A preliminary report released this week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows a pilot and passenger were riding in a plane that was “not to be flown.” Both were killed when the plane experienced trouble and crashed in Suffolk, Va.
On Jan. 7, a single-engine Piper PA-28-140 (registration N592FL), was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Suffolk, Va. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.
The NTSB report states the pilot had just received his private pilot certificate on Nov. 29. He owned the airplane and based it at Northeast Regional Airport in Edenton, N.C.
According to a mechanic at Northeast Regional, the pilot contacted him on New Year's Day, to inform him that the engine's rpm drop was excessive during a magneto check and that he had parked the airplane in front of the mechanic’s hangar for further evaluation. The mechanic looked at the airplane on Jan. 4. He removed the spark plugs, cleaned them, and checked for resistance. He found that two spark plugs had very high resistance and one spark plug fired a little weak. The mechanic replaced those three spark plugs and reinstalled the five other spark plugs in the engine.
The pilot arrived later that day before the mechanic had a chance to perform a ground engine run as he was busy working on another airplane. The pilot asked if he could perform a ground run of the engine and the mechanic said yes because he could listen to the engine from his hangar. As soon as the pilot ran the engine, the mechanic knew “right away” that the new spark plugs did not correct the problem as the engine was “skipping,” the NTSB report says. “The pilot shut down the engine and the mechanic informed the pilot that the airplane was not to be flown until he could investigate further, and he would most likely be able to do so on Jan. 9. At the time of the accident, the airplane had not been released from maintenance as the mechanic had not had an opportunity to further investigate the engine anomaly.”
According to family members, the accident flight was a short 40 miles cross-country flight to get lunch at a restaurant at Suffolk Executive Airport in Suffolk, Va.
According to preliminary flight track information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), shortly before the accident, the airplane approached Suffolk Executive Airport at an altitude of about 1,000 feet, and about five miles south of the airport. The airplane then descended rapidly and impacted terrain. A witness reported that she was a front-seat passenger in a car and first observed the airplane in a nosedive. At that time, there were two spiral trails of black smoke, about five to 10 ft behind the airplane; however, she did not observe any fire from the airplane.
The airplane impacted nose-down in a marshy field and no debris path was observed. The wreckage came to rest upright and was oriented south. A section of engine cowling was located about 50 ft south of the main wreckage. A postcrash fire consumed the majority of the wreckage, with the exception of the wings and engine. The engine was buried in approximately three feet of mud and further examination of the wreckage was planned following its recovery from the field.
The plane was manufactured in 1971 and registered to Grey Rose Air LLC of Edenton, NC, according to FAA records.
There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots :-(
You just can't outlaw stupidity. I don't feel sorry for the pilot who deserved what he got. The passenger might not have realized that he was flying w an idiot for a pilot.
There’s no cure for stupidity. Feel sorry for the passenger.
I feel sorry for both of them and their families. A new pilot just starting his aviation journey and a supporting friend, I would guess. To say he “deserved to die” is cruel to me. He made a mistake. A serious mistake that we all can learn from. My dad flew into a thunderstorm that killed him and his passenger in 1966. I was just 13 and had three younger brothers others. We all suffered greatly. Three of us went on to be pilots. Careful pilots. Dad would have been proud. My heart goes out the all of them.
Thank you to the last writer. I earned a pilot's license in 1977, and cringe when I think of the (very) few dumb things I did when I was in my 20s. I took my now-husband flying on our first date, and he likes ro say he feet haven't touched the ground since. (Yes, he is a romantic.) We own a plane similar - a PA-28-150 built in 1974 and have flown it for hundreds of hours - safely.
You know, there would be a whole lot of fewer G/A accidents if people would take a subscription to General Aviation news and each issue read the Accident Report section. The things these people do goes above amazing. Also, do not be so smug to think that "you" the ace of the base would never do anything so stupid. Because if you have that kind of an attitude, you will be read about in the Accident report section. A wise old friend of mine once told me, Richard, profit from others mistakes. You can not live long enough to make them all yourself.
.....Can't wait to try out my new ticket ...." !" ..... I'll take my best friend for lunch.It's a short 10 minute flight;barely leave the pattern and were there. What can happen ?..... ? We pilots all know that scenario. "Stupid is as stupid does " ( Forest Gump). So lets not condemn the pilot for stupidity (And recklessness). Do you really mean that ...."He deserved what he got ...." ? (to Donaldsc)
While I don’t want to engage in speculation, but rather learn from the events - it’s clear there’s more to this. An engine failure should be a survivable event in nearly all circumstances. While mechanical issues with an airplane that should not have been flying MAY have created a situation. There is significant likelihood that situation should have been manageable.
Amazing how someone can express that someone deserves to die because he made a mistake or the urge of flying got the best of him...
I feel many of us do fly because it's something that we have a passion for.
My prayers to him and the suffering of his family loss.... Hopefully we all learn things from this unfortunate situation and make conscious decisions...to never skip a procedure or simply to not complete your check list and preflight..... these procedures are in place (like "sterile cockpit" ) based on real accidents by Airlines pilots that by being distracted they caused the life of many and their own.
Remember no one is perfect in anything... being proficient is essential in aviation.
Be safe and don't cut corners.
Besides poor judgement, this pilot obviously forgot his training of flying his airplane into the crash as far as possible. It seems like the classic stall spin at low altitude while trying to stretch a glide. I'm sure they will take a hard look at his logbook and CFI.
Prayers for those left behind to mourn.
I sure hope that mechanic can document those conversations "he told the pilot not to fly the plane" on Jan 4 and on Jan 7 the pilot/owner flies the plane. What happened in those days between? Why would that pilot think the plane was ok to fly? And do mechanics have a paperwork trail/ lock out tag system? I am very sad for this incident. Like all incidents, a lot had to go wrong for this to happen.
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