NTSB Identification: WPR12CA310
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in Delano, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46, registration: N558RW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The owner-pilot was the only person on board and was flying the turboprop airplane on a personal business trip. When he was about 10 miles south-southeast of the non-towered destination airport, he heard the pilot of a twin-engine airplane report that he was approaching the same airport from the north. The wind favored a landing on runway 32, and the turboprop pilot planned to fly a straight-in approach for landing on that runway. When the turboprop pilot was on final approach for runway 32 about 5 miles from the airport, he heard the twin-engine pilot announce that he was on the left base leg of the traffic pattern for runway 14. As the turboprop pilot continued the approach about 2 miles from the airport, he observed the twin-engine airplane on his traffic display; at that time, the twin-engine airplane was still about 6 miles from the airport. Constant radio transmissions from aircraft at two other non-towered airports in the vicinity precluded the turboprop pilot from communicating clearly with the twin-engine pilot to coordinate their arrivals. Based on the information from his traffic display, the turboprop pilot continued his straight-in approach for runway 32. Due to the distractions of the twin-engine airplane and the radio communication difficulties, the turboprop pilot did not perform the approach checklist and forgot to extend the landing gear, which he did not realize until touchdown. The airplane came to rest upright and intact about 50 feet off the side of the runway. The pilot was uninjured. Examination revealed substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. The pilot reported that he had traveled internationally in the preceding weeks and that he experienced some "mental fatigue." It was not determined whether or when the twin-engine airplane landed at the same airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to extend the landing gear before touchdown. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to perform the appropriate checklist due to distractions posed by another airplane inbound to the same airport and a cluttered radio frequency.

Full narrative available

Index for Jul2012 | Index of months