Date & Time: Jun 7, 2019 at 1333 LT
Registration:
N709CH
Flight Phase:
Flight
Flight Type:
Private
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Naples - Easton
MSN:
46-36431
YOM:
2007
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
1
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
3
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
312
Captain / Total hours on type:
147
Aircraft flight hours:
1449
Circumstances:
On June 7, 2019, about 1333 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA 46-350P, N709CH, broke up in flight following an encounter with weather near Castalia, North Carolina. The private pilot, a pilot-rated passenger, and two other passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to the pilot and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated at Naples, Florida (APF) and was destined for Easton Airport (ESN), Easton, Maryland. According to preliminary air traffic control radar and voice communication information from the Federal Aviation Administration, the flight was on a northeasterly ground track at flight level (FL) 270 over eastern North Carolina when the pilot reported that there was weather ahead on his radar. After discussing the weather with the controller and reviewing options, the flight was eventually cleared direct to the Franklin VOR. About two minutes prior to the accident, the pilot reported that they were entering an area of rain. The airplane was then observed climbing to FL273, followed by a rapidly descending right turn and loss of radio and radar contact. The controller made numerous attempts to contact the pilot, to no avail. A postaccident review of recorded weather radar data indicated that the airplane was in the vicinity of heavy rain and thunderstorms at the time of the accident. The airplane impacted wooded terrain about 4 miles northeast of the town of Castalia. The outboard sections of the wings and a section of the elevator were found about 1.4 miles northeast of the main wreckage. Several components of the empennage have not been located due to the dense forest in the area. The main wreckage consisted of the entire fuselage and the inboard sections of the wings. The fuselage was found inverted on a heading of 045°. There was no fire.