NTSB Identification: CEN12FA088
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 29, 2011 in New Orleans, LA
Aircraft: Piper Aircraft, Inc. PA-31, registration: N6485L
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 29, 2011, at 1824 central standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA-31 (Navajo), N6485L, impacted obstructions during an emergency landing at Lakefront Airport (NEW), New Orleans, Louisiana. The airplane was registered to an individual and operated by another individual as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot was killed and the passenger suffered minor injuries. The airplane sustained minor damage. The flight originated from Stephenville Airport (SEP), Stephenville, Texas, about 1547.
The non-pilot rated passenger reported the airplane was eastbound in cruise flight when he noticed that the pilot was in distress and then became unresponsive. With just the two occupants on-board, the passenger described several instances when control of the airplane was lost while he was providing first aid to the pilot. The passenger was able to regain control and he maneuvered the airplane toward the lights of the city and then toward a flat open area. The passenger added that he identified the open area as an airport and he descended and landed the airplane on a runway at NEW.
Witnesses at the airport observed the lights of the airplane moving erratically when they saw it make a turn, descend toward the airport, and land on the runway. After impacting the runway the airplane departed the left side of the runway, struck signage and lights, crossed back over the runway, and came to rest upright in a grassy area to the right of the runway. Emergency first responders who observed the event arrived at the accident scene within two minutes and provided aid. The commercial pilot was unresponsive and was and later declared deceased.
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