Airplane Impacted A Plowed Field On An Easterly Heading About 2.5 Miles From The End Of Runway 35

Location: Windom, MN Accident Number: CEN21LA075
Date & Time: December 6, 2020, 06:25 Local Registration: N8178Y
Aircraft: Piper PA32 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On December 6, 2020, about 0625 central standard time, a Piper PA32 airplane, N8178Y, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Windom, Minnesota. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to airport video and preliminary air traffic control (ATC) radar data, the airplane departed at 0621 from Runway 35 at Windom Municipal Airport (MWM) on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, but the pilot did not initiate radio contact with ATC. The airplane made several turns with large heading changes about 2 miles north of MWM starting at 0623:24. The last ATC radar data was recorded at 0625:12 near the accident site.

The airplane impacted a plowed field on an easterly heading about 2.5 miles from the end of Runway 35 and slightly west of the extended runway centerline. The initial impact point included portions of the right-wing position light and the debris path was about 220 ft long, with the airplane highly fragmented. The airplane will be further examined at the recovery location.