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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 30470
Last updated: 30 April 2017
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Time:14:02 EDT
Type:Piper PA-31T
Owner/operator:Castle Nisbet Aviation
Registration: N602RM
C/n / msn: 31T-7920081
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Deerfield, Virginia -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JBR/KJBR) Jonesboro, Arkansas
Destination airport:Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD/KSHD) Weyers Cave, Virginia
Investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
On July 1, 1999, at 1402 Eastern Daylight Time, a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II, N602RM, was destroyed when it struck trees and then impacted terrain near Deerfield, Virginia. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight, from Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JBR), Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD), Weyers Cave, Virginia. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

A review of air traffic control voice tapes revealed that the pilot was communicating on a Washington Center air traffic control frequency, at 23,000 feet. The airplane was cleared to descend to 15,000 feet, and the pilot acknowledged the clearance. A further clearance to 9,000 feet was issued, which the pilot once again acknowledged. The pilot later requested, and then received from the controller, the weather at Shenandoah Valley. He was subsequently cleared to proceed direct to GABLE intersection, and acknowledged the clearance. Afterwards, he was instructed to contact Richmond Approach Control. Once again he acknowledged the controller's instructions; however, no additional communications were received from the pilot.

Radar data indicated that after the airplane left 23,000 feet, it stopped briefly at 22,200 feet. It then continued descending to 11,300 feet, after which, the altitude readout was lost.

Only one additional position was recorded for the airplane, and that was without altitude readout. Earlier, during a passdown briefing, one controller stated to another: "We're losing [radar data] right and left...stuff we're usually picking up, we're not picking up."

At the time radar contact was lost, the airplane was positioned almost directly over the eventual crash site, which was located in a valley that was shaped like a "v," and open to the north and northeast. In the vicinity of the accident site, the valley averaged about 2 nautical miles across. It was ringed by steeply rising terrain on the western side, and more gradually rising terrain on the eastern side. Peaks on both sides exceeded 3,000 feet in elevation, while the lowest point of the valley floor was about 1,700 feet in elevation.

Two witnesses were in a house on the western side of the valley, about a mile from the crash site. They stated that they saw the airplane pass by the house, heading eastbound, about treetop level. One witness thought the airplane was going to land in a field just east of the house, because it sounded like engine power was being reduced. However, both witnesses saw the airplane continue to the east, and lost sight of it behind trees.

On the eastern side of the valley, another witness was in his workshop, with the door wide open. He stated that he heard the airplane approach with the engines at full throttle, and initially thought it was "some idiot doing dive bombing." It then "sounded like [the airplane] was trying to pull out," followed by the sound of the impact..

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight, in the vicinity of 38 degrees, 9.97 minutes north latitude, 79 degrees, 23.10 minutes west longitude.


1. NTSB Identification: NYC99FA163 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
23-May-2015 21:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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