Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Piper PA-28-236 Dakota, N2186U: Fatal accident occurred October 31, 2021 in Hyannis, Massachusetts

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in the water. 

Date: 31-OCT-21
Time: 22:13:00Z
Regis#: N2186U
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew 1
Pax 0
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: Yes

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290. 

Massachusetts State Police
November 04, 2021

Massachusetts State Police Dive Team, Marine unit, Environmental PD, and local agencies, conducted 9 dives today off of Chatham. Divers located the fuselage of the missing plane, however, the pilot was not recovered. Todays mission followed prior dives yesterday where partial landing gear was recovered.

CHATHAM, Massachusetts — State police divers Thursday afternoon found the wreckage of the Piper PA-28-236 Dakota that crashed into the ocean Sunday night approximately 3 miles east of Nauset Beach in Orleans.

"It's right in the area of the original position given by the Coast Guard the night of the search, 3.5 miles east of Sampson Island in about 70 to 80 feet of water," said Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith. 

The state police said in an email statement Thursday that their dive team, working with their marine unit, environmental police and local agencies, did nine dives Thursday.

"Divers located the fuselage of the missing airplane, however, the pilot was not recovered," according to the statement.

The state police confirmed that on dives Wednesday they recovered part of the landing gear. No further dives are planned at this time. 
  Smith said state police and environmental police working the area late Wednesday towing side-scan sonar found an airplane wheel. They located the rest of the wreckage Thursday morning and dove on it in the afternoon, he said. 

"The wreckage was scattered with the wings separated from the fuselage," Smith said. 

Roger Mills of Woburn was flying from Reading, Pennsylvania
Retired medical device company executive Roger Mills, 67, of Woburn was identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as the pilot of the plane. He took off from Reading Regional Airport in Reading, Pennsylvania, on Sunday planning to arrive at Chatham Municipal Airport by 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday. 
The Coast Guard received a report at 10:34 p.m. Sunday from the Air Force Regional Command Center about a possible downed Piper PA-28 aircraft off Nauset Beach. The original call to the Air Force came from a friend of the pilot who was waiting for the aircraft at the Chatham airport.

The Coast Guard said the last transponder broadcast showed the plane rapidly losing altitude. The Coast Guard discontinued its active search Tuesday morning, but local harbormasters, state and environmental police continued the search for the next two days.
The dive team worked in 3- to  4-foot rolling seas, in cold water with strong currents, Smith said. In November, Cape Cod waters still have a robust population of great white sharks. 

"The environmental and state police ... they did an excellent job. Very team-oriented and professional," Smith said. 

The National Transportation Safety Board opened an investigation into the crash this week. Spokesman Peter Knudson said the retrieval of the plane for inspection by his agency would be arranged and paid for by the company that insured the aircraft.
"They are responsible for making those arrangements and providing funding," he said.


  1. descending over water. reminds me of the July 1999 crash into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard, Mass., piloted by John Kennedy.

    Last light was 6 PM L for Hyannis, Massachusetts.
    SPATIAL for N2186U.
    Speed: 179 kt
    Altitude: ▼ 3,225 ft
    Vert. Rate: -640 ft/min
    Track: 74.4°
    Pos.: 41.624, -70.324

    18:37:47 L
    Speed: 177 kt
    Altitude: ▼ 3,950 ft
    Vert. Rate: -640 ft/min
    Track: 75.3°
    Pos.: 41.610, -70.393

  2. Any flight data? Hidden of FA.

    Historical METAR shows a broken layer in that area that evening around 3500’

    1. I take that back, the cape was clear skies, BOS had multiple scattered/broken layers

    2. flight data..

  3. Very sad, a fairly new private pilot and airplane owner. The globe.adsbexchange.com data has him flying directly towards Chatham but the last radar return of 3.5 miles east of Nauset beach is no where close to a normal VFR approach from the west. He wasn't instrument rated but was he trying to use the RNAV approach and succumbed to dark night spatial disorientation?

  4. ads-b data summary
    recent History N2186U
    depart 42.587,-70.971 @ Beverly Muni, Mass 2021-10-18.
    stop 40.623,-79.006 @ Indiana County Jimmy Stewart.
    land 38.958,-85.835 Freeman Muni Airport, IN 10-18
    flights in mid-west 10-23
    land 10-27 Freeman Muni Airport, IN.
    depart 10-31 Freeman Muni Airport, IN. 12:52 L
    land 40.386,-75.982 Reading Muni, PA. 16:22 L, then depart 16:55 L.
    last return: 18:38:52 L
    Speed: 179 kt
    Altitude: ▼ 3,225 ft
    Vert. Rate: -640 ft/min
    Track: 74.4°
    Pos.: 41.624,-70.324

    sunset was 17:35 L, and last light 18:00 L.

  5. Nauset Beach coast and beyond is the Atlantic Ocean.
    "The Coast Guard reported that the last transponder signal from the plane came from a location 3½ miles due east of Nauset Beach"

  6. It is odd that the plane appeared to overshoot Chatham. Someone else pointed out to me that the pilot-controlled lighting for Chatham’s runway is on a different frequency than the CTAF/voice frequency used to make position reports for the airport - query whether the pilot arrived at the airport but couldn’t turn on the runway lights and had some accident trying to cope with that issue.

  7. He sure had a long flight that day. Could he have forgotten or not read that the PCL at CQX was on 122.95 and not 122.8, missed the dark airport altogether, then got SD while trying to turn over water in the darkness?

  8. I am a friend and not a pilot. Any expiation for the rapid descent, reported at 400 ft? thanks