Monday, September 13, 2021

Piper PA-44-180 Seminole, N740FT: Accident occurred September 12, 2021 in Magnolia, Montgomery County, Texas

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; Houston, Texas

Up and Up Aviation LLC

Location: Magnolia, Texas
Accident Number: CEN21LA418
Date and Time: September 12, 2021, 10:51 Local 
Registration: N740FT
Aircraft: Piper PA-44-180 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On September 12, 2021, at 1051 central daylight time, a Piper PA-44 airplane, N740FT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Magnolia, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that during the preflight inspection, the left fuel gauge indicated 17 gallons and the right gauge flickered between zero and 17 gallons. Upon visual inspection of the fuel tanks he confirmed that both tanks contained fuel. After takeoff, he climbed to 2,000 ft mean sea level (msl) and proceeded to the destination airport where he completed a full stop landing.

About 10 minutes into the return flight, the left engine experienced a loss of power, then 5 minutes later the right engine experienced a loss of power. The airplane collided with a tree during the forced landing.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, and both wings. The fuel tanks were not breached during the accident sequence and neither tank contained evidence of fuel.
The airplane has been retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N740FT
Model/Series: PA-44-180 
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: KDWH,152 ft msl 
Observation Time: 10:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Navasota, TX (60R)
Destination: Houston, TX (DWH)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 30.174651,-95.701116 

The pilot in one incident is expected to be ok after both engines failed Sunday. Shortly after that incident, reports began to come in about smoke trailing behind another aircraft.

The pilot of a small aircraft was able to walk away from a crash Sunday after both engines failed.

It happened around 11 a.m. in the 29900 block of Post Oak Run near High Meadow Ranch Drive south of Magnolia.

The man was flying when he lost power in one of the engines and began looking for a place to land the aircraft, according to a man on the scene who said he was the pilot’s son.

As he descended, the second engine onboard the aircraft failed, the man said. That’s when the aircraft slammed into a tree before hitting the ground.

The pilot suffered a bump to his head but was able to walk away from the incident, his son said.

Meanwhile, crews were called about another aircraft that was allegedly having trouble in the skies over Montgomery County.

Dispatchers reported receiving multiple calls early Sunday afternoon about smoke coming from an aircraft flying in the area of Trero Lane outside of Willis.

DPS officials later confirmed there was no second aircraft down. Officials said they found a controlled burn near the airport.


  1. Sixteen local flights since August 31. Training/time building?

    Accident flight:

    Two longer duration local flights:

  2. Fueled with JetA or no fuel? Dual engine failure is EXTREMELY rare.

    1. The aircraft was flying locally as it had on previous days, up for forty minutes on the accident day. ADS-B data timing shows the aircraft took back off five minutes after a mid-flight landing at 60R, not enough ground time for a fuel stop to have been performed there.

      Relying on inaccurate tank gauges with partially flown-off tanks at the beginning is likely to be the problem. Flying forty minutes on a Jet-A misfuel is too long.

  3. He didn't check he had enough fuel for the flight is the more likely event for a dual engine failure.


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