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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133141
Last updated: 24 April 2019
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Date:09-JAN-1995
Time:16:22 CST
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain
Owner/operator:Galdys Enterprises, Inc.
Registration: N50WT
C/n / msn: 31-7952018
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1/2 mile from Brownsville Airport, Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Cancún International Airport, Cancun, Mexico (CUN/MMUN)
Destination airport:El Paso International Airport, El Paso, Texas (ELP/KELP)
Narrative:
On January 9, 1995, at 16:22 Central Standard Time (CST), a Piper PA-31- 350, N50WT, was destroyed during a forced landing near Brownsville, Texas. The airplane was being flown by a private pilot, who was on an international personal cross country flight. A VFR flight plan was in effect and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot and one passenger received minor injuries, while the remaining passenger was not injured.

According to the flight plan information, the airplane was en route from Cancun, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas. The pilot contacted Corpus Christi, Texas, approach control, while 50 miles east of Brownsville, and stated that he had "low fuel status in the right tank, but thought he had 3 hours of fuel remaining." He then requested and was given a vector to runway 13R at the Brownsville airport. The pilot subsequently reported that he had lost power in both engines. The airplane landed about 1/2 mile short of the airport in unsuitable terrain reulting damage to the fuselage and wings. Initial examination of the wreckage, by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, revealed that there was fuel on board the airplane, in the left tank, and the fuel selector was in the right tank position.

A review of the pilot records by the FAA revealed that the pilot was certificated for single engine operations, did not hold an instrument certificate, and had accumulated a total of 87 hours of flight time.

Repeated attempts to have the pilot or operator submit a completed NTSB Form 6120.1/2 (Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report) were not successful.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
THE FUEL STARVATION LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO THE PILOT'S IMPROPER USE OF THE FUEL TANK SELECTOR. FACTORS WERE THE PILOT'S QUALIFICATION AND THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR LANDING.

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: FTW95LA085 at https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20001207X02858&ntsbno=FTW95LA085&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=50WT
3. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1995/archives/crash-of-a-piper-pa-31-navajo-chieftain-in-brownsville/]
4. https://flightaware.com/resources/registration/N50WT
5. http://www.aviationdb.com/Aviation/Aircraft/5/N50WT.shtm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
21-Jun-2015 22:45 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
11-Oct-2017 15:19 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Source, Narrative]

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