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redzeppelin
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Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:49 pm

The aircraft had just departed South Valley Regional Airport (U42), a GA facility about 12 miles south of SLC. Six souls on board, three fatalities reported. At least 3 homes on the ground were damaged in the ensuing fire. One person on the ground was injured.
Based on flightaware, it appears to be N7677C. If so, it looks like they had filed a flight plan over the Grand Canyon and arriving into PGA -- Page, AZ.
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N76 ... Z/U42/KPGA

There are several photos of the scene at the links below:

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/07/25/ ... st-jordan/
https://gephardtdaily.com/local/dramati ... p-injured/

Image
Image
 
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smithbs
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:59 am

Hate to see this happen.

The victims have been identified. Injuries ranged from fatalities to one person walking away.

https://www.fox13now.com/news/local-new ... lane-crash

Not the only air incident lately. At least this other one was a forced roadway landing with no serious injuries. The airplane might even fly again - doesn't look too banged up.

https://www.fox13now.com/news/local-new ... r-injuries
 
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redzeppelin
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:34 pm

Another unfortunate update:
One additional fatality, as the woman whose house was hit has died in the hospital.
https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/07/27/ ... ing-funds/
 
Antarius
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:33 pm

Sad. Is there any indication of what may have caused it? (with the obvious caveat that the NTSB has not done their work yet and this is speculation)
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airportugal310
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:56 pm

Antarius wrote:
Sad. Is there any indication of what may have caused it? (with the obvious caveat that the NTSB has not done their work yet and this is speculation)


some other aviation blogs have mentioned density altitude and a potentially heavy aircraft...it would have a been high DA in that location, on that day. Pure speculation, of course
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:36 am

Antarius wrote:
Sad. Is there any indication of what may have caused it? (with the obvious caveat that the NTSB has not done their work yet and this is speculation)

Not doing a Density Altitude vs WB calculation?

The primary recurring theme in this part of the country, at this time of year, always seems to be ignoring DA.
 
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redzeppelin
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:04 am

Density altitude was my first thought. The field elevation at U42 is about 4600 feet, and air temperature at the time of the crash was about 92F. The home base of the aircraft appears to be in Virginia, and most of the recent flights are in Virginia and North Carolina per flightaware records. It arrived in Utah last week after a cross-country trip. So it is possible that the pilot wasn't familiar with operating in the local hot and high conditions.
 
flyoregon
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:05 am

redzeppelin wrote:
Density altitude was my first thought. The field elevation at U42 is about 4600 feet, and air temperature at the time of the crash was about 92F. The home base of the aircraft appears to be in Virginia, and most of the recent flights are in Virginia and North Carolina per flightaware records. It arrived in Utah last week after a cross-country trip. So it is possible that the pilot wasn't familiar with operating in the local hot and high conditions.


Familiar or not with operating in those conditions, a pilot should be aware of performance limitations of an airplane and should calculate how it would perform in whatever conditions they may be in.
 
cschleic
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:33 am

The runway is 5,862 ft. Today's afternoon's weather, when it was 91 or 93 degrees, showed density altitude of about 7,800 ft. Of course, humidity and pressure were different on Saturday, but it gives an idea of how high density altitude could be there.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:13 am

Looking at the POH (or at least *a* POH for a PA-32R-300), I don't see any reason why the plane shouldn't have been able to fly. It has a max useful load of 1644 lbs, and the six occupants, which included a man, two women, two babies and a 12 year old child, probably didn't weigh any more than 600 lbs. or so. I have no idea how much fuel they were carrying but the max with aux tanks for the Lance is 98 gallons, or 588 lbs. The baggage compartment only holds 100 lbs. Even with max fuel, it's hard to see how they'd be up against the max weight of 3600 lbs. (All those weights plus the plane's standard empty weight equals 3,244 lbs.)

Assuming they *were* at or close to max takeoff weight, with a field altitude of 4600 feet and temperature of 92F, they'd only be using about 2,200 feet of runway for takeoff, with about 3,500-3,600 feet to get over a 50 foot obstacle. This is a high performance aircraft. Initial climb would be about 500 ft/minute.

It's not just density altitude. Something else went wrong here. Could be weight and balance, could have been an engine problem. But it's almost certainly not *just* density altitude and/or basic overloading. Even if the pilot didn't do *any* calculations, he should have made it off the runway and into a normal climb just fine at that airport in those conditions. Not that I'm excusing it if he didn't do his calculations; it takes 5 minutes to do those calculations, but I'm just saying he *appears* to have been well within any safety margin even if he hadn't done any. (I'm assuming the passengers were basically evenly split front to back for weight and balance; not guaranteed, but I think a safe assumption.) He probably would have done better than the numbers I quoted up there, because he was probably closer to 3,244 lbs. than 3,600. But even at mass takeoff weight, he'd have been fine. So there had to be some other problem.
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unscheduled
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:11 pm

The crash site is at: 40°35'34.50"N 111°58'56.73"W
This is about a quarter mile left (east) of a path following the runway centerline.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:41 pm

Rest in peace.

I have to say it's worse when people on the ground at home have to be injured or killed this way; home is supposed to be safest place for anyone (usually). They didn't choose to fly in the airplane, but in a way they were forced to do so...

Priority of safety to me: the pilot, pilot passengers, non-pilot/aviation passengers, those on the ground.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:06 pm

On these small planes isn't not enough power (for whatever reason) to successfully take off the primary cause of fatalities? I suspect 2nd most common is running out of fuel.
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reltney
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:49 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
On these small planes isn't not enough power (for whatever reason) to successfully take off the primary cause of fatalities? I suspect 2nd most common is running out of fuel.


They would never be certified if it did not have enough power to take off. When planes are certified they have an operational envelope to operate and have to demonstrate the performance. This is true in ALL certified US built aircraft and aircraft certified to fly in the US. It’s up to the operator to operate the airplane in the envelope. The PA-32 300 is a powerful airplane. Magnificent power!!! It’s like a 757. It will go anywhere. Not pretty but a truck. Hard to overload and hard to exceed the performance of that plane. CG and engine/mechanical problems are most likely.

Cheers
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OUTLAW KNIVES.

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frmrCapCadet
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:33 pm

I said not enough power, and obviously for the failed take off. Could be engine failure or partial failure, collision avoidance turn, fuel line failure, unexpected headwind etc. Many of these are also pilot errors. In any event not enough power to gain the speed to stay airborn.
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LTCM
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:47 pm

It's well past time we severely restrict and regulate GA beyond what we already do. People on the ground should not be put at risk because of the recklessness of GA cowboys.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:53 pm

Very sad. I absolutely hate light twins and the FAA's foolish decision to not require one engine have enough thrust to continue safe flight. I would much rather have an engine failure in a single engine piston than a twin.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:58 pm

LTCM wrote:
It's well past time we severely restrict and regulate GA beyond what we already do. People on the ground should not be put at risk because of the recklessness of GA cowboys.


So you want to start with general aviation, rather than idiot motor vehicle operators who kill exponentially more people? Yeah, I think I'd kindly tell you to move along.
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flyoregon
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:59 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Very sad. I absolutely hate light twins and the FAA's foolish decision to not require one engine have enough thrust to continue safe flight. I would much rather have an engine failure in a single engine piston than a twin.


PA32 is single engine
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:04 pm

flyoregon wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Very sad. I absolutely hate light twins and the FAA's foolish decision to not require one engine have enough thrust to continue safe flight. I would much rather have an engine failure in a single engine piston than a twin.


PA32 is single engine


Thanks. My mistake. I was thinking it was the Seminole. I have very poor opinion of Piper aircraft. They also have a history of wings detaching from their aircraft. That unfortunately happened to a university classmate of mine and instructor a couple years ago.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:05 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
flyoregon wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Very sad. I absolutely hate light twins and the FAA's foolish decision to not require one engine have enough thrust to continue safe flight. I would much rather have an engine failure in a single engine piston than a twin.


PA32 is single engine


Thanks. My mistake. I was thinking it was the Seminole. I have very poor opinion of Piper aircraft. They also have a history of wings detaching from their aircraft. That unfortunately happened to a university classmate of mine and instructor a couple years ago.


That happened because your university did piss poor MX, all while charging students an extremely high amount of money to learn to fly... There's nothing wrong with any Piper aircraft.
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:38 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
I said not enough power, and obviously for the failed take off. Could be engine failure or partial failure, collision avoidance turn, fuel line failure, unexpected headwind etc. Many of these are also pilot errors. In any event not enough power to gain the speed to stay airborn.


edit: make that unexpected tailwind
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75driver
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:19 am

DiamondFlyer wrote:

That happened because your university did piss poor MX, all while charging students an extremely high amount of money to learn to fly... There's nothing wrong with any Piper aircraft.


Well said! To say they have a history of wings falling off is ridiculous! I’ve consistently owned a Piper variant for the last 30 years and never experienced anything remotely close to a bloody structural issue. Geez. These are fine aeroplanes.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:41 am

75driver wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

That happened because your university did piss poor MX, all while charging students an extremely high amount of money to learn to fly... There's nothing wrong with any Piper aircraft.


Well said! To say they have a history of wings falling off is ridiculous! I’ve consistently owned a Piper variant for the last 30 years and never experienced anything remotely close to a bloody structural issue. Geez. These are fine aeroplanes.


Uh, no. The issue has been around since the 1980's. Why did Piper demand the FAA withdraw an airworthiness directive for the problem? It sounds like Pipers shouldn't be used for training aircraft. You don't see the wings coming off of 172's even though they are repeatedly subjected to torture.

https://www.staugustine.com/news/201903 ... aft-claims
 
75driver
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:38 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
75driver wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

That happened because your university did piss poor MX, all while charging students an extremely high amount of money to learn to fly... There's nothing wrong with any Piper aircraft.


Well said! To say they have a history of wings falling off is ridiculous! I’ve consistently owned a Piper variant for the last 30 years and never experienced anything remotely close to a bloody structural issue. Geez. These are fine aeroplanes.


Uh, no. The issue has been around since the 1980's. Why did Piper demand the FAA withdraw an airworthiness directive for the problem? It sounds like Pipers shouldn't be used for training aircraft. You don't see the wings coming off of 172's even though they are repeatedly subjected to torture.

https://www.staugustine.com/news/201903 ... aft-claims


Alleged. Have you ever owned one? Flown one? You’re taking one incident and condemning the entire fleet. Guess any manufacturer that has an incident is garbage right? Come back and talk to me when you’ve had over 8000 hours in a Piper.

Go here and have fun: https://aviation-safety.net/
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:32 am

75driver wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
75driver wrote:

Well said! To say they have a history of wings falling off is ridiculous! I’ve consistently owned a Piper variant for the last 30 years and never experienced anything remotely close to a bloody structural issue. Geez. These are fine aeroplanes.


Uh, no. The issue has been around since the 1980's. Why did Piper demand the FAA withdraw an airworthiness directive for the problem? It sounds like Pipers shouldn't be used for training aircraft. You don't see the wings coming off of 172's even though they are repeatedly subjected to torture.

https://www.staugustine.com/news/201903 ... aft-claims


Alleged. Have you ever owned one? Flown one? You’re taking one incident and condemning the entire fleet. Guess any manufacturer that has an incident is garbage right? Come back and talk to me when you’ve had over 8000 hours in a Piper.

Go here and have fun: https://aviation-safety.net/


But it wasn't just one incident. From the article:

“For years prior to 1987, Piper knew that more than a hundred PA-28 aircraft had suffered in-flight structural failures resulting in the loss of life of hundreds of occupants"

Again, why was the FAA seeking to issue an airworthiness directive?
 
75driver
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:42 am

TTailedTiger wrote:

But it wasn't just one incident. From the article:

“For years prior to 1987, Piper knew that more than a hundred PA-28 aircraft had suffered in-flight structural failures resulting in the loss of life of hundreds of occupants"

Again, why was the FAA seeking to issue an airworthiness directive?


AD’s are issued to many manufacturers and that quote is not fact. The assertion that Pipers have a “history of wings detaching” is false. If that was the case I probably wouldn’t be here. Check ASN and see how many list that as a cause.

Let’s not derail this topic and disrespect these lost souls. I’ll be happy to discuss it elsewhere. Cheers...
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:28 pm

Structural failure has many causes, pilots pulling the wings off is one.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:06 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
75driver wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:

That happened because your university did piss poor MX, all while charging students an extremely high amount of money to learn to fly... There's nothing wrong with any Piper aircraft.


Well said! To say they have a history of wings falling off is ridiculous! I’ve consistently owned a Piper variant for the last 30 years and never experienced anything remotely close to a bloody structural issue. Geez. These are fine aeroplanes.


Uh, no. The issue has been around since the 1980's. Why did Piper demand the FAA withdraw an airworthiness directive for the problem? It sounds like Pipers shouldn't be used for training aircraft. You don't see the wings coming off of 172's even though they are repeatedly subjected to torture.

https://www.staugustine.com/news/201903 ... aft-claims



Sure, there might be an issue with the PA28, which will be taken care of. The way ERAU operated the airframes lead to them being treated like trash. Pilots routinely had hard landings on them and nothing was ever done about it. The training at Embry Riddle isn't "better' than any other college, and I could make an argument that it's much worse.
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sadde
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:18 pm

Totally anecdotal, but my last flight as a CFI in Pipers was when my student discovered a cracked wing spar on a Cherokee. We gave the wing a small aft-ward tug and it literally bent towards the tail. Naturally the plane was taken out of service and extensively repaired, but up until that point it had been very well cared for. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was honestly astonishing. The fact that there’s even speculation about these wings vs say those on a Cessna should be very telling.
 
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redzeppelin
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:57 pm

There is an article in the Salt Lake Tribune today that discusses the recent history of accidents at the South Valley Regional airport. They list 8 specific incidents in the past 10 years.
https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/20 ... -years-is/

This is an opportunity to bring up a question that I've been wondering about for a long time. There is a large soccer field complex south of the runway. Aircraft there almost always take off to the south, so they are over the fields during their initial climb. My kids play soccer there, and Saturday morning games always have a parade of small aircraft flying over the fields doing touch-and-go circuits. The soccer complex is operated by West Jordan City Parks Dept., but my understanding is that the land is actually owned by Salt Lake County. There is a persistent rumor among soccer coaches and parents that the city will imminently be forced to close the soccer fields and remove all improvements (playgrounds, scoreboards, irrigation systems, etc.), and that it is all related to the airport and aviation regulations. The rumor has been circulating long enough that the fields should have been demolished last year already. I'm certain that the complex is too close to the runway for any commercial or residential development, but I don't really know the rules that would govern this type of recreational use. Can anybody here clarify if there are any FAA regulations or other rules that would prohibit those soccer fields?

Map from Salt Lake Tribune article linked above:
Image
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:11 pm

I looked at Google Maps and the airport data on AirNav; I don’t see where any FAA regulation would require shutting down anything around the airport. FAA rules on this subject generally revolve around height of obstacles, not surfaces
 
75driver
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:36 pm

sadde wrote:
Totally anecdotal, but my last flight as a CFI in Pipers was when my student discovered a cracked wing spar on a Cherokee. We gave the wing a small aft-ward tug and it literally bent towards the tail. Naturally the plane was taken out of service and extensively repaired, but up until that point it had been very well cared for. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was honestly astonishing. The fact that there’s even speculation about these wings vs say those on a Cessna should be very telling.



I think there was a quality control issue around the time they bankrupted. Early 90’s? Even though I’ve owned and still own a Piper there are a couple versions I’m not as thrilled about. The Lance being one of them, the ac in this accident. Regarding wing speculation wasn’t there a judge in Florida a number of years ago proclaiming Cessna was hiding structural defects from the public? It escapes me what the issue was but I remember it being pretty big news in GA. I just think a sweeping statement about Pipers being know for wings falling off is ridiculous. That school uses these aeroplanes like rented mules.
 
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airportugal310
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:25 pm

It was probably this Cessna related AD that affected twins

https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advocacy- ... g-spar-ads

I recall it being news because of Cape Air's C402 fleet, mostly, when I was living in MA
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:09 pm

airportugal310 wrote:
It was probably this Cessna related AD that affected twins

https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advocacy- ... g-spar-ads

I recall it being news because of Cape Air's C402 fleet, mostly, when I was living in MA


There's also a wing spar AD on the Cessna 210, so people can't pretend that it's just Piper that has issues. The fact is, most of these higher performance 6 seat singles haven't been produced since the mid-1980s, and they're showing their age.
From my cold, dead hands
 
JHCRJ700
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:13 pm

LTCM wrote:
It's well past time we severely restrict and regulate GA beyond what we already do. People on the ground should not be put at risk because of the recklessness of GA cowboys.



I'm just curious: what further regulation would you propose the FAA enacts?
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cschleic
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Re: Piper PA-32 Fatal Crash in Utah Neighborhood, 25 July 2020

Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:58 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I looked at Google Maps and the airport data on AirNav; I don’t see where any FAA regulation would require shutting down anything around the airport. FAA rules on this subject generally revolve around height of obstacles, not surfaces


Yes, looking at aerial photos, my home airport has large buildings just as close to the most-commonly used runway end as the Utah field. For some close buildings, including an indoor mall, take a look at Reid-Hillview.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Reid- ... 21.8198199

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