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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34553
Last updated: 11 June 2020
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Date:27-DEC-1994
Time:18:23
Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-140
Owner/operator:private
Registration: N4647R
C/n / msn: 28-21401
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Holtville, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature:Executive
Departure airport:Palo Alto, CA (PAO)
Destination airport:Yuma, AZ (YUM)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
WITNESSES HEARD THE ACCIDENT PILOT CALLING ON THE UNICOM FREQUENCY. HE SOUNDED AS THOUGH HE WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY LOCATING THE AIRPORT, SO ANOTHER PILOT IN HIS VICINITY SUGGESTED THAT THE ACCIDENT PILOT FOLLOW HIS AIRCRAFT TO THE AIRPORT. THE ACCIDENT PILOT AGREED, BUT AFTER THE OTHER PILOT ARRIVED AT THE AIRPORT THE ACCIDENT PILOT STILL FAILED TO LAND. WITNESSES HEARD HIM SAY THAT HE WAS LOW ON FUEL AND THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. THE PILOT SAID HE COULD NOT FIND THE AIRPORT, BUT WOULD LAND ON THE HIGHWAY IF NECESSARY. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE WAS SWITCHING TANKS FOLLOWED BY 'WE'RE GOING TO CRASH, WE'RE GOING TO CRASH, WE'RE CRASHING.' A WITNESS REPORTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT ATTEMPTED A LANDING ON THE INTERSTATE, BUT THEN BEGAN A CLIMBING RIGHT TURN UNTIL IT BEGAN A DESCENT AND CRASHED. THE WITNESS SPOTTED FLAMES AND IMMEDIATELY RAN TO THE LOCATION. HE DESCRIBED THE WEATHER AT THE ACCIDENT SITE AS CLEAR BUT VERY DARK. CAUSE: the pilot's becoming lost/disoriented during a night cross- country flight at a time the flight was in a critical low fuel state, and his failure to maintain aircraft control during a go-around from an aborted precautionary landing. Factors in the accident were: 1) the pilot's inadequate inflight fuel consumption calculations; 2) his failure to refuel the aircraft; 3) his failure to use all available FAA resources once the critical flight state became apparent; 4) spacial disorientation; and 5) darkness.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001206X02737


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added

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