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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45822
Last updated: 25 January 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:Indy Aero, Inc.
Registration: N8955J
C/n / msn: 28-2976
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:West Lafayette, IN -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Mount Comfort, IN (MQJ)
Destination airport:Unknown,
Investigating agency: NTSB
The airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted a field and trees during a forced landing after a loss of engine power. Witnesses reported the pilot departed on an unscheduled flight about 2115. The airplane was observed flying at least one full stop landing before doing a low approach, and then departing the pattern. A hand-held aviation Garmin GPS III was found in the "ON" position at the site of the accident. The recorded track data indicated the airplane flew north and flew over or near five airports. The track data indicated about 2 hours and 18 minutes elapsed during the portion of the flight recorded by the GPS. A witness near the accident site reported, "I observed what appeared to be an airplane flying in a north west direction at a low altitude. It appeared as the airplane was losing altitude. I lost sight of the airplane behind some trees at a distance. At that time I did not hear engine noise from an airplane. After several seconds passed I heard a loud crashing noise." Less than one gallon of fuel was found in the left and right fuel tanks. No fuel was found in the engine fuel lines, fuel pump, or carburetor bowl. The inspection of the airplane revealed no preexisting anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. Emergency responders reported that a 750 ml bottle of vodka was found in the cockpit with about 1/4 of it gone. The toxicology report indicated that pilot's ethanol blood level was almost 5 times the legal limit for presumed intoxication in most states.
Probable Cause: The fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's alcohol impaired decision making. Additional factors were the trees and night.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
10-Dec-2017 11:51 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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