Friday, July 15, 2022

Runway Excursion: Piper PA-32-300, N9583C; accident occurred April 25, 2022 at Whittaker Field, Fountain Inn, Laurens County, South Carolina

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; Columbia, South Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Fountain Inn, South Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA22LA202
Date and Time: April 25, 2022, 10:00 Local
Registration: N9583C
Aircraft: Piper PA32
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was attempting to land on a 2,250-ft long uphill turf runway with a 7 knot tailwind. He reported that during the landing flare, his groundspeed was higher than expected for a normal touchdown point. The pilot did not perform a go-around as he was concerned about clearing power lines at the end of the runway. The airplane subsequently touched down, overran the departure end of the runway, and collided with a fence, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to obtain the proper touchdown point during landing, which resulted in a runway overrun and collision with a fence.


Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Landing area overshoot
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 67,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: BasicMed 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 19, 2021
Flight Time: 2550 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2300 hours (Total, this make and model), 2500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N9583C
Model/Series: PA32 300 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 32-7840103
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: January 18, 2021 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4521 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GYH,955 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 09:47 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 279°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2500 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 250° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Liberty, SC (LQK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fountain Inn, SC
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 09:45 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Whittaker Field None
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 680 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2250 ft / 60 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.723519,-82.099243

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