Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior, N864LM: Accident occurred August 30, 2021 in Grant-Valkaria, Brevard County, Florida

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; Orlando, Florida

Growl Aircraft Inc

Location: Grant-Valkaria, Florida
Accident Number: ERA21LA349
Date and Time: August 30, 2021, 08:19 Local 
Registration: N864LM
Aircraft: PIPER AIRCRAFT INC PA-28-161
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 30, 2021, about 0819 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161, N864ZLM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Grant-Valkaria, Florida. The private pilot and a pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that the preflight, departure, and climb phases of flight were normal and uneventful. She leveled off at 7,500 feet and began to lean the mixture. While leaning, the engine rpm dropped below 1,000. She responded by increasing the mixture to full rich and applying full throttle; however, the engine did not respond. The airplane began to lose altitude rapidly and she tried to restart the engine to no avail. She declared an emergency and air traffic control provided radar vectors to Valkaria Airport (X59), Valkaria, Florida. Unable to make the airport, she force-landed the airplane in a farm field. The airplane collided with a fence and a ditch before coming to a stop. The pilot and passenger exited the airplane and were met by first responders.

Inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Both wings and the fuselage received substantial damage. There was no fire. The right wing fuel tank contained about 17-18 gallons of fuel and the left tank was empty; however, the left tank was compromised by impact forces.

The wreckage was recovered to an aircraft salvage facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N864LM
Model/Series: PA-28-161 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: MLB,27 ft msl 
Observation Time: 08:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Merritt Island, FL (COI)
Destination: Marco Island, FL (MKY)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 27.93975,-80.860111 (est)

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