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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45593
Last updated: 4 June 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-180
Owner/operator:Patrick D. Carey
Registration: N7839W
MSN: 28-1856
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Three Rivers, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Visalia, CA (VIS)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
The airplane collided with trees and mountainous terrain during a personal flight over Sequoia National Park. The noninstrument rated pilot and three passengers departed for a flight around Sequoia National Park. When the flight failed to return, a search was initiated, with aerial search efforts hampered by prevailing cloud cover over the mountainous park. Four days later, a military helicopter located the accident site about 5,900 feet msl. The accident site was located in tall timber with occasional snow beds. Park service officials reported that on the day of the accident cloud cover existed in the park over the area of the accident site with bases estimated about 5,000 feet msl. Fragmented wreckage was scattered along a 090-degree magnetic heading about 150 feet. A fire had consumed the center section of the airplane. The wing panel leading edges revealed near perpendicular 12- and 18-inch semicircular radius impacts dimensionally similar to the surrounding trees. Tree bark material transfers were noted in the impressions. The wing panels and landing gears were severed from their corresponding structural attach points. One propeller blade had light damage and the other had major damage with trailing edge "S" bending and the loss of 4 inches of blade tip. Subsequent examination of the airframe and engine disclosed no preimpact anomalies.

Probable Cause: the pilot's attempt to continue visual flight in instrument meteorological conditions in mountainous terrain. Contributing factors were low ceiling and mountainous terrain.




Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
09-Dec-2017 16:07 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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