Saturday, February 20, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage, N596ST; accident occurred September 15, 2020 at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Englewood, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN20CA394
Date & Time: September 15, 2020, 14:20 Local 
Registration: N596ST
Aircraft: Piper PA46
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that the straight in approach for landing was "bumpy" due to winds and terrain. About touchdown, a "severe wind event caused what felt like a potential upset" as the left wing lifted and there was an uncommanded downturn to the right. The pilot applied full power to bank left and climb, but the airplane did not climb. The left-wing tip scraped the runway, and the airplane was forced to the right. Before the pilot was able to regain control, the airplane impacted a taxiway sign and several runway lights. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rear wing spar and wing root. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures 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 maintain directional control during landing in gusting winds. 


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Sign/marker - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Runway/taxi/approach light - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor
Age: 70, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 7, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: January 26, 2020
Flight Time: 2935 hours (Total, all aircraft), 722 hours (Total, this make and model), 2887 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 67 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N596ST
Model/Series: PA46 350P 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2013 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 4636596
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 5, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4358 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1147 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: TIO-540-AE2A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 350 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: APA,5884 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 9000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / -7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Plainview, TX (PVW
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Englewood, CO (APA)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Centennial Airport APA
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5885 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35R 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 10001 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

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: 39.558612,-104.849998(est)