Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Cessna 208B, N143CA: Accident occurred April 26, 2021 in Laceyville, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania

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; Allentown, Pennsylvania

Haugland Group Aviation LLC

Location: Laceyville, PA 
Accident Number: ERA21LA193
Date & Time: April 26, 2021, 08:45 Local 
Registration: N143CA
Injuries: 5 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Executive/Corporate

On April 26, 2021, at 0845 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N143CAC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Laceyville, Pennsylvania. The pilot, safety pilot and three passengers were uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 corporate flight.

The operator stated the purpose of the flight was to transport three company employees to Williamson-Sodus Airport, (SDC), Williamson, New York, for a meeting. The flight departed Pennridge Airport (CZK), Perkasie, Pennsylvania, about 0730 after picking up the last of the passengers for the 200 nm flight to SDC.

The pilot stated that he wanted to make the flight pleasurable, so he asked during the flight if the passengers wished to fly lower for a better view. When one passenger replied in the affirmative, the pilot descended the airplane to below cloud level as the airplane approached the Susquehanna River, near Laceyville, Pennsylvania. He was planning a touch and go landing maneuver on the water, and was scouting for a suitable place suitable place for the maneuver. A passenger stated that the airplane was flying very low over the water and seemed to be turning and banking to follow the bends in the river (figure 1). 

During this maneuvering, the airplane impacted an unmarked transmission line that was perpendicular to the shore and crossed the river. The pilot stated that he felt the airplane “shake and flutter” during the impact, and immediately climbed up to about 3,000 ft msl to assess the situation. The safety pilot went to the cabin and noted damage to the right inboard aileron and right outboard flap. According to both pilots, following the wire strike, the airplane felt “sluggish;” however, the engine was operating normally and there were no cockpit cautions or warnings. The decision was made to return to ISP, 175 nm away, where the runway was long and wide and emergency services were available. The airplane landed without further incident; no emergency was declared.

Preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B ) data showed the flight approach the Susquehanna River on a heading of about 334° and then make some turns before ADS-B coverage was temporarily lost. After the impact, data showed the flight proceeded on a heading of about 345° for about 35 nm before initiating a right turn towards ISP.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed mid-span impact damage and abrasion marks to the leading edge of the right wing. The underside of the right wing exhibited a several inch tear in the skin and ripples in the surrounding area. The top surface of the wing exhibited several tears and punctures and a 12-inch section of transmission wire protruding from the top of the wing. About 8 inches of the right outboard flap was torn away and about 12 inches of the right inboard aileron was crushed upwards.

According to the utility company PENELEC, the transmission line was destroyed, and 3 utility poles were severely damaged.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N143CA
Model/Series: 208B
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: AVP, 961 ft msl 
Observation Time: 08:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 3.9°C /-5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear / 3100 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots / 21 knots, 360°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Broken Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 3009 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Perkasie, PA (CKZ)
Destination: Long Island, NY (IPS)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 5 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.63403,-76.200385

LACEYVILLE, Pennsylvania — Utility workers spent most of the day replacing a pole and wires near Laceyville after a plane somehow flew into the pole, snapping the top off and ripping power lines.

Sue Hanley lives a couple of houses away and recalls when her quiet morning turned to chaos.

"I heard a plane, literally just outside my window. The noise and then the electric went out, as I was standing there and I thought, 'this is very odd.'"

The power was out for about 60 homes while crews worked to repair the lines.

First responders were out searching for the plane immediately, fearing that it crashed into the Susquehanna River or nearby. Crews never found any signs of the plane and called off the search, hoping that the pilot was able to safely land somewhere.

"First, I thought it might have been like an ultra-glide because it just was the noise was there, and that it was going that fast, almost like he turned his engine off, turn it back on, and then turned it off again, I don't know, very weird," Hanley said.

Many of the homes are seasonal and Hanley was glad the plane didn't cause nearly as much damage as it could have.

"There's also trees and houses, and I don't know how the person managed to do that so well and keep going. It was like a hit and run. He's lucky, like he didn't take down houses with him. Because, and I mean, those people weren't living there but I was living in my house."

The fire chief said that they did get word Monday afternoon that the plane landed somewhere in New York State. There's no word on when or if any charges will be filed.

BRAINTRIM TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A small plane, with five people on board, was practicing landing and taking off the Susquehanna River when it struck powerlines on Monday around 3:00 p.m., according to the FAA.

The FAA says a single-engine Cessna 208 equipped with floats hit the high-tension wire near Laceyville and continued flying before landing at the Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York.

Both the FAA and NTSB are investigating.

Electrical service to several residences in Braintrim Township and Laceyville Borough were disrupted after a plane damaged a utility pole on Lacey Street on Monday morning, April 26.

The information regarding a plane striking the pole was obtained from scanner reports.

However, specific information on the plane and what caused it to strike the utility pole was not available.

Laceyville Fire Chief Brad Fassett, who was on the scene, said he had no information to report on the incident.

Scanner reports indicated that the search for the plane was underway.

The Goodwill Fire Company of Laceyville, Meshoppen Ambulance and the PA State Police are reported to the scene.

The accident knocked out electrical service to 60 Penelec customers in Braintrim Township and four in Laceyville Borough.

Penelec was estimating that power would be restored to those customers later in the day Monday.

Cathy Nesslein, who lives on Lacey Street near the damaged pole, noted that she was watching TV when power to her home went out.

Nesslein noted that she had the volume on her TV up at the time and did not hear a plane.

However, one of her neighbors reported hearing the plane and seeing it almost strike other power lines in the area before it struck the pole, she said.

Brenden McClelland, who also lives on Lacey Street, walked down to the scene after seeing emergency vehicles drive past his house that morning.

“The power went out and the next thing I know, all those emergency vehicles were going by,” he said.

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