Saturday, December 19, 2020

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N662TC: Accident occurred December 19, 2020 in Naples, 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 Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida
Piper Aircraft Corporation; Vero Beach, Florida 
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama 

Location: Naples, FL 
Accident Number: ERA21LA087
Date & Time: December 19, 2020, 12:16 Local
Registration: N662TC
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P 
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 19, 2020, about 1216 eastern standard time, a piper PA-46-310 airplane; N662TC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Naples, Florida. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The flight originated at Sarasota / Bradenton international Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida destined for Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida.

According to the pilot, on the morning of the day of the accident, the pilot and his passenger went to SRQ. The pilot filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan for the flight to EYW, and had the airplane towed to the fixed base operator’s ramp, then conducted a preflight including draining both tanks to check for water. No water was visible, and both fuel tanks contained about 50 gallons each (100 gallons total).

The fuel selector was on the right tank, and the engine started without any delay. The pilot then received his IFR clearance and took off at 1139.

After takeoff the pilot was cleared by air traffic control to climb to 7,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) and the flight continued until it was near Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), Fort Myers, Florida and then was cleared direct to EYW. Until this point, the engine was running smooth and was leaned to 50° lean of peak. About 1213, the pilot switched the fuel selector to the left fuel tank.

Immediately after switching fuel tanks, the engine started to sputter and lost power. The pilot switched back to the right fuel tank but there was no change. He then tried different power settings, Set the mixture to full rich, and switched tanks again without result.

The pilot then advised ATC that he was having an engine problem and needed to land at the nearest airport. ATC then had him contact the control tower at Naples municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. APF tower then cleared him to land on runway 5 but, the pilot realized that he was already well below 5,000 feet msl, so he advised the tower that he could not make it to the airport and that he was heading for the beach and would land in the water.

The pilot now focused on his attitude, the best glide, and airspeed and touched down on the water. The airplane came to a sudden stop and was floating. Apart from the propeller, he could see no visible damage. He then unlatched his seatbelt and opened the upper part of the airstair door and egressed. He then helped his passenger to egress and they both started swimming towards the beach. The airplane continued to float.

The pilot saw a helicopter circling overhead, and then after 10 to 15 minutes of swimming they were picked up by a boat. They were later transported to the hospital.

The airplane eventually sank and came to rest in 6 feet of water. It was later recovered, and cursory examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, revealed that the propeller, wings, and aft fuselage, had been substantially damaged.

The airplane was retained by the NTSB for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N662TC
Model/Series: PA-46-310P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KAPF,9 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Sarasota, FL (SRQ) 
Destination: Key West, FL (EYW)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 26.130762,-81.817956 (est)  


NAPLES, Florida – Two people were injured after a plane crashed into the water south of Naples Pier on Saturday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane declared an emergency and made a water landing one-quarter mile offshore on approach to Naples Airport at 12:16 p.m.

The airplane took off in Sarasota and was headed to Key West before it crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Naples police said the plane went down near 21st Avenue South. Two people were on board, and they both have minor injuries, according to Naples police.

The flight started around 11:39 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to flight data. About 35 minutes into the flight, the pilot declared an emergency. 

“Naples tower. Malibu 2TC with an engine problem. We are inbound, runway five,” the pilot said.

An engine problem off the coast of Naples forced the pilot to try and land at the Naples Airport, but the plane did not make it that far. 

“We’re not making it to the airport,” said the pilot. “I think we have to land on the beach or on the water.”

The pilot ditched the airplane in the water, about a quarter-mile off the shores of Naples Beach.  Nearby, a boater saw the wreckage and jumped into action to help save the two people on board. 

The Piper Malibu airplane still remains about a quarter mile off the shore hidden under the water.

Plane Fun Inc., a trust company out of Georgia, is listed as the aircraft’s owner. 

Kenneth Schumacher, the president of the company, said the business has hundreds of planes registered in its name. Schumacher also said he didn’t hear about the accident prior to the call. 

When asked about who was at the controls on Saturday, he said he would get back to NBC-2 with more information. 

In the meantime, the small plane remains in the Gulf of Mexico as salvage operations were put on hold Monday due to rough sea conditions. 

The good news: Seatow, the salvage company, says there has been no fuel leakage as of yet. 

They are planning to start work on Tuesday if sea conditions permit. 

FAA confirmed the agency and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.


A small plane crashed into the water south of the Naples Pier, and north of Gordon’s Pass, Saturday afternoon.

The plane went into the water about 1,000 yards offshore, according to Naples Police. The site is west of the 2100 block of Gordon Drive, which is not far from the Naples Pier.

Naples Fire said two occupants of the plane were rescued and suffered minor injuries. Fire-Rescue transported them from the crash site to Bay Road for transport by Collier County EMS.

Those out on the beach Saturday say they while they see planes take off all the time, they never expected one to crash in front of them.

Carin Von Ins was out near Naples Pier today. “All the sudden, we heard kind of a loud noise. It sounded like a boat hitting waves. Kind of a boom and we quick looked out into the ocean and saw that the plane we had seen coming in had gone down,” said Von Ins.

Carin and her husband Jim were just two of the people who sat anxiously watching as the plane sank into the water. Everyone was wondering what would happen to the two people on board.

“It was floating on the water for several minutes,” Jim said.

Good Samaritans were able to help save those two people on the plane. A boater saw people treading water so he helped them get onto his boat until law enforcement arrived.

Chris Sereno is the man who helped rescue the two people. “I didn’t believe it at first, you know, a plane really crashed and you hear about it but when it’s in front of you and you don’t expect it, especially boating,” said Sereno.

He says, it’s kind of a wild situation to be in. “It was kind of crazy. I wasn’t ready for anything like that,” Sereno said.

But he says people in distress so he helped. “Looked like there was some sort of distress and I pulled up to a sinking plane with two people in the water looking for help,” said Sereno.

“You’re not thinking about helping somebody. But you just take over and you do it,” he said.

Chris says he’s grateful he was at the right place at the right time to help.

Investigators still haven’t said what caused the crash.


  1. in flight emergency, and diversion as noted on flightaware.
    SATURDAY 19-DEC-2020
    Sat 11:39:48 Departure (KSRQ) @ Saturday 11:39:48 EST
    Sat 12:12:17 26.1947 -81.8724 ↓ 177° 156 180 6,725 Level (KRSW)
    Sat 12:12:33 26.1836 -81.8718 ↓ 177° 156 180 6,725 Level (KIMM)
    Sat 12:13:04 26.1607 -81.8708 ↓ 178° 156 180 6,725 Level (KFMY)
    Sat 12:13:34 26.1394 -81.8697 ↓ 177° 156 180 6,725 Level (KFMY)
    Sat 12:14:05 26.1167 -81.8686 ↓ 177° 156 180 6,725 -25 Descending (KRSW)
    Sat 12:14:35 26.0955 -81.8674 ↓ 178° 127 146 6,700 -128 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:14:52 26.0867 -81.8671 ↓ 178° 97 112 6,625 -343 Descending (KIMM)
    Sat 12:15:10 26.0796 -81.8667 ↓ 179° 80 92 6,500 -1,147 Descending (KAPF)
    Sat 12:15:26 26.0739 -81.8642 ↘ 146° 94 108 5,975 -1,453 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:15:42 26.0690 -81.8592 ↘ 143° 86 99 5,725 -1,329 Descending (KRSW)
    Sat 12:16:01 26.0629 -81.8543 ↘ 141° 88 101 5,200 -1,292 Descending (KAPF)
    Sat 12:16:18 26.0578 -81.8493 ↘ 145° 86 99 4,950 -811 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:16:38 26.0519 -81.8436 ↘ 141° 82 94 4,700 -841 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:16:59 26.0454 -81.8385 ↘ 148° 85 98 4,375 -1,308 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:17:17 26.0397 -81.8417 ← 262° 109 125 3,850 -1,208 Descending (KAPF)
    Sat 12:17:35 26.0434 -81.8488 ↑ 340° 95 109 3,650 -1,071 Descending (KRSW)
    Sat 12:17:52 26.0512 -81.8461 ↑ 20° 105 121 3,225 -1,455 Descending (KAPF)
    Sat 12:18:08 26.0592 -81.8451 ↑ 358° 109 125 2,850 -1,629 Descending (KAPF)
    Sat 12:18:27 26.0692 -81.8457 ↑ 357° 119 137 2,275 -1,586 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:18:43 26.0777 -81.8448 ↑ 9° 113 130 1,925 -1,390 Descending (KFMY)
    Sat 12:19:08 26.0902 -81.8410 ↑ 19° 110 127 1,325 -1,063 Descending (KAPF)
    Sat 12:19:31 26.0981 -81.8356 ↗ 39° 86 99 1,075 -682 Descending (KRSW)
    Sat 12:19:41 26.1015 -81.8325 ↗ 42° 83 96 950 -919 Descending Surface and Near-Surface
    Sat 12:20:51 26.1181 -81.8120 ↗ 60° 73 84 -943 Descending

  2. Above data confirms plane was descending. Would this cause it to crash into water. Very helpful to know this data.

  3. Yes, if it was ascending or going up, it would not hit water. While if it was descending, it will eventually hit the water or ground. Above posters data proves this beyond doubt.

    1. Thanks, that makes sense now. With all of the data we can get off of the internet, many questions and can be explained very clearly. If they had this available years ago, many crashes could be explained and understood better.

  4. The secret is to stay one inch away from everything

    1. Good advice. I could set up my GPS to give me audible warning if I get within one inch of an object. Flight Aware already has this I was told. Technology is a godsend.

  5. Let me get this straight; the aircraft was descending when it made contact with the ocean? Is there video to prove this?

  6. They probably will shy away from the next open water leg in their next aircraft after ditching on the V225-KEYW track. Were they crossing without any PFD's available to put on? Route: SRQ V579 RSW V225 EYW