Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

Broadway, North Carolina 27505
Thursday, March 14, 2002 16:28 EST

NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident

The accident airplane was on a Title 14 CFR Part 135 non scheduled cargo flight, when it collided a 1749 ft AGL (2149 ft MSL) communications tower. The airplane exploded on impact and the tower collapsed. The resulting debris was spread over an area of about 700 yards. A witness stated that he, his wife, and their two children were in their front yard, and they heard an aircraft engine. They all turned around to look at the airplane and he said he noted that the airplane was flying "westward or into the sun." He stated that as the airplane approached the tower, it appeared to have been lower than other airplanes he had seen fly over the tower previously. He stated that the airplane appeared to hit a guy wire, and that he did not notice any attempt to correct the flight path before the collision occurred. He also said that there had been no signs of trouble with the airplane's engine. As the airplane collided, it "jolted to the left, and exploded in mid air." He said that the collision appeared to have occurred about 3/4 of the way up the tower, and about 4 or 5 seconds after the explosion, the tower fell in the direction that the aircraft had been traveling. He said that at the time of the accident, the sky was clear, and the tower was visible. The Sanford -Lee County Regional Airport 1701, surface weather observation was, clear skies, winds from 160 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 22 degrees C, dewpoint temperature 14 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.06 inHg. Examination of debris and associated impact marks on the tower structure revealed that the airplane impacted the tower at the 1425-foot level, and that there were no signs of preaccident anomalies with the airframe, flight controls or engine. At the time of the accident the sun was at an altitude of 22 degrees on a bearing of 250 degrees from the accident site. The accident airplane was being flown on a magnetic heading of about 265 degrees.

NTSB Probable Cause Narrative

The pilot's inadequate visual lookout and his failure to maintain obstacle clearance.

Event Information

Type of Event Accident
Event Date 3/14/2002
Event Day of the Week Thursday
Time of Event 1628
Event Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Event City Broadway
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 27505
Event Date Year 2002
Event Date Month 3
MidAir Collision Indicator No
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude 353044N
Event Location Longitude 0785840W
Event Location Airport --
Event Location Nearest Airport ID --
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport Off Airport/Airstrip
Distance from airport in statute miles --
Degrees magnetic from airport --
Airport Elevation --
Weather Briefing Completeness Unknown
Investigator's weather source Weather Observation Facility
Time of the weather observation 1701 Eastern Standard Time
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) 297
Weather Observation Facility ID TTA
Elevation of weather observation facility 247
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) 7
Time Zone of the weather observation EST
Lighting Conditions Day
Lowest Ceiling Height --
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height --
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Clear
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling None
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet) --
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles) --
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius) 22
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit) 14
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) 150
Variable Wind Indicator Wind direction could be determined
Wind Speed (knots) 6
Wind Velocity Indicator --
Wind Gust Indicator Gusting
Wind Gust (knots) 0
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30.06
Density Altitude (feet) --
Intensity of Precipitation --
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury Fatal
On Ground, Fatal Injuries --
On Ground, Minor Injuries --
On Ground, Serious Injuries --
Injury Total Fatal 1
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None --
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All 1
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 16388
NTSB Notification Source NTSB Comm Center
NTSB Notification Date Mar 14 2002 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 1812
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record Sep 29 2004 1:02PM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\MONR
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office Greensboro, NC

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N4451X
NTSB Number MIA02FA067
Missing Aircraft Indicator --
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Type of Flight Plan filed None
Flight plan Was Activated? No
Damage Destroyed
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion In-flight
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Piper
Aircraft Model PA32R-300
Aircraft Series Identifier --
Aircraft Serial Number 32R7680018
Certified Max Gross Weight 3600
Aircraft Category Airplane
Aircraft Registration Class U.S. Registered/U.S. Soil
Aircraft is a homebuilt? No
Flight Crew Seats --
Cabin Crew Seats --
Passenger Seats --
Total number of seats on the aircraft 2
Number of Engines 1
Fixed gear or retractable gear Retractable
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection Annual
Date of Last Inspection Mar 7 2002 12:00AM
Airframe hours since last inspection 16
Airframe Hours 13550
ELT Installed Yes
ELT Activated Unknown
ELT Aided Location of Event Site No
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name Bellefonte Inc.,
Aircraft Owner Street Address 3704 Stonegate Dr.
Aircraft Owner City Durham
Aircraft Owner State NC
Aircraft Owner Country USA
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 27705
Operator is an individual? No
Operator Same as Owner? No
Operator Is Doing Business As --
Operator Address Same as Owner? No
Operator Street Address 1425 Meridian Drive
Operator City Raleigh
Operator State NC
Operator Country USA
Operator Zip code 27623
Operator Code FFKA
Owner has at least one certificate --
Other Operator of large aircraft? --
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation --
Operator Certificate Number --
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not Non-scheduled
Indicates Domestic or International Flight Domestic
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail Cargo
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary) --
Second Pilot on Board No
Departure Point Same as Event No
Departure Airport Code PGV
Departure City Greenville
Departure State NC
Departure Country USA
Departure Time 1545
Departure Time Zone EST
Destination Same as Local Flt --
Destination Airport Code JQF
Destination City Concord
Destination State NC
Destination Country USA
Specific Phase of Flight Cruise - normal
Report sent to ICAO? No
Evacuation occurred No
Date of most recent change to record Aug 4 2004 11:10AM
User who most recently changed record KENJ
Since inspection or accident Time of Accident
Event Location Runway Number and Location NA
Runway Length --
Runway Width --
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight No
Medical Flight --