Thursday, December 30, 2021

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee, N8591W: Accident occurred December 30, 2021 near Presidio Lely International Airport (KPRS), Presidio 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 did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Location: Presidio, Texas
Accident Number: CEN22LA091
Date and Time: December 30, 2021, 15:50 Local
Registration: N8591W
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235 
Injuries: 6 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 30, 2021, at 1550 central standard time, a Piper PA-28-235 airplane, N8591W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Presidio Lely International Airport (PRS), Presidio, Texas. The pilot and 5 passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane had just departed from PRS, then impacted terrain about 600 yards northwest of the departure end of runway 35. The airplane came to rest upright and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

Postaccident examination revealed that the fuel selector valve was positioned to the left wing tip fuel tank, and the tank did not contain any fuel. The left main fuel tank was breached due to impact damage and did not contain any fuel. The right main fuel tank and tip tank were intact and did not contain any fuel. The elevator trim position was found slightly up from neutral. The examination did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Local law enforcement reported that the total weight of the occupants was about 1,153 lbs. They also provided a fuel receipt that showed the airplane had been fueled with 42.23 gallons of fuel before the accident flight.

The airplane’s estimated takeoff weight was 2,841 lbs, which was just below the maximum gross weight of 2,900 lbs. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N8591W
Model/Series: PA-28-235
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPRS, 2940 ft msl 
Observation Time: 15:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Presidio, TX 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 5 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 29.64375,-104.3668 

Tobias Penner Peters

PRESIDIO, Texas –– The Presidio County Sheriff's Office is asking the public's help to locate a dangerous fugitive.

According to authorities, Tobias Penner Peters is wanted for his involvement in a human trafficking attempt on December 30, 2021.

Peters attempted to smuggle five undocumented immigrants into the U.S. using a small plane.

According to the Presidio County Sheriff's Office, Peters lost control of the plane and crashed just north of the Presidio airport. Images released by authorities show significant damage to the aircraft and blood on the seats.

After the crash Peters fled the scene, leaving five illegal aliens with severe bodily injuries behind.

Law enforcement believes Peters sustained severe head trauma and may have possibly lost an eye in the crash.

Peters is described as being 6' 2" and 185 lbs. He has blue eyes and red hair.

The  Presidio County Sheriff's Office has obtained multiple warrants for Peter –– including felony human smuggling, evading arrest, and deadly conduct.

Peters's last known address is in Seminole, Texas, but he is known to frequent Ojinaja, Mexico.

Anyone with information regarding Peters's whereabouts is asked to contact the Presidio County Sheriff's Office at 432-729-4848 or 432-729-4911.

Presidio County Sheriff's Office -  

PRESIDIO, Texas - Smuggling Attempt 

Presidio County Sheriff's Deputies responded to an airplane crash North of the Presidio International Airport at approximately 3:51 p.m.. Deputies arrived on scene and assisted the injured passengers where they discovered that the crash was a smuggling attempt gone wrong. The pilot attempted to smuggle several undocumented individuals from Presidio by air. Investigators believe the excess weight of the passengers (6 passengers in a 4 seat aircraft) and low fuel contributed to the cause of the accident. 

Presidio Police Officers, U.S. Border patrol, Presidio EMS, TXDOT and Presidio Fire Department arrived on scene to assist the search and rescue efforts. Some of the undocumented individuals were transported to hospitals in El Paso and others were detained by U.S. Border Patrol. The pilot absconded and is wanted for questioning. The Presidio County Sheriff's Office will continue investigating and filing smuggling charges on the person or persons involved.

If you have any information on this or other illegal activities please contact the Presidio County Sheriff's Office 432-729-4848. 

EL PASO, Texas – An alleged smuggling attempt ended in a plane crash North of the Presidio International Airport on Thursday.

Deputies with the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office found and assisted individuals injured during the crash. An investigation by authorities found the pilot of the Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee was allegedly smuggling undocumented migrants out of Presidio, Texas by air.

“Investigators believe the excess weight of the passengers (6 passengers in a 4 seat aircraft) and low fuel contributed to the cause of the accident,” a statement from the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office read.

An unspecified number of migrants were airlifted to the hospitals in El Paso, according to the statement. The pilot fled the scene and is wanted for questioning by investigators.

“The Presidio County Sheriff’s Office will continue investigating and filing smuggling charges on the person or persons involved,” the statement said.

PRESIDIO COUNTY, Texas -- Several people were injured when a small plane being used to smuggle migrants crashed north of the Presidio International Airport on Thursday afternoon, Presidio County Sheriff's deputies said.

That crash happened just before 4 p.m.

Investigators said the excess weight of the smuggled passengers - a half-dozen people in a four-seat aircraft - was a likely cause of the crash. In addition, deputies said the plane was low on fuel at the time it went down.

Officials said some of the injured migrants were transported to hospitals in El Paso for treatment, while the pilot fled the crash site and was being sought by authorities.

Deputies asked that anyone with information about this smuggling operation to contact the Presidio County Sheriff's Office at 432-729-4848.


  1. Not sure what he told his buddy Henry before borrowing the plane, but Henry's 172 and both R44's might be subject to seizure if things go off the rails.

    Airmen registry has a Mr. Peters opt-out, possible match on first/last names, no medical or pilot cert.

    Nothing on ADS-B for the flight.

    1. Henry's Airmen Registry hit is interesting.

    2. I hope all of ol' Henry's airplanes / helicopters are subject to seizure and that Henry is facing a subpoena. Events like this don't happen in a vacuum. Tobias hardly looks like a world beater in terms of ability and intelligence - he likely had accomplices on this side of the border and it's time those dominoes start falling.

    3. As another comment said, Henry's Airmen Registry IS interesting. A brief search of Henry and the folks who appear to be his relatives reveals some interesting information. Henry has ties to construction companies owned by Americans but doing business in Mexico; a potentially interesting connection with human trafficking. Among Henry's FB friends is a David Peters, who appears to be confined to a wheelchair and who also bears a strong resemblance to Tobias.

      I have a feeling that Henry and his relations have some 'splainin to do and that Tobias is going to show up before long.

  2. What a freaky looking criminal. The last time I saw a forehead like that it had two electrical connectors on each side of the neck.

  3. The scary part is how they knew he lost an eye .. that cockpit must have been a mess :(

    1. Whoever was sitting right seat got a look at him in whatever condition he was in as they disembarked.

    2. Two were seated in the front right seat.

    3. Fair enough - after the injured person on the lap of the right seater was moved out of the way, the right seater underneath, who was protected from panel strike by the one in his lap, got the best look at the pilot!

  4. Presidio International Airport does not look as you might expect. What an area to off-field land, wander to the road and wait for someone to pick you up after using your one good eye to call on the phone.


  5. Aaannnddd... here is your obligatory post of the METARS around the time of the accident:
    KPRS 292315Z AUTO 20008KT 10SM CLR 24/05 A2986
    KPRS 292255Z AUTO 20011KT 10SM CLR 24/05 A2986
    KPRS 292235Z AUTO 20010KT 10SM CLR 24/05 A2985
    KPRS 292215Z AUTO 16009KT 10SM SCT095 24/05 A2985
    KPRS 292155Z AUTO 19012KT 10SM SCT095 24/05 A2985
    KPRS 292135Z AUTO 18010G14KT 10SM CLR 24/05 A2984
    KPRS 292115Z AUTO 17005G15KT 10SM CLR 24/05 A2985
    KPRS 292055Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 22/05 A2985

    Slightly gusty winds earlier in the day, which would normally not be a factor, but when you are severely overloaded, even tame winds can be a factor.

    1. Crashing north of the airport means he either departed RW35 with those tailwinds or succeeded in the 180 turn after departing RW17.

      Either way, he managed a survivable landing that wasn't another impossible turn stall-spin calamity. Did okay for an uncertified pilot who took on a side job.

    2. Well...he wasn't "severely overloaded." The NTSB figures that he was slightly *under* MGW. Still, it does look like he took off downwind.
      A few questions arise: 1) Where did the fuel go? Reportedly, he took on 42 gallons prior to the accident, but yet none was found in the plane?? Did he make a flight before the accident flight? 2) Where were they headed? 42 gallons won't get you too far in a plane with a O-540 that burns 14-15 gph. 3) What do we think the C.G. was?

      Looks like this dope tried to take off with the fuel selector pointing to an empty tank.

      Side Note: I didn't know that Piper made any of the Cherokee 235's with only two windows per side. Interesting. Must have been an old bird.

  6. Police say he may have lost an eye. I can only imagine there is an eyeball rolling around in the wreckage. Hilarious.

  7. Pilot Toby may not have fled to Ojinaga. Recent reports say that cartels are aggressively moving in on independent migrant smugglers in that area.

  8. I think we should all assist law enforcement and keep and eye out for this guy.

    1. Shouldn't be too hard to miss; look for a tall red-headed dude with one eye, multiple deep face lacerations, blood on his shirt, and a forehead that looks like the Great Wall of China

  9. A full story detailing an eyewitness's immediate response is at the link below. Three of the passengers went walking south after hopping out. Toby should have been easy to nab, but he got an hour and a half head start before the DPS chopper arrived.

    Story on page one, continues on page two:

  10. Update: 04/16/2022


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