ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188797
Last updated: 30 December 2020
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic PA30 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche
Registration: N7409Y
C/n / msn: 30-470
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Bedford Drive and Hampton Court, South Plainfield, Illinois -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sparta, TN (SRB)
Destination airport:Eagle River, WI (EGV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial pilot departed on a cross-country flight in the multi-engine airplane and attempted to use visual flight rules flight following from air traffic control during the flight. The availability of this service is based on controller workload, and, as the flight neared an area of Class B airspace, the controller discontinued flight following services and instructed the pilot to remain clear of the Class B airspace. The airplane then climbed from its cruise altitude of 8,500 ft mean sea level (msl) to 10,300 ft msl while losing airspeed until reaching about 48 kts, well below its lowest published stall speed. The airplane subsequently entered a series of descending turns, reaching an airspeed of about 211 kts that exceeded the airplane's design maneuvering speed. The airplane experienced an in-flight breakup.

Weather radar imagery identified reflectivity values consistent with convective activity immediately adjacent to the airplane's position just before the time of the accident. It is likely that the pilot initiated the climb in order to remain clear of the developing convective activity, and it is also likely that the airplane entered instrument meteorological conditions sometime between the initiation of the climb and the loss of control. The convective conditions present at the time of the accident were conducive to the development of updrafts, downdrafts, and turbulence; however, there were no recorded pilot reports for this area and the exact conditions encountered by the accident airplane could not be determined.

Although maintenance records indicated that the airplane had undergone recent maintenance to the left wing and rivet holes in the left wing spar exhibited signs of anomalous installation, this likely did not contribute to the accident, since a performance study determined that the airplane exceeded its design maneuvering speed, which put the airplane at risk of exceeding its design load limitations and the subsequent structural failure.

Toxicology findings indicated that the pilot was using two antidepressants, one of which, trazodone, is potentially impairing. While symptoms of depression often include cognitive deficits, it is impossible to know what, if any, medication side effects or cognitive symptoms the pilot may have been experiencing at the time of the accident. Therefore, whether his depression or its treatment contributed to the circumstances of the accident could not be determined from the available information.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during an en route climb near convective activity, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall, an uncontrolled descent, and a subsequent in-flight breakup due to an exceedance of the airplane's design load limitations.


FAA register: 2. FAA:


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

28 Jul 1971 N7409Y Private 0 Storm Lake Municipal Airport, Storm Lake, Iowa w/o


Revision history:

21-Jul-2016 16:32 harro Added
21-Jul-2016 16:37 harro Updated [Phase, Nature, Embed code, Narrative]
21-Jul-2016 16:38 harro Updated [Source, Embed code]
21-Jul-2016 17:04 harro Updated [Embed code]
21-Jul-2016 17:09 Geno Updated [Time, Location, Source, Embed code]
21-Jul-2016 17:21 Geno Updated [Source]
21-Jul-2016 19:56 harro Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
22-Jul-2016 09:50 Iceman 29 Updated [Aircraft type, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code]
22-Jul-2016 18:41 Iceman 29 Updated [Registration, Cn, Source]
28-Jul-2016 07:47 Anon. Updated [Source]
18-Apr-2017 15:37 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
18-Apr-2017 15:42 Dr.John Smith Updated [Nature]
01-Jun-2018 09:56 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description