PA28-235 crash in Illinois on 5-31-20

I'm sure you all have read and/or heard about this incident. A fellow I know in Illinois told me it looks like the aircraft lost a wing in flight, since it was not present at the crash site. The NTSB put out the word to landowners in the area to search their property and try and locate the missing wing. If it did, indeed shed a wing, you can bet your patooty that there will be an AD on every model of the PA28/PA32.

I love to defy gravity!
1979 Arrow IV

Comments

  • Thanks for the update Harley. R.I.P to our brothers in aviation.

    I'm afraid you're right. If this was an inadvertent loss of a wing in flight, there's going to be an AD on all PA28's and 32's, and it will be fast tracked.

    Jim "Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • And a new special NPRM on Piper wings was just posted on this forum.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Harley, thanks for posting this. I’m a nervous nelly, will be curious to see how this turns out.

    BTW, did anyone look at the ADSB track of the flight?

    Bob Tingley

  • Bob, I looked at the ADSB track. Looks like they were doing a climb at 200 fpm, and doing almost a 360 turn to the left. Then the rate of descent went to 6000 fpm to impact...sad.

    I love to defy gravity!
    1979 Arrow IV

  • The left wing was located, and it was a substantial distance from the main wreckage...the NTSB web site still has no details on this accident. I'm sure they are still investigating.

    I love to defy gravity!
    1979 Arrow IV

  • Harley - It's very sad. We lost four young engineers - lifelong friends and brothers of Phi Gamma Delta - in the crash.

    Question: If you compare the ADSB turn radius with the length of the runways at nearby Litchfield (3LF), and punch it in your E6B, you conclude they were pulling somewhere north of 3.5 g in the turn. That's assuming there was no turbulence or other additional load factors, making the effective g load higher. Do we think a 60 year old flight school plane can endure that use?

    Bob

  • My Arrow IV has only 2500 hours...I wouldn't pull 3.5 g with that!

    I love to defy gravity!
    1979 Arrow IV

  • Thanks for the insight, Bob. Scary. Getting my commercial in my 1977 Seneca I pulled near that everyday while training.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • I live about 40 miles south of the accident site and EVERYONE here that is a pilot is holding their breath. Was a perfect day, no weather and a few minutes before they went down, a groupie pic was sent to the pilot's mother, all of them smiling. This happened suddenly and disastrously. IF they were pulling those G's nothing would have stayed on that plane. Like a guy said, "planes just do not fall out of the sky." This one did. I spoke to a aviation salvage owner that lives in Staunton and he told me one of his friends saw the plane in a nose first wobbly spin with one wing gone and tail pieces flying off. NTSB and local media are very quiet about it still. Like Harley and griff said, if it was a spar, they may ground the entire fleet. Sadly, four guys, likely pretty fantastic fellows are gone.

  • https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20200531X82140&AKey=1&RType=Prelim&IType=LA

    I don’t want to say “good news”, but the NTSB says that both wings were at the accident site. I think it is pretty unlikely that a wing separation at 5500’ would somehow arrive in the same place as the rest of the airplane.

    Also they noted a GoPro was found in the wreckage, which might have some clues.

    Jim M.
    PA-28R-200
    Based at BUU
    ATC Chicago TRACON

  • https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20071102X01708&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=FA

    While thinking about the new information I posted above, I remember a UND Seminole crash that was caused by a goose colliding with the stabilator.

    Jim M.
    PA-28R-200
    Based at BUU
    ATC Chicago TRACON

  • edited June 10

    Yes, follow the link from Jmcmanna. Pictures are there as well to give you an idea where, and what happened.

    This accident will have the same scrutiny the Embry-Riddle accident did. Something is not right here at all......

    https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20200531X82140&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=LA

  • Jim - thanks for posting it; though I'm getting sick to my stomach reading the report. The Appareo 3I stores attitude, heading and GPS information; if that and the GoPro are substantially intact, FAA and NTSB probably already know what happened.

    Following the pictures like Clint says, and comparing with the Embry-Riddle pictures, you get the impression these were completely different types of events:

    https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/document.cfm?docID=475375&docketID=62694&mkey=96975

    Bob

  • I don't get anything when I click on the link above.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • The story doesn’t have any new technical information about the crash, but gives some background on the pilots and passengers. Very tragic story.

    Jim M.
    PA-28R-200
    Based at BUU
    ATC Chicago TRACON

  • Thanks Jim. BTW, I can't do this Saturday, my wife tells me that I'm taking my grand-daughter to the zoo to visit my (not her) relatives in the monkey house. :) How about Saturday, July 11? We'll see who else wants to come.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • The 235 crash analysis will likely take a year or so by NTSB. They are well aware of wing separation issues and I am positive that will be on the top of the to do list.

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