Sunday, January 31, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-46-600TP, N117PR; accident occurred June 15, 2020 at Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Levy County, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Piper; Vero Beach, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

CS Executive Services 

Location: Williston, Florida
Accident Number: ERA20LA230
Date & Time: June 15, 2020, 13:08 Local 
Registration: N117PR
Aircraft: Piper PA46 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Factual Information

On June 15, 2020, about 1308 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-46-600TP, N117PR, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Williston, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot’s written statement received about 1 month after the accident, he departed Abilene, Texas, about 0900 destined for Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Williston, Florida. The airplane approached runway 5 at X60, and the main landing gear touched down slightly left of the runway centerline; the airplane was tracking straight down the runway. However, when the nosewheel touched down, the airplane made an “immediate hard right turn.” He stated that he applied left rudder but that the nosewheel steering was unresponsive, and the airplane would not turn to the left. The airplane subsequently departed the right side of the runway onto a grassy area, where the nose landing gear collapsed before the airplane came to a stop. The pilot further reported that the nosewheel steering system contained a manufacturing defect and cited another PA-46-600TP accident that occurred on July 3, 2020 (NTSB Accident Number ERA20LA237).

The airport supervisor at X60 spoke to the pilot after the accident and stated that the pilot reported that the nosewheel was loose during landing, he overcorrected, and the airplane travelled off the side of the runway. The supervisor added that the wind was gusting to 16 knots but that he did not believe it was a factor in the accident.

An off-duty officer, who was also a pilot, from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office was at the airport at the time of the accident. The officer did not witness the approach but saw the airplane veer right during rollout and travel off the right side of the runway. He estimated the wind to be about 10 knots at the time. The officer went to the airplane to confirm that the two occupants were not injured and that no fire hazard existed. The pilot reported to the officer that a gust of wind “got him” and that he “gave it a little power at the end.” The officer notified the Williston Police Department.

Officers from the Williston Police Department responded to the scene and spoke with the pilot. According to the police report, the pilot stated “…a strong gust of wind hit his craft broadside, on the port side of the craft, which lifted so significantly that it lost its last wheel traction on the pavement, which caused the plane to veer off the runway…”

The pilot reported a total flight experience of 99 hours, of which 54 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. He obtained his private pilot certificate in a Cessna 172 about 2 ½ months before the accident. According to the pilot’s electronic logbook, he received flight instruction in the accident airplane after receiving his private pilot certificate. The accident flight was the pilot’s first flight in the airplane without a flight instructor.

According to a representative of the dealership that sold the accident airplane, at the time of purchase, the pilot did not meet the flight experience requirements for the insurance company to provide coverage for the pilot to use the airplane and did not attend factory-authorized training; however, his flight instructor met the requirements and completed the factory-authorized training. The flight instructor then trained the pilot.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the nose landing gear had separated, and the propeller blades had fractured. Damage was observed to the nose landing gear mounting area and engine mount bracket. Flight control continuity was established for all flight controls, and steering control continuity was established from the rudder pedals to the steering arm. The steering horn remained intact and attached to the separated nose landing gear. The only anomaly noted during the examination was that the front tire psi was 73.5 psi rather than 88 psi.

Skid marks on the runway showed that the nosewheel skid mark initially traveled left, then right, then extreme right (about 30°). The left main wheel and nosewheel skid marks were most prominent on the runway, leading to the right side and into the grass. In addition, GPS data downloaded from the airplane’s Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck were consistent with the nose landing gear skid marks initially traveling left, then right, before exiting the runway.

The recorded wind at X60 at 1315 was from 360° at 11 knots.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 43, 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: September 26, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 26, 2020
Flight Time: 99 hours (Total, all aircraft), 54 hours (Total, this make and model), 65 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 57 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N117PR
Model/Series: PA46 600TP
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 4698117
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 23, 2020 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 46 Hrs
Engines: 1 Turboprop
Airframe Total Time: 55 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: P&W Canada
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-42A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 600 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: X60,76 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:15 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Abilene, TX (ABI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Williston, FL (X60) 
Type of Clearance: VFR flight following
Departure Time: 09:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Williston Municipal Airport X60
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 75 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 5 IFR 
Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6669 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop;Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.355556,-82.471946(est)


  1. Big wallet...bigger ego...not there yet, partner.

  2. very low time in a high performance complex airplane what could go wrong

  3. "According to the pilot’s written statement (in the presence of legal counsel) received about 1 month after the accident"....

  4. There is a revised service letter just came out for this related to adjust & align, so don't beat up the new owner just for being low time. The other incident was N89MA which has a KR report for the same kind of excursion.

    Piper Service Letter 11286b dated January 28, 2021:
    Adds rigging of the aileron-rudder interconnect to procedure, required for only PA-46-600TP M600 aircraft.

    Select model PA-46-600TP and view 11286b pdf at:

    1. Oh he's going to be berated and deservedly so. You don't then go out and buy freaking turboprop single and expect to be a highly proficient turboprop owner/pilot just because you spent another 54 hours flying it with an instructor. Just beyond stupid. And it sounds like this hotprop wannabe clown is on the hook for the repairs as well and likely the insurance company will drop his ass faster than creamed corn through a goose. Fortunately he didn't kill any innocents on the ground, but these kinds of special idiots wind up flying into conditions that their pocket book can't write a check for. KR is full of those crash reports.

  5. Here is the other right turn excursion:

  6. Never flown an M600 but if it's at all similar to the Malibu series they can really get a dance going if they start to swerve. Had a couple of interesting rides in mine that made me glad I had a bunch of tailwheel time.

  7. No substitute for experience. Obviously not enough here. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this rich boy's flying career.

  8. Two to the people at the scene, one to the FAA. And why no differential braking if you lost nosewheel steering. This is the kind of thing that drives the insurance rates up for the rest of us.

  9. Very frustrating reading this. This guy had no business flying a pressurized turbine with less than 100 hrs TT. General aviation just keeps taking it on the chin. You can't legislate against this kind of stupidity.

  10. I was flying a T-38 with that much time. Depends on the quality of the training and the pilot.

  11. I fly a Jetprop and tailwheel all the time with 1500 hours and the P-46 still can scare me if I'm not on my game. Also make sure you center that rudder trim before you land (must be part of your landing brief).