Crash of a Piper PA-31-325 in La Libertad: 1 killed

Date & Time: Aug 14, 2022
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Country:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane was completing an illegal/contraband flight from Colombia. After entering illegally the Mexican airspace, the airplane was tracked by two Embraer ERJ-145 and three UH-60 Black Hawk of the Mexican Air Force. The crew landed in a prairie located near La Libertad, Campeche. Upon touchdown, the airplane lost its undercarriage and slid for few dozen metres before hitting a person on ground and coming to rest. All occupants and people who were supposed to take delivery of the load fled the scene before the police arrived. The person apparently hit by a propeller was killed. A load of 460 kg of cocaine was found in the cabin.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-325 Navajo in Santiago de Querétaro: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jul 13, 2022 at 1220 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N28DF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Santiago de Querétaro – Morelia
MSN:
31-7812121
YOM:
1978
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Santiago de Querétaro Airport, while climbing, the twin engine airplane went out of control and crashed inverted in a maize field located near the airport. The aircraft was destroyed and both occupants were killed.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 in Deadmans Cay: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jun 5, 2022 at 0904 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N711JW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Deadmans Cay - Nassau
MSN:
31-7712084
YOM:
1977
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Deadmans Cay Airport, while climbing, the pilot encountered an unexpected situation and lost control of the airplane that crashed about 3 km northwest of the airfield. The airplane came to rest in bushes and was destroyed by impact forces. Among the seven people on board, a woman passenger was killed and six other occupants were injured.

Crash of a Piper PA-31P-425 Pressurized Navajo

Date & Time: May 21, 2021 at 1814 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N575BC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Myrtle Beach - North Myrtle Beach
MSN:
31-7730003
YOM:
1977
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
On May 21, 2021, at 1814 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31P, N575BC, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight was the airplane’s first flight after maintenance was performed and prior to the flight, the airplane was fueled with 167.5 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel. The airplane departed Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 1812 with the intended destination of Grand Strand Airport (CRE), North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. According to preliminary ADS-B and air traffic control radio communications data, prior to takeoff the pilot established communications and reported that he was ready for departure from runway 18. He was instructed to fly runway heading, climb to 1,700 ft, and was cleared for takeoff. Once airborne, the controller instructed the pilot to turn left; however, the pilot stated that he needed to return to runway 18. The controller instructed the pilot to enter a right closed traffic pattern at 1,500 ft. As the airplane continued to turn to the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, it reached an altitude of about 1,000 ft mean sea level (msl). While on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the airplane descended to 450 ft msl, climbed to 700 ft msl, and then again descended to 475 ft msl prior to the loss of radar contact. About 1 minute after the pilot requested to return to the runway, the controller asked if any assistance was required, to which the pilot replied, “yes, we’re in trouble.” There were no further radio communications from the pilot. The airplane impacted in a field about .1 mile beyond the last radar return, at an elevation of 20 ft. A postimpact fire ensued, and the debris field was about 400 ft long by 150 ft wide. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. Each engine came to rest in about a 5 ft crater and remained attached to the fuselage. The left engine crankcase was impact damaged in multiple locations. The gearbox was impact separated. All valve covers remained intact and attached to the cylinders. The valve covers were removed an no anomalies were noted. Crankshaft and camshaft continuity were confirmed by using a lighted borescope to examine the internal components of the engine. In addition, the cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope and no anomalies were noted. All engine accessories were impact separated and fragmented. The left engine turbocharger was impact separated, would bind when it rotated, and scoring was noted on the casing. The right engine crankcase was impact damaged in multiple locations. All valve covers remained intact and attached to the cylinders. The valve covers were removed an no anomalies were noted. Crankshaft and camshaft continuity were confirmed by using a lighted borescope to examine the internal components of the engine. In addition, the cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope and no anomalies were noted. All engine accessories were impact separated and fragmented. The oil suction screen was removed was not occluded. The right engine turbocharger was impact separated and would bind when it rotated. The left propeller was impact separated from the engine. Two of the three blades were separated from the hub. All blades exhibited polishing. One blade was bent forward, one exhibited tip curling, and the last blade was bent aft. The blade that was bent aft remained attached to the propeller hub. The right propeller was impact separated from the right engine. Two of the three blades were impact separated from the hub. All blades exhibited polishing. One blade was bent forward, one blade was bent aft, and one blade remained straight. The straight blade remained attached to the propeller hub. Flight control cable continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit through multiple overload breaks in the cables. A majority of the wings and fuselage were consumed by fire. The remaining skin and structure exhibited accordion-like impact damage that was symmetrical on both wings. The landing gear was in the extended position. The flaps were in the retracted position. The empennage was separated from the fuselage and located about 50 ft from the main wreckage. The top section of the vertical stabilizer and the rudder were impact crushed downward. The elevator remained attached to the right horizontal stabilizer. The right trim tab remained attached to the right elevator, was deflected up, but was impact separated from the connecting rod. The left trim tab remained attached to the left elevator, the connecting rod remained attached to the flight controls, and it was deflected up. Further examination of the elevator trim tabs revealed that they were installed upside-down and reversed. The connecting rod that attached the trim tab to the trim drum that should be located on the top of the trim tab was located on the bottom side. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed on May 19, 2021. Maintenance performed at that time included removing, repainting, and reinstalling the primary and secondary flight control surfaces.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R in Sumter

Date & Time: Aug 1, 2020 at 1000 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-GXKS
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
31-7512038
YOM:
1975
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On August 1, 2020, about 1000 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31-325, Canadian registration CGXKS, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Sumter, South Carolina. The pilot and co-pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. According to the pilot-in-command (PIC), he and the co-pilot had been flying mapping flights for the United States Geological Survey group. The PIC stated they had scanners weighing about 800 lbs on board and they would fly about 300 ft. above ground level in a grid pattern while mapping. He further stated that he personally fueled the inboard and outboard fuel tanks the day before the accident flight. On the morning of the accident flight, the PIC was seated in the right seat and the co-pilot was seated in the left seat. They departed Santee Cooper Regional Airport (MNI), Manning, South Carolina about 0630 and planned on returning to the same airport. After 2 hours of flight time, they switched from the inboard fuel tanks to the outboard fuel tanks. After another 1.5 hours of flight time, while the co-pilot was flying, the left engine started "surging" and rapidly began to lose power. The airplane immediately began to lose altitude and shortly after they had descended below the tree level. The PIC took control of the airplane and turned to a field just ahead of them. The airplane stalled just above the ground and the right wing contacted the ground first. The PIC stated both side windows shattered during impact and within 2 seconds the right outboard fuel tank exploded and a postimpact fire ensued. Both pilots egressed through the rear door. The co-pilot stated he was training in the airplane and did not have a multiengine rating. He stated he did not have any official hours flying the airplane with an instructor but has flown the airplane for about 200 hours. His description of the accident flight was consistent with that provided by the PIC. He further stated that when he turned over control of the airplane to the PIC during the last few seconds of flight, he looked at the inboard fuel tank quantity gauges and they were both reading "zero." Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane impacted the ground with the right wing first and slid sideways through the field. Both engines were fractured off and neither engine showed signs of power at the time of impact. The fuselage and right wing were consumed by fire. The left wing was still attached to the fuselage and not damaged. The left outboard fuel tank was completely full of fuel, and the inboard tank was empty.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 Navajo in Bogotá: 4 killed

Date & Time: Feb 12, 2020 at 1544 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HK-4686
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bogotá – Villagarzón
MSN:
31-344
YOM:
1968
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
1890
Captain / Total hours on type:
250.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
646
Aircraft flight hours:
10251
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Bogotá-Guaymaral Airport, while in initial climb, the crew informed ATC about the failure of the right engine. He was cleared to return for an emergency and completed a circuit to land on ruwnay 11. On final, the airplane lost height and crashed in a wooded area located about 800 metres short of runway, bursting into flames. The aircraft was destroyed by a post crash fire and all four occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The investigation determined that the accident was caused by the following probable cause(s):
- Loss of in-flight control as a result of slowing below Minimum Control Speed and drag, generated by the failure of the right engine (No. 2).
- Failure of engine No. 2, due to lack of lubrication, possibly caused by oil leakage through an 11.5 mm fracture, found in one of the sides of cylinder No. 2 at the height of the intake valves.
- Inappropriate application by the crew of the emergency procedure for landing with an inoperative engine, by not declaring the emergency, not feathering the propeller of the inoperative engine and configuring the aircraft early for landing (with landing gear and flaps) without having a safe runway, making it difficult to control the aircraft and placing it in a condition of loss of lift and control.

Contributing Factors:
- Failure of the operator to emphasize in the crew training program the techniques and procedures to be followed in the event of engine failure, among others, the declaration of emergency to ATC, the flagging of the propeller of the inoperative engine, the care in the application of power to the good engine so as not to increase yaw and not to configure the aircraft until landing has been assured.
- Lack of emergency calls by the crew, which denotes deficiencies in the Operator's Safety Management System, and which prevented the early warning of the aerodrome support services and deprived the crew of possible assistance from other aircraft or from the same operator.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 Navajo in Limoges

Date & Time: Aug 21, 2018 at 1525 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-HGPS
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Limoges - Limoges
MSN:
31-245
YOM:
1968
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1250
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane, owned by IMAO specialized in aerial photo missions, departed Limoges-Bellegarde Airport at 1009LT with one pilot (the Director of the Company, aged 58) and a female operator in charge of the aerial photo program. The goal of the mission was to fly over the sector of Peyrelevade at 7,000 feet then a second sector over Ussel at an altitude of 6,500 feet. Following an uneventful flight, the pilot return to Limoges, contacted ATC and was instructed to recall for a right base leg approach for a landing on runway 03. Two minutes after passing the altitude of 3,000 feet on approach, the pilot informed ATC he was short of fuel and that he was attempting an emergency landing. The airplane impacted trees and crashed in a field located near Verneuil-sur-Vienne, some 3,6 short of runway 03. Both occupants were seriously injured and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Emergency landing due to fuel exhaustion following a flight of five hours and 15 minutes.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 Navajo C on Mt Rae: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 1, 2018 at 1336 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
C-FNCI
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Penticton - Calgary
MSN:
31-8112007
YOM:
1981
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
4400
Captain / Total hours on type:
2800.00
Aircraft flight hours:
7277
Circumstances:
On 01 August 2018, after completing 2 hours of survey work near Penticton, British Columbia (BC), an Aries Aviation International Piper PA-31 aircraft (registration C-FNCI, serial number 31-8112007) proceeded on an instrument flight rules flight plan from Penticton Airport (CYYF), BC, to Calgary/Springbank Airport (CYBW), Alberta, at 15 000 feet above sea level. The pilot and a survey technician were on board. When the aircraft was approximately 40 nautical miles southwest of CYBW, air traffic control began sequencing the aircraft for arrival into the Calgary airspace and requested that the pilot slow the aircraft to 150 knots indicated airspeed and descend to 13 000 feet above sea level. At this time, the right engine began operating at a lower power setting than the left engine. About 90 seconds later, at approximately 13 500 feet above sea level, the aircraft departed controlled flight. It collided with terrain near the summit of Mount Rae at 1336 Mountain Daylight Time. A brief impact explosion and fire occurred during the collision with terrain. The pilot and survey technician both received fatal injuries. The Canadian Mission Control Centre received a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter signal from the occurrence aircraft and notified the Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. Search and rescue arrived on site approximately 1 hour after the accident.
Probable cause:
Findings as to causes and contributing factors:
1. The pilot did not continuously use oxygen above 13 000 feet and likely became hypoxic as the aircraft climbed to 15 000 feet. The pilot did not recognize his symptoms or take action to restore his supply of oxygen.
2. As a result of hypoxia-related cognitive and perceptual degradations, the pilot was unable to maintain effective control of the aircraft or to respond appropriately to the asymmetric power condition.
3. The aircraft departed controlled flight and entered a spin to the right because the airspeed was below both the published minimum control speed in the air and the stall speed, and because there was a significant power asymmetry, a high angle of attack, and significant asymmetric drag from the windmilling propeller of the right engine.
4. When the aircraft exited cloud, the pilot completed only 1 of the 7 spin-recovery steps: reducing the power to idle. As the aircraft continued to descend, the pilot took no further recovery action, except to respond to air traffic control and inform the controller that there was an emergency.

Findings as to risk:
1. If flight crews do not undergo practical hypoxia training, there is a risk that they will not recognize the onset of hypoxia when flying above 13 000 feet without continuous use of supplemental oxygen.

Other findings:
1. The weather information collected during the investigation identified that the loss of control was not due to in-flight icing, thunderstorms, or turbulence.
2. Because the Appareo camera had been bumped and its position changed, the pilot’s actions on the power controls could not be determined. Therefore, the investigation was unable to determine whether the power asymmetry was the result of power-quadrant manipulation by the pilot or of an aircraft system malfunction.
3. The flight path data, audio files, and image files retrieved from the Appareo system enabled the investigators to better understand the underlying factors that contributed to the accident.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 Navajo B near Jardim do Ouro: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 27, 2018 at 1430 LT
Type of aircraft:
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 on a flight to a remote area located on km 180 on the Transamazonica Road. En route, both passengers started to fight 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 airplane in the Rio Novo near Jardim do Ouro. 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.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-310 Navajo B in Ampangabe: 5 killed

Date & Time: Jun 18, 2018 at 0912 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
5R-MKF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Antananarivo - Antananarivo
MSN:
31-756
YOM:
1971
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
About five minutes after takeoff from Antananarivo-Ivato Airport, the twin engine aircraft went out of control and crashed in an open field located in Ampangabe, some 10 km southwest of the airfield. The aircraft was totally destroyed upon impact and all five occupants were killed. They were engaged in a training flight with one instructor and two pilots under instruction on board.
Crew:
Claude Albert Ranaivoarison, pilot.
Passengers:
Eddie Charles Razafindrakoto, General of the Madagascar Air Force,
Andy Razafindrakoto, son of the General,
Kevin Razafimanantsoa, pilot trainee,
Mamy Tahiana Andrianarijaona, pilot trainee.