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N2532N accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location 39.771945°N, 94.909444°W
Nearest city St. Joseph, MO
39.759376°N, 94.831280°W
4.2 miles away
Tail number N2532N
Accident date 13 Jun 2002
Aircraft type Piper PA-38-112
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 13, 2002, at 1950 central daylight time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2532N, owned and piloted by a private pilot sustained substantial damage in a collision with terrain while attempting to land perpendicular to runway 17 (8,059 feet by 150 feet, dry/asphalt) at the Rosecrans Memorial Airport (STJ), St. Joseph, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant, reported no injuries. The local flight originated at 1940 central daylight time.

The pilot made a statement to the police who responded to the accident. The pilot reported he was following a King Air that was landing at the STJ. He stated that he was 1,000 feet above the King Air and that he made a left base leg to allow the other aircraft to taxi off the runway. The pilot reported that when he touched down the landing gear folded up. He stated, "I kept my nose up and made it over to the grass so I wouldn't start a fire."

The police interviewed a witness who observed the accident flight. The witness reported that he observed the pilot working on the airplane for about 50 minutes prior to the flight. He reported the pilot had difficulty getting the airplane started, and that the airplane was missing badly and cutting out during the taxi for takeoff. He reported the airplane almost tail stalled during takeoff. He reported that after the King Air landed, the airplane banked hard left and went right down. He reported he could hear the engine fowling.

According to an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aircraft contacted the ground near the approach end of the runway 17 on about a 260 degree heading, or perpendicular to the runway. The airplane touched down hard about 20 feet east of the north/south parallel taxiway traveling west. The nose wheel collapsed when the airplane crossed the taxiway. The right main gear leg came off after crossing the taxiway, and the aircraft stopped about halfway between the taxiway and the runway, still heading west. In an interview with the FAA inspector, the pilot reported that he was unable to explain why he was so low while still perpendicular to the runway. The pilot reported that he attempted to make a go-around but that the engine did not respond.

An inspection of the airplane revealed the engine drive train exhibited continuity and thumb compression. The magnetos produced spark. Fuel was found in the carburetor and fuel tanks. One propeller blade was bent back and the other did not exhibit leading edge damage or chordwise scratching.

The pilot reported, "I made a mistake. The accident was my fault. No call for what I did. No call for the landing. Should have been going down [the] runway." The pilot reported that his blood sugar level was "really high" at the time of the accident. He reported that he could not remember many of the details concerning the accident.

The pilot had not logged any training since 1982. The pilot's last flight review was on November 30, 1982. His most recent medical certificate expired on October 24, 1996. The pilot reported he had about 1,500 total hours of flight time. He had logged about 20 hours in the last 90 days.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to attain proper alignment with the runway.

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