Friday, August 14, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six C, N4817S; accident occurred August 10, 2020 at Montauk Airport (KMTP), Suffolk County, New York

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

 Location: Montauk, New York
Accident Number: ERA20CA282
Date & Time: August 10, 2020, 13:00 Local
Registration: N4817S
Aircraft: Piper PA32 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was attempting to land the airplane on the 75-ft-wide runway at the destination airport. He reported that during landing, the airplane bounced, and a gust of wind blew the airplane to the left side of the runway. He further stated he was having problems getting the airplane to settle back down on the runway and was afraid to advance the throttle due to being blown off the runway. The airplane subsequently struck trees off the side of the runway and both wings were substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The weather conditions reported at the airport about the time of the landing included a wind from 27 degrees left of the runway heading at a velocity of 6 knots, or a left crosswind component of 3 knots.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper recovery from a bounced landing and failure to maintain directional control, which resulted in a runway excursion and collision with trees.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 59,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 13, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: July 31, 2019
Flight Time: 192 hours (Total, all aircraft), 62 hours (Total, this make and model), 16.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N4817S
Model/Series: PA32 260 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32-1277
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 30, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 8 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 11077.1 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-540-E4B5
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 260 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMTP,7 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:54 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 197°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: White Plains, NY (HPN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Montauk, NY (MTP) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 11:30 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Montauk MTP
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 24 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3246 ft / 75 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.075553,-71.921943

Three people escaped injury when a small plane they were in crashed as it landed at the Montauk Airport Monday afternoon.

The Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six C skidded off the runway and careened into the brush on the side of the runway at the East Lake Drive airport.

According to, the plane took off from Westchester County Airport at 11:35 a.m. and touched down in Montauk at 12:15 p.m. The pilot told police he was landing when the plane hit a windshear, hit a wing, and went off the runway.

Both wings were badly damaged, but the fuel line appeared to be untouched.

The Montauk Airport is closed until the plane can be towed. A woman who answered the phone at the airport said no one was hurt and that “it was more of an incident.” The FAA will conduct a routine investigation.

The Montauk Fire Department received a report of a crash at about 12:45 p.m. (The discrepancy in time is unclear). Emergency medical service personnel responded and checked out the pilot and two passengers on board. No one was transported to the hospital, Chief Mickey Valcich said through a spokesman.

Two pumpers and fire police personnel also responded. The East Hampton Town police also responded.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website, the plane is owned by Rick Oliver of Pearl River, which is located in Rockland County, New York. Police confirmed Oliver was the pilot.

The Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six C had made several trips over the past week, including a trip from Westchester to Montauk on August 3rd, and then a return trip just a few hours later.

1 comment:

  1. ".. but the fuel line appeared to be untouched."

    Hard to see in the photo...