Friday, May 21, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser, N15033; accident occurred May 20, 2021 at Fayette County Airport (I23), Washington Court House, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cincinnati, Ohio

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Washington Court House, Ohio
Accident Number: CEN21LA229
Date & Time: May 20, 2021, 19:45 Local 
Registration: N15033
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The pilot reported that he was performing a soft-field takeoff in preparation for his upcoming private pilot checkride when after the nose wheel lifted off the runway, the airplane yawed to the left. He applied right rudder in an attempt to maintain control; however, when a runway excursion seemed imminent, he applied full brake pressure on both pedals. The airplane veered “sharply” to the left, exited the runway, and impacted a ditch before coming to rest in an adjacent field. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and left wing. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot reported that attempting to steer the airplane back toward the runway centerline and not applying the brakes might have prevented the accident.

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 a soft field takeoff. 


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Takeoff Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 38,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Waiver time limited special
Last FAA Medical Exam: September 24, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 22, 2021
Flight Time: 47 hours (Total, all aircraft), 47 hours (Total, this make and model), 10 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 24 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N15033
Model/Series: PA-28-140 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7225556
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: February 19, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 47 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7785 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E3D
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 150 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: I23,980 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0.5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 19:44 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 9 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 180° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.5 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Washington Court House, OH (I23)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Washington Court House, OH
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 19:45 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Fayette County I23
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 980 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5097 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.5704,-83.4172

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported aircraft mishap at the Fayette County Airport on Old State Route 38 on Thursday, May 20. The incident was reported at 7:56 p.m.

During the preliminary investigation, the pilot, identified as Justin T. Fry, 38 of Cincinnati, was maneuvering the aircraft when the Piper PA 28-140 that he was piloting skidded off the runway, striking a small ditch and rotated, coming to rest in a grass area adjacent to runway. Fry sustained minor injuries in the mishap and was transported from the scene by Fayette County EMS to Adena-Fayette Medical Center for treatment.

Crash reconstruction personnel from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene and are continuing their investigation of the mishap, working collaboratively with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The cause of the mishap has not been identified at this time. The aircraft remained at the mishap location overnight as investigators returned Friday morning to conduct further investigation during the daylight hours.

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — Officials are trying to determine what caused a small airplane to skid off the runway at the Fayette County Airport on Thursday, injuring the pilot.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident at Old State Route 38 just before 8 p.m.

Officials say 38-year old Justin T. Fry, of Cincinnati, was maneuvering the Piper PA 28-140 when it left the runway and struck a small ditch. The plane rotated and came to rest in the grass next to the runway, investigators said.

Fry suffered minor injuries and was transported to Adena-Fayette Medical Center for treatment.

Local officials are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the crash.

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