Sunday, April 17, 2022

Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six C, N3618W: Accident occurred April 16, 2022 in Grantsville, Garrett County, Maryland

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; Baltimore, Maryland


Location: Grantsville, Maryland
Accident Number: ERA22LA191
Date and Time: April 16, 2022, 20:46 Local
Registration: N3618W
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-260 
Injuries: 3 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 16, 2022, about 2046 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-260, N3618W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Grantsville, Maryland. The commercial pilot and two passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight inspection with no anomalies noted, received a weather briefing, and departed with an instrument flight rules clearance. About 2 hours into the flight, the airplane was about 11,000 ft mean sea level approaching clouds and the pilot increased engine power and turned the pitot heat on. The airplane was “underperforming and unable to climb over the clouds.” After entering the clouds, he noticed the airspeed decreasing and the autopilot was increasing the pitch of the airplane to maintain altitude. The pilot disengaged the autopilot, decreased the pitch attitude of the airplane, and noted that it was “difficult to maintain pitch control.” He examined the wings and windscreen for any signs of ice but was unable to see any.

The pilot notified air traffic control of the issue controlling the airplane and they declared an emergency for him. The airplane descended out the clouds into heavy rain and continued to descend. The pilot elected to perform a forced landing to a road, during which the airplane impacted trees and terrain resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage, wings and empennage.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N3618W
Model/Series: PA-32-260 
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: IMC 
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: 2G4,2933 ft msl
Observation Time: 20:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / 18 knots, 290°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 500 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Wanash, IN (IWH)
Destination: Baltimore, MD (MTN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.706574,-79.080896 (est)

Aircraft crashed for unknown reasons in a residential area. 

Date: 16-APR-22
Time: 23:56:00Z
Regis#: N3618W
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: GRANTSVILLE
State: MARYLAND




GRANTSVILLE, Maryland  — Three people were injured Saturday night after a small plane headed to Martin State Airport crashed in Garrett County, Maryland State Police said.

Troopers were called shortly after 8 p.m. for a report of a small plane crash in a wooded area adjacent to 179 Spring Ridge Ct. in Grantsville.

According to a preliminary investigation, a Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six C aircraft departed from Wabash, Indiana, for Martin State Airport in Middle River, Baltimore County.

Police said the pilot, Robert Greensberg, 62, of Baltimore, told investigators he experienced bad weather in the Garrett County area and climbed to 11,000 feet. According to a preliminary investigation, Greensberg said he suspected the plane iced over, causing him to lose control of the plane before the crash.

Greensburg, along with two passengers -- a 50-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl, were taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Maryland.

No other injuries were reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct the investigation into the crash.

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