Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Piper PA-28-160 Cherokee, N5067W: Accident occurred March 29, 2022 near Melbourne International Airport (KMLB) Brevard County, Florida

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; Orlando, Florida
Lycoming Engines

Location: Melbourne, Florida
Accident Number: ERA22LA172
Date and Time: March 29, 2022, 15:00 Local
Registration: N5067W
Aircraft: Piper PA-28 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning

On March 29, 2022, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28, N5067W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Melbourne, Florida. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight.

According to the pilot, he was hired to perform a prebuy inspection of the airplane, then fly it to New Jersey to the new owner. He and his girlfriend flew down in his airplane a few days before the accident flight and he performed a prebuy inspection. He noted that the cylinders were previously changed and was told by the seller that the break-in run was not completed. The pilot further stated he knew that it was going to be a risky flight home but decided to proceed with it anyway. On the day of the accident, he took off and circled the airport several times and climbed to 7,000 ft mean sea level. He stated everything looked and ran well so he decided to proceed to New Jersey. About 20 miles northwest of Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida, he noticed the engine was running rough and the oil pressure was low. He notified air traffic control and turned back to MLB to land. The roughness increased and the engine started vibrating, so he reduced the power to 1,500 rpm. The engine continued to run rough so he shut the engine down and thought he could glide to the runway at MLB. Once he realized he would not make the runway, he set up to land in a parking lot. He does not remember much after; however, he thought he may have hit a telephone pole.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane struck telephone wires and came to rest inverted in a parking lot. Both wings sustained substantial damage.

The wreckage has been retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5067W
Model/Series: PA-28 
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: KMLB, 27 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 50°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Okeechobee, FL (00FL)
Destination: NJ

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 28.142326,-80.657656 (est)

MELBOURNE, Florida — Investigators responded to the scene of a single-engine plane crash that happened just before 3 p.m. near Melbourne Orlando International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

The plane can be seen upside down in an industrial area off Silver Sands Drive, as reported by News 13 reporter Greg Pallone.

One person was onboard the plane and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the West Melbourne Police Department.

Investigators said the plane was inbound from an airport in Okeechobee which left less than an hour before and it went down less than a minute from landing.

Some residents in the area are without power after the plane clipped a transformer during the crash. Florida Power & Light is also on scene. 

West Melbourne Police, Melbourne Police, Melbourne Airport Police Department and Melbourne Fire Department are on the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

MELBOURNE, Florida – A person was seriously injured after a small plane crashed near an industrial area in West Melbourne Tuesday afternoon, according to the city’s police department.

Officials said the West Melbourne Police Department, Melbourne Airport Police Department, Melbourne Police Department, Melbourne Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue responded to the crash at 2:56 p.m. in the area of of 7617 Silver Sands Drive.

Sky 6 shows video of small plane, which West Melbourne police described as a Piper PA-28-160 Cherokee, upside down in a parking lot following the crash.

While the plane did not strike any buildings, it did hit power lines, according to the Melbourne Fire Department.

The department said no other damage was reported.

The West Melbourne Police Department said the pilot was the sole occupant of the plane and left an Okeechobee airport at 2:17 p.m. heading to the Melbourne International Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the crash.


  1. "the plane did not strike any buildings, it did hit power lines" thus the wires most likely dissipated energy on impact.

    1. It is not the power line that dissipates the energy of an impact. It is the part where the power line is fixed to the ground, e.g. the insulators and poles, and the pulling of the fallen power line on the obstacles on ground. This is not a matter of physics or material science, but of mechanical engineering.

    2. These aren't like arresting cables on a carrier. They have a fixed attachment point and negligible stretch. If those wires were strong enough to dissipate any significant energy before snapping, they would have sliced through the plane like a knife through butter or effected a severe enough deceleration to cause fatal aortal tears for the occupants.

    3. It appears to be a magnificent unplanned mechanical arresting success, with the added drag effect of wings momentarily orienting flat-on to the airstream during the nose over.

      The aircraft passed between the power pole at the pilot's left side on the approach track and the loading dock at the pilot's right side. The aircraft came to rest to the pilot's right of the approach track but liberated the pole mounted transformer that was connected to the road-crossing service drop for the building.

      The aircraft did not pivot to the pilot's left as would be expected from direct contact with the pole or transformer. The aircraft ended up inverted. All of that happened in about 100 feet or less of forward travel distance.

      Photos show that the pole transformer came to rest on the road, with wires still attached. There was lots of energy dissipated to pull the the transformer off the pole and strip the feed to it.

      The road-crossing service drop messenger wire is visible draped across the semi trailer, still attached at the building's service entry but pulled free of intermediate support at the building service roadside pole.

      Those observations taken together suggest that the road crossing service drop was caught on the landing gear and the pay-out of the road-crossing drop's supporting messenger wire arrested the plane and initiated nose-over during the series of sequential overload yielding events that transpired.

      Streetview of approach to pole transformer and loading dock:

      Transformer on road at six second mark in video:

      Overall scene video:


    West of the runway, Silver Sand dr

  3. Thus seconds from touchdown, as the accident site at the loading dock of GOODMAN A/C & Heating Dist Center on Silver Sands Drive is an est 5000 ft from and directly inline with Rwy 9R.
    ARCHIVED METAR OF: 20220329 // FROM: 14 TO: 15 UTC

    KMLB 291453Z VRB05KT 10SM CLR 25/11 A3020 RMK AO2 SLP226 T02500106 51010
    KMLB 291553Z 03007KT 10SM CLR 26/11 A3019 RMK AO2 SLP223 T02610111