Sunday, May 29, 2022

Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N4421M: Fatal accident occurred May 28, 2022; Incidents occurred September 19, 2021 and July 04, 2014

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 travelled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina
Lycoming; Atlanta, Georgia 

Barnstormers Aerial Advertising LLC

Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA22FA243
Date and Time: May 28, 2022, 14:14 Local
Registration: N4421M
Aircraft: Piper PA-12
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Banner tow

On May 28, 2022, at 1414 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-12, N4421M, was sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 banner tow flight.

Witnesses standing on the flight line at Grand Strand Airport (CRE), North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, stated that airplane approached to pick up a banner, pitched up and maintained a steep angle of attack until the airplane stalled. The left wing dropped down, and airplane made a near vertical descent and impact.

The accident site was located 126 ft to the right side of runway 23, midfield, and about 300 ft away from the banner pick up zone. Both wings exhibited accordion style crushing. The propeller separated at the engine shaft and was buried about 2 ft in the ground. One propeller blade exhibited chordwise paint abrasion, “S” bending and longitudinal twisting toward the blade face. The other propeller blade exhibited chordwise paint abrasion. Both fuel tanks were breached. Flight control continuity was established to all flight controls. The instrument panel was located under the engine and all instruments were damaged with no useful information able to be attained.

The engine was disassembled, and it was noted that there were no accessory drive splines installed in the engine accessory case, so the engine crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. The right-side cylinders No. 1 and No. 3 were removed to provide visual access to the engine internal components. Continuity of the crankshaft, camshaft and valve train were confirmed by visual observation. The interiors of all four cylinders were examined with no anomalies noted.

The company president stated that the pilot was a long-term employee with the company and had over 15,000 hours flying this type of banner tow airplanes.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4421M
Model/Series: PA-12
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCRE,33 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Destination: North Myrtle Beach, SC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.811535,-78.725278

Aircraft returned to drop off banner and climbed out, then nosed over backwards into the ground. 

Date: 28-MAY-22
Time: 18:15:00Z
Regis#: N4421M
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA12
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Activity: BANNER TOW
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

May 28, 2022:  NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (WMBF) - A pilot died after their plane crashed in North Myrtle Beach on Saturday.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden said 56-year-old David Flading died of traumatic injuries after his plane went down at the Grand Strand Regional Airport at around 2 p.m.

The coroner added that Flading lived in the Myrtle Beach area for more than 20 years after moving from Pennsylvania.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Flading was flying a Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, more commonly known as a “banner plane.”

The City of North Myrtle Beach said fire and rescue crews responded to the crash, along with the North Myrtle Beach Police Department and Horry County Fire Rescue.

WMBF News also spoke with a man nearby who saw the scene moments after the plane crashed.

“I heard the fire engines and the medical squads come through our back road here,” said Bob Dorsey. “I knew something happened. I came out of the house and went down to the end as the fire trucks were coming in and I could see the plane nose down with the tail up in the air.”

A co-worker Flading spoke to WMBF News on Sunday, calling him “a great pilot who loved flying” and “a genuine and kind person who greeted me every morning with a smile.”

“I will miss his friendship,” she said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

September 19, 2021:   Aircraft made an emergency landing on the beach - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Barnstormers Aerial Advertising LLC

Date: 19-SEP-21
Time: 17:40:00Z
Regis#: N4421M
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA12
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: BANNER TOW
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; West Columbia, South Carolina

July 04, 2014:  Aircraft during banner tow operation, banner struck the top of a parasail with two (2) parasail riggers. No injuries. Damage minor to the parasail.  Aircraft and parasail landed without incident.  North Myrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina. 

Barnstormers Aerial Advertising LLC

North Myrtle Beach, SC (WMBF) - The sign from a banner plane ripped through parasailers' parachute causing them to make an emergency landing. The report and statements have been published.

The pair parasailing were brothers, visiting from Virginia for the Fourth of July. Their fun took a turn for the worst. One of the boys said they saw the plane coming straight towards them.

The two boys went out with the North Myrtle Beach Parasailing crew. As they were up in the air, they noticed the plane flying very close to them. The older of the two, Riley, said he knew something wasn't right.

"It looked really close to the parasail, and I was really scared it was going to hit the actual parachute" Riley Jorgenson described.

Riley, 14, and his brother, 12, were first to see the plane.

Statements were collected the two boys, the driver of the boat, the manager of North Myrtle Beach Parasailing, and the captain of the banner plane.

WMBF News looked into proper regulations for parasailing.

"The FAA limits all the folks in Myrtle Beach to 300 feet and that's because of the banner planes that fly the beach with us - they have to fly at 500 feet" David Sage explained. Sage owns Ocean Watersports in Myrtle Beach.

In addition to FAA rules, the City of North Myrtle Beach has articles regulating parasailing operations and training of their crews.

Sage explained all parasailing companies in the area have a meeting with banner plane pilots every spring to talk about safety.

"We hash it all out and talk about what we could do better. We've never had any close calls and I've been going to those meetings for 16 or 17 years," he said.

Although no one was hurt, the family said one of the boys is still very shaken up.

In his statement, he said:

"We were settled and I saw the plane coming at us. I got kind of worried and I panicked. After that, the ride continued. I was very scared on the way down, and then we landed on the boat. I would not recommend this ride to anyone."

His older brother, says he was trying to comfort his brother and remain calm but knew the plane could have done a lot of damage.

"I was really scared the plane would take the parachute and both of them would go down. The plane wouldn't be flying right and the parachute wouldn't be flying right, so we would go into the water. I was really scared about that," Riley said.

The father of the boys was on the beach when he heard of the accident. He didn't know at the time it was during his sons' turn. The family says they are happy to be okay, but realize this could have been much worse.

1 comment:

  1. This is the same company that landed on the beach recently