On Sunday, May 16, 1993, at about 2204 eastern daylight time, N8247G, a Piper PA 28RT 201, owned and operated by Indianapolis Aviation Inc. of Fishers, Indiana, and piloted by Bruce A Chalker of Indianapolis, Indiana, crashed in Hancock, Maryland. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The personal flight originated in Frederick, Maryland. The destination was Indianapolis, Indiana, and was conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The non-instrument rated pilot was returning home after attending his wife's high school reunion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Saturday. He had received a weather briefing from Altoona Flight Service Station, and was handed off from Washington Air Traffic Control Center to Cleveland Center, but his transponder was never picked up. The airplane collided with trees in mountainous terrain roughly 1/4 mile from Potomac Airport.
There were no known witnesses to the crash; however, one witness reported that he spoke to the pilot on the night of the accident as he, " seemed lost taxiing around the airport in the rain." The witness reported that he advised the pilot that he had just returned from a flight and that the weather was instrument meteorological conditions. The witness reported that the pilot insisted that he had to return home that evening.
A second witness reported that she heard an airplane flying low and that it, " appeared to be in a dive." She also reported that it was raining heavily at the time and that the engine was running. Search personnel using radar data provided by the FAA located the wreckage 3 days later on the northeast side of Sideling Hill.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. The investigation revealed that the pilot logged over 104 hours of total flight time including 2 hours of instrument time and 12 hours of night time. The last night time hour recorded was September 21, 1992.
The 1980 year model Piper PA-28RT-201 aircraft, serial no.28R-8018095, was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360 engine, serial no.RL-7731-51A. The airplane had over 1984 hours of total time since the last annual inspection on February 18, 1993.
The surface weather observation at Hagerstown indicated the following at 2145 EDT:
Ceiling, 2000 broken; visibility, 7 miles in fog and rain; temperature, 58 degrees (F); dew point, 55 (F); wind condition, 100 degrees at 4 knots; altimeter, 29.86 inches.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The aircraft was examined at the accident site on May 20, 1993. Examination of the accident site revealed that the aircraft collided with wooded terrain and was destroyed by impact forces. The wreckage was strewn a distance of about 300 feet oriented on a 010 degree heading.
Both the left and right wings separated. The left main gear was located 40 feet forward of the main wreckage. The right main gear was located 10 feet forward of the main wreckage. The nosewheel was located a total of 50 feet forward of the main wreckage. The elevator also separated and was destroyed by impact forces.
The engine separated from the airplane. Both propeller blades separated and exhibited twisting and chordwise scratching. All the cylinders were attached and secured to the crankcase; however, due to the terrain and condition of the engine, only the top spark plugs were removed. The plugs were grayish in color. The accessory housing and accessories separated due to impact forces.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
A Pathological examination was done by the State of Maryland Office of the Medical Examiner on May 20, 1993. According to the Medical Examiner, the pilot died as a result of multiple severe injuries received in the accident. Toxicological tests did not detect alcohol, drugs or carbon monoxide.
The aircraft wreckage was released to the owners' representative on May 26, 1993.