Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow II, N15302: Accident occurred July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas

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; Houston, Texas

Location: Houston, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA314
Date & Time: 07/28/2020, 0142 CDT
Registration: N15302
Aircraft: Piper PA28R
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 28, 2020, about 0142 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200 airplane, N15302, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Houston, Texas. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane crashed into a residential area after an apparent loss of engine power during cruise flight. The flight was a cross-country flight that originated, and was planned to return to the Sugar Land Regional Airport (SGR), Houston, Texas, with stops at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (TYR), Tyler, Texas, and the Stan Stamper Municipal Airport (HHW), Hugo, Oklahoma.

According to automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data for the accident airplane, the flight originated from SGR at 2103 and landed at TYR about 2239 and remained on the ground until 2251. At 2251 the airplane departed TYR and flew to HHW, arriving about 2342. The airplane did not remain on the ground at HHW and proceeded south on a course back toward SGR. The accident occurred at 0142 when the airplane was about 14 nautical miles north of SGR.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N15302
Model/Series: PA28R 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Anson Air Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time: 0653 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Tyler, TX (TYR)
Destination: Houston, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The person behind the controls of a small plane that crashed in a west Harris County neighborhood overnight Tuesday was on the last leg of a training flight as part of a commercial pilot course, according to the company that owns the aircraft.

In an email to ABC13, Dana C. Atkinson, the president of Anson Aviation in Sugar Land, said the unidentified pilot-in-training was supposed to land at three airports at night, with one leg of at least 250 miles, as part of a cross-country flight scenario.

Atkinson added none of his instructors was onboard since the flight is required to be done solo. The aircraft crashed with the trainee and a passenger who wasn't immediately identified.

"We do not yet know the identity of the passenger," said Atkinson.

The two occupants were injured and hospitalized following the crash-landing in a front yard in the Bear Creek neighborhood. It happened around 2 a.m. on Boulder Oaks Drive, according to the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office.

When deputies arrived, they found the plane with the fuselage mostly intact. Investigators say the pilot, age 40, is in worse shape than his passenger, a 33-year-old.

According to DPS, the pilot was headed to the Sugar Land airport when the plane lost power while flying 7,000 feet in the air.

"I would venture to say there was a higher power at work here. It's hard for me to conceptualize. I'm at five, six, 7,000 feet and I'm lying in the street right here going in whatever land speed that they were going. So I tend to believe that there's probably a higher power at work here," Sgt. Richard Standifer with DPS said.

In the early hours following the crash, Atkinson, whom the plane's registration names, said the aircraft was "within all maintenance and inspection requirements," and that the pilot is an experienced customer of theirs.

According to the FlightAware website, the plane appears to have been traveling out of Tyler, Texas, before it crashed.

The pilot went down in front of a home and hit a tree.

"That didn't hit any houses, didn't hit any cars, just amazing. That is amazing," neighbor Marsha Miller told ABC13.

The owner of the home where the plane went down said she thought the sound of the crash was thunder.

"I thought it was a thunder, you know how the weather's been, like, up and down crazy. So I thought it was actually thunder until my mom comes, like, running out her room. She's like, 'The truck,' because we're always parked right there, so she automatically thought somebody had hit the truck," homeowner Frida Rodriguez said. "And she comes out, and I come out running behind her and it was really dark so we couldn't really see. And my mom said 'I'll turn on my flashlight,' and we see it was a whole plane. So it was just crazy."

Cy-Fair Fire Department crews say they had to extricate one person who was trapped in the wreckage from the plane.

Both people were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

Investigators say they don't know the relationship between the two.

The crash is under investigation.

HOUSTON – Two people were injured when the small airplane they were traveling in crashed into the front yard of a home in the Bear Creek area of Harris County.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the pilot put out a mayday call about 1 a.m. and said the aircraft, which was headed to Sugar Land, had lost power at an altitude of 7,000 feet.

Investigators said the pilot ended up having to divert to a place where he believed he could land. Just before 2 a.m., the plane clipped a tree and light pole before slamming into the ground outside of a home in the 15700 block of Boulder Oaks Drive.

Residents of the neighborhood described hearing a loud boom as the plane crashed.

Ryan Carter said he came outside to find the pilot still trapped in the plane.

“He wasn’t there at all, I was just asking him if he could hear me,” said Carter.

The pilot suffered a head injury while the passenger suffered a broken wrist, officials said. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment. aboard the plane were taken to a hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Who owns the plane?

Records indicate the Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow II belongs to Anson Aviation out of Sugar Land. The company said the plane was properly maintained and the pilot was well-qualified.

The company said the pilot was completing a lesson in the commercial pilot training course that requires a long cross-country flight at night with stops at three airports. It also said it is gathering more information about the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators responded to the crash site and the FAA released the following statement:

“A single-engine Piper PA-28 with two people onboard crashed early this morning in a residential area in Houston, Texas.

The accident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. local time while the plane was flying to Sugarland, Texas. FAA investigators have been dispatched to the accident site, and the National Transportation Safety Board, which will be in charge of the investigation, has been notified.”


  1. A pilot's worst nightmare in a single: engine loss at night. Sure you can see street lights if you are over a populated area and make out streets from home porch lights. What you can't make out are parked cars and trees, and where the power lines are. This was literally just blind luck surviving with apparent know how skill to see and avoid homes and put down in a suburban street.

    1. Absolutely! Big trees helped a lot to slow the landing and power is underground, so no outage to anger the homeowners.

      Location of where fuselage came to rest, pinned on map:

  2. I wonder if he re-fueled during the stop @ TYR .

    1. Doubtful IMO. Only on the ground for 10 minutes. Landed at 10:39pm, took off at 10:51pm per flightaware. I am guessing this was pax pickup. Owner of plane, Anson Avaition, has stated publicly that they had no idea who pax was as this was supposed to be a solo flight. After Tyler headed up to Oklahoma to create a 250nm flight back to Sugarland. Duration in the air was 4.5 hours of both legs. Looks like another simple case of fuel exhaustion.

  3. Flightaware shows a turn toward West Houston Airport (KIWS) near the end. Crashed 3 miles short of that field.