On October 12, 1998, at 1008 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181, N41662, was destroyed after collision with trees during an aborted landing at the Sky Manor Airport (N40), Pittstown, New Jersey. The certificated private pilot and three passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated at Farmingdale, New York (FRG), at 0840. No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a telephone interview, the pilot stated the purpose of the flight was to fly to Sky Manor for lunch. He stated the "Allentown Flight Service Station" reported the winds from 350 degrees at 8 knots as he approached N40. The pilot said his radio calls on the UNICOM frequency at N40 went unanswered as he approached the traffic pattern. He further stated that the windsock indicated westerly winds and he entered the traffic pattern for landing on runway 25.
The pilot touched down on runway 25 but aborted the landing. He said, "I got a crosswind from the right about 15 to 20 knots, so I decided to go around."
The pilot completed a traffic pattern and attempted a second landing on runway 25.
"...everything was fine. When we applied the brakes, it went a little to the right. One [brake] grabbed more than the other. I didn't want to take a chance so I decided to go around. I added full throttle and went back up, but we were too close to the end of the runway. Then there was this tree. I couldn't do anything about it and we just went through the tree."
The wings separated from the airplane after contact with the trees and the fuselage came to rest in a field beyond the departure end of the runway.
At the time of the accident, a crew operating heavy equipment was digging a drainage ditch adjacent to the runway. A dump truck operator witnessed the accident. In a telephone interview, he stated:
"We were digging a drainage ditch about 3/4 of the way down the runway. They were taking off the other way and I saw this airplane coming in the opposite way. I saw him circle around and come in the wrong way. He was landing to the west and everybody else was landing and taking off to the east. He touched down probably half way down the runway, maybe a little further, and he was really coming in fast. He hit hard enough to bounce into the air. He bounced and turned to the right. He came about 8 feet off the ground, came down and hit the runway again, then straightened the plane. He definitely looked like he was out of control when he hit the runway. That's what caught my eye, he was way out of control."
When questioned about the airplane producing engine power, the witness stated he could hear nothing over the engine of the dump truck. He said:
"It looked like he had power because he started to climb out. He went through the trees and fence row probably 25 to 30 feet high."
When questioned about the airplane's performance, the pilot stated, "The airplane was running great."
In a telephone interview, a Trooper from the New Jersey State Police said he interviewed the pilot after the accident. According to the Trooper:
"The pilot said he had a push from a tailwind and that's what caused him to crash."
The winds reported at Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the time of the accident were from 030 degrees at 5 knots.
The pilot reported he was issued a private pilot's certificate on December 22, 1997 and had accumulated 87 hours of flight experience, of which "almost all" was in the PA-28.