Thursday, August 20, 2020

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N4089R: Accident occurred August 19, 2020 at Tallahassee International Airport (KTLH), Leon County, Florida

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; Tampa, Florida

Location: Tallahassee, FL
Accident Number: ERA20LA290
Date & Time: 08/19/2020, 1215 EDT
Aircraft: Piper PA32
Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 19, 2020, about 1215 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N4089R, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Tallahassee International Airport (TLH), Tallahassee, Florida. The private pilot incurred minor injuries and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane with no anomalies noted and loaded the airplane for the flight. He knew that the airplane had about 60 gallons of fuel on board, since he flew a trip the previous week and used the fuel out of the left main tank, he performed the engine run-up and takeoff with the right main fuel tank selected. The engine started up, ran without issue, until the engine run-up when it "backfired." The pilot continued to perform the engine run-up by checking the magnetos and letting the engine continue to run, and no other issues were noted.

The pilot took the runway and increased the engine power to the takeoff setting, the airspeed increased to 70 mph and he pulled back on the yoke to takeoff. After the airplane departed the runway, the pilot noticed that the engine did not indicate full rpm. He also noted that the engine was not producing any power. Since the airspeed was slow and close to the stall speed, the pilot attempted to descend in order to increase the airspeed, however, the airplane was "already stalling." It "pancaked" onto the runway and veered off the right side striking the visual approach lighting system with the right wing. During the accident sequence, the right wing incurred substantial damage.

After the accident, the pilot provided a weight and balance calculation for the flight, which revealed that the airplane was within load limits for the flight.

The airframe and engine were recovered and will be examined.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4089R
Model/Series:PA32 300
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: TLH, 68 ft msl
Observation Time:1153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 20000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:IFR
Departure Point: Tallahassee, FL (TLH)
Destination: Fort Pierce, FL (FPR)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 30.409444, -84.358333 (est)

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (WCTV) - A small private aircraft skidded off the runway when departing from the Tallahassee International Airport Wednesday afternoon. There were three people on board; none were injured. The initial notification was received at 12:26 p.m., according to city officials.

The Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six was departing runway 3-6 when it exited the runway and came to rest just off the paved surface on the east side, Deputy Director of Aviation Jim Durwin says.

That runway is currently closed, but other runways remain open and in use. There was no impact to airport operations, Durwin says.

The incident did not result in any fire or fluid leaks.

Airport personnel and the Tallahassee Fire Department, are on scene to ensure safety, the city says. The time to reopen that runway is still to be determined.

The Tallahassee International Airport is in the process of making notification to NTSB and FAA about the incident.

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