Sunday, October 23, 2022

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder, N8580N: Accident occurred October 23, 2022 near Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (KSPA), South Carolina

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.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Gerhardt, Adam

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

Additional Participating Entity:
James Jackson; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina 

A1 Aviation LLC

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Accident Number: ERA23LA037
Date and Time: October 23, 2022, 17:00 Local
Registration: N8580N
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235 
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On October 23, 2022, about 1700 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA28-235 airplane, N8580N, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA), Spartanburg, South Carolina. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot reported that the preflight inspection, run-up, and takeoff were routine. On climb out, about 600 ft above ground, he heard a “boom”, the engine rpm dropped to zero, and the engine lost all power. He immediately pitched for best glide airspeed and completed a forced landing on a city street. During the rollout, the pilot turned into an auto parts store, evacuated the passengers and himself, and deployed a fire extinguisher toward the engine and cowling due to smoke emanating from that area. The airplane struck power lines during the landing approach, which resulted in substantial damage to the rudder.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector performed a visual examination of the engine. He observed evidence of smoke and fire damage on the engine and cowling area. There were no obvious signs of a catastrophic engine failure.

The airplane was powered by a Lycoming O-540-B4B5, 235-horsepower, reciprocating engine.

The most recent annual inspection was completed on February 15, 2022.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N8580N
Model/Series: PA-28-235 NO SERIES
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: SPA,801 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Spartanburg, SC
Destination: Sylva, NC (24A)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: Both in-flight and on-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.924826,-81.969373

SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg Police said a small plane made an emergency landing on a road on Sunday evening that caused a few power outages.

Police said the landing happened near John B. White Boulevard, but no injuries were reported.

As of 6:13 p.m., all of the roads in the area are re-opened. 

According to Duke Energy, only 165 customers in the area are without power.

Police said traffic might be delayed near Kensington and John B. White Boulevard as well as Southport Road and John B. White Boulevard.



  2. Appears they turned out to the left and landed just a mile from the field on Hwy 29

  3. the most dangerous part of any flight, the departure... Flight didn't even last a whole minute, not enough ADS-B data to even theorize what happened, but a wild guess is engine failure of one of a dozen possible reasons (my first is always fuel related, or lack of). Glad the pilot was ok, but that left wing doesn't look too happy. Ouch.

    1. oh that's weird, I was commenting on the Piper N39628 that did a hard emergency landing in West Palm Beach, not this Cherokee... somehow my comment got posted here (?) weird. Yeah, this one is fine.

  4. Photos show schmutz on the front end. Not sure there is wing damage.

    1. Photos w/smoke & wing view:

    2. I got a little chuckle out of that third photo with the aircraft in the parking lot of an Advance Auto Parts store. I've seen cars with their hoods up smoking and steaming, there but never an airplane needing help!

    3. oh that's weird, I was commenting on the Piper N39628 that did a hard emergency landing in West Palm Beach, not this Cherokee... somehow my comment got posted here (?) weird. Yeah, this one is fine.


  5. Looks like they may have simply towed it back to the airport

  6. I was flying out of GMU listening in on GSP Approach. In short order, you heard the pilot call out mayday, and 5sec later announce "landing in the street." Understandably, no transmissions after that other than approach announcing the fire dispatch. It's eerie listening to that unfold while your up in the air yourself. It made my heart sink. Once I landed and got the plane put away, I was so relieved to hop on the internet to read they made a safe landing. Well done!