Sunday, February 07, 2021

Aircraft Propeller Contact With Person: Piper PA-28-151 Warrior, N228JS; accident occurred February 29, 2020 at New Castle Airport (KILG), New Castle County, Delaware

 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; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Wilmington, Delaware 
Accident Number: ERA20CA117
Date & Time: February 29, 2020, 09:25 Local 
Registration: N228JS
Aircraft: Piper PA28 
Aircraft Damage: None
Defining Event: AC/prop/rotor contact w person 
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


A witness reported seeing the pilot walking around his airplane while his son sat inside it. The witness then saw the pilot laying unresponsive on the ground in front of the engine. According to the police report, the pilot sustained a serious head wound, and blood spatter was observed on the propeller. The report also stated that, after the pilot was taken to the hospital, the power and fuel had to be turned off and that the airplane had to be tied down.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot being struck in the head by the propeller before flight, which resulted in a serious injury.


Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined

Factual Information

History of Flight

Standing-engine start-up AC/prop/rotor contact w person (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 50, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: None
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/23/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 827 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Model/Series: PA28 151
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7415103
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2326 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator:On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light:Day 
Observation Facility, Elevation: ILG, 80 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1351 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots / 23 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 300°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 0°C / -12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wilmington, DE (ILG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Morgantown, WV (MGW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: New Castle (ILG)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 79 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: None
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.678611, -75.606667 (est)