On March 3, 1999, about 1330 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-60-601P, N727MB, registered to MPW Industrial Services Inc., crashed during the landing roll at the Statesville Airport (SVH), Statesville, North Carolina, while on a Title 14 CFR Part 91 business flight. Instrument meteorological conditions were reported, and an IFR flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airline transport-rated pilot reported minor injuries, and two passengers reported no injuries. The flight had originated at 1205, the same day, from Marietta, Georgia. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On the second localizer approach to runway 10 (5,004 feet long and 100 feet wide), the airplane touched down about 1,000 feet from the approach end. The runway was wet, and as the airplane reached the departure end of the runway, the pilot veered the airplane to the right to avoid a localizer antenna. The airplane struck an embankment, the terrain then dropped off, and the airplane struck a fence.
The pilot said that ATC (air traffic control) had given him vectors for the localizer 10 approach, and at 1815Z , he checked the SVH weather again. He said, "...the ceiling was now 1,200 broken, 5 miles with winds out of the Southeast at 10 knots and light rain. During this time we were in and out of rain showers and moderate turbulence." He said that during the approach, "...there was a strong wind from the west," which gave him a higher ground speed, and he "...reached the MDA (minimum descent altitude) over the beginning of the runway." He started a missed approach and requested vectors for another approach.
The pilot said, "...when I was established on the approach, I got down to the MDA this time about 2.5 miles from the runway and saw the runway about 1 mile. We descended to the runway and touched down at the 1,000 feet marker, so I knew that I had 4,000 feet of runway remaining. The first 1,500 feet everything looked normal and I smoothly applied the brakes and I realized that the aircraft was acting like it was on ice and I was hydroplaning. I started pumping the brakes which seem to not make any difference, then I saw there was a big obstruction at the end of the runway (localizer antenna), and decided to go right of the obstruction. On the grass I had a hard time to keep the aircraft straight and to keep it going in the direction I wanted...we hit something and fell down 25 feet and came to a full stop...."
According to the FAA inspector's report, after the pilot turned right to avoid the antenna at the end of the runway, "...the pilot had difficulty maintaining directional control. The aircraft once in the grass, slid sideways to the right then regained a more positive straight ahead tracking...then encountered a 3 to 4 foot embankment and became airborne again for a very short period of time until airspeed dropped off. The aircraft traveled horizontally for about 70 feet then vertically for 30 feet. The aircraft hit the ground, bounced and slid into the airport security fence. It came to rest at a heading of 141 degrees...Note: During [the] post accident inspection of the aircraft evidence of hydroplaning was found on both main tires."
In addition, the inspector's report stated, "...the pilot's statement and existing weather conditions ie. Wind direction, speed and precipitation at the time of the accident indicate that the pilot landed on a wet runway with a tail wind component which may have affected the braking action of the aircraft and it's ability to stop prior to the end of the runway at SVH...the pilot failed to recognize the effects of landing the aircraft on a wet runway with strong tail wind and the effect of braking action on a wet runway with standing water."
The SVH weather report for March 3, 1999, at 1815Z (1315), Auto, was winds 200 degrees at 6 knots, the reported visibility was 3 sm, rain. This was the report the pilot had received before his first approach. The reported winds at 1835Z (1335), about the time of the second approach and the accident were winds from 310 degrees, at 15 knots, with gusts to 31 knots. The reported visibility was 1 1/2 miles, with rain.