Date & Time: Mar 8, 2018 at 1030 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-31-310 Navajo
Flight Phase:
Takeoff (climb)
Flight Type:
Crew on board:
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
Captain / Total flying hours:
Aircraft flight hours:
On March 8, 2018, about 1038 central standard time, a Piper PA-31P airplane, N82605, impacted terrain during an approach to the Laredo International Airport (KLRD) Laredo, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and student pilot rated passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 fight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. Shortly after departing runway 18R, the air traffic controller contacted the airplane and reported that smoke was coming from the left side of the airplane. The pilot reported "… we're gonna fix that". The airplane turned back to the airport and was cleared to land on runway 18L. Witnesses reporting seeing the airplane overhead trailing smoke or approaching the airport before the crash. Several airport security cameras captured the accident airplane airborne. A review of the video noted a white smoke trail behind the airplane. The smoke trail stops while the airplane is in the left downwind for the runway. The airplane initiated a left turn and as the airplane approaches the runway the bank angle increased. The airplane impacted terrain in a nose down, near vertical attitude; a post-crash fire ensued. The front of the airplane cabin/cockpit area was largely destroyed by the impact and fire. The major components were located at the crash site, parts were distributed between the aft cabin and the impact crater; however, several fragments of the airplane were scattered away from the impact point. Both wings were separated from the fuselage and had heavy thermal and impact damage. Both 3-bladed propellers had separated from their respective engines. Both engines had separated from the wing nacelles and were located near the fuselage. Both left and right engines had heavy impact/thermal damage. The engines were removed and examined on-site in a facility nearby. The engines turbocharger's V-band clamps were found in-place on the turbos exhaust system.