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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 13643
Last updated: 30 October 2019
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Date:24-FEB-1977
Time:09:24EST
Type:Silhouette image of generic PAY2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II
Owner/operator:Commonwealth of Pennsylvania/Dept. of Transportation
Registration: N631PT
C/n / msn: 31T-7720001
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Swatra Township, Bressler, Pennsylvania -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Harrisburg-Capital City Airport, PA (HAR/KCXY)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Shortly after takeoff from Harrisburg Airport, the twin engine aircraft went out of control and crashed in flames onto a house in Swatara Township. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all eight occupants in the Piper were killed, plus one person in the house. Those on board were:
Crew:
David M. Wolf, pilot,
Edward Soisson, copilot.
Passengers:
William Sherlock, State Transportation Secretary,
Richard C. Frame, State GOP Chairman,
William R. Smith, Sherlock's Chief of Staff,
Charles Wilson, Penn DOT Public Relations Officer,
Larry G. Pennsyl, Penn DOT photographer,
John W. Krebs, Penn DOT data processing manager.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the flight crew's failure to insure that the aircraft was loaded properly and that its center of gravity was within certificated limits. As a result, the aircraft's control characteristics were degraded significantly by a center of gravity position well aft of the certificated limits. This imbalance led to the pilot's inability to control a longitudinally unstable aircraft during a climbing turn in instrument meteorological conditions.

There was no evidence of engine failure or malfunction, the flight crew was properly certified and the pilots had no medical or psychological problems. The accident was not survivable.

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: DCA77AA012 at https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=55836&key=0
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=631PT
3. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/AAR7801.pdf
4. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1977/archives/crash-of-a-piper-pa-31t-cheyenne-in-harrisburg-9-killed/]
5. http://planecrashmap.com/plane/pa/N631PT/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
27-Oct-2012 08:33 harro Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Narrative]
02-Aug-2017 09:34 TB Updated [Time, Operator]
02-Aug-2017 09:35 TB Updated [Operator]
06-Aug-2017 18:48 TB Updated [Aircraft type]
07-Sep-2017 20:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative]

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