Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N841AD: Accident occurred occurred August 09, 2022 near Corona Municipal Airport (KAJO), Riverside County, California

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.

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Gutierrez, Eric

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

Cedar Real Estate Inc
Location: Corona, California 
Accident Number: WPR22LA296
Date and Time: August 9, 2022, 12:31 Local
Registration: N841AD
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 9, 2022, about 1231 Pacific daylight time, a Piper, PA-32-300, N841AD, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Corona, California. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot reported that he adjusted the engine power to level off and reduce airspeed while entering the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 25. He stated the engine did not respond and he cycled the throttle several times with no change. The airplane was unable to maintain altitude and the pilot elected to make a forced landing onto the eastbound lanes of US freeway 91. During the landing flare, to prevent the airplane from impacting a car, the pilot intentionally stalled the airplane. The airplane subsequently landed hard, rotated to the right (clockwise) and impacted freeway barrier. He and the passenger exited the airplane. A postaccident fire ensured.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N841AD
Model/Series: PA-32-300 
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: KAJO,533 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 36°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 280°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Corona, CA 
Destination: Corona, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.897654,-117.60244 (est)

Aircraft experienced engine issues, made an emergency landing on a highway and post crash fire.  

Date: 09-AUG-22
Time: 19:31:00Z
Regis#: N841AD
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91

“It was like a heavy blow. It’s hard to describe,” pilot Andrew Cho told KTLA. “We were four to five feet in the air when the plane came to a complete stop and fell to the ground.”

The pilot and passenger of a single-engine plane escaped unscathed after it crash-landed on a California freeway Tuesday afternoon.

Andrew Cho, who was flying a Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, lost engine power and decided to use the 91 Freeway near Corona in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, as an airstrip.

Dashcam footage captured the dramatic moment the plane managed to land between cars around 12.30 pm in the eastbound lanes.

The landing was nearly flawless until one of the wings caught a passing pickup truck, tearing off one of its wings and spinning the plane, spilling flammable fuel onto the road surface.

The plane caught fire as it traveled along the freeway lanes before coming to rest on the shoulder.

Seconds later, passing drivers captured the moment Cho and his business partner, a passenger, escaped from the burning wreckage as thick black smoke billowed into the air.

“It was like a heavy blow. It’s hard to describe,” Cho told KTLA. “We were four to five feet in the air when the plane came to a complete stop and fell to the ground.”

Cho said that it was all thanks to training that he was able to make an emergency landing.

“Your training kicks in and you’re doing the right things. As long as you don’t panic, you’ll get the best result,” he explained.

“The pilot states that he may have experienced engine failure on his final approach to the Corona Municipal Airport,” California Highway Patrol Capt. Levi Miller said.

“We were very fortunate today that the traffic was light and the pilot appears to have navigated the landing well, averting what could have been a very scary tragedy,” Miller added.

The driver and three passengers of the pickup truck, which was also hit by one of the plane’s wings, were also not injured.

Parts of the freeway were closed for several hours while the wreckage was cleared and Federal Aviation Administration investigators tried to determine the cause of the crash.

CORONA, Calif. (CNS) — A single-engine airplane experiencing engine trouble crash-landed on the Riverside (91) Freeway in Corona Tuesday, triggering a fire from which the plane's occupants narrowly escaped unharmed.

The forced landing involving the  Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six occurred at 12:30 p.m. on the eastbound 91 at Lincoln Avenue, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and the California Highway Patrol.

The aircraft was "flying to Corona Municipal Airport (when) ... the pilot reported an engine issue," according to an FAA statement.

The pilot was unable to make the turn north toward the airfield, possibly due to a rapid loss of altitude, and opted to make an emergency landing straight ahead on the freeway. The aircraft made contact with a Toyota Tundra pickup truck, causing unspecified minor damage, but did not injure the driver, officials said.

Images captured on motorists' dashcams, as well as Caltrans' freeway cameras, showed the plane coming down hard and clipping a retaining wall, igniting a fire on board, then bouncing to a stop, with the nose of the Cherokee pointing into lanes and the tail on the shoulder of the eastbound 91.

Corona Fire Department engine crews reached the location within five minutes and discovered the plane in flames. The pilot and passenger, neither of whom were identified, self-extricated themselves from the wrecked aircraft and did not require medical aid.

No motorists were injured.

Corona firefighters extinguished the blaze just before 1 p.m.

There was no word on the airport from which the aircraft departed. According to FAA records the tail number N841AD is owned by a company in Anaheim.

Eastbound 91 traffic came to a virtual standstill immediately after the crash. However, CHP officers only closed the No. 4 and 5 lanes, where the plane went down. The Lincoln Avenue on-ramp was also closed. Three lanes, plus the fast-track lane, remained open.

As of 5 p.m., the burned-out remains of the aircraft were still on the freeway, but the wreckage was expected to be cleared Tuesday night.

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