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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 40328
Last updated: 17 May 2019
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Date:24-JUN-1994
Time:09:05 EDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N27872
C/n / msn: 31-7912031
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Palm Beach County Park Airport, Lantana, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Palm Beach County Park Airport, Lantana, Florida (LNA/KNLA)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On June 24, 1994, about 09:05 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Piper PA-31-325, N27872, registered to Dr. Roscoe M. Thorne, crashed shortly after takeoff from the Palm Beach County Park Airport, Lantana, Florida, while on a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged by impact and a post-crash fire and the private-rated pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The flight originated about 09:00 EDT.

Before departure about 08:45 EDT, the pilot requested fuel and stated that he was in a hurry. After the fuel truck arrived per the pilot's request, the outboard fuel tanks were filled and 20 gallons of fuel were added to each of the inboard fuel tanks. The fuel quantity in each inboard fuel tank before fuelling was not determined. The fueller stated that he did not observe the pilot check the fuel tank for contaminants and while he was reeling in the hose after fuelling, the pilot and passenger were in the left and right front seats respectively and the entry door was closed. A total of 70.2 gallons of fuel were added.

The airplane was then taxied to the approach end of runway 21 and according to one witness, the airplane remained there for 2-3 minutes, but no determination could be made as to whether the pilot performed an engine run-up before departure. According to another witness, the airplane rotated just beyond a taxiway which is south of runway 9/27.

Calculations based on an airport map indicate that at the point of rotation about 529 feet of runway remained. The total length of runway available to the accident pilot based on reports of his using all available paved surface is 3,746 feet. The witness also stated that one or both of the engines were running rough. Witnesses reported that the airplane climbed no higher than 300 feet above ground level and banked to the left during which the nose of the airplane pitched down. During the descent the airplane collided with trees then the ground and a postcrash fire damaged the cockpit, part of the fuselage, and part of the wings.

According to several witnesses, one or both of the engines were heard to be running rough or not developing what they thought to be full power. The Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Station 35 received the 911 call about 09:10.52 EDT, dispatched at 09:12.36 EDT, and arrived on scene about 09:18.06 EDT. The fire was reportedly extinguished about 5 minutes after arrival

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
THE PILOT'S IMPAIRMENT OF JUDGMENT AND PERFORMANCE DUE TO DRUGS, HIS FAILURE TO ABORT THE TAKEOFF AFTER EXPERIENCING REDUCED TAKEOFF PERFORMANCE, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN MINIMUM CONTROL SPEED. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: A PARTIAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO IMPROPER MAGNETO-TO-ENGINE TIMING, AND A PARTIALLY BLOCKED FUEL NOZZLE.

Registrartion N27872 cancelled by the FAA as "Destroyed" on March 28, 1998

Sources:

1. NTSB Identification: MIA94FA167 at https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief2.aspx?ev_id=20001206X01589&ntsbno=MIA94FA167&akey=1
2. FAA: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=27872
3. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1994/archives/crash-of-a-piper-pa-31-navajo-chieftain-in-lantana-2-killed/]
4. http://planecrashmap.com/plane/fl/N27872/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
04-Jun-2015 04:38 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
11-Oct-2017 14:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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