Thursday, December 23, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, N315JT; accident occurred July 23, 2021 at Lake Chelan Airport (S10), Chelan, Washington

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; Spokane, Washington

British Automotive Ltd doing business as Crown Hill Auto Sales 

Location: Chelan, Washington 
Accident Number: WPR21LA296
Date and Time: July 21, 2021, 18:00 Local 
Registration: N315JT
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200T 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot of the multiengine airplane reported that, while on final approach to land, the airplane encountered some turbulence and he landed hard short of the runway. The left main landing gear tire was blown when it contacted the runway asphalt. The airplane subsequently veered to the left and departed the left side of the runway onto the desert terrain. The landing gear collapsed, and the forward fuselage and windscreen center support structure were substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures 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 unstable approach to land in turbulent conditions, which resulted in a hard landing short of the runway and subsequent loss of directional control and collision with terrain. 


Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on equipment
Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing Hard landing
Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Unknown With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 14, 2021
Occupational Pilot: UNK 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: July 28, 2020
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N315JT
Model/Series: PA-34-200T 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: None
Serial Number: 34-7870045
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 4, 2021 
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4469 Hrs 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-360-EB
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 200 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: S10,1263 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 18:00 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 208°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 119° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Everett, WA (PAE) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Chelan, WA
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 17:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1210 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18/36 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1889 ft / 40 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 47.86696,-119.94148(est)

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