Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Piper PA-32R-301, N35718: Accident occurred January 12, 2021 at Paul C. Miller–Sparta Airport (8D4), Kent County, Michigan

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; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Location: Sparta, MI
Accident Number: CEN21LA112
Date & Time: January 12, 2021, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N35718
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-301 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 12, 2021, about 1700 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-32R-301, N35718, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Paul C. Miller Airport (8D4), Sparta, Michigan.

The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported striking a snowbank short of the runway following a GPS approach. The airframe accumulated about 1/2" of ice during the descent in instrument meteorological conditions. There were no malfunctions associated with the airplane before the accident.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the airplane touched down about 18 ft short of the runway and encountered a small snowbank near the end of the runway. The landing gear collapsed, and the airplane skidded down the runway before coming to rest near the 1,000 ft. touchdown markings.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N35718
Model/Series: PA-32R-301
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGRR, 794 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 900 ft AGL
Visibility: 4 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Washington Court House, OH (I23)
Destination: Sparta, MI

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 43.13002,-85.67238

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