Friday, December 10, 2021

Piper PA-22-135 Tri-Pacer, N3372A: Accident occurred December 08, 2021 at Tahlequah Municipal Airport (KTQH), Cherokee County, Oklahoma

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; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Accident Number: CEN22LA066
Date and Time: December 8, 2021, 12:00 Local 
Registration: N3372A
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-135 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Unknown

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N3372A
Model/Series: PA-22-135
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTQH,873 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C /-2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 
Latitude, Longitude: 35.930278,-95.004528 (est)

Airport officials deemed a plane crash at the Tahlequah Municipal Airport to be suspicious and “bizarre.” 

Acting Airport Manager Greg Blish said the crashed aircraft was located in an obscure area with heavy brush on Wednesday, December 8. 

“It’s kind of a bizarre story, really,” said Blish. “It was a Piper PA-22-135 Tri-Pacer and there’s no pilot or passengers located, but there's substantial damage done to the aircraft.” 

Blish believed the aircraft ran out of fuel but he’s unsure when the crash occurred. 

“I had three or four planes flying this morning and nobody noticed it until a gentleman [who] flies out of the Tahlequah Municipal Airport saw it and called about 1:15 p.m., or so,” said Blish. 

Tahlequah Police Department, Tahlequah Fire Department, Emergency Management, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and the Federal Aviation Administration all responded to the crash site. Blish said they are still investigating. 

“I put the word out to search the area and they didn’t locate anybody. My investigation in the aircraft showed no visual signs of injury,” he said. 

The registered owner was contacted and he advised the plane was sold in August to an auction company. 

“Right now, I’ve got people trying to run down who the auction company sold it to. According to Federal Aviation Administration records, it doesn’t show to be legally licensed as far as the registration,” said Blish.

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