Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Popayán: 7 killed

Date & Time: Sep 15, 2019 at 1411 LT
Operator:
Registration:
HK-5229
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Popayán - López de Micay
MSN:
31-7405212
YOM:
1974
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Popayán-Guillermo León Valencia Airport, while climbing, the twin engine airplane went out of control and crashed onto a house located near the airport. Seven occupants were killed while two others were seriously injured as well as five people on the ground.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Sayaxché: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 13, 2019
Operator:
Registration:
N2613
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
In the morning, the Guatemala Army Forces were informed by ATC that a PA-31 entered the Guatemala Airspace without prior permission. The twin engine airplane crashed in a wooded area located near the farm of Sepens located in the region of Sayaxché, Petén. The aircraft was partially destroyed by impact forces and both occupants were killed. A sticker was set on the fuselage with the registration N2613 which is wrong.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain near San Rafael de Yuma

Date & Time: Apr 5, 2019 at 2228 LT
Operator:
Registration:
YV312
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane departed Venezuela in the evening on a probable drug smuggling flight with an unknown destination. At 2226LT, after it entered the Dominican Airspace, a crew of the Dominican Air Force was dispatched with an Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano but the PA-31 disappeared from radar screens at 2228LT after crashing in a sugar cane field located in the region of San Rafael de Yuma, between La Romana and Punta Cana. Due to limited visibility caused by night and poor weather conditions, SAR operations were suspended shortly after midnight. The wreckage was found in the next early morning. Nobody was found on site and the aircraft is probably written off. The registration YV312 may be a wrong one.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Madeira: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 12, 2019 at 1516 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N400JM
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Cincinnati - Cincinnati
MSN:
31-8152002
YOM:
1981
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
On March 12, 2019, at 1516 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31-350, N400JM, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in Madeira, Ohio. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by Marc, Inc. under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a commercial aerial surveying flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field (LUK), Cincinnati, Ohio, at 1051. Review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) preliminary air traffic control (ATC) and radar data revealed that the airplane flew several surveying tracks outside of Cincinnati before proceeding north to fly tracks near Dayton. The pilot reported to ATC that he was having a fuel problem and requested "direct" to LUK and a lower altitude. The controller provided the position of Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY), which was located 8 miles ahead. The pilot reported MGY in sight but requested to continue to LUK. When the pilot checked in with the subsequent ATC facility, he reported that the fuel issue was resolved. Seven miles north of LUK, the pilot established radio contact with the LUK tower controller. He advised the controller that the airplane was experiencing a fuel problem and he did not think it was going to reach the airport. The airplane slowed to a ground speed of 80 knots before the air traffic controller noted a simultaneous loss of radar and radio contact about 5 nautical miles north of LUK. A relative of the pilot reported that the pilot told him the airplane "had a fuel leak and it was killing his sinuses" about 1 week prior to the accident. A company employee revealed that the airplane had a fuel leak in the left wing, and that the airplane was due to be exchanged with another company PA-31-350 the week before the accident occurred so that the fuel leak could be isolated and repaired. The accident airplane remained parked for a few days, was not exchanged, and then the accident pilot was brought in to continue flying the airplane. According to witnesses, the airplane flew "very low" and the engine sputtered before making two loud "pop" or "back-fire" sounds. One witness reported that after sputtering, the airplane "was on its left side flying crooked." Another witness reported that the "unusual banking" made the airplane appear to be flying "like a stunt in an airshow." Two additional witnesses reported that the airplane was flying 100-120 ft above ground level in a southerly direction before it turned to the left and "nosedived." Another witness reported that he could see the entire belly of the airplane and the airplane nose was pointing down toward the ground just prior to the airplane impacting a tree. A witness from an adjacent residence reported that there was a "whitish gray smoke coming from the left engine" after the accident, and that a small flame began rising" from that area when he was on the phone with 9-1-1 about 3 minutes after the accident. According to FAA airmen records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land and instrument airplane. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane and a ground instructor certificate. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued November 8, 2018. Examination of pilot's logbooks revealed 6,392 total hours of flight experience as of February 19, 2019, including 1,364 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent logged flight review was completed January 31, 2017. According to FAA airworthiness records, the twin-engine airplane was manufactured in 1981. It was powered by two Lycoming, 350-horsepower engines, which drove two 3-bladed, constant speed, counter-rotating propellers. Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the airplane impacted a tree and private residence before it came to rest upright on a 335° heading. All major portions of the airplane were located on site. The fuselage was substantially damaged. The instrument panel was fragmented and destroyed. The engine control levers were fire damaged and all levers were in the full forward position. Control continuity was established from the flight controls to the flight control surfaces except for one elevator cable attachment, which exhibited a tensile overload fracture. The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. The outboard leading edge of the left wing was crushed upward and aft, and the inboard section displayed thermal and impact damage. The right wing outboard of the right nacelle was impact separated, and a section of the right wing came to rest on the roof of the home. The leading edge of the right wing section displayed a semi-circular crush area about 1 ft in diameter. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator were dented. The right horizontal stabilizer and elevator were bet upward at the tip. Measurement of the rudder trim barrel revealed a nose-right trim setting. Both engines remained attached to their respective wings. The left engine remained attached at the mount, however the mount was bent and fractured in multiple locations. The engine was angled upward about 75°. All but 4 inches of the left propeller was buried and located at initial ground impact point, which was about 13 ft from the left engine. The right engine was found attached to the right wing and its respective engine mounts, however the engine mounts were fractured in multiple locations. All but 6 inches of the right propeller was buried and located at the initial ground impact point, which was about 18 ft from the right engine. The left engine crankshaft would not rotate upon initial examination. Impact damage was visible to ignition harness leads on both sides of the engine. Both magnetos remained secured and produced sparks at all leads when tested. Less than 2 ounces of fuel was observed within the fuel inlet of the fuel servo upon removal of the servo. The sample tested negative for water. The fuel servo was disassembled and both diaphragms were present and damage free with no signs of tears. The fuel inlet screen was found unobstructed. Rotation of the engine crankshaft was achieved through the vacuum pump drive after the removal of impact damaged pushrods. Spark plugs showed coloration consistent with normal operation and electrodes remained mechanically undamaged. A borescope inspection of all cylinders did not reveal any anomalies. The oil filter was opened, inspected, and no debris was noted. Fuel injectors were removed and unobstructed. Residual or no fuel was found during the examination and removal of components such as fuel lines, injector lines and the fuel pump. The right engine crankshaft would not rotate upon initial examination. Minor impact damage was visible to ignition harness leads. Cylinder Nos. 2, 4, and 6 displayed varying degrees of impact damage to their top sides. The alternator mount was found fractured and the alternator was not present at the time of engine examination. Spark plugs showed coloration consistent with normal operation and electrodes remained mechanically undamaged. Both magnetos produced sparks at all leads when tested. The fuel servo was dissembled and both diaphragms were present and free of damage with no signs of tears. Engine crankshaft rotation was achieved through the vacuum pump drive after the removal of impact damaged pushrods. A borescope inspection of all cylinders did not reveal any anomalies. The oil filter was opened, inspected and no debris was noted. Fuel injectors were removed and were unobstructed. The oil suction screen was found unobstructed but contained nonferrous pieces of material. Fuel was found during examination of the right engine fuel lines, injector lines, and the fuel pump. Both propellers were separated from the engine mounting flanges. Examination of the right propeller revealed that all blades exhibited aft bending and bending opposite rotation, twisting leading edge down, and chordwise rotational scoring on both face and camber sides. Examination of the left propeller revealed that two blades exhibited aft bending with no remarkable twist or leading-edge damage. One blade exhibited no remarkable bending or twisting. All three blades exhibited mild chordwise/rotational abrasion. The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain into the Rio Jamanxim: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 27, 2018 at 1700 LT
Registration:
PT-IIU
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Guarantã do Norte – Apuí
MSN:
31-852
YOM:
1972
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane departed Guarantã do Norte Airport, Mato Grosso, on a private flight to Apuí, Amazonas. En route, both passengers fighted in the cabin and one of them was killed. The pilot was apparently able to kill the assassin and later decided to attempt an emergency landing. He ditched the aircraft in the Rio Jamanxim. The pilot was later arrested but no drugs, no weapons, no ammunition as well a both passengers bodies were not found. Apparently, the goal of the flight was illegal but Brazilian Authorities were unable to prove it.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain off Amagansett: 4 killed

Date & Time: Jun 2, 2018 at 1433 LT
Registration:
N41173
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
31-8452017
YOM:
1984
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
3000
Aircraft flight hours:
5776
Circumstances:
On June 2, 2018, about 1433 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31-350 (Navajo), N41173, was destroyed when it impacted the Atlantic Ocean near Indian Wells Beach, Amagansett, New York. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Newport State Airport (UUU), Newport, Rhode Island, destined for East Hampton Airport (HTO), East Hampton, New York. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. A pilot in another airplane, a Bonanza, was flying with the accident airplane. He stated that the two airplanes were in UUU to pick up a relative of the passengers flying in the Navajo and then fly to HTO. The relative boarded the Bonanza and both airplanes we utilized to transport her belongings. He further stated that he and the accident pilot talked for about 1 hour regarding the weather between them and the destination airport. They planned to both fly south to the Sandy Point VOR on Block Island, Rhode Island and then turn west and follow the shoreline to HTO. They looked at the weather online. It was visual flight rules (VFR) to the destination. The Bonanza departed first, and the Navajo was going to follow. After takeoff the Bonanza contacted Providence air traffic control (ATC) and was informed that there was a "bad storm" near HTO and it was moving slowly. The Bonanza pilot told ATC that he wanted to fly farther south over the ocean and try to miss the approaching storm, so he could stay VFR. He did not know what happened to the Navajo as he did not hear the accident pilot communicate on the radio. The Bonanza pilot stated he conducted the flight at 1,000 ft above ground level (agl) and slowed down due to turbulence, but landed at HTO under VFR conditions. Radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) depicted the Navajo in front of the Bonanza by 5 miles over the Atlantic Ocean and south of HTO. The radar data revealed that the Navajo was at 432 ft agl about 6 miles from the airport. It climbed to 512 ft and then descended to 152 ft. The airplane's radar target momentarily disappeared and then reappeared and climbed to 532 ft before descending back to 152 ft. The airplane's last radar target indicated 325 ft about 2 miles south of Indian Wells Beach. The wreckage was located about 1 mile south of the Indian Wells Beach in 50 ft of water and was subsequently recovered. Examination of the wreckage was performed about 2 weeks after the accident by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator. The fuselage was impact damaged, fractured, and separated into multiple pieces. The cabin roof was separated into a portion extending from the windows on the left side around to the right-wing attachment and extending from the aft baggage compartment forward to about the middle of the cabin. There was another portion of the cabin roof extending from about the middle of the cabin forward to the windshield and from the windows on the left side around to the windows on the right side. The left and right wings were both separated from the fuselage at the wing root and were fragmented. One fuel cell was recovered on the left wing. The left and right engine remained partially attached to the airframe through the motor mounts. The oil sump was fractured and corroded on both engines. The No. 1 cylinder was impact damaged on both engines. The spark plugs were removed, and the engines were rotated by turning the propeller flange. Continuity to the rear gears and to the valve train was confirmed. Compression and suction were confirmed through thumb compression. The piston, valves and cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope. No anomalies were noted except corrosion and sand consistent with saltwater immersion. Both left and right propellers were fractured from their respective engine crankshaft mounting flanges and exhibited corrosion consistent with immersion in saltwater. Both propeller spinner domes were torn from the propeller assemblies and were not recovered. All four blades of the left and right propellers were bent aft in varying degrees and twisted toward low pitch. The seven seat, low-wing airplane, was manufactured in 1984. It was powered by two Lycoming TIO-540-J2B, 350-horsepower engines, equipped with four bladed Hartzell propellers. The airplane was equipped with a Garmin MX20 MFD and a Garmin 530 GPS, both capable of displaying on board weather. The last annual inspection was completed on November 3, 2017. At the time of the accident, the airframe total time was 5776.6 hours.. The left engine had 359.5 hours since major overhaul and the right engine had 535.7 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had flown 39 hours since the annual inspection. The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued May 30, 2017. At the time of the medical examination, the pilot reported 3,000 total hours of flight experience. At 1335, the weather recorded at HTO, included: scattered clouds at 1,300 ft, wind calm, temperature 22°C, dew point 20°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.76 inches of mercury. Review of weather radar revealed that a low-pressure system associated with a frontal wave over Long Island Sound with a cold front stretching westward over Long Island into central New Jersey and a warm front turning back to a cold front eastward. The models also indicated scattered thunderstorms over the area of HTO. The engine and airframe were retained for further examination.