Saturday, November 28, 2020

Piper PA-28-160 Cherokee, N5242W: Accident occurred November 28, 2020 at French Lick Municipal Airport (KFRH), Orange County, Indiana

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;Plainfield, Indiana 

Location: French Lick, IN
Accident Number: CEN21LA068
Date & Time: November 28, 2020, 13:37 Local
Registration: N5242W
Aircraft: Piper PA28 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5242W
Model/Series: PA28 160 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KHNB,529 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: French Lick, IN (FRH)
Destination: French Lick, IN

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.504267,-86.6526 (est)

(FRENCH LICK) – A pilot escaped injury during a plane crash Saturday afternoon near the French Lick airport.

According to the Indiana State Police Jasper Post, on Saturday at approximately 1:37 p.m., a Celestine man crashed a single-engine plane just west of the French Lick Airport.

The crash was first reported around 2:09 p.m. when the Orange County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call by neighbors who heard the plane go down in woods near their home.

The pilot then radioed a nearby pilot telling them where he was located and that he was not injured according to reports.

When Orange County Emergency Response personnel arrived, they confirmed the plane crash and requested assistance from the Indiana State Police in Jasper. 

According to an Indiana State Police report, the preliminary investigation reveals that a 1962 Piper Cherokee single-engine fixed wing airplane, piloted by 70-year-old Johnnie Bush, of Celestine, crashed when approaching to land on Runway 8 at French Lick Airport.

Bush reported he had experienced engine trouble prior to the crash. Investigators do not yet have a cause for the crash. 

Bush was the pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft and was uninjured during the incident.  

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been contacted and are expected to arrive on Sunday to further the investigation.

Assisting at the scene were the Orange County Sheriffs Department, French Lick Airport Management, French Lick Fire Department, and several neighbors from the area, French Lick Police, Orange County Rural District 1, and IU Health Ambulance Service Orange County.

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