Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne into the Atlantic Ocean: 5 killed

Date & Time: Oct 25, 2018 at 1119 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N555PM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Andrews - Governor's Harbour
MSN:
31T-7620028
YOM:
1976
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
2778
Aircraft flight hours:
7718
Circumstances:
On October 25, 2018, at about 1119 eastern daylight time, and about 100 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina (CHS), radar contact was lost with a Piper PA-31T, N555PM. The airplane was presumed to have impacted the Atlantic Ocean. The commercial pilot and four passengers were not found and presumed fatally injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed from a private airport in Andrews, South Carolina about 1047, bound for Governor's Harbor airport, Bahamas (MYEM). The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot's family reported that the airplane departed from its home base, a private runway in Andrews, South Carolina. Preliminary radar and air traffic control data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed the airplane departed the area toward the southeast about, 1047. The airplane crossed over the coastline and began a climb to an assigned altitude of 25,000 feet. The climb rate was consistent at 500 feet per minute (fpm), and the airplane remained on course flying toward the assigned airspace fix, named LURKS. When the airplane was about 12 miles from LURKS (about 95 miles southeast of CHS), while climbing through 24,300 feet, the pilot made a garbled radio transmission indicating that he was diverting to CHS. The airplane began a descent at about 1,000 fpm and maintained a course towards LURKS. About 23 seconds later, after several air traffic control requests to repeat the radio transmission, the pilot replied, "we're descending". About 15 seconds later, at an altitude of about 23,500 feet, the airplane turned sharply toward the left, and the descent rate increased to greater than 4,000 fpm. About 25 seconds later, the radar data altitude parameter went invalid, the last reported altitude was 21,500 feet. About 35 seconds later, the pilot transmitted "emergency emergency, five five five papa mike", and no further transmissions were recorded. About 25 seconds later, the last radar position (32.3184N 78.0661W) was recorded at 1119, which was about 3 miles to the left (northeast) of the airplane's original course towards LURKS. That position corresponded to a location about 100 nautical miles east southeast of CHS. The FAA issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) and a search effort was conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the search airplanes reported an oil sheen on the surface of the water near the last known coordinates; however, neither the airplane nor debris were located. The search effort was cancelled on October 27 at sunset. A review of the airplane maintenance logbooks revealed that the most recent annual inspection was performed on September 5, 2018, and at that time the airframe had accrued a total of 7,718 hours. That inspection included routine maintenance, the replacement of the starter generators on both engines, replacement of the cabin oxygen bottle, and compliance with several airworthiness directive inspections, including AD 2017-02-06, which addresses a potential issue with electrical wiring arcing and fire risk. According to FAA airman records the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument airplane. His most recent medical certificate was issued on March 8, 2018, at which time he reported a total of 2,778 hours of total flight experience. A preliminary review of weather records revealed that there were no convective or precipitation echoes in the area at the time of the accident. Satellite imagery depicted a mid-level layer of clouds in the area with tops estimated at 15,500 feet. An Airmen's Meteorological Information advisory for moderate turbulence was in effect for the region. Atmospheric model results characterized the atmosphere as stable, with a freezing level around 13,000 feet and a shallow layer favorable for light rime icing at 23,000 feet.

Crash of a Piper PA-31T1 Cheyenne in Tyler: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jul 13, 2017 at 0810 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N47GW
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Tyler - Midland
MSN:
31T-8104030
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
17590
Aircraft flight hours:
5685
Circumstances:
The airline transport rated pilot and passenger departed on a cross-country business flight in a twin-engine, turbo-propeller-equipped airplane in day, visual meteorological conditions. Shortly after takeoff, the airplane banked left, descended, and impacted terrain about 1/2 mile from the end of the runway. There was not a post-crash fire and fuel was present on site. A postaccident airframe examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the left engine found signatures consistent with the engine producing power at impact. Examination of the right engine revealed rotational scoring on the compressor turbine disc/blades, and rotational scoring on the upstream side of the power vane and baffle, which indicated that the compressor section was rotating at impact; however, the lack of rotational scoring on the power turbine disc assembly, indicated the engine was not producing power at impact. Testing of the right engine's fuel control unit, fuel pump, propeller governor, and overspeed governor did not reveal any abnormities that would have accounted for the loss of power. The reason for the loss of right engine power could not be determined based on the available information.
Probable cause:
The loss of engine power and the subsequent pilot's loss of control for reasons that could not be determined because post-accident engine examination revealed no anomalies.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31T-620 Cheyenne II in Cascais: 5 killed

Date & Time: Apr 17, 2017 at 1204 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HB-LTI
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Cascais – Marseille
MSN:
31T-8020091
YOM:
1980
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
4900
Aircraft flight hours:
8323
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from runway 17 at Cascais-Tires Airport, while climbing, the twin engine aircraft went out of control and crashed in flames on a Lidl parking lot located southeast of the airfield. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire and all four occupants were killed. The driver of a truck hit by the plane was also killed. Three other people were slightly injured. An adjacent house was destroyed by fire.
Probable cause:
The Safety Investigation Authority GPIAAF, determines the probable causes of this accident to be:
- The pilot’s failure to maintain the airplane control following the power loss in the left critical engine. The root cause for the left engine failure could not be determined due to the extensive impact damages and intensive fire.
Contributing factors:
- Lack of proper pilot training especially concerning the emergency scenario of critical engine failure immediately after takeoff.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne in Elko: 4 killed

Date & Time: Nov 18, 2016 at 1920 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N779MF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Elko - Salt Lake City
MSN:
31-7920093
YOM:
1979
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
7050
Aircraft flight hours:
6600
Circumstances:
The airline transport pilot departed in the twin-engine, turbine-powered airplane on an air ambulance flight with two medical crew members and a patient on board in night visual meteorological conditions. According to a witness, during the initial climb, the airplane made a left turn of about 30° from the runway heading, then stopped climbing, made an abrupt left bank, and began to descend. The airplane impacted a parking lot and erupted into flames. In the 2 months before the accident, pilots had notified maintenance personnel three times that the left engine was not producing the same power as the right engine. In response, mechanics had replaced the left engine's bleed valve three times with the final replacement taking place three days before the accident. In addition, about 1 month before the accident, the left engine's fuel control unit was replaced during trouble shooting of an oil leak. Post accident examination revealed that the right engine and propeller displayed more pronounced rotational signatures than the left engine and propeller. This is consistent with the left engine not producing power or being at a low power setting at impact. Further, the abrupt left bank and descent observed by the witness are consistent with a loss of left engine power during initial climb. The extensive fire and impact damage to the airplane precluded determination of the reason for the loss of left engine power.
Probable cause:
A loss of engine power to the left engine for reasons that could not be determined due to the extensive fire and impact damage to the airplane.
Final Report: