Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Piper PA-24-260 Comanche B, N79RG: Accident occurred June 06, 2021 near Trenton-Robbinsville Airport (N87), Mercer County, New Jersey

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; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Location: Robbinsville, NJ
Accident Number: ERA21LA241
Date & Time: June 6, 2021, 17:01 Local
Registration: N79RG
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-260 
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N79RG
Model/Series: PA-24-260 
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: TTN,213 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C /18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 7500 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 
Wreckage and Impact Information
Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 40.213376,-74.583327 (est)  

It was an unusual sight: a private plane crash landed in Robbinsville Sunday evening and came to rest at an intersection near the airport, as if it were waiting for the traffic light.

Police officers arrived to the 5 p.m. call and found the pilot walking around the area, mostly unharmed. He’d put the single-engine Piper down on Sharon Road near Gordon Road, just east of Trenton-Robbinsville Airport, Robbinsville police said.

The pilot — a 47-year-old East Windsor man — sustained only minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for minor back pain, police said.

The pilot had just taken off from the airport, ”when he experienced some sort of mechanical failure while in flight, causing him to perform an emergency landing,” police said.

“Just when you think you have seen it all. Thankfully everyone is safe. Power will be out in the area for a few hours,” Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried posted on Facebook at about 6:30 p.m.

The plane — a 1966 Piper painted with a black and purple camouflage motif, a U.S. Air Force symbol and a shark’s mouth nose — sat near a residential neighborhood, surrounded by homes with a park not far away.

Photos and a video posted on social media showed the plane fairly damaged — the propeller was chewed up and the left wing was smashed.

The investigation was ongoing and police said they notified the Federal Aviation Administration for further investigation.

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