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N5212W accident description

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Tail numberN5212W
Accident dateJanuary 04, 2009
Aircraft typePiper PA-28-160
LocationIndiana, PA
Near 40.635277 N, -79.113611 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On January 4, 2009, at 1805 eastern standard time, a Piper, PA-28-160, N5212W, collided into trees while approaching the Indiana County Airport (IDI), Indiana, Pennsylvania. The pilot and one of the two passengers received serious injuries, and the other passenger died 4 days later due to injuries received during the accident. Instrumental meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was operated by a private individual, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector stated that the airplane departed some time between 1700 and 1730 from the IDI airport. The weather was reported by the IDI automatic weather observation system (AWOS) as steadily deteriorating throughout the time the flight was planned, initiated, and terminated. Basic visual flight rules (VFR) conditions were last reported at 1255. At 1355, the weather was reported at 800 feet overcast and 10 miles visibility with temperature of 4 degrees Celsius (C) and dew point of -1 degree C. Weather about the time of the accident at IDI was reported as ceiling 200 feet overcast and visibility 1/4 mile with temperature and dew point both at 5 degrees C. At, 1755, 10 minutes before the accident, the weather was reported as 200 feet overcast, 1/4 mile visibility, and temperature and dew point both at 6 degrees C.

A line service person from an IDI fix base operator, reported to the responding FAA Inspector, he was in radio contact with the flight during at least five attempted approaches to runway 28 at IDI. The pilot repeatedly inquired whether the line service person could see the aircraft or whether the airplane was over the runway. The line service person stated that he advised the pilot to climb, declare an emergency, and contact Cleveland Center for assistance. These repeated approaches were attempted with the airport environment obscured in heavy fog, in twilight and after full darkness. At 1805, a sound of impact was heard by the line service person and radio contact was lost.

The wreckage debris field was located near the top of a forested area 100 feet higher than the field elevation at IDI and at 1,200 feet northwest of runway 10. The airplaneā€™s right wing impacted trees approximately 50 feet above terrain, separating the outer 1/3 of the right wing. The tail section was torn from the aft fuselage just forward of the vertical stabilizer. The crushed airplane wreckage came to rest inverted. All major components were accounted for within the debris field.

A damage hand held global positioning system (GPS) unit was recovered from within the wreckage and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for further evaluation.

The pilot holds a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land. He was issued a third-class medical certificate on May 16, 2008.

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