Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Piper PA-28-151, N4676F: Fatal accident occurred December 03, 2022 and Incident occurred April 21, 2021

The victims have been identified as Christian Kath, 42; his wife, Misty Kath, 43, and their daughter Lily, 12.
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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): Rayner, Brian

Additional Participating Entities:
Rulon Vilcan; Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 


Location: Venice, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA23FA079
Date and Time: December 3, 2022, 19:38 Local
Registration: N4676F
Aircraft: Piper PA28 
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 3, 2022, at 1938 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-151, N4676F, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Venice, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

Preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane departed St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), St. Petersburg, Florida, on the afternoon of the accident and flew to Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), Venice, Florida. The accident occurred during takeoff on the return flight to PIE while the airplane was operating under visual flight rules.

The airplane departed runway 23, which was 5,000 ft long. The track data suggested that the airplane lifted from the runway at 1937:44, about 4,100 ft beyond the approach end of the runway at 88 knots (kts) groundspeed. Over the remaining 900 ft of runway, the airplane accelerated to 90 kts groundspeed and climbed to about 50 ft. Over the next four seconds, the track data showed two plots, both at an altitude of 75 ft and groundspeeds of 91 kts and 94 kts, respectively, before the airplane descended. At 1938:00, the final plot depicted the airplane at 0 ft and 109 kts groundspeed about 1,800 ft beyond the departure end of runway 23.

Dark night conditions prevailed around VNC at the time of the accident. The reported weather included wind from 070° at 7 knots, a broken ceiling at 5,000 ft above ground level (agl), and 7 statute miles visibility.

Airport surveillance video from the time of the accident depicted an airplane departing runway 23 with little to no angle of climb into a dark sky over dark water with no discernable horizon.

Figure 1 shows preliminary flight track information in relation to the runway 23, with estimated altitudes and groundspeeds.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued January 27, 2022, and he declared 10 total hours of flight experience on that date. The pilot’s logbook was not recovered.

The pilot conducted his flight training and rented the accident airplane from the same operator. An FAA aviation safety inspector reviewed the pilot’s rental and instruction record, which revealed that the pilot had accrued 74.2 total hours of flight experience, of which 67.6 were in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot obtained his private pilot certificate on July 31, 2022, and he had accrued 13.5 hours of flight experience since that date.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1976 and was powered by a Lycoming O-320-E3D 150-horsepower engine. The airplane’s most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on November 2, 2022, at 7,653 total aircraft hours. Local emergency services and a commercial ocean salvage operator recovered most of the wreckage from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, beneath about 15 ft of water. The engine, with propeller, engine mounts, firewall, and instrument panel attached, was found separated from the airplane and recovered as one piece. The cabin, containing the 2nd row seat, and the empennage with tail section attached, was raised along with both wings; attached by torn metal, control cables, and wires. Both wings displayed uniform crushing along their respective leading edges. The crushing displayed signatures consistent with hydraulic deformation. The wreckage was moved to a secure facility for examination. Control continuity was confirmed from the flight controls, through cuts made by recovery personnel, to all control surfaces.

About 4 feet of the fuselage between the instrument panel and the main wing spar box, which contained the main cabin door, the front seats, and the fuel selector valve, was separated from the airframe and not recovered.

Visual examination of the engine revealed only minor impact damage to the intake and exhaust stacks, mufflers, and ignition P-leads; the carburetor mount was fractured. The carburetor remained attached by the throttle and mixture cables. The engine rocker box covers were removed to facilitate the examination. The propeller was rotated by hand and continuity was established through the powertrain to the valvetrain and the accessory section. Compression was confirmed on all cylinders using the thumb method. The magnetos were removed, flushed with alcohol, dried, and produced spark at all terminal leads when rotated.

The carburetor was disassembled. Examination revealed that the floats were intact, and no anomalies were noted. The oil suction screen was clean, unobstructed, and absent of debris. The engine exam revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.




Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4676F
Model/Series: PA28 151
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVNC,19 ft msl
Observation Time: 19:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft AGL
Visibility: 7 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Venice, FL
Destination: St. Petersburg, FL (PIE)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 27.063183,-82.450583 (est)

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

April 21, 2021:  Aircraft struck a bird on landing damaging right wingtip strobe light cover at Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG), St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.


Date: 21-APR-21
Time: 18:45:00Z
Regis#: N4676F
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: ST PETERSBURG
State: FLORIDA

83 comments:

  1. Flying at night with a pilot who has only recently acquired his private pilot's license and has minimal IFR experience is risky.

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    Replies
    1. I’ve done that same dinner trip. My CFI did night takeoffs over the ocean with me at that same airport to demonstrate how a night VFR takeoff can become an IMC departure unexpectedly. Had one of those inland recently too, although as a more seasoned IFR pilot. Still, it can catch you off guard.

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  2. At 70 hrs no way he had an instrument rating. This was VFR night into the dark ocean. You only get once to experience the sheer terror of a black hole where you have no clue if you're up or down and sadly it can end pretty badly. And here it did. Besides Venice, Cedar Key is also a pretty dangerous airport to take off to if going West at night.

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    1. Coming out of the Keys at night too, N4676F was the one I always rented...

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    2. VFR pilot, but at night I’m on instruments as soon as the runway drops out of sight, don’t even really try looking out the window at least until I’m up to pattern altitude. What’s the point anyway, usually nothing to see.

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  3. This is the equivalent of a low IMC instrument departure, plain and simple. Even for an instrument rated pilot, you must bring your “A” game and be completely prepared for a dark night departure over water. The reason he never climbed is because his seat-of-pants sensation was subjected to the cinematographic illusion, and he kept gradually lowering the nose: The acceleration after takeoff made him feel like he was tumbling backwards.

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    1. He should have rotated by 60 knots.....the extra 30 knots of GS point to something going wrong even before becoming airborne.

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    2. Yep, a lack of experience

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  4. *somatogravic illusion — dictation fail

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  5. Noise abatement/Fly Friendly for VNC says:
    "ALL AIRCRAFT PILOTS:
    1. When conditions permit, please use Runway 05 for arrivals and Runway 23 for departures.
    5. Midfield Departures are prohibited."

    Remarks for VNC in airport references:
    "A30A-23 Pref departure calm wind runway."

    He did his long runway 23 takeoff roll with liftoff occurring into expected dark hole conditions after about 4,100 ft runway traveled and rotating at 88 knots (kts) ground speed while in tailwind from 070° at 7 knots.

    Is Venice managed so strictly that he would not have been able to justify taking off into the wind using RW05 with city lighting ahead?

    Reference:
    https://www.venicegov.com/government/airport/flying-friendly

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    1. "rotating @ 88 knots" ?? Things were already out of control. A PA-28 should be airborne at 60 knots...I've owned 2...a Cherokee 140 and Arrow 180..If he was still on the ground at that speed, even with a tailwind, things were going awry quickly

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    2. Those two you owned are the ones you said you can't remember the useful load ratings for, correct? Very Sus....

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    3. "When conditions permit"... well conditions did not permit. Runway 23 had a 7 knot tailwind at the time AND it was at night and runway 23 is the worst for spatial disorientation due to lack of visual cues at night. Two big reasons for the pilot to chose another runway. Noise abatement procedures are not mandatory and should only be followed if they don't impact safety in any way.

      Also all this talk about when the pilot rotated came from what, looking at rough adsb data points? You know that ads-b transmitters aren't designed to give a super accurate record of when an aircraft is airbone, right? Some transmitters, especially cheap ones, can stay in "ground" mode well after rotation. They are designed for ATC tracking when airborne, not a super accurate analysis of a pilot's takeoff roll.

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    4. > Re: Where talk of rotation.....

      NTSB, writing this in their preliminary report:
      "The track data suggested that the airplane lifted from the runway at 1937:44, about 4,100 ft beyond the approach end of the runway at 88 knots (kts) groundspeed."

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    5. I'm a new student pilot (Tampa Bay area as well) and I'm taking instruction in a Cherokee 180. First flight, my CFI had instructed me to rotate at 80 mph, when I questioned him about it his response was that the aircraft was "happier" at 80 (which is above Vx)- but to go ahead and rotate at 60 per the checklist if I wanted to..
      We have plenty of runway at our (towered) airport- so I rotated at 80 and it took minimal backpressure on the yoke to do it (no forward pressure to force the plane to stay on the runway) and I've rotated at that speed since. I'm interested in hearing why several of the above comments indicate that rotating at that airspeed is indicative of something problematic- and is it necessarily a bad idea to build up that additional airspeed before rotation, as long as you're not forcibly holding back the aircraft?

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  6. This is very sad to see and hear . on top of the near IMC conditions because of night and water. makes you also wonder on W&B , was only a 150 with 3 people

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    1. W&B not an issue.....SD was....he lost control within a minute of takeoff, likely attempting the right turn northward.

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    2. Remember....3rd pax was a child,,,,unsure of where she was seated but it seems unlikey he was over GTOW. Not certain what the extra 30 knots of GS represent prior to rotation, of the lack of climb-out performance but I would guess it was something other than attempting to get an overloaded aircraft into the air. He was a husky guy but Lily looks like she may have weighed 75 lbs max. If in fact the extra groundspeed was an attempt to get airborn, it points directly to pilot error, whether being over GTOW or SD. I dont have usefull load numbers handy but will do some research Sad no matter the cause.

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  7. All flight instruction needs to include a short, private session with the pilot's family members about how easy it is to be killed in a light plane accident. Wives (or husbands) need to understand the consequences of night flying, get-there-itis, bad weather, etc. That poor woman and her daughter had no idea of the danger they were submitting themselves to. Did his instructor even warn the pilot about such behavior?

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    1. A pilot's first reponsibility is to his passengers. If he or she want to kill themselves due to reckless behavior, that is bad enough, but to kill innocent, trusting family members is an unforgiveable sin. It seems the JFK Jr tragedy didnt teach some pilots and/or family members a very valuable lesson.

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    2. Go easy. This pilot likely did not receive adequate (or any) training on encountering IMC conditions when the weather is VFR. I didn't either, and have operated out of that same airport. My only awareness that this could happen came from flying into Cedar Key and reading the monument there. I was fortunately a somewhat experienced and current IFR rated pilot the first time I took off into a black hole unexpectedly, and it caught me by surprise (particularly since I was inland). This is just as likely a failure in training.

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  8. Sadly, this happens many times when pilots take off heading into the total darkness of the water without a horizon and this short trip would have been fine if he left to the east. This flight did not last more than a minute before loss of control. Wife & daughter were recovered, pilot’s body was not. Older daughter was not on board.

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    1. How very, very sad. I can’t imagine how hard this will be for the youngest daughter. To lose everyone in your family all at once at that age. This life experience can be so hard.

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    2. Younger daughter was not onboard. That is why her face is blurred. Lily, 12 was killed in the crash.

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  9. Just doing some math here "the pilot had accrued 74.2 total hours of flight experience, of which 67.6 were in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot obtained his private pilot certificate on July 31, 2022, and he had accrued 13.5 hours of flight experience since that date" It took him 61 hours to pass his checkride ? I realize the days of the 40 hour checkride are long gone....I took mine @ 42 due to changing flight schools....I was prepared well before that. He also flew only 13 hours in 4 months after getting his PPL. The fact he "rotated" at 90ish knots is evidence that the flight was going badly before he became airborne. Ive owned 2 PA-28 and as I recall, I was typically airborne around 60 knots.....the extra 30 knots groundspeed point to an already out of control pilot/aircraft.

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    1. "I took mine @ 42... .I was prepared well before that"... weird flex, but OK... Nice demo of the macho hazardous attitude. Getting a cert is not a race to do it in minimum hours. I have far more respect for a pilot who immerses himself in training to learn as much as possible instead of trying to do the minimum necessary to save money and calling it good. I guarantee there were plenty of things you did NOT know about being a safe proficient pilot at 42 hours. Your comments here show there are still plenty of things you don't know.

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  10. I double checked the Arrow's POH, and indeed, suggested rotation speed is 60 to 70 MPH, and would be slightly higher than the fixed gear 151. The max....70 MPH is 60 knots, so indeed...his aircraft was travelling almost 30 knots over rotation speed before becoming airborne. The tragedy was already unfolding.

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  11. Stabilator aircraft. Stabilator was not moved sufficiently to pitch the nose up before hitting 88 knots ground speed in the 7 knot tailwind Got airborne and saw 90, 94, 109 knots. Eased off his stabilator position hold after popping up but then descended going into the dark.

    Nose down pitch moment from inadvertent toe braking during ground roll, stabilator rigging offset, or both may have been going on. The cause of the late rotate at needlessly high speed is the dog not barking. Evaluating the 88 knot rotation should consider all possible causes beyond weight and balance and not rely so much on confirmation bias about his inexperience.

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  12. My comment about this experience was merely anectodal and observational. Indeed, both my PA-28s were stabilator aircraft...I never found that design to be an issue on TO or landing....not certain how that relates to the vastly delayed rotation. Interesting verbiage in your reply. Apppears English in not your first language, but that notwitstanding, you proffer your own barking dogs with some rather spectulative scenarios. I do not agree with the W&B suggestion posted by one in the thread. However, back to experience....not rotating sufficiently, toe braking during takoff, letting the nose drop in a zero visability setting....all mistakes that a low-time pilot would make. He had flown that aircraft for dozens of hours and should have been familiar with the characteristics of the stabilator, any possible rigging issues....in fact, flight aware shows it had been flown multiple hours that day with no problems. Again....not aborting the TO if there were issues is a fatal mistake.

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    1. Sez the guy pretending to own two but clueless on useful load...

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    2. @JWC you’re coming off as an all-knowing ass. So what if his language isn’t English? What difference does this make?

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  13. 1976 Piper Warrior N4676F
    PIPER PA-28-151
    Fixed wing single engine
    (4 seats / 1 engine)
    Standard rate: $183/hr
    Club rate: $161.04/hr
    Garmin GTX 330/330D
    Garmin GMA 340
    KX155 and KX165 Bendix/King TSO’D NAV/COMM Systems
    Garmin G5
    Garmin 400W Series

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    1. https://stpeteair.org/portfolio-items/1976-piper-warrior-pa-28-151/?portfolioCats=37

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  14. 1976 Piper Warrior N4676F
    PIPER PA-28-151
    Fixed wing single engine
    (4 seats / 1 engine)
    Standard rate: $183/hr
    Club rate: $161.04/hr
    Garmin GTX 330/330D
    Garmin GMA 340
    KX155 and KX165 Bendix/King TSO’D NAV/COMM Systems
    Garmin G5
    Garmin 400W Series

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  15. IMHO night flying over open water or featureless terrain is not emphasized enough during PPL training. Many pilots don’t realize such conditions put them in equivalent of hard IMC. During my training I just happened to fly over open water at night with instructor to realize “holy cow, this is very disorienting”. This was not planned, we just happened to make a turn towards the Gulf. I remember this experience to this day and who knows, it might have saved me from making a mistake at some point in time.

    I wish PPL curriculum included this item specifically. Or at least “where possible” - such as many places in Florida.

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    1. Published noise abatement protocols need to recognize that risk as well. The Fly Friendly instructions that he adhered to by making his downwind night takeoff don't include any reminders acknowledging the hazard that non instrument rated pilots expose themselves to by complying.

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    2. Could of taxied to north bound runway 31, and had lights a land ahead of him. Flight school should of had a preflight briefing with him, upon learning destination. You got to know what you don't know! Too bad about his wife and daughter, and other daughter left an orphan.

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    3. If he was going to disobey the preferred RW 23 departure dictated by the airport's fly friendly requirements, RW 5 makes more sense for wind 7 knots, 70° than a takeoff on 31. His flight trainers located adjacent to Gulf waters failed him big time for not ingraining his mind with an understanding of black hole departures.

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    4. The noise abatement procedures are OPTIONAL. There should be zero concern with "disobeying" them if you'd rather do something different for safety reasons. Even a 1 knot tailwind should be more than enough reason to screw the noise abatement procedures and choose another runway and there was nearly 7 times that tailwind speed at the time. It's not like a little Piper makes a ton of noise anyway.

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    5. As a CFII who has departed that runway, and as an Attorney, I feel that that flight school may be liable way beyond their Insurance limits when the daughter sues them. Yes he was FAA certified to fly night VFR, but that school should be taking their students down there at night and showing them safely how this departure can be trouble. And maybe do not rent to pilots at night without a "current" IFR rating. A local jury may find they had a "duty" to sit with that pilot and go over the proposed trip, weather potential and all. This is Punitive damage territory and this FBO/school may be out of biz.

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    6. What are flight schools supposed to do? Train students on departures from every airport within 100nm? The plane was based at a completely different airport. The pilot was legal and night current. Passed by a DPE. Where exactly does the buck stop?

      Serious question, as a CFII, do you go over the flight plan of all the people who come to rent planes from your fbo? Is the pilot (assuming they have a checkout in the same type and a current BFR) not the final authority on all flights?

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    7. The comment from the Attorney is exactly what is wrong with our legal system and why people hate Attorneys like you. Take some personal responsibility for once. Flying airplanes is a dangerous endeavor which every pilot goes into knowing. There is no practical way for CFIs to prepare for every possible scenario when a pilot might use bad judgement. The risks are nothing new, they've existed since the Wright brothers took their first flight. What has changed is now we have people wanting a nanny state where everyone expects the government and courts need to legislate and litigate away all possible threats.

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  16. Checklist for this airplane:

    https://stpeteair.org/wp-content/uploads/N4676F-final-version.pdf

    It shows rotate speed 44 - 55 kts

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  17. Maybe his rotation ground speed was high because he knew he had a tailwind and was trying to compensate for that ... let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  18. This reminds me of this story. "Many “seasoned” pilots reason a new flight student arrives for their first lesson with two buckets. One holds the student’s flying experience, which is empty. The other holds the student’s flying luck, hopefully it’s full. From that point forward the student’s goal is to fill his bucket of experience before the luck bucket is empty because it is known that good decisions come from experience and applying the lessons learned from those previous experiences to the current situation. Unfortunately, too often experience is obtained as a result of bad decisions that are survived by making a withdrawal from the luck bucket." Unfortunately it sounds like the first time he scared himself while flying with his family the luck bucket wasn't there as a net. Fly long enough and you will drive home from the airport glad that there was some luck in the bucket when you needed it.

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  19. I had an experience like this departing Republic airport in NY. VFR departure towards the Atlantic Ocean, ATC had me in a climbing turn to 6500 as I was headed westbound home. As I climbed out front the shoreline into total darkness, the climbing turn had me start to question my senses - luckily I was able to turn my head back to shoreline and gain a reference as I turned on heading. As a 1200 pilot it was the first time I really experienced spatial disorientation.

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  20. After flying near 50 years, I have as many seen alot of things go wrong even for myself in the past. I appears to me that he may have had a control lock outside or even a yoke lock in and got airborne with the trim tab being set to elevate. I know this happened to a friend of mine once. He was in a hurry and never did his aleron check or elevator check before take off. You know the procedure, taxi with your feet steering and do you run up all the while having the get going in a hurry fever. I may be wrong but seems to me that could have happened. RIP

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    1. The rental company checklist preflight cockpit inspection shows:
      Control wheel --------------- Release Belt

      This suggests that their practice for gust locking was to belt tie the control instead of pinning, but your suggestion is certainly valid.

      https://stpeteair.org/wp-content/uploads/N4676F-final-version.pdf

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  21. This is such a sad and tragic case , but the saddest part of all , is that is 100% preventable . We see this over and over again and the only that changes are names of the victims
    The young daughter who survived, has an extremely long road ahead and god hopes that she has a guardian angel. The flight school who rented him the airplane is very culpable in my opinion, for renting him an airplane for a night flight, if he did not have a night endorsement , which will come out in the investigation.

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    1. Agree about flight school lacking in responsibility, for allowing rental, with night return.

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    2. It is not a "night endorsement" but night proficiency which means 3 takeoffs/landings within 90 days. He may have been 100% legal... but legal doesn't mean safe. A lot of ignorant comments on here. I wouldn't say taking off with almost his entire family (I suspect he would have taken his other daughter too if the plane had 5 seats) was a good idea at 70 hrs BUT it was probably legal and he had every right to do so. This is why the DPE will be questioned too.. The biggest responsibility of all goes to the last gatekeeper i.e the examiner who handed him his PPL. Once you have that license you can do as you wish. Even fly a plane under 12500 lb with 10 seats. Or even get yourself a jet and get the type rating for it. A Cirrus Jet can be flown by a private pilot with no multi and just a yearly recurring type rating class because it has just one turbofan engine.

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    3. Maybe he booked the rental with a return the next morning? It's very difficult for a flight school to prevent a pilot from flying at night who wants to. Also, since night flight is a required part of getting your private cert, it would be a bit strange to then disallow it. No, the solution is teaching proper ADM that would keep pilots from making risky takeoffs like this.

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  22. I honestly don’t know what makes a 70-hour PPL think this was a good idea. Common sense would tell you it’s not. Really sad for the kid who missed out on the next 70 years of life due to her dad’s atrocious decision-making. I can just hear the family now: “it must have been mechanical, he was a very safe pilot.” Always the same story.

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  23. Totally agree. Should went for a day flight, in great weather.

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  24. Was it legal? yes... was it safe? No

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  25. Some one at FBO rental site should have warned him to take off towards a lighted area, and not downwind towards the Gulf, into IFR conditions. It takes 2 seconds to have Spatial Disorientation and freak out!! They should have a senior instructor always around to talk to "ROOKIE" pilots, and their current mission, prior to any rental !!     

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    1. I was very lucky to always have my Dad CFI to talk to before any night or long trips. I flew in some stupid weather a few times, in everything from a Warrior to a CE-340 and our Turbo Aztec. Very good mentoring that at the time i didn't appreciate, since my cert read Comm/Inst/ Multi/ CFII. At that age i was bulletproof and thought i could fly anything, anywhere, anytime.
      my first 3000 hours were still very much a leaners permit.

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    2. I need a Bi-annual. Are you anywhere near Tampa Bay/ St.Pete area? Gordie

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  26. The ADS-B data from the preliminary report suggests the pilot rotated at no more than 73 knots IAS, not 88. The NTSB misinterpreted the ADS-B data. The first data point in the report is 80 knots at -50ft MSL. The airport elevation is +18ft MSL, so this is obviously an uncorrected pressure altitude. If you correct for the altimeter setting of 30.28, you get an altitude of 310 feet, meaning the aircraft was already airborne at that first point (which is not unexpected as ADS-B data is not always received when an aircraft is low). Even if you assume they actually rotated at the first point where the altitude goes from -50 to -25, that is 80 knots ground speed, which when subtracting the 7 knot tailwind gives you 73 knots IAS.

    I think the moral of the story here is ADSB data is not that granular or accurate as people think, so be careful deriving facts from it.

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    1. NTSB's interpretation of ADS-B data has an odd wrinkle in the correction of N4676F's 29.92 Hg referenced MSL data transmissions for 30.28 Hg local altimeter. As detailed below, the correction applied in their estimates doesn't appear to follow the standard correction calculation.

      Start with the description preceding Figure 1:
      "Figure 1 shows preliminary flight track information in relation to the runway 23, with estimated altitudes and ground speeds."

      Data points #9 & #10 have NTSB estimated MSL of +75 feet. Those physical locations correlate to two data points captured by Adsbexchange displayed as -100 feet MSL (uncorrected).

      The granularity that Adsbexchange uses to display N4676F's track plot MSL data appears to be steps in 100 foot increments, easily seen in Leg 7 of 3 December, N4676F's departure from St. Pete and flight to KVNC.

      If standard rounding rules are applied in Adsbexchange data presentation, a -100 value would be displayed for N4676F's transmitted MSL data ranging from -50 to -149. The corrected to +75' MSL value that NTSB estimated at data point #9 & #10 adds 125 to -50 and adds only 224 if Adsbexchange rounded down from -149 to display the -100 MSL value.

      TLDR takeaway: The NTSB's estimates are not uncorrected values taken directly from N4676F's raw ADS-B transmissions. The non standard correction applied and the unexplained negative values estimated for the initial part of the takeoff just muddy the understanding of what is presented in the report.

      Reference links:
      St. Pete takeoff for KVNC (note 100 foot steps/granularity):
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a5b6cc&lat=27.773&lon=-82.620&zoom=15.3&showTrace=2022-12-03&leg=7&trackLabels

      Accident takeoff (presume 100 foot steps):
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a5b6cc&lat=27.066&lon=-82.448&zoom=16.6&showTrace=2022-12-04&trackLabels

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    2. The moral of the story is that training and proficiency go hand-in-hand ...

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    3. As a pilot who has actually looked at the ADS-B data for my flights, I can attest that FlightAware in particular, but even raw ADS-B exchange data can be way off. FlightAware clocked some of my flights where my actual ground speed was 130 knots at over 270 knots, it's shown me 200-300 feet too low or too high during takeoff or landing. God forbid I ever crash, because you yahoos are going to look at my ADS-B data make a ton of assumptions about what an awful pilot I am. (Not saying I'm not, but judge my actual flying, not my ADS-B transmitter!)

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  27. I still feel some 70 hour "Student Pilot" with 3 or 4 hour TT private pilot, should have been seriously interrogated, BY ANYBODY RENTING HIM THE PLANE. Including the girl/guy behind counter collecting the money...

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    1. He was renting from the place that trained him. They would know better than anyone.

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  28. The day I got my PPL both the DPE and my CFII said "Congratulations, you've now got a license to learn. Now go and get your Instrument rating and become a real pilot"

    It's amazing how much more aware that one simple rating makes you as a pilot. Night flying (especially into a black hole) is IFR flying. How the FAA doesn't regulate night flying more for PPL's is astonishing, IMHO.

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    1. My DPE said the same thing to me about instrument rating. That was in 1981. Funny how you remember those things.
      On my instrument check ride I have a fun story about local DPE , Marco Grillo, Taking control of the twitchy Grumman Tiger in the LAX north bound corridor. He starts diving towards plane ahead and below us, and starts going nah, nah, nah, and then pulls up and says to me "I Waxed Him!" I was pretty frazzled after the old fashion all analog gauges check, out and cracked up laughing. No glass cockpits back then!

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  29. I need a Bi-annual. Are you anywhere near Tampa Bay/ St.Pete area? Gordie

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    1. I need one too, live in Seminole FL. Maybe we can team up with a CFI and get a deal.

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  30. You got the plane. You sound like a pilot! This is a white knuckler town! Everybody has a coupon in hand, and holding so tight, their knuckles turn white! E-mail me @yahoo.com Gordie

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  31. I hear you about questioning "Every Pilot Renting A Plane", But apparently Venice airport is a common destination. This guy had rookie pasted all over him, with the Family in tow. In less than a 2 minute conversation, he could of been seriously warned not to take off over the water, to avoid spatial disorientation. He was probably trying to save the money not taxiing to the opposite end of runway!

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  32. There are multiple problems with how night flight is being approached and trained. It all starts with the minimal training requirements to get your private. That is compounded by the very minimalist approach to instrument flying during private training. Both of them should be expanded, because there are plenty of night VFR departures that can quickly turn into instrument departures once you rotate, start climbing, or end up pointing away from any light sources.
    Then there are the flight schools, with a large number of them refusing to rent planes for night flying to non-instrument rated pilots. That results in even less night currency and proficiency for most VFR pilots.
    My choice would be a mandatory night check-out with an instructor for any new night renter, and maybe re-do it once a year if the renter does not maintain night currency. That check-out should emphasize the somatogravic illusions associated with night flying, along with the dangers (and the mitigating actions) of not having a defined horizon and proper ground references at night.
    While not being proper instrument flight, night flying is definitely a good time for any pilot to trust and be comfortable with his flight instruments, and also be very disciplined and follow proper take-off procedures.

    Someone brought up a good point about noise abatement procedures, and not having to follow them if they impact safety. That is a good point, I might actually approach our local FAA Safety Team rep and initiate a conversation with them on the topic.

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    1. Edit the noise abatement/Fly Friendly document for VNC to add "Night takeoffs on RW23 subject pilots to black hole IMC conditions that have resulted in VFR rated pilot fatalities."

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  33. Are you talking knots or miles per hour. 80 mph equals 73 mph

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  34. Replies
    1. 1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour. Can't say knots per hour ;-)

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  35. There is a very good restaurant on the beach just north of the accident sight called Sharky’s. It is walking distance from the FBO. If you get your license at SPG this is a bucket list. destination to take your friends and family. 25 minute flight, have dinner on the beach, and fly home. lt is a lovely outing. This is clearly what their activity was. It is unfortunate but the NTSB will need to check the dinner receipts and interview the wait staff about who was drinking alcohol to eliminate that as a factor. This is standard practice in many investigations.

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  36. Downwind Takeoff. The wind was 070@7kt. Departing rwy 23, this would result in a 5-6kt tailwind. Cloud Cover was 5000’ broken. Most of the sky was obscured. So lifting off of runway 23 @1937 local time on Dec3rd would have a dark ocean below and a dark sky above. There is signage on the Venice airport stating Runway 23 is the preferred noise abatement. This type of messaging can be intimidating to new pilots. If the pilot understood this sign was just advisory and instead chose runway 5: there would have been a headwind on takeoff and liftoff would have occurred at 10-12kts lower ground speed. There would have been the added advantage of the city lights below to form a visual horizon as they lifted off and most likely they fly home and we never know about it.

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    1. https://www.google.com/search?q=Sharky%27s+restaurant+Venice+Beach&gs_ivs=1#lrd=0x88c35bdec5627b9d:0x72a32aa28615afc6,1,,,,

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  37. Should have use North Bound runway, and have lights all around him, with a slight x wind.

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  38. Thanks. Looking for a airplane owner that rents to high time , experienced pilots for cash. I wonder how much a Uber would cost? https://www.google.com/search?q=Sharky%27s+restaurant+Venice+Beach&gs_ivs=1#lrd=0x88c35bdec5627b9d:0x72a32aa28615afc6,1,,,, looks like good reviews Gordie OUT

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  39. I'm a private pilot who trained at a flight school based out of MTN (Martin State) in Baltimore, which has runway departures out over the Chesapeake Bay. The flight school syllabus (and most local CFI's in general), focused heavily on VFR flying over water, esp given the large number of proximate airports to the Bay, its tributaries and the Atlantic Ocean. Many of my training night flights, including a few cross-country solos, included airports with approach and departure runways over water. I had accrued more than 70 hours before I was signed off by my CFI for my check ride, which may lead many pilots to assume I was slow on the training uptake. Quite the contrary. It was training time well spent. The first few dual night flights and landings at Ocean City (OCE), Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Essex Skypark (W48) and Lee Airport (ANP), with little to no moon or horizon, were terrifying and disorienting, even with a CFI on board. It took time to overcome paralyzing fear and gain the confidence to not only fly the plane, but to seriously assess my mindset and preparedness prior to initiating those flights in the first place. My training provided me with the "luxury" of experiencing the specific situational challenges I might face while flying (in this case, sheer terror) in a safe way. It imprinted me with a unique appreciation for anticipating and adapting to changing flying environments, but more importantly, it provided me with a benchmark for evaluating my own personal limits. And it wasn't just training for night flying over water, but day VFR flights over water, planning for engine failures with no shoreline in sight. It's just a whole different set of challenges that require relevant training with meaningful, repetitious thought processes. I'm grateful that I had a flight school and CFI's that considered and recognized the unique situations we might encounter as recreational pilots. As a side note, during my check ride, the DPE pulled my engine over Hartmiller Island, a dredged spoil area out in the Bay. He didn't end the simulation until we were at 50 ft - I was prepared to land on that sand dune. Didn't know how I'd get back off but I knew I could at least land it safely. And in retrospect, that's really the objective every pilot has when they take off.

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