Saturday, June 05, 2021

Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar, N326CW: Fatal accident occurred October 05, 2019 near Kokomo Municipal Airport (KOKK), Howard County, Indiana

Dr. Daniel Greenwald

The estate of a Florida plastic surgeon who died when his plane crashed shortly after take off in Howard County has reached a settlement with the city of Kokomo, bringing an end to a lawsuit that alleged negligence by city airport employee and improper training given to Kokomo Municipal Airport employees.

The Estate of Daniel Greenwald will be paid a $700,000 settlement, the max amount allowed under Indiana’s tort claim laws, according to court documents filed last week in Howard County Superior Court IV. The estate and Julia Greenwald, the widow of Daniel Greenwald, have filed a petition asking Judge Hans Pate to accept the settlement agreement, which will be paid the city’s insurance. As of Friday morning, the court has ruled on the request, though settlements are usually accepted.

As a result of the settlement, the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the stated and Julia Greenwald in March of last year will be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can’t be brought back to court.

An email sent Friday to legal representatives of the estate seeking comment on the settlement and lawsuit were returned as of Friday evening.

Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore called the incident a “devastating situation” for the Greenwald family.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Greenwald family,” he said in an email.

Dr. Daniel P. Greenwald, a plastic surgeon from Tampa, died on Oct. 5, 2019 when his Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar crashed in a field just south of Indiana 22 shortly after takeoff from Kokomo Municipal Airport. He was the only person onboard.

A complaint filed by Julie Greenwald and the estate of Daniel Greenwald alleges that the death was due to an airport employee putting the wrong fuel into Daniel Greenwald’s airplane.

The plane should have been filled up with Avgas, but the complaint alleges the employee put in Jet A fuel instead.

A preliminary investigation report by the National Transportation Safety Board in October focused on the type of fuel given to the plane before it took off from Kokomo Municipal Airport, though it did not list a cause.

According to the report, several of the plane’s engine spark plugs sustained damage that was “consistent with detonation,” and that a clear liquid “consistent in color and order with that of Jet A fuel” was found in the fuel lines and manifolds of both of the plane’s engines.

An employee of the airport, according to the NTSB report, told investigators he asked Daniel Greenwald two separate times if he wanted jet fuel for his twin-engine Piper Aerostar 602P because, according to the employee, the plane “looked like a jet airplane.” Both times, the report states, Greenwald told the airport employee “yes.” The report does not name the airport employee, but the Greenwald lawsuit alleges the employee was John Yount.

The estate’s lawsuit denied that Daniel Greenwald ever told anyone to put in jet fuel in his plane and that there were warnings and fueling instructions on the plane’s fuel tank apertures.

“Dr. Greenwald was a highly experienced pilot and never instructed anyone to fuel this aircraft with Jet A fuel,” the complaint reads.

In its formal response to the lawsuit, the city denied any wrongdoing.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Daniel Greenwald had been flying airplanes since he was a teenager. According to the Times, he was a “well-known well-known plastic surgeon with a private practice, Bayshore Plastic Surgery, in Tampa’s Channelside district” and was “named one of America’s top surgeons in 2009 and specialized in hand and microvascular surgery, cosmetic plastic surgery and also performed gender reassignment surgeries.”

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana

Location: Kokomo, IN
Accident Number: CEN20FA002
Date & Time: 10/05/2019, 1637 EDT
Registration: N326CW
Aircraft: Piper AEROSTAR 602P
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business

On October 5, 2019, about 1637 eastern daylight time, a Piper Aerostar 602P, N326CW, departed from Kokomo Municipal Airport (OKK), Kokomo, Indiana, and impacted a field about 3.6 miles south of the airport. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The airline transport pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to Indiana Paging Network Inc and was operated by the pilot under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight while departing from OKK.

On the day of the accident, the flight departed from Peter O Knight Airport (TPF), Tampa, Florida, about 0645 and arrived at OKK about 1027. The purpose of the flight was for the pilot, who was employed by In Flight Review, Inc, based in Tampa, Florida, to provide Piper PA-42 Cheyenne recurrent training to a customer based at OKK.

According to the airport employee who fueled the airplane, he asked the pilot of N326CW, while on approach to the airport, if he wanted jet fuel, and the pilot said "yes." He said the he asked the pilot if he wanted jet fuel because the airplane looked like a jet airplane. When the airplane arrived, the employee pulled the Jet A fuel truck out and parked it in front of the airplane while the pilot was still inside the airplane. The employee said that he asked the pilot again if he was wanted jet fuel, and the pilot said "yes." The employee fueled the airplane with about 163 gallons of Jet A from the fuel truck. The employee said that he was able to orientate the different shaped nozzle (relative to the 100 low lead fuel truck nozzle) from the Jet A fuel truck by positioning it 90 degrees over the wing fuel tank filler necks and about 45 degrees over the fuselage filler necks. He said the he initially spilled about one gallon of fuel during refueling and adjusted his technique so subsequent fuel spillage was minimal.

The Jet A fuel truck had "JET A" on its left, right, and rear sides.

The employee that was inside the fixed base operator building about 1620 heard the engines start. After the engines started, the engines sounded "typical." He said that he did not hear any radio transmissions from the pilot during his departure and did not hear an engine runup.

The pilot, who received recurrent training from the accident pilot, stated the accident pilot began training right away beginning about 1045. They completed training and it was after 1630 when the pilot drove the accident pilot to N326CW. The pilot said the accident pilot visually checked the fuel tanks of the airplane and gave a "thumbs-up" to the pilot. The pilot did not stay for the remainder of the accident pilot's preflight and drove off. The pilot heard the engines start and "they sounded normal." The pilot did not see the takeoff. The pilot said the winds favored runway 14, which was in use on the day of the accident.

A witness stated that she saw a "low flying" airplane flying from north to south. The airplane made a "sharp left turn" to the east. The left wing "dipped low" and she then lost sight of the airplane but when she approached the intersection near the accident site, she saw the airplane on the ground.

Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed the airplane wreckage path was about 328 ft in length along an approximate heading of 046° on a dry and hard surfaced fallow bean field. Components of the left side of the airplane were near the southwestern portion of the wreckage path. The wreckage and the wreckage path displayed features consistent with an accelerated stall.

The examination revealed the presence of a clear liquid consistent in color and order with that of Jet A in a fuselage tank and in the fuel lines leading to the fuel manifolds of both engines. Several of the engine spark plugs exhibited damage consistent with detonation. Flight control continuity was confirmed. The landing gear was in the retracted position.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N326CW 
Model/Series: AEROSTAR 602P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: OKK, 832 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Kokomo, IN (OKK)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.475000, -86.063333 (est)

Tampa plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Greenwald, seen here with his wife, Julia Robbins Greenwald, died October 5, 2019 when the plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff in Kokomo, Indiana.

Tampa plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Greenwald (top left), seen here with his family, died October 5, 2019 when the plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff in Kokomo, Indiana.

Tampa plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Greenwald died October 5, 2019 when the plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff in Kokomo, Indiana. 

Tampa plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Greenwald, seen here with his wife, Julia Robbins Greenwald, died October 5, 2019 when the plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff in Kokomo, Indiana. 


  1. Does the preflight checklist on an Aerostar include a fuel sump?

  2. So sad . Kick the tires light the fires check list could be to blame ...