NTSB Identification: WPR13LA045
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, November 19, 2012 in Obyan, GU
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32, registration: N4267R
Injuries: 1 Fatal,5 Serious,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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 19, 2012, about 0618 local time (2018 UTC), a Piper PA-32-300, N4267R, was substantially damaged when it impacted airport terrain immediately after takeoff from Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport (PGSN), Obyan, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, a United States territory. One passenger sustained fatal injuries, the pilot and four passengers sustained serious injuries, and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The on-demand charter flight was operated by Star Marianas Air, Inc., under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Dawn visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to a representative of the operator, they typically carried tourists between Saipan and Tinian, an island about 10 minutes flying time south of Saipan. The passengers on the accident flight included five Chinese nationals and one Philippine national, and the flight was destined for Tinian. According to information obtained from personnel in the PGSN air traffic control tower (ATCT), about 0609 the airplane departed from runway 7, and the pilot then asked to return for landing for an unspecified problem. The airplane landed uneventfully back on runway 7 about 0615. An ATCT controller queried the pilot as to his intentions, and the pilot responded that he wanted to conduct an engine runup. The airplane exited the runway at taxiway Bravo and stopped, and according to several witnesses, the pilot conducted a brief engine runup. The pilot was then cleared for an intersection Bravo departure from runway 7. Witnesses observed the airplane become airborne, drift left, and impact the grass adjoining the north side of the runway. The airplane slid into trees north of the runway, and a fire ensued.

Information obtained by on-scene examination by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest about 3,000 feet from the departure end of runway 7, and that the left wing had separated during the ground impact sequence. Initial examination of the airplane established flight control continuity, exclusive of impact-related damage, for the pitch and roll control systems. Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any pre-impact conditions which would have precluded normal operation. The wreckage was transported to a secure location for future detailed examination.

FAA and operator information indicated that the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with an instrument airplane rating. The pilot had a total flight experience of about 1,238 hours, including about 674 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued in August 2012, and his most recent flight review was completed in January 2012. The airplane was manufactured in 1969, and was equipped with a Lycoming TIO-540 series engine. The airplane had accumulated about 6,805 total hours in service.

The PGSN 0554 automated weather observation included winds from 060 degrees at 10 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds at 2,000 feet, broken cloud layer at 5,000 feet, overcast cloud layer at 11,000 feet; temperature 27 degrees C; dew point 23 degrees C; altimeter setting of 29.91 inches of mercury.

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