Pilot And Passenger Fatally Injured When Aircraft Impacted Terrain

The NTSB has released a preliminary report from an accident which occurred September 17 involving an amateur-built Vans RV8 airplane which collided with terrain near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured in the accident, and the airplane was destroyed. 

The airplane was registered to the pilot (and two co-owners) and operated by the pilot as a personal flight. VFR conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed the Pegasus Air Park (50PA), Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, about 1215.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, the pilot was giving a demonstration flight of the airplane to the pilot-rated passenger, who was interested in buying a share of the airplane. The flight was intended to be a 30-minute flight in the local area. When the airplane did not return, the pilot’s family reported the airplane missing. The airplane was located the following day in wetlands on private property about three miles east-northeast of the airport.

A preliminary review of radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed a target at 1216:20 on an easterly heading about 2.3-miles east of 50AP. At that time, the target was moving at a groundspeed of 113 knots at an altitude about 1,300 ft above ground level (agl). The target continued east before it made a left 180° turn to the west at 1217:27 at an altitude of 1,700 ft and a groundspeed of 122 knots. Over the next 24 seconds, the target continued west and accelerated to a groundspeed of 199 knots and descended to 1,600 ft agl. At 1218:06, about 11 seconds later, radar contact was lost. At that time, the airplane was heading 258°, at a groundspeed of 191 knots. The altitude was not recorded.

The airplane was located about a quarter mile north of where the last radar return was recorded. It impacted terrain in a nose down attitude and was buried in 4-6 ft of mud. The airplane was heavily fragmented and there was no post-impact fire. The engine and airplane wreckage were recovered for further examination.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His last FAA third-class medical was issued on October 16, 2018. At that time, he reported a total of 1,845 flight hours.

The pilot-rated passenger held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, and multi-engine land. His last FAA first-class medical was issued on October 5, 2018.

Weather reported at the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (MPO), about 12 miles north of the accident site, at 1153, included wind from 010° at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles and clear skies. The temperature was 19° C and a dewpoint of 6° C, with a barometric altimeter setting of 30.20 inches of Hg.

(Source: NTSB. Image from file. Not accident airplane)

FMI: Report