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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 152501
Last updated: 13 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28R model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow
Registration: N4975S
MSN: 28R-35693
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Dover, DE -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Sandersville, GA (OKZ)
Destination airport:Middletown, DE (EVY)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot had planned a night instrument cross-country flight of 3 hours 45 minutes, with 5 hours 30 minutes of fuel onboard. About 3 hours 20 minutes into the flight, when the airplane was about 15 miles from the intended destination airport, the pilot diverted after the airplane ahead of him performed a missed approach due to the low cloud ceiling. The pilot diverted to a nearby airport where the wind was calm and the ceiling was overcast at 400 feet above ground level (agl). The airport was equipped with a precision (instrument landing system [ILS]) approach, which the pilot did not attempt; instead, he attempted two GPS approaches to the opposite end of the runway. During both GPS approaches, the pilot performed missed approaches before the airplane reached the decision altitude of 306 feet agl.

Then, about 4 hours 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot diverted again, this time to an airport that was not equipped with an ILS approach and had a reported overcast layer of clouds at 300 feet agl. He performed a GPS approach to that airport, during which he descended the airplane below the approach’s published minimum descent altitude of 310 feel agl, to about 250 feet agl, before he performed a missed approach. After the missed approach, about 5 hours into the flight, the pilot advised the air traffic controller that he was low on fuel and diverted to another airport with no ILS approach to attempt a very high frequency omnidirectional range (VOR) approach. The pilot was in contact with air traffic control and could have declared an emergency and performed an ILS approach to a military airport that he overflew en route to the airport with the VOR approach; however, he did not. The pilot was cleared for the VOR approach about 5 hours 5 minutes into the flight and declared an emergency 6 minutes later, reporting fuel exhaustion. Air traffic control personnel provided the pilot with radar vectors to the military airport he had overflown, but the airplane impacted wooded terrain about 2 miles before it reached the runway at that airport.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to land the airplane at multiple airports that were equipped with adequate instrument approach procedures while operating in low instrument meteorological conditions and his delay in declaring a fuel-related emergency, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.



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


Revision history:

14-Jan-2013 07:17 gerard57 Added
14-Jan-2013 08:17 bizjets101 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Jan-2013 10:37 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
14-Jan-2013 10:38 RobertMB Updated [Narrative]
14-Jan-2013 23:45 78Delta Updated [Embed code]
22-Jan-2014 21:02 Geno Updated [Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
18-Aug-2017 07:21 Anon. Updated [Aircraft type]
18-Aug-2017 07:23 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
06-Sep-2017 17:46 harro Updated [Embed code]
28-Nov-2017 14:05 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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