Sunday, February 28, 2021

Ground Collision: Piper PA-28R-201T Turbo Arrow III, N679X; accident occurred March 31, 2020 at Bermuda Dunes Airport (KUDD), Palm Springs, Riverside County, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Palm Springs, California
Accident Number: WPR20CA120
Date & Time: March 31, 2020, 15:45 Local
Registration: N679X
Aircraft: Piper PA28R 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Ground collision 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while taxiing to the runway, the airplane veered hard to the left. He shut down the engine and saw that the left wing had struck the windshield of a small truck parked at the edge of the taxiway near a hangar. He stated that, due to its location and color, neither he nor his passenger saw the truck because it blended in with the background of the hangar. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see and avoid a parked vehicle near the taxiway edge.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Ground vehicle - Effect on operation
Personnel issues Perception - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi Loss of control on ground
Taxi Ground collision (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 44, 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 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 3, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: September 25, 2019
Flight Time: 168 hours (Total, all aircraft), 96 hours (Total, this make and model), 81 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Pilot-rated passenger Information

Certificate: Private; Remote 
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Unmanned (sUAS) 
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: June 5, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 0 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N679X
Model/Series: PA28R 201T 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28R-7703101
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 5, 2019 
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 84 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8288.5 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-360-B1
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 200 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: KPSP,409 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 291°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 320° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Palm Springs, CA (UDD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Palm Springs, CA (UDD) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 15:45 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Bermuda Dunes UDD 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 73 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 33.748332,-116.274719(est)


  1. Geez! Can't even miss a parked pickup? Another pilot not "owning" the accident. It's called mitigation and it's the operator's duty to decrease the likelihood of an accident. Yes, the truck probably didn't belong there. But once the pilot realized something was amiss, he should have surveyed the situation, put a plan into place, and then execute. I wouldn't ride in a side-by-side with this guy.

  2. this blind pilot passed a flight physical???

  3. It's the fault of the white truck and white hangar! What a moron. Get an eye exam or get a medical checkup for having attention deficit disorder! I see him now blaming a pig laying on the runway center line he hits because its grey color blends in with the concrete.