Thursday, November 25, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga II HP, N529PE; accident occurred September 15, 2021 at Stanley Airport (2U7), Custer County, Idaho

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Summit Air Services LLC

Location: Stanley, Idaho
Accident Number: WPR21LA347
Date and Time: September 15, 2021, 16:30 Local 
Registration: N529PE
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-301 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi and commuter - Scheduled


The pilot of the retractable landing gear airplane reported that, during the landing flare, the airplane encountered a wind gust, which had a “shearing effect.” The airplane subsequently stalled and landed hard. The right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane veered to the right and exited the runway, where it collided with rocks. The pilot reported that, about the time of the accident the wind was from 260° and variable between 12 to 17 knots. The pilot was landing the airplane on runway 17. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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 airplane control during landing with a gusting crosswind which, resulted in a hard landing and collision with terrain.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Crosswind correction - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 16, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: October 14, 2021
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2064 hours (Total, all aircraft), 349 hours (Total, this make and model), 1853 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 95 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N529PE
Model/Series: PA-32R-301
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1999
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3246151
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: August 11, 2021
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3176 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-K1G1
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Operator Designator Code: R9SA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSNT, 6495 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:51 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 172°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 19 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 320° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No 
Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: McMinnville, OR (KMMV) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Stanley, ID 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 13:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: STANLEY 2U7 Runway 
Surface Type: Asphalt; Dirt
Airport Elevation: 6403 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4300 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go around; Traffic pattern; Valley/terrain following

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 44.208556,-114.93452

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