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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 36956
Last updated: 19 November 2019
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Time:11:49 PDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PAY2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31T Cheyenne I
Owner/operator:Gray Leasing Inc
Registration: N6JM
C/n / msn: 31T-7904011
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Baker, White Pine County, Nevada -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Santa Rosa, California (STS/KSTS)
Destination airport:Wichita, Kansas (ICT/KICT)
On August 8, 1998, about 11:49 hours Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Piper PA-31-T1, N6JM, was destroyed near Baker, Nevada, after an uncontrolled descent into terrain. The pilot and two passengers received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The aircraft was being operated as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by Gray Leasing, Inc., Searcy, Arkansas. The flight originated at Santa Rosa, California, about 10:45 PDT, and was destined for Searcy, Arkansas, with an en route stop at Wichita, Kansas.

The pilot filed for an IFR flight plan for 25,000 feet msl, and at 10:55 PDT, while en route, he amended it to 27,000 feet. About 36 minutes after the altitude change to 27,000 feet, the pilot advised Salt Lake Air Traffic Control Center (SLC) that he had lost cabin pressure and needed an immediate descent. At the controller's request he restated his transmission.

About 20 seconds after the initial request for a lower altitude, the pilot was given a clearance to descend to 25,000 feet. About 15 seconds later he was cleared to descend to 15,000 feet, and he acknowledged. At this point radio communications started deteriorating; the pilot responded two more times "6JM." Additional calls from SLC were with microphone clicks only and no carrier.

According to radar data, the aircraft started a gradual descent with slight heading changes to 25,900 feet, and then a rapid descent with loss of radio and radar contact. The aircraft started a shallow descent with slight heading changes, then was observed to make a rapid descent into desert terrain. The accident site is located at latitude 38 degrees 47 minutes and .141 seconds north, longitude 114 degrees 08 minutes and .339 seconds west, and about 6,000 feet msl. The initial impact crater and wreckage path was measured about 300 degrees over a distance about 71 feet with some fragments as far as 140 feet.

About 10 months prior to the accident the aircraft had been inspected in accordance with the Piper Cheyenne Progressive Inspection 100-hour Cycle, event No. 1. According to the servicing agency, the aircraft inspection was completed and the aircraft was returned to service with a 12,500 feet MSL altitude restriction due to unresolved oxygen system issues.

The last oxygen bottle hydrostatic check noted on the bottle was October 1989. The oxygen system was in need of required maintenance and the masks were in a rotted condition. The pilot failed to report his severe coronary artery disease condition, medications, and other conditions to his FAA medical examiner for the required flight physical.

CAUSE: the pilot's failure to comply with a 12,500-foot altitude restriction placed on the aircraft by an FAA approved maintenance facility due to unresolved oxygen system issues. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to divulge his true physical condition and need for medication during his application for an Airman Medical Certificate.

Registration N6JM cancelled by the FAA on September 22, 1998 as "destroyed"


1. NTSB Identification: LAX98FA260 at
2. CAA:

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
07-Aug-2017 08:44 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
13-Sep-2017 21:40 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
13-Sep-2017 21:43 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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