Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Piper PA-28-160, N5276W: Accident occurred January 17, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona

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 Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona
Piper Aircraft; Phoenix, Arizona 
Lycoming Engines; Phoenix, Arizona

Third Step 2 LLC

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Accident Number: WPR22LA081
Date and Time: January 17, 2022, 22:56 Local 
Registration: N5276W
Aircraft: Piper PA-28 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 17, 2022, about 2256 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28 airplane, N5276W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Scottsdale, Arizona. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, about halfway through the night cross-country flight, he noticed the engine oil pressure gauge was reading lower than it had been during the flight. Although the engine was running fine, he started to look at the possibilities of gliding to an airport if needed. The pilot decided that he was not in an emergency situation but altered his intended flight path over a mountainous area, to overfly a southbound highway. After passing the highway and nearing the Sky Ranch at Carefree airport (18AZ), the oil pressure dropped to near zero and the pilot initiated an emergency landing. He attempted to activate the lights at 18AZ but was unsuccessful and he continue the flight to Falcon Field (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona, which was about 25 miles southeast of his position. Near Fountain Hills, Arizona, the engine noise changed, followed by a decrease in engine power. The pilot said the engine oil pressure gauge indicated zero and he subsequently added full power as he was looking for a place to land. Soon afterwards, the engine made “horrible noises” and quit. The pilot landed the airplane on a narrow graveled road between a chain linked fence and a water canal. The airplane collided with the fence which resulted in substantial damage.

The airplane was relocated to a secure facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N5276W
Model/Series: PA-28
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFFZ,1380 ft msl
Observation Time: 22:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 20°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Henderson, NV (HND)
Destination: Chandler, AZ (CHD)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.564332,-111.78806 (est)

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