Accident Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee B N145AB,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 222419
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Date:Friday 1 March 2019
Time:12:41 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA25 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee B
Owner/operator:Aerial Banners Inc
Registration: N145AB
MSN: 25-3137
Year of manufacture:1965
Total airframe hrs:9711 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-540-B2B5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Fort Lauderdale, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Banner and glider towing
Departure airport:Hollywood-North Perry Airport, FL (HWO/KHWO)
Destination airport:Hollywood-North Perry Airport, FL (HWO/KHWO)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The newly-hired banner tow pilot departed on his first banner-tow flight away from the training airport. After completing several circuits the pilot was flying on a southerly heading with an 8 knot easterly wind about 1/4 mile offshore, which was about half the distance he was trained to be offshore. The pilot initiated a right turn descended to 250 ft mean sea level and flew over a heavily congested area with tall buildings nearby. The airplane was seen flying about 250 ft above ground level over a heavily-congested area before it impacted the 16th and 17th floors of a 19-story building while in a right turn.
Although witnesses provided varying accounts of how the engine was operating near the end of the flight, a sound spectrum study conducted with video taken of the airplane just before the impact indicated that the engine was operating near its maximum available power at the time of impact. Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The abnormal engine sounds reported by several witnesses were likely attributed to be from the lack of a muffler of the exhaust system. Given the lack of any mechanical malfunctions with the airplane, it was likely that the pilot did not adequately compensate for the wind conditions, which would have pushed the airplane inland during a right turn to reverse course.
The operator reported that banner-tow flights were performed between 500 and 700 ft above mean sea level while offshore. At no time, except during takeoff or landing or unless authorized by air traffic control, were pilots expected to fly at altitudes less than 500 ft.
According to training records, the pilot had received 17 hours of banner tow flight training, He completed a .6-hour solo banner tow training flight in the airport vicinity 3 days before the accident.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain proper altitude and clearance while maneuvering during a banner tow flight, which resulted in an in-flight collision with a 19-story building in a heavily congested area. Contributing to the accident were the easterly wind conditions, the pilot's total lack of experience in banner tow operations, and his inadvertent flight over a densely populated area with numerous tall buildings nearby.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA19FA112
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
5 June 2005 N7220Z B 0 Waller, Texas sub
Fuel exhaustion
7 August 2015 N145AB Aerial Banners Inc 0 Los Angeles River Basin, Vernon, CA non



Photo: NTSB

Photo: NTSB


Revision history:

01-Mar-2019 17:50 Captain Adam Added
01-Mar-2019 17:53 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Narrative]
01-Mar-2019 18:24 Anon. Updated [Registration, Source]
01-Mar-2019 18:27 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Phase, Source, Narrative]
01-Mar-2019 20:25 Captain Adam Updated [Source, Narrative]
01-Mar-2019 23:19 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type]
02-Mar-2019 09:11 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
02-Mar-2019 09:38 Iceman 29 Updated [Source]
02-Mar-2019 09:38 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
19-Mar-2019 00:02 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
19-Mar-2019 00:08 Iceman 29 Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Mar-2020 08:11 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
31-Mar-2021 08:19 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
31-Mar-2021 10:57 harro Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative, Photo]
31-Mar-2021 10:59 harro Updated [Photo]

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