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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 13795
Last updated: 30 October 2020
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Time:16:06 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA32 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-32
Owner/operator:Piper Aircraft
Registration: N9998W
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Vero Beach, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Vero Beach Municipal Airport (VRB/KVRB)
Destination airport:Vero Beach Municipal Airport (VRB/KVRB)
The prototype of the PA-32 “Cherokee Six” (N9999W) was flown for the first time on 6 December 1963, followed by the first production model (N9998W) on 17 September 1964. FAA Type Approval was received on 4 March 1965. N9998W was written off on 1 July 1965 when it crashed at Vero Beach, Florida, due to pilot incapacitation during the initial climb out phase from Vero Beach Municipal Airport. The aircraft caught fire upon or very soon after impact with the ground.

The autopsy conducted by Dr. H.L. Schofield and Dr. W.A. Wirth, revealed that the pilot, Charles Wellmaker, a 33-year-old test pilot for Piper Aircraft, probably suffered a heat attack (complete occlusion of the right coronary artery) during the takeoff climb. This induced a series of events (which are not explained) that led to the crash.


1. NTSB, Autopsy report Office of the Medical Examiner, Case No. A-69-65
2. NTSB Identification: MIA66A0001 at
3. FAA:

Revision history:

25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
08-May-2013 00:02 wam18jr Updated [Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
06-Sep-2016 17:02 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Sep-2016 17:03 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
21-Sep-2017 12:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Destination airport, Narrative]

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