Saturday, January 07, 2023

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee Fliteliner, N592FL: Fatal accident occurred January 07, 2023 near Suffolk Executive Airport (KSFQ), Virginia

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.

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.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia 

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances and post crash fire.  

Grey Rose Air LLC

Date: 07-JAN-23
Time: 17:45:00Z
Regis#: N592FL
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew:  1 Fatal
Pac: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

SUFFOLK, Virginia — Two North Carolina men died in a plane crash on Saturday, January 7 in Suffolk, according to Virginia State Police.

Authorities say around 12:16 p.m., a small passenger plane, described as a Piper PA-28 by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), crashed in the 3900 block of Carolina Road and was “fully engulfed in fire.” This escalated into a large brush fire, according to Suffolk Fire & Rescue.

The Suffolk Fire Department described the fire as "rapidly progressing." Due to the threat it posed to the surrounding homes, residents were evacuated.

The fire has since been contained, and the department says it is now marked as "under control."

Saturday night, with help from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the two North Carolina men killed in the crash have been identified as Christian Rask Fauchald, 54, and Eric John Bergevin, 53.

Virginia State Police's investigation is still ongoing. Meanwhile, State Police told News 3 the FAA and NTSB will be onsite Sunday to continue their investigation as well.


  1. FAA Airman Registry lists Eric John Bergevin, as holding a student certificate, (FAA database may not be up to date). Mr. Bergevin is also associated with an LLC which owns, N592FL a PA-28. The other occupant, Christian Rask Fauchald, does not appear in the FAA Airman Registry.

  2. Me. Bergevin had recently completed his Private Pilot check ride with a local DPE in the accident aircraft.

  3. Looks like open area where pilot could have made a flat approach . Maybe Pilot let airspeed get too low and stalled /spun into ground .

  4. I live near this area and flew over the wreck a couple of hours later. These clear-cut fields are tree farms full of large stumps that will rip an airplane to shreds should a forced landing occur. On the other hand there are pentiful cotton, soybean and cornfields nearby that would have been a better place to set down if it were possible.

    Hard to know what happened since there seems to be no direct witnesses. The wreckage will have to tell the story via the NTSB in time.

    1. I read today the airplane was down for maintenance, a&p cleaned plugs, replaced a couple and after a runup the excess mag drop and rough running engine was still present - he told the owner he would check it out on Monday. Owner decided to fly it over the weekend anyway - A lady in a car looing through her windshield saw the airplane in a vertical nose dive and two puffs of black smoke behind the airplane but did not see the airplane on fire

  5. Very sad to hear about this crash. This Cherokee had been parked up at ECG for a lot of the last 2 years, a resident of the flight line I never really gave two glances to, but knew it'd almost always be there. A plane that I'd point to my instructor, and say something like "Oh, it's a simple thing, but I wouldn't mind having it!". It was just that kind of plane.

    Rest in peace to those onboard.

    1. And that is the denouement of most of our lives as pilots. If I were the pilot, a clear cut field would have looked like a fine place to put the airplane down; from the air. We get no second chances in an emergency.
      Of course, I have only been flying since 1971, so what do i know?

    2. Seems like the 1:58 PM comment speaks about not initially perceiving that the clear cut but stumpy field would be stumpy, but upon stumps becoming apparent after committing to it, a pilot can't reverse time and choose a different landing spot for that emergency (no "do-over").

      Comes across like a reasonable comment. Maybe the 12:52 AM reply interpreted differently.

  6. I am astounded that i was verbally attacked by some clown who missed the point of my missive, A clear cut field could easily have been perceived as a decent landing point in an emergency. I am saddened that the guys had no alternative before the stumps tore the airplane apart and killed them. The arrogance of my attacker is almost beyond belief.

    1. This must be your first day on the board if you are that easily astounded.

    2. The report I saw showed it going in close to Vertical not torn apart by any stumps. Putting the engine 3 ft into swampy ground is something you don't do with a low angle approach and stump impacts. I think this was a stalled airplane well before it hit the ground.

  7. NTSB Prelim Report is out: excessive magneto drop during runup early in January, mechanic to get to investigate the problem on the 9th and informed owner not to fly, owner flew on the 7th. Airplanes are not cars, you can't pull over when they stop running.

  8. Prelim also says it was trailing black smoke, could have been a developing too-rich carburetor problem on the 0-320, like a sinking float. Was a dumb "go get lunch" flight, expecting one mag to suffice, not expecting progression of a too-rich malfunction that dual plugs firing on each cylinder masked.

  9. When your mechanic says you have an engine problem, trust him. Knowing that he had an engine problem, the pilot elected to fly the aircraft with a "known deficiency" in violation of FAR's. The result was predictable.

  10. All seem to be missing the point. The aircraft was "unairworthy" and should not have been in the air. What happened after that is immaterial. Fields, stumps, what-ifs, etc., doesn't matter. Some accidents are just a series of unfortunate events that all come together to produce a bad outcome. This accident was needless as it could have been easily avoided by NOT flying an unairworthy aircraft.

    1. "The aircraft was 'unairworthy' and ..." is exact. I've heard many arrogant (type A) private pilots opine, "I'm a pilot," but when asked to expand on their flying experience, one discovers they are a GA pilot - most without even an instrument rating. I started flying in 1968. I lost count of the GA "pilots" that died as a result of poor judgement. That count was lost when I realized that if I lined their coffins end-to-end, they would stretch the US from one ocean to the next. Judgement can't be found in the FAR's, but it is all written in blood. Before you decide to break a Reg, please leave your full contact info (and next of kin) at the front desk of the departure FBO before you hit Vr. KR is full of senseless fatal "accidents." Flying is not an accident - it's a decision that can/will end your life (and your passengers lives) if you fail to follow the Reg's and exercise poor judgement. A parting recommendation = Never get in or near a running helicopter. Godspeed and keep your airspeed, Up.

    2. ^ "Coffins end to end across the USA"...
      Math check: How about 2,500 statute miles for that distance multiplied by 5,280 feet per mile and divided by eight feet long coffins?
      That's 1,650,000 dead. How was that your "realization"?

    3. Thankfully, there haven't been 1,650,000 general aviation fatalities during the 55 year interval from 1968 to 2023. That would have been 30,090 per year, which is 82 per day, every day, nonstop.

    4. The coffin pilot was making a point about FAR's. Funny how the guy made his point with the tandem coffins and yet the only thing those offended by his comment can nitpick is the facetious coffin example itself. Most know that initial airplanes used statute MPH for indicated airspeed. So what's the "math check" flying a Great Circle route from SFO to ILM at 1600 MSL with the tandem coffins at 79 INCHes (standard size) = how many coffins? Would that altitude clear the Rocky's? FAR's are written in blood. I'll bet his total time is FAR greater than most. This GA pilot's bucket of luck ran dry when he made his last judgement call and ran out of experience.

    5. It was interesting to read someone assert "I lost count..." at the number of fatals that created a coast to coast length. Comments here are most constructive when claims are checked, got to wondering - could it be true, did a person count, and are we getting close to that?

      That 79 inch coffin update from 8 feet provides greater precision to check again and see if the coast to coast claim was valid.
      The revised calculation (same 2,500 SM) has these results:
      Revised total is 2,005,063 during the 55 year interval from 1968 to 2023. That would be 36,455 per year, which is 99 per day, every day, nonstop. The numbers would increase upwards even a bit more to account for crossing the mountains, but leap year days aren't factored in either (was expecting complaints about that).

      Accident rates in General Aviation are higher than they should be but there isn't any reason to assert 2 million perished since 1968.

  11. One of the best instructor pilots I ever encountered had the following written on his ground instruction chalk board:

    "A competent pilot is always on the lookout for a suitable forced landing field, day and night." and "Safety is no accident."

    He was notorious for almost always charging at least 0.3 in ground instruction before every student's flight. He taught at a 141 professional pilot training school in Waco, Texas during the late 80's/early 90's. I'll remember his name (James Paton.), forever. His nickname was "Captain Reg's" (for FAR's). He could quote the FAR's verbatim, including paragraph number, sentence number and page number for each new edition of the FAR's. Even as a student pilot, he always wore a shirt and tie.

    He was endorsed/flight examined by a WW-II P-38 Lightning pilot for his multi-engine instructor check ride and a Silver Star recipient for his instrument instructor rating. He often said, "If I buy the farm, I want Greg Feith and Bob Benzon to be my tin-kickers." I often wonder what happened to that guy.

  12. Stall spin recovery is not taught anymore no matter what caused the apparent stall/spin even if it was complete engine loss or just got slow with a perfectly running engine he nor any other new private pilot has actually experienced so they have no idea how to react. I think some training needs to be required more than just a conversation by the flight instructor. He was only at 1000 feet so it might not have made a difference but it’s still a subject that needs to be addressed JMO

  13. The aircraft and engine log books will tell the "rest of the story". Hopefully the mechanic covered himself with entries, etc.. There will be a lawsuit regardless, and the plaintiffs will go after the engine and carb manufacturers. Typically, even when an aircraft is deemed "not airworthy", the legal system finds a way to find fault with everyone but the pilot, including using the mechanics insurance company to fund the lawsuit.