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N477MD accident description

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Tail numberN477MD
Accident dateJune 28, 2007
Aircraft typePiper PA-46-500TP
LocationWellsville, MO
Near 39.123611 N, -91.578334 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On June 28, 2007, about 0815 central daylight time, a Piper PA-46-500TP, N477MD, was destroyed on impact with terrain following an in-flight breakup near Wellsville, Missouri. The personal flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan was on file and was activated. The pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries. The flight originated from the Spirit of St Louis Airport, near Chesterfield, Missouri, about 0752, and was destined for the Buffalo Municipal Airport, near Buffalo, Minnesota.

Preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration showed the flight was given a clearance to climb to flight level 230 (pressure altitude of 23,000 feet). The flight's radar track showed that the airplane turned. Radar contact was then lost.

Ground and aircraft observers located the airplane wreckage. The forward fuselage, inboard wing sections, and nose came to rest in a field about one mile southwest of the intersection of Highway AA and Red Barn Road. A smell consistent with jet fuel was present at the forward fuselage. The rear fuselage and empennage came to rest inverted about one quarter mile northwest of the forward fuselage section. The recovered wreckage was found along a path approximately on a 225-degree magnetic heading from the furthest piece of wreckage to the forward fuselage section. The distance of that path was about four nautical miles.

An on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted. Inboard sections of both wings remained attached to the fuselage. Examination of the top of the fuselage at the cabin entrance door revealed a linear depression with linear media transfers consistent with the right wingtip color, the color of the fuel cap, and the de-icing boot. The cabin window opening on the left side of the fuselage aft of the cabin door contained deformed sections of aluminum. Those sections were coated with sealant and exhibited a smell consistent with jet fuel. Flight control cables were traced and all breaks found were consistent with overload.

The engine was disassembled. Engine control cables were traced from the cabin to the engine. Liquid consistent with jet fuel was found in the fuel filter. The turbine disks and blades rotated when the compressor was rotated by hand. No pre-impact anomalies were detected.

A weather study of in-flight weather conditions at the time of the accident will be conducted.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.