Feb. 7, Medina, Ohio / Piper PA-32RT-300 Turbo Lance


At about 11:36 EST, a Piper Turbo Lance struck trees shortly after takeoff from the Medina Municipal Airport. The pilot and two passengers, all agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, were seriously injured. The airplane landed at Medina at about 11:00 for fuel. While it was being fueled, a heavy snow squall began. A pickup truck arrived and baggage and gear were loaded into the airplane. A witness said a passenger swept the airplanes wings, but did not see him sweep the T-tailed horizontal stabilizer. When the flight was ready to depart, the occupants brushed snow off the wings again and boarded the airplane. The winds were from the east at 8-10 knots but the airplane departed on runway 27 in heavy snow and visibility estimated at -mile. Witnesses heard the airplane strike trees shortly after takeoff. Investigators determined the airplane struck the top of a 60-foot tree. No mechanical anomalies were detected.


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