 96 kts.

Photo documentation indicates the airplane left a 200-ft swath through a corn field on a heading about 045°. The cowl, engine, tail section, and nose landing gear separated from airplane on impact with the ground. The airplane came to rest upside down. The right wing separated from the fuselage and the left wing remained attached at the root, but outer portion of the left wing broke off. There was fire damage to the cabin, with more damage on the right side. There was fire damage to the right wing. Most of the propeller was also gone with damage to the spinner. The airplane impacted the ground and rolled inverted. The pilot said he exited the cabin through the right forward window before the cabin was engulfed with flames, but he could not recall any of the details as to why the airplane crashed.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lancair
Registration: N444TW
Model/Series: LANCAIR ES-P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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:
Observation Time: 1215 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2400 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 80°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Norman, OK (OUN)
Destination: Norman, OK (OUN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries:N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 34.749167, -97.268889

Lines can easily be seen going into a Pauls Valley area cornfield where a variety of first responders made their way to the site of a crashed airplane early Monday afternoon.

Authorities have identified the pilot as Dr. Thomas Whalen, 54, of Norman.

Whalen was the only occupant in the Lancair ES-P plane as it crashed in a field near Ballard Road on the east side of Interstate-35 on the northern side of Pauls Valley.

Whalen was reported to be in good condition despite the small plane catching fire on impact.

Whalen's plane is reported to have taken off from the University of Oklahoma Airport at 11:38 a.m. Monday.

Less than half an hour later, just after noon, the plane crashed near PV.

Whalen was taken by a Pauls Valley EMS ambulance to Norman Regional Hospital, which is where he is reported to work as a physician.

State officials say Whalen was treated with a minor head injury and initially admitted in fair condition.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol report released Tuesday shows the crash and its cause is still being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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