Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Medellín: 8 killed

Date & Time: Nov 21, 2022 at 1015 LT
Operator:
Registration:
HK-5121
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Medellín – Pizarro
MSN:
31-7652004
YOM:
1976
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
8
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane was chartered by the Grupo San Germán Express to carry a team of six people from Medellín to Pizarro, Chocó. Shortly after takeoff from runway 02 at Medellín-Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport, while in initial climb, the crew encountered engine problems. The airplane went out of control and crashed onto a house located in the district of Belén Rosales, less than 500 metres from the runway end, bursting into flames. The house and the aircraft were destroyed and all 8 occupants were killed.
Crew:
Julián Aladino, pilot,
Sergio Guevara Delgado, copilot.
Passengers:
Jorge Cantillo Martínez,
Dubán Ovalle Quintero,
Anthony Mosquera Blanquiceth,
Pedro Pablo Serna,
Melissa Pérez Cuadros,
Nicolás Jiménez.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Cobán

Date & Time: Apr 3, 2022
Operator:
Registration:
PT-ECU
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Country:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed in unknown circumstances in bushes near Cobán, Guatemala, while engaged in an illegal flight. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and no one was found on the scene. The registration seems to be false.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chiefain in Medford: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 5, 2021 at 1652 LT
Registration:
N64BR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Medford - Fallon
MSN:
31-7752124
YOM:
1977
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
On December 05, 2021, at 1652, a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain airplane, N64BR, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Medford, Oregon. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. The pilot and passenger made a flight on November 24, from the airplane’s home airport in Fallon, Nevada to Medford. After landing, the pilot noticed the airplane was leaking a large amount of fuel from the right wing-root. The pilot arranged to make the necessary repairs with a fixed based operator (FBO) at the airport and drove a rental car back home to Nevada. On December 4, a mechanic at the FBO notified the pilot that the maintenance to the airplane was completed. The pilot responded that he would plan to get the airport about 1430 the following day (on the day of the accident). The pilot and passenger drove to Medford arriving about 1600. The radio communication times could not be confirmed for accuracy for the purposes of the preliminary report. The pilot received an instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance and was issued the BRUTE7 departure procedure with the LANKS transition. During the exchange of the clearance instructions, the pilot requested the controller read back the departure procedure and transition phonetically. The pilot’s family and a business associate stated this was very normal for the pilot and he would often have people clarify names and instructions. The published BRUTE SEVEN Standard Instrument Departure (SID) with a takeoff from runway 14 consisted of a “climbing right turn direct MEF [Medford] NDB [nondirectional beacon],” and continue to the BRUTE intersection on a bearing of 066°. After receiving the clearance, the controller informed the pilot the overcast layer base was at 200 ft above ground level (agl) the tops of the layer was at 2,500 ft. After the airplane departed the pilot made a radio communication to the controller asking “will you be calling my turn for the BRUTE7?” The controller replied that he would not be calling his turn and that the pilot should fly the departure as published making a climbing right turn to overfly the approach end of runway 14 before proceeding to the BRUTE intersection (see Figure 1 below). The pilot acknowledged the communication, which was his last transmission. Several seconds later, the controller stated that he was receiving a low-altitude alert that the airplane’s altitude was showing 1,700 ft. He made several attempts to reach the pilot with no response. The radar and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) information disclosed that the airplane arrived in the run-up area for runway 14 about 1643 and then continued onto the runway about 6 minutes thereafter. The airplane departed about 1649:30 and after crossing over the south end of the runway, it climbed to about 1,550 ft mean sea level, equivalent to 200 ft agl (see Figure 2 below). The airplane then began a gradual right turn and climbed to 1,950 ft maintaining an airspeed between 120- 130 kts. As the airplane turn continued to the north the altitude momentarily decreased to 1,650 ft (about 350 ft agl) with the airspeed increasing to 160 kts. Thereafter, the airplane then increased the bank angle and made a 360-degree turn initially climbing to 2,050 ft. At the completion of the turn, the airplane descended to 1,350 ft, consistent with it maneuvering below the cloud layer. The airspeed increased to about 160 kts and several seconds later, the airplane climbed to 2,250 ft with the derived airspeed showing below 15 kts. Six seconds later was the last radar return, located about 990 ft north-northwest of the accident site. Video footage was obtained from several fixed security cameras on buildings around the accident site. A review of the footage revealed that the airplane descended below the cloud layer and then climbed back up. About 16 seconds thereafter, the airplane is seen descending in a near vertical attitude. The airplane’s position and strobe light appeared to be illuminated throughout the video. The preliminary review of the recorded audio from the camera footage revealed that there were sound components at frequencies that correspond to the normal operating speed range of the airplane engines. The accident site was adjacent to the garage bays of an automobile dealership located about 2,800 ft west-southwest from the departure end of runway 14. A majority of the wreckage had been consumed by fire and sustained major crush deformation. Various items in the cockpit were not burned, including numerous paper sectionals and IFR charts of which there were several current departure procedure plates for the Medford Airport. The Piper PA-31-350 Navajo (Panther conversion), airplane was manufactured in 1977 and was powered by two Lycoming TIO-540-J2B series engines driving two, four-bladed Q-Tip propellers. The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GNS 530W and an autopilot. The pilot had previously owned a PA-31-350 and purchased the accident airplane in 2013. According to his electronic logbooks he had amassed about 1,500 hours in a PA-31-350 of which 280 hours was in actual instrument meteorological conditions. The logbooks indicated that the pilot had departed from Medford in August 2018 and 2019 by way of the JACKSON1 and EAGLE6 departure procedures, respectively. Investigators compiled a comparison of ADS-B data from two airplanes that departed before the accident airplane (at 1507 and 1556) and two that departed after (1734 and 1813). A comparison of flight tracks from the three airplanes that departed runway 14 revealed that all began the right turn after the accident flight.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain off South Bimini: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 16, 2021 at 2142 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N827RD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
South Bimini – Miami-Opa Locka
MSN:
31-7652094
YOM:
1976
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2085
Aircraft flight hours:
7102
Circumstances:
The airplane crashed moments after takeoff from the South Bimini Int’l Airport (MYBS), Bimini, Bahamas. The private flight departed MYBS with intended final destination of Opa Locka Airport (KOPF), Opa Locka, Florida, USA. The pilot sustained serious injuries and after being seen by medical personnel in South Bimini, was flown to Nassau, Bahamas for further medical attention. The passenger who occupied the right seat of the aircraft, succumbed to injuries he sustained as a result of the initial impact and subsequent crash sequence and subsequent submersion in the waters at the end of the runway environment. The pilot was a US certified commercial pilot with ratings for airplane land, single and multi-engine as well as an instrument airplane rating. The pilot’s medical certificate was valid at the time of the accident. The passenger (pilot’s son) also held a valid US certified private pilot – single engine land – airplane certificate. It is unknown what role (if any) the passenger (son) played during the takeoff to crash sequence. The weather conditions at the time of the accident was night (instrument meteorological conditions). A weak high pressure ridging was forecasted to continue to dominate the weather over the Bahamas throughout the night. However, no significant weather was anticipated.
Probable cause:
The AAIA has determined the probable cause of this accident to be loss of control inflight (LOC-I), resulting in uncontrolled flight into terrain (ocean). The cause of this loss of control could not be determined.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Salitre: 6 killed

Date & Time: Apr 7, 2021 at 1200 LT
Operator:
Registration:
HC-CVC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Nueva Loja – Guayaquil
Location:
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
6
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane (a PA-31 Panther II variant) departed Nueva Loja-Lago Agrio Airport at 1023LT on an ambulance flight to Guayaquil, carrying one patient, one nurse, two doctors and two pilots. The descent to Guayaquil-José Joaquín de Olmedo Airport was started when the aircraft crashed in unknown circumstances in the Río Salitre, near Salitre, about 35 km north of Guayaquil Airport. The aircraft was destroyed and all six occupants were killed.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Sergio Butrón Casas

Date & Time: Mar 3, 2021 at 1447 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N640WA
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Morelia - Chetumal
MSN:
31-8252065
YOM:
1982
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The pilot was approaching Chetumal Airport when he reported engine problems. He elected to make an amergency landing when the aircraft crash landed in an open field located in Sergio Butrón Casas, about 25 km west of Chetumal Airport. Both occupants were slightly injured and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain near Cooper Landing: 3 killed

Date & Time: Nov 29, 2019 at 1911 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N4087G
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Anchorage – Seward
MSN:
31-8152127
YOM:
1981
Flight number:
SVX36
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
35000
Captain / Total hours on type:
1200.00
Aircraft flight hours:
5502
Circumstances:
On November 29, 2019, about 1911 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-31-350 airplane, N4087G, was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire when it collided with mountainous terrain about 15 miles west of Cooper Landing, Alaska. The three occupants; the airline transport pilot, a flight nurse, and the flight paramedic were fatally injured. The airplane was operated by Fly 4 You Inc., doing business as Security Aviation, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 visual flight rules air ambulance flight. Dark night visual meteorological conditions existed at the departure and destination locations and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed Ted Stevens International Airport (PANC), Anchorage, Alaska, about 1848, destined for Seward Airport (PAWD), Seward, Alaska. Dispatch records indicated that, on November 29, Providence Seward Medical Center emergency clinic personnel contacted multiple air ambulance companies with a "weather check" for possible air ambulance transportation of a patient from Seward to Anchorage. The first company contacted was Guardian Flight, who declined the flight at 1624 due to limited daylight hours. The second company, LifeMed Alaska, declined the flight at 1637 due to weather. The third and final company contacted for the flight was Medevac Alaska. Their dispatch officer was not notified of the previous declined flight requests and forwarded the request to Security Aviation, who is their sole air charter provider. At 1731 Security Aviation accepted the flight, and Medevac Alaska flight SVX36 was staffed with a nurse and paramedic. A preliminary review of archived Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar and automatic dependent surveillance (ADS-B) data revealed that the accident airplane departed PANC and flew south about 3,000 ft mean sea level (msl) toward the Sterling Highway. The airplane was then observed descending to 2,200 ft msl while flying a right racetrack pattern before flying into the valley toward Cooper Landing. The last data point indicated that at 1911:14 the airplane was over the west end of Jean Lake at 2,100 ft msl, on a 127° course, and 122 kts groundspeed. Ground witnesses who were in vehicles on the Sterling Highway near milepost 63, reported that they saw the lights of the airplane flying over the highway that night. One witness stated that he saw the airplane west of the mountains turn in a circle as it descended and then entered the valley. He observed the wings rocking back and forth and while he was looking elsewhere, he heard an explosion and observed a large fire on the mountainside. Another witness reported seeing the airplane flying low and explode when it impacted the mountain. Witnesses to the fire called 911 and observed the wreckage high on the mountainside burning for a long time after impact. The airplane was reported overdue by the chief pilot for Security Aviation and the FAA issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 2031. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center dispatched an MH-60 helicopter to the last known position and located the burning wreckage that was inaccessible due to high winds in the area. On December 1, 2019, the Alaska State Troopers coordinated a mountain recovery mission with Alaska Mountain Rescue Group. The wreckage was observed on the mountain at an elevation of about 1,425 ft msl in an area of steep, heavily tree-covered terrain near the southeast end of Jean Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The airplane was highly fragmented and burned, however all major airplane components were accounted for. Multiple large trees around the wreckage were fractured and indicated an easterly heading prior to the initial impact.

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

Date & Time: Sep 15, 2019 at 1406 LT
Operator:
Registration:
HK-5229
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Popayán - López de Micay
MSN:
31-7405212
YOM:
1974
Country:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
7
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Captain / Total flying hours:
3291
Captain / Total hours on type:
991.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
300
Copilot / Total hours on type:
55
Aircraft flight hours:
12304
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane departed Popayán-Guillermo León Valencia Airport runway 26 at 14:06:06. The aircraft encountered difficulties to gain sufficient height. About 20 seconds after liftoff, at a speed of 82 knots, the aircraft rolled to the right then entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed onto two houses located 530 metres past the runway end. Two passengers were seriously injured and seven other occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
A loss of in-flight control of the aircraft due to possible excess weight. The aircraft probably managed to take off due to "ground effect", but, once in the air and out of ground effect, it was not able to obtain the speed that would allow it to safely accomplish the climb.
Contributing Factors:
- Absence of Dispatch procedures of the operator to perform a correct Weight and Balance of the aircraft, and the effective control of the boarded cargo.
- Incorrect calculation of the weight and balance of the aircraft by the crew, by not considering all the cargo that was loaded, causing the aircraft to take off with a possible excess weight.
- Weak operational safety management processes of the operator by not considering the operating characteristics of airfields such as Popayán (high altitude, high ambient temperature) that significantly limit the operation.
Final Report:

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
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
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.