Accident Piper PA-24-250 Comanche N8347P, Saturday 2 January 2021
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Date:Saturday 2 January 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-24-250 Comanche
Owner/operator:Aircom LLC
Registration: N8347P
MSN: 24-3604
Year of manufacture:1964
Total airframe hrs:4844 hours
Engine model:Lycoming I0-540-C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Oakland Southwest Airport (Y47), New Hudson, MI -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Cherokee County Regional Airport, GA (CNI/KCNI)
Destination airport:Oakland Southwest Airport, MI (Y47)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On January 2, 2021, about 1541 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-24-250 airplane, N8347P, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near New Hudson, Michigan. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

As the airplane approached the destination, the pilot requested VFR (visual flight rules) flight following and was issued a discrete beacon code. He asked if there were any pilot reports (PIREPs) for icing in the area and was told there had not been any in the last hour. The pilot then requested the VOR-A approach into Y47. The pilot stated that if he missed the approach, he would divert to another airport. The pilot was vectored to intercept the VOR-A final approach course and was given a pilot report from a pilot who landed at a nearby airport who reported the cloud base to be 300 ft with no ice descending through the layers. The accident pilot said he would “give it (the approach) a shot.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed the airplane approach the airport at an altitude of about 2,000 ft and 100 knots (kts). It passed over the airport and began to decelerate in a left descending turn to 1,475 ft and 85 kts. The airplane entered a second tighter turn and descended to 1,150 ft and 60 kts. Track data was lost at 1541:20. The last recorded altitude and airspeed were 975 ft and 71 kts. near the accident location.

A residential security camera captured the accident. The sound of an aircraft engine is audible on the recording. The sound goes away and returns, but is louder. Once again, the sound disappears and is heard again with the airplane coming into view in a left wing low, nose low descent. The wings and nose level off just before the airplane impacts the ground in a flat attitude. The airplane slides across the ground, impacts a house, and a fire erupts. The airplane was destroyed during the postimpact fire.

A pilot who was in a hangar at the airport reported hearing the airplane fly over the airport twice. He thought the airplane was trying to land and he reported hearing the engine power increase both times as if the pilot was performing a go-around. This pilot reported that the weather conditions at the time consisted of a low ceiling, “heavy clouds”, light mist, and rain.

A NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) was issued for the VOR-A approach at the destination airport. Although the NOTAM stated the VOR portion of the approach was unavailable it is unlikely that this played a role in the accident as the pilot had overflown the airport on the approximate approach course and was circling the area when the accident occurred. There was no record that the non-instrument rated pilot obtained a weather briefing or filed a flight plan for his flight.

The pilot had logged 41.5 hours of simulated instrument flight time, 15.2 of those hours were with an instructor. Additionally, he had logged 99.6 hours under actual instrument conditions, 4.8 hour of which were with an instructor, for a total of 141.1 instrument hours. The pilot was not instrument rated and was not trained to fly in the weather conditions that existed during the accident flight.

An examination of the airplane, engine, and related systems revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. It is likely that while maneuvering in instrument meteorological conditions while trying to locate the runway, the non-instrument rated pilot failed to maintain the proper airspeed, which resulted in the exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack and the airplane experiencing an aerodynamic stall.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of an instrument rating and the low visibility at the time of the accident.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN21LA104
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report


NTSB (photo)



Revision history:

02-Jan-2021 22:02 Geno Added
03-Jan-2021 00:45 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2021 04:21 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
03-Jan-2021 14:33 harro Updated [Embed code]
03-Jan-2021 15:46 Aerossurance Updated [Embed code]
10-Jul-2021 09:13 aaronwk Updated [Time, Phase, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category]
08-Jun-2023 21:14 Captain Adam Updated

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