Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger, N15381; accident occurred June 22, 2021 near Big Bear City Airport (L35), San Bernardino County, California


 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; Riverside, California

Location: Big Bear City, California
Accident Number: WPR21LA245
Date and Time: June 22, 2021, 14:30 Local
Registration: N15381
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that immediately upon touchdown on runway 26, the airplane ballooned, possibly the result of an unexpected gust. As the airplane ascended, he noted the airplane drifted to the right of runway center line and he initiated a go-around. The pilot said that the airplane began a steep bank to the right as he advanced the throttle. As the wings leveled, the airplane was headed towards a tree line, and he noted that impact with trees was imminent. The airplane subsequently impacted trees and a postimpact fire destroyed the airplane. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The airport’s automated weather observation station reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was wind from 200° at 10 knots with gusts to 16 knots.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s inadequate flare and subsequent loss of airplane control during an aborted landing in gusting wind, which resulted in impact with trees.


Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Effect on equipment

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-aborted after touchdown Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 12, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 18, 2021
Flight Time: (Estimated) 269 hours (Total, all aircraft), 218 hours (Total, this make and model), 4.4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Age: Female
Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N15381
Model/Series: PA-28-235 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7310040
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 27, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 5 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2915 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed 
Engine Model/Series: 0-540-B4B5
Registered Owner: Rated Power: 250 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KL35,6749 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:35 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 82°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 12000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 16 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.27 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 0°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Upland, CA (KCCB) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Big Bear, CA (L35) 
Type of Clearance: VFR flight following
Departure Time: 14:00 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: BIG BEAR CITY L35
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6752 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 26 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5850 ft / 75 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Go around; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.263778,-116.85602(est)

No comments:

Post a Comment