Friday, December 10, 2021

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N3865K: Fatal accident occurred December 08, 2021 near West Houston Airport (KIWS), Harris County, Texas

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania


Location: Houston, Texas
Accident Number: CEN22FA067
Date and Time: December 8, 2021, 19:57 Local
Registration: N3865K
Aircraft: Piper Aircraft PA 28-140
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 8, 2021, about 1957 central standard time, a Piper PA 28-140 airplane, N3865K, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Houston, Texas. The student pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

There were no witnesses to the accident. Radar indicated the airplane departed the West Houston Airport (IWS) about 1955 and proceeded generally south-southwest. About 1.5 miles later the track showed a slight descending left turn and the groundspeed of the airplane increased. The airplane then made a slight right turn; during which, the airplane climbed and the groundspeed decreased. The airplane then made a tight left descending turn followed immediately by a hard right descending turn. The airplane descent increased before it went off radar.

The airplane was found the next day about 2.5 miles south of the airport in a heavily wooded area. The debris path was about 50 ft long on a heading of 320°. The first identified points of impact were a few topped trees, followed by a portion of the outboard right wing. Several more trees were topped descending toward a large impact crater in the soft dirt. The airplane came to rest nose down just beyond the crater; it was the last major piece of debris.

On the day of the accident, the sunset at 1723, and civil twilight ended at 1749. About the time of the accident, the sun was greater than 32° below the horizon, and the moon was about 24° above the horizon. The phase of the moon was a waxing crescent with 29% of the moon’s disk illuminated.

Satellite imagery indicated an area of low stratus and/or fog in the vicinity of the accident site. The national weather service had also issued an AIRMET for instrument flight rules conditions over the Houston area, due to visibility below 3 miles, mist, and fog. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper Aircraft
Registration: N3865K
Model/Series: PA 28-140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: NightDark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSGR,84 ft msl 
Observation Time: 19:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 8 miles
Altimeter Setting: 3000 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Houston, TX
Destination: Pearland, TX (LVJ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.778,-95.673 

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.

The Flight School
July 30, 2021 
Congratulations to Solomon Babalola on his first solo today!
Location: Houston Executive Airport (KTME)
CFI: Andrew
~



HOUSTON – The Department of Public Safety has released the identities of the pilot and passenger killed in a plane crash near the Katy Freeway. The pilot has been identified as Katy resident Solomon Babalola, 23, and the female passenger was Apesin Oluwafunmilayo, 20. She resided in Houston.

DPS confirmed Thursday that the two died after a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee crashed behind the Harris County Precinct 5 headquarters.

The  Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee was found deep inside George Bush Park near the 17400 block of the Katy Freeway shortly before 2 p.m.

The pilot and passenger were reported dead at the scene, Texas DPS officials said. The pilot was found ejected from the plane while the woman was still trapped inside, according to DPS.

During a news conference Thursday evening, the Texas DPS PIO, Richard Standifer, said the plane, which was headed to Pearland, departed around 7:55 p.m. on Wednesday.

Personnel at the  West Houston Airport told KPRC they last heard from the pilot just before take off but don’t normally stay in contact unless it’s requested.




HOUSTON, Texas  — Two people died after a small airplane crashed in a wooded area of west Harris County, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Wreckage from a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee was located Thursday in a wooded area south of the Barker Dam near the Katy Freeway.

During a DPS news conference Thursday night, we learned the plane took off from the West Houston Airport around 7:30 Wednesday night, heading for Pearland.

The pilot's girlfriend went to the airport Thursday trying to find out what happened.

“The airport personnel went up to look for them. They appeared to find what they thought was debris and local law enforcement was brought out here,” DPS Sgt. Richard Standifer said. 

He said the man was ejected from the plane. The second victim, believed to be a woman, was still in the fuselage and had to be extracted.

“I’m here to tell you the brush is heavy back there, they had to bring in dozers and chainsaws and cut their way through it. So the only way that you’d be able to see that thing is if it caught on fire, and I don’t see any evidence of it catching on fire to me.”

As for the people on board, police found a Houston ID on one of them, but say the plane -- which was recently bought -- was registered out of Rogers, Arkansas. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

A manager at the West Houston Airport nearby told KHOU the aircraft involved had taken off from its facility just before 8 p.m. Wednesday and didn't return.

The airport is approximately two miles north of the crash site.

The aircraft's transponder wasn't working properly, according to the manager, and airport personnel was not aware the plane had gone missing until the girlfriend of one of the victims came to the airport looking for them on Thursday.

The plane was found a short time later, he said.

https://www.khou.com

7 comments:

  1. Sad. My question is that if the Xponder wasn't working then what else was faulty in that aircraft? When was the last time control cables were checked for fraying for example? Not much history on this aircraft and tail number but here's a photo of the old 1067 bird:

    https://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/001262974.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What else was faulty in that aircraft? How about ADM (Aeronautical Decision Making)?
      Student pilot, night flight during an AIRMET Sierra, illegally carrying a passenger.

      Delete
  2. According to FAA database, Solomon was still a student pilot. Maybe the FAA is still processing his paperwork.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's possible they are still processing it. However, it appears he was a student at https://www.facebook.com/TheFlightSchoolInc/ and it looks like they post whenever one of their students solos or gets a certificate. They posted when Solomon soloed, but there is no post about him getting his private pilot certificate. Still, it is possible they don't post everyone's accomplishments and missed posting his.

      Delete
    2. The weather was also terrible on that day, Im not sure why the decision to fly so late, in low visibility and didnt even have the proper training. So sad.

      Delete
  3. NTSB Preliminary report is out on this one. Headlines:
    * Pilot only had student pilot certificate. It was illegal for him to take passengers.
    * AIRMET Sierra was in effect for the region for IFR conditions due to vis below 3 miles, mist and fog.
    * Radar track indicates classic spatial disorientation after inadvertent flight into IMC

    -----
    On December 8, 2021, about 1957 central standard time, a Piper PA 28-140 airplane, N3865K, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Houston, Texas. The student pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91
    personal flight.

    There were no witnesses to the accident. Radar indicated the airplane departed the West Houston Airport (IWS) about 1955 and proceeded generally south-southwest. About 1.5 miles later the track showed a slight descending left turn and the groundspeed of the airplane increased. The airplane then made a slight right turn; during which, the airplane climbed and the groundspeed decreased. The airplane then made a tight left descending turn followed immediately by a hard right descending turn. The airplane
    descent increased before it went off radar.

    The airplane was found the next day about 2.5 miles south of the airport in a heavily wooded area. The debris path was about 50 ft long on a heading of 320°. The first identified points of impact were a few topped trees, followed by a portion of the outboard right wing. Several more trees were topped descending toward a large impact crater in the soft dirt. The airplane came to rest nose down just beyond the crater; it was the last major piece of debris.

    On the day of the accident, the sunset at 1723, and civil twilight ended at 1749. About the time of the accident, the sun was greater than 32° below the horizon, and the moon was about 24° above the horizon. The phase of the moon was a waxing crescent with 29% of the moon’s disk illuminated.

    Satellite imagery indicated an area of low stratus and/or fog in the vicinity of the accident site. The national weather service had also issued an AIRMET for instrument flight rules conditions over the Houston area, due to visibility below 3 miles, mist, and fog
    -------


    2 nearby airports, one 12 miles to the south and the other 12 miles to the east were reporting MVFR to IFR conditions at the time of the accident:
    KSGR 090140Z AUTO 12009G15KT 8SM OVC008 19/16 A3000
    KSGR 090150Z AUTO 13008KT 8SM OVC008 19/16 A3000
    KTME 090155Z AUTO 14008KT 4SM BR 18/17 A3001
    KSGR 090215Z AUTO 13007KT 7SM OVC008 18/16 A3000
    KTME 090215Z AUTO 14008KT 5SM BR 18/17 A3000

    ReplyDelete