The Flight Was Part Of A Sales Transaction

Location: Vinemont, AL Accident Number: ERA21FA133
Date & Time: February 20, 2021, 17:48 Local Registration: N10KV
Aircraft: Piper PA32RT Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On February 20, 2021, about 1748 central standard time, a Piper PA-32RT-300T, N10KV, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near the Cullman Regional Airport (CMD), Vinemont, Alabama. The pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to airport surveillance video the airplane took off from runway 2 about 1740, made one touch-and-go landing at 1746, then impacted terrain at 1748. Witnesses reported that the flight was part of a sales transaction between the pilot who owned the airplane, and the passenger who was the potential buyer. The pilot held a flight instructor rating and included 5 hours of free flight instruction in the airplane’s sales advertisement. The pilot stated to first responders that the airplane “lost power,” he succumbed to his injuries 2 days after the accident.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted a wooded area on a residential property, at an elevation of 930 ft mean sea level (msl). The wreckage debris path was about 350 ft long and oriented on a magnetic heading of 130°. The airplane came to rest inverted, a postimpact fire consumed most of the wreckage; however, all major structural components of the airplane were located within the debris field.

The flap selector handle was observed in the first detent position consistent with a 10° flap setting. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to the respective control surfaces for the stabilator and rudder. The aileron cables remained attached to the forward cockpit chain segment and were continuous to the bellcranks in each wing. The turnbuckle at the center of the forward aileron chain segment and the turnbuckle in the center of the aileron balance cable were both fractured at their mid points. The fuel selector valve was found in the “OFF” position.

The engine was partially separated and sustained impact and fire damage. No crankcase anomalies were noted. The engine rotated smoothly by manually turning the propeller hub. All three of the propeller blades remained in the propeller hub and attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. Continuity was confirmed throughout the engine and thumb compression was attained on all cylinders.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.