Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N5939P: Fatal accident occurred September 01, 2020 near Jack Barstow Airport (KIKW), Midland, Midland County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Piper Aircraft Corporation; Vero Beach, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N5939P

Location: Midland, MI
Accident Number: CEN20LA373
Date & Time: 09/01/2020, 1245 EDT
Registration: N5939P
Aircraft: Piper PA24
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 1, 2020, at 1245 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250 airplane, N5939P, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Midland, Michigan. The pilot was seriously injured, and the pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (FAR) Part 91 personal flight.

According to preliminary radar data, the airplane departed Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport (Y91), Lake City, Michigan, at 1125, and arrived at Jack Barstow Airport (IKW), Midland, Michigan, at 1205. The airplane was seen to make two touch-and-go landings, then it made a full stop landing and taxied to the self-serve fuel pump. Records showed the pilot refueled the airplane with 18 gallons of 100-LL aviation-grade gasoline. A witness inside the airport office said she observed the pilot fueling the left fuel tank. She did not see him refuel the right fuel tank.

Preliminary radar data indicated the airplane took off at 1237 and climbed to an altitude of 2,550 ft. It then began a right turn back towards IKW. According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported he was returning to the airport due to an engine failure. Shortly thereafter, he reported he wasn't going to make it to the airport, and was making a forced landing in as field. The last radar contact with the airplane was at 12644:34 at an indicated altitude of 675 ft. According to the Midland County Sheriff's Office, the airplane struck a large grass-covered mound of dirt before coming to a rest. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5939P
Model/Series: PA24
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: IKW, 635 ft msl
Observation Time: 1255 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3100 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Midland, MI (IKW)
Destination: Lake City, MI (Y91) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 43.758056, -84.266111
  
Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.
 
Clockwise from top left, Bill Granger, Dot Granger, Jeff Westin, Mary Westin, David Welsh and LaDonna Welsh chat while sitting down for lunch on August 25th, 2020 at Jack Barstow Airport. The three couples flew into Midland from the Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport in Lake City in their separate airplanes to share a meal.


Midland County Sheriff's Office
September 2nd, 2020 NEWS RELEASE

The Midland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a plane that had crash landed in a farm field.  The field is located to the east of North Sturgeon Road north of East Shaffer Road in Mills Township.  The crash was reported at approximately 12:45 pm on September 1st, 2020.

The pilot/co-owner of the aircraft was William Granger, age 64, from Lake City, MI.  He was flying his white 1959 Piper PA 24-250 Comanche single engine plane, FAA registration number N5939P.  The passenger in the plane was the pilot’s wife, Dorothy Granger, age 64.

The initial investigation revealed that Mr. Granger was flying in a northwesterly direction when he started to have engine trouble.  While coming in for an emergency landing in the field, the plane struck a large grass covered mound of dirt before coming to rest. 

Mr. Granger was transported to MMMC-Midland by EMS in critical condition.  Mrs. Granger was pronounced deceased at the scene.  

Deputies from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office were assisted at the scene by Mills Fire Rescue, Larkin Fire Rescue, MidMichigan EMS and Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Dennis Wagner.

The investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Sheriff Scott Stephenson




The Midland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a plane crash that killed a woman and critically injured a man.

“We turned and looked out the window at the same time and it was literally right there,” said Christine Rolfe, a witness to the crash. “And it’s not something that you should be seeing, right? So, almost immediately, we kind of looked and yelled that it was crashing and I think my husband left the driveway before it even hit, to be honest It came down pretty fast.”

It happened at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1st in a farm field located to the east of North Sturgeon Road, north of East Shaffer Road, in Mills Township.

The pilot and co-owner of the aircraft was William Granger, a 64-year-old man from Lake City.

According to the sheriff’s office, he was flying his Piper PA-24-250 Comanche.

The passenger in the plane was the pilot’s wife, 64-year-old Dorothy Granger.

“Terrible, terrible noise, never heard that before,” said Merton Alexander, another witness. “I thought it was a truck going alone the road here. I ran out here and saw the plane very low from the east.”

William Granger was flying northwest when he started to have engine problems, according to the initial investigation.

When the plane came in for an emergency landing, the plane struck a large grass-covered mound of dirt before stopping.

William Granger was taken to a hospital in critical condition, while his wife Dorothy was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation has been turned over to the FAA.

https://www.wnem.com


MIDLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A pilot was critically injured and his wife died after their small plane crashed into a Midland County field on Tuesday.

Police say 64-year-old William Granger of Lake City was flying a single engine Piper PA 24-250 Comanche with his wife northwest across the county when he encountered engine trouble around 12:45 p.m., according to the Midland County Sheriff’s Office.

He attempted a crash landing into a field east of North Sturgeon Road and north of East Shaffer Road in Mills Township. While coming in for the landing, Granger’s airplane hit a mound of dirt covered in grass before coming to a stop.


Granger was rushed to MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland for treatment of critical injuries. His wife, 64-year-old Dorothy Granger, was pronounced dead at the scene.



Law enforcement agencies in Midland County responded to two separate plane crashes on Tuesday, one of which resulted in the death of a passenger.

According to a press release, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a plane that had crash-landed in a Mills Township farm field at about 12:45 p.m. The field is located to the east of North Sturgeon Road north of East Shaffer Road, the release states.

There were two people onboard the plane at the time of the crash: pilot/co-owner William Granger, 64, of Lake City, and his wife Dorothy Granger, 64.

William Granger was transported to the MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland by EMS in critical condition. Dorothy Granger was pronounced dead at the scene.

The initial investigation revealed the aircraft -- a Piper PA 24-250 Comanche -- was flying in a northwesterly direction when it started to have engine trouble, the release states. While coming in for an emergency landing in the field, the plane struck a large grass-covered mound of dirt before coming to a rest.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Mills Fire Rescue, Larkin Fire Rescue, MidMichigan EMS and medical examiner, Dr. Dennis Wagner.

The investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Michigan State Police troopers from the Tri-City Post responded to a separate crash near Coleman about an hour earlier. At about 11:30 a.m., troopers were dispatched to the area of Shaffer Road and Lewis Road for a report of an airplane crash, according to a press release from Sgt. Joseph Rowley of the Tri-City Post in Freeland.

The pilot, a 70-year-old Beal City man, told deputies the plane's engine quit when he was flying at about 1,000 feet. After several attempts to restart the engine failed, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing in a soybean field, the release states.

During the landing, the privately-owned four-seat aircraft flipped onto its top. The pilot was the only person in the plane, and was uninjured.

There is no additional information at this time, the release stated, and the investigation is now in the hands of the FAA, which will work to determine the cause of the engine failure.

https://www.ourmidland.com


Bill and Dot Granger come in for a landing at Jack Barstow Airport on August 25th, 2020 to enjoy a meal with two other couples. The group flew into Midland from the Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport in Lake City in their separate airplanes.

Bill and Dot Granger come in for a landing at Jack Barstow Airport on August 25th, 2020, as David and LaDonna Welsh taxi nearby. The group flew into Midland from the Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport in Lake City in their separate airplanes to share a meal.


Bill and Dot Granger taxi after landing their Piper PA-24-250 Comanche Jack Barstow Airport on August 25th, 2020 to enjoy a meal with two other couples. The group flew into Midland from the Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport in Lake City in their separate airplanes.

Bill and Dot Granger deplane after landing at Jack Barstow Airport on August 25th, 2020 to enjoy a meal with two other couples. The group flew into Midland from the Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport in Lake City in their separate airplanes.

Bill Granger walks near his Piper PA-24-250 Comanche after landing at Jack Barstow Airport on August 25th, 2020 to enjoy a meal with two other couples. The group flew into Midland from the Home Acres Sky Ranch Airport in Lake City in their separate airplanes.


A group of friends and aviators who share a home airport of Home Acres Sky Ranch in Lake City met at Jack Barstow Airport in Midland on August 25th, 2020 for a picnic lunch.

The group usually meets at airports around the state on Saturdays, but had to cancel a recent lunch due to inclement weather. Tuesday's sunny skies and mild winds gave them the opportunity to make it up.

David and LaDonna Welsh arrived first, followed first by Bill and Dot Granger and then by Mary and Jeff Westin. The couples chatted as they sat at picnic tables and enjoyed a meal together.

https://www.ourmidland.com

12 comments:

  1. The wreckage looks like it was survivable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Older lap belt only planes let your head hit the instrument panel on abrupt decelleration. Look at the wrinkling, it was a hard stop.

      Harness over both shoulders can keep your face off the panel. Sad outcome this time.

      Delete
  2. That poor woman, her husband and family.. upgrade your belts if it is available... well worth the investment..it may save your life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Same situation that happened here at the Lakeway Air park Lakeway Texas back in March of 2019. Only had lap belts and both people hit the instrument panel and one was fatal and one critical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. N5969W in Fremont, Co was same situation.

      Delete
  4. Look at the airframe: wings sheared through the fuselage: very high decelleration. Probably stalled in the engine off approach and pancaked at a 20 degree(?) flight-path angle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. News story says they hit a large grass-covered mound of dirt before getting stopped. Might have already been rolling on the wheels at the time.

      Delete
  5. Map location of fields linked below, note the cell tower, shows up in the photos. Worth a try to make a farm field landing in that general area, unfortunate to intercept the dirt mound, wherever it was.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:43.758228+-84.264786

    ReplyDelete
  6. Do the Commanches have the option to install aftermarket shoulder harnesses, like the Cherokees?

    My 64 Cherokee 235 has aftermarket shoulder harnesses and I couldn't imagine flying without them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is an article for a Comanche install, includes photos of adding the overhead stringer:

      https://www.piperflyer.org/maintenance-technical/itemlist/tag/Installing%20harness.html

      Delete
  7. "The 250's pilot's operating handbook recommends 82 mph/71 kt as a final approach speed."
    "Most of the grumbling you hear about Comanches has to do with landings. Close to the runway, those laminar-flow wings ride deep in ground effect. If you're too fast, the airplane can float and float while you bleed off airspeed. Impatient pilots who try to force the airplane onto the runway at too high an airspeed can easily find themselves rewarded with wheelbarrowing on the nosewheel. The airplane has a large nosewheel (actually, it's the same size as the main gear) and, together with the main gears' stubby struts, the landing-gear geometry lends itself to nosewheel-first arrivals, premature liftoffs, and wheelbarrowing. The moral: Make sure you're at the proper airspeed and attitude the moment you touch down. Comanches can be cruel to the sloppy"

    ReplyDelete