August 20, 2004, Clarkson, N.Y. / Piper PA-31P


At 1334 Eastern time the airplane collided with terrain and was destroyed during a forced landing. The Airline Transport pilot was fatally injured at the conclusion of the positioning flight that originated in Batavia, New York (3G8), approximately 10 minutes earlier. The flights purpose was to return the airplane to its home base in Rochester, N.Y., after an annual inspection and reinstalling the right engine following repair. Shortly before the crash, at 1332:06, the pilot announced that he had lost an engine and requested vectors back to Batavia. At 1332:20, the pilot said he could not reach Batavia and opted to land at the Ledgedale Airport (7G0) in Brockport, N.Y. At 1334:01, the pilot said, I dont think Im going to make Ledgedale. At that time, the airplanes radar target displayed about 97 knots groundspeed and an altitude of 1100 feet MSL. Over the next 31 seconds, the radar target decreased to 87 knots groundspeed and descended to 700 feet msl, about 350 feet AGL, before the last target was recorded. Several witnesses observed the airplane. They described the engine sound as rough and cutting in and out. Some witnesses said they saw the airplane just above the trees with the wings perpendicular to the ground before it descended out of view and the sounds of impact were heard. The right engine oil filter was removed and disassembled. The paper filter element was unraveled and contained ferrous and non-ferrous metal particles. The oil suction screen was removed and it contained pieces of ferrous and non-ferrous metal.


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