Saturday, December 19, 2015

Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II, N36402, RAD Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred December 19, 2015 in Bakersfield, Kern County, California

RAD AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N36402 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA041 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Bakersfield, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32RT-300T, registration: N36402
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 19, 2015, at 1556 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-32RT-300T, N36402, impacted terrain following an in-flight breakup near Bakersfield, California. The airplane was registered to RAD Aviation LLC, and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and four passengers sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed during the accident sequence. The cross-country flight departed Reid-Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, San Jose, California, at 1435, with a planned destination of Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

Preliminary radar and audio data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane departed San Jose, and initiated a climb to the southeast. The flight had been assigned a squawk code, and was receiving visual flight rules (VFR) flight following. During the initial climb the pilot was provided traffic advisories from SoCal and then NorCal Approach, and reported that he would like to climb to 15,500 ft to stay above clouds. As the flight progressed, NorCal Approach began issuing advisories and vectors to aircraft in the San Jose area for a 10- to 15-mile-wide band of moderate to heavy precipitation. At 1502, the pilot made contact with Oakland Approach, and the airplane began to track south, leveling off at a mode C reported altitude of 15,500 ft. Ten minutes later the airplane began climbing, coincident to a commercial airplane (SkyWest 2955) approaching and descending 4 miles from the east at an altitude of 17,700 ft for an approach to Monterey Regional Airport. The controller received a conflict alert, and the pilot of the commercial airplane reported they were initiating a climb because their traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) had issued a resolution advisory (RA). The controller advised N36402 of the traffic conflict, requested that he maintain VFR, and asked if he was climbing. The pilot reported that he was "going to climb over the top of this (unreadable)," and reported that he would level off at 16,500 ft.

At 1516, the pilot requested a climb to 17,500 ft and direct route to Paso Robles, California. The airplane then abruptly turned east, and 5 minutes later began an arcing right turn towards the south in the direction of Paso Robles. About that time, the controller issued an advisory to VFR traffic for moderate to heavy precipitation south of the Panoche VOR, which was about 40 miles north of N36402, in the region of its earlier flight leg. At 1524, having reached Paso Robles, N36402 began a turn to the east, with the pilot reporting that he was turning towards Bakersfield. The airplane was then transferred to the control of Los Angeles Center. The airplane continued on track towards Bakersfield, and at 1537, about 55 miles west-northwest of Bakersfield, the controller relayed, "moderate precipitation from one to two o'clock to your 9 o'clock position, first group of cells begins in about 5 miles, and then there is a secondary line from north to south that begins in about two zero miles and extends one five miles." The pilot reported that he could see the clouds and would be watching them. Three minutes later he reported that he would be descending to 15,500 ft and shortly thereafter, the pilot of a Cessna 414 reported that he was over the Shafter VOR, and the cloud tops were at 18,000 ft. The pilot of N36402 asked for clarification of the Cessna's location, and the controller advised it was 30 miles to the east. The pilot responded, "Roger, just wondering when I can get over to their altitude and clear the clouds." The controller again alerted the pilot to areas of moderate to heavy precipitation along his route of flight, and the pilot asked if the controller knew how high the bottoms of the clouds were; the controller responded that he did not have that information, but was aware of light rime icing up to 19,000 ft to the southeast. The pilot responded, "Ok, we're going to deviate to the south and try and go through Barstow." Another airplane then reported cloud tops in the Palmdale area of about 21,000 ft and the controller reiterated this information to N36402, advising that it was in the direction that he was heading. The pilot responded, and the controller then provided another weather update, which indicated areas of moderate precipitation at the 11 to 2 o'clock position.

At 1550, the controller asked if the pilot would like to file an IFR clearance to Henderson. The pilot responded in the affirmative, requesting an altitude of 15,000 ft. Two minutes later the airplane began a left turn to the north, and a short time later the controller advised he was ready with the IFR clearance. The controller provided the clearance, and the pilot read it back; however, the airplane had now transitioned to a northeast track. The controller asked if the pilot was turning northbound, and the pilot stated, "Roger, I just took a heading off of Bakersfield and I'm going to change it to the current IFR." The controller then asked the pilot twice without response to turn 10 degrees right to avoid traffic, followed by a request to fly a heading of 095. The pilot responded, however, rather than turning right, the airplane began a climbing left turn to 315 degrees reaching an altitude of 15,600 ft, 40 seconds later. The controller than asked the pilot to make an immediate right turn to 095, however, by this time the airplane had now descended to 13,800 ft and was on an eastbound track. A few seconds later the pilot reported, "air traffic control Lance 402 mayday mayday mayday," followed 20 seconds later by another mayday call. The controller provided vectors to Bakersfield, however, no response was received, and 10 seconds later at 1556:10, the last radar target was recorded indicating the airplane was at an altitude of 11,200 ft. The controller asked multiple aircraft in the vicinity if they could see or contact N36402, however, they responded negative, with one pilot reporting that the area was enveloped in clouds.

The airplane had fragmented in flight, with the majority of the components coming to rest in an almond orchard, directly below the last radar target, about 9 miles southwest of Bakersfield. The orchard was at an elevation of 345 ft msl, and the debris field was 1/2 mile long and 700 ft wide, on a north-south orientation. The engine and forward cabin were located in an irrigation ditch at the southernmost point of the field. Cabin seats, baggage, and the vertical stabilizer were located about 800 ft north, with both wings and multiple cabin roof fragments a further 400 ft downrange. Debris consisting of shredded sections of cabin sheet metal and both the left and right side of the stabilator were located a further 700 ft north; the left aileron was the last component in the path. All primary airframe and flight control components were accounted for at the site.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land issued in July 2012. He did not hold an instrument rating. Review of his flight logbook revealed a total flight experience of 269.5 hours as of December 9, 2015. He documented 3.1 hours of simulated instrument time as part of his training for the private certificate in 2012, along with 0.8 hours of flight experience in actual instrument conditions during two IFR training flights in February 2014; these two flights were his only documented actual IFR experience.

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Fresno FSDO-17

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov





Jason Thomas Price, his wife Olga Dahlan, and their three children — 9-year-old Olivia, 10-year-old Mary and 14-year-old John.


Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators search a field for debris from an aircraft crash in Bakersfield on Sunday.


GILROY -- Jason and Olga Price loved flying together to their favorite vacation spots, often with their three children strapped into the passenger seats of a high-performance aircraft he and a few of his pilot friends kept at Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose.

The entire family of five died over the weekend when the plane crashed into a Bakersfield almond orchard on a holiday flight to Nevada.

Federal aviation officials and local authorities in Kern County had not officially identified the victims by Monday afternoon, but a grieving brother, neighbors and a family friend told this newspaper they were the Price family from Ousley Drive in a modest Gilroy neighborhood.

"They were a wonderful family and dear close friends. They were loved by many," said friend Rich Whites, who was looking forward to a visit from the Price family upon their return.

Jimmy Dahlan, who was at the house Monday, confirmed that his sister, Olga Dahlan Price, and her husband, Jason Thomas Price, perished along with their three children -- 9-year-old Olivia, 10-year-old Mary and 14-year-old John.

Jeremy Gomez, a neighborhood boy, said that John was already following in his father's aviation footsteps and taking flight lessons at Reid-Hillview.

The tragedy less than one week before Christmas has attracted hundreds of sympathetic posts on Facebook.

The Prices were flying Saturday afternoon from San Jose to Henderson Executive Airport in a Las Vegas suburb, where they were to visit friends in Las Vegas.

The plane descended quickly from 15,000 feet and Price apparently lost control of the aircraft during its steep descent. Federal investigators were still combing through debris and flight recordings Monday for the cause of the crash, including bad weather as a possible factor. Earlier Saturday, aviation authorities warned of icing above 5,000 feet.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Jason Price was an engineer at Genesis Solutions, had served as a machinery technician in the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 1990s, and offered disaster and humanitarian relief as a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol.

Olga Price's Facebook page indicated she once attended the former Blackford High School in San Jose.

Story and video:  http://www.mercurynews.com


Price was an engineer at Genesis Solutions in Gilroy, had served as a machinery technician in the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 1990s, and offered disaster and humanitarian relief as a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol.



BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --   A desperate pilot calling for help as a wife and three children scream.

NBC Bay Area has confirmed the people in that plane were Jason Thomas Price, his wife Olga Dahlan, and their three children: Olivia, 9, Mary, 10, and John, 14.

That was the last radio call before the Kern County Sheriff's Office found the aircraft in pieces across an almond orchard in south Bakersfield.

Here's a look at the final minutes of that flight.

The final flight of N36402 originated in San Jose at 2:36 p.m. Saturday.

Using radar tracking obtained through Flight Radar 24, which sources publicly available information including the radar transponder on private aircraft, we can follow the plane as it maneuvers south into the Central Valley.

Just after crossing Interstate 5, at around 3:53 p.m. Saturday the plane had an altitude of 14,700 feet with a speed of 171 knots. Then the Piper PA-32 suddenly accelerates over 70 knots to 243 knots, while climbing to an altitude of 15,500 feet.

The following was taken from Air Traffic Control recordings.

Pilot: "Air traffic control, N402, mayday, mayday, mayday."

Seventeen seconds later, a second, more urgent plea from the pilot is the final transmission from the aircraft.

Pilot:"N402, mayday, mayday, mayday."

The plane disappears from radar at 3:55 above southwest Bakersfield.

Two minutes later, air traffic control asks a nearby aircraft if they have a visual on the piper.

Atc: "November zero four delta, are you able to see any traffic off your left-hand side, about 1-0 miles?"

Nearby pilot: "negative, he's out that would be in the clouds. I saw his transponder go off...uh, uh...so that scared me a little bit."

The speed of the aircraft, roughly 280 miles per hour, is over 100 miles per hour faster than the recommended top speed for a piper cherokee.

The sudden acceleration and climb, combined with the mayday calls, suggest the pilot lost control of the aircraft, something the planes co-owner, Terry Pickard, suggested to 17 news on Sunday.

Pickard also said there was an indication the aircraft broke apart in flight.

The stress of turning a nearly 40-year old plane, travelling much faster than intended, could be enough to tear parts of the plane apart, and would explain the sudden loss of radar contact, as well as the quarter-mile long debris field described by officials.

Story and video:  http://www.kerngoldenempire.com


The brother-in-law of the family of five who died in a plane crash near Bakersfield this weekend identified the victims as Jason Thomas Price and his wife Olga Dahlan, and their three children, Olivia 9, Mary 10, and John, 14.


BAKERSFIELD --   A Gilroy family, flying out of San Jose, died Saturday afternoon when their small private plane crashed into a Bakersfield almond orchard, killing both parents and three children.

Aviation and local authorities did not officially identify the victims, but a grieving family friend told this newspaper they were Jason and Olga Price, two daughters and a son. The Prices were flying from San Jose’s Reid-Hillview Airport to Henderson Executive Airport in a Las Vegas suburb, where they were to visit friends in Las Vegas, according to a family friend.


“They were a wonderful family and dear close friends. They were loved by many,” said friend Rich Whites, who was looking forward to a visit from the Price family upon their return from Nevada.


Radar shows that the plane was flying in excess of 250 mph — extremely fast, even for the high-performance Piper PA32 Turbo Lance aircraft — when Price hit trouble and called in his first panicked Mayday to the Federal Aviation Administration.


An FAA website suggests that they turned immediately toward Bakersfield Airport upon sensing trouble. The plane missed FAA locational “vectors” while descending, suggesting they had gone far off their intended course.


The plane descended quickly from 15,000 feet and Price apparently lost control of the aircraft during its steep descent. A second Mayday, with an audible alarm, was called moments after the first.


Debris was scattered for one-quarter of a mile, according to Lt. Bill Smallwood of the Kern County Sheriffs Department.


On Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration was looking for what caused the crash.


The National Weather Service reported rain and clouds in the area when the plane went off radar. Earlier in the day, aviation authorities warned of icing above 5,000 feet.


According to his LinkedIn profile, Jason Price was an engineer at Genesis Solutions in Gilroy. On her Facebook page — where there was a full-color photograph of the five family members — Olga Price indicated she once attended the Blackford High School in San Jose. Jason led teams and served as a machinery technician in the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 1990s as a machinery technician and also offered disaster and humanitarian relief as a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol.


Bakersfield pilot Brad Pinnell called the weather “marginal, but flyable.” Price had just filed Instrument Flight Rules because of poor visibility and precipitation.


“The two most likely culprits would be tail icing or a structural failure,” Pinnell said.


“There were conditions for icing present earlier in the day at the level they were at, it could be suspected,” said Pinnell, who canceled a flight to San Luis Obispo earlier in the day due to the weather.


The plane is a seven-seat high-performance 1978 fixed wing single engine, using a reciprocating engine.


The owner of the plane, according to FAA records, is RAD Aviation LLC of San Jose. A woman who answered a number listed for that address would only say that her husband used to be part owner of the plane but sold his share.


Read more here: http://www.mercurynews.com




A family of five from Gilroy, California were killed Saturday when their private plane took off from a small San Jose airport and crashed south of Bakersfield as the family was poised to attend a holiday party, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department and a relative.

Jimmy Dahlan, the brother of one of the victims, spoke exclusively with NBC Bay Area on Sunday night. He identified the crash victims as Jason Thomas Price, his wife Olga Dahlan, and their three children — 9-year-old Olivia, 10-year-old Mary and 14-year-old John. All had lived in Gilroy.

Dahlan was too emotional to provide any other comment on the family or the crash.

Price built maintenance and data programs, according to his LinkedIn page, which says he also worked for Genesis Solutions as a principal reliability engineer and at Chevron as a reliability consultant. According to LinkedIn, Price volunteered in the Air Force Auxiliary providing disaster and humanitarian relief.

"On behalf of GenesisSolutions and its employees, we express our deepest sympathy and condolences for Jason Price and his family," Bill Thompson, the director of  Genesis Solutions sales and marketing said in a statement.

"Jason was an associate of our organization and a valued and loved team member, friend, and contributor to our customers and the maintenance and reliability professionals we serve. We are mourning this tragic loss."

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the single-engine Piper PA32 around 4 p.m. as it was flying from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose to Henderson Executive Airport in Las Vegas, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Sheriff's officials found aircraft debris scattered across a quarter mile in an almond orchard, near Panama Lane and South Allen Road, hours after the pilot sent a mayday call and the plane disappeared from radar, authorities said.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on scene Sunday morning, trying to determine the cause of the crash.

A search and rescue crew located the debris around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, about three hours after receiving an alert from the FAA about a missing plane that was last detected an estimated 10 miles south of the Bakersfield, Kern County Sheriff's Cmdr. Shaun Beasley said.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford said it was rainy and cloudy in the Central California area around the time the plane went off radar.

Per Kern County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Mark King, the coroner's office has recovered the bodies and was in the process of formally identifying them.

Story and comments:   http://www.nbclosangeles.com



A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford said it was rainy and cloudy in the Central California area around the time the plane went off radar.


In this photo provided by the Bakersfield Californian, investigators work near a scene of an aircraft crash in Bakersfield, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. Rescuers pulled multiple bodies from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed on Saturday into an orchard in central California after vanishing from radar, local and federal authorities said Sunday.









Sheriff's officials found aircraft debris scattered across a quarter mile in an almond orchard, near Panama Lane and South Allen Road, hours after the pilot sent a mayday call and the plane disappeared from radar, authorities said.

The plane took off from a small San Jose airport and crashed Saturday south of Bakersfield, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.


Xiomara Garcia, 11, and Tiana Castro, 14, look over a poster they created to honor their neighbors, the Price family, in Gilroy, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II around 4 p.m. as it was flying from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose to Henderson Executive Airport in Las Vegas, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Previous accident:
NTSB Identification: WPR10CA342
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 09, 2010 in Sedona, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA32RT, registration: N36402
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he had flown the approach at a shallow angle causing him to lose sight of the runway lighting system during the landing flare. During the flare the airplane drifted to the left resulting in the left main landing gear touching down in the dirt next to the runway. Subsequently the airplane veered to the left, and struck a runway sign. The pilot reported that he was unaware that he had struck the sign and was able to correct back to the center of the runway. The remainder of landing roll and taxi were uneventful. The damage to the underside of the left wing and the sign was not found until the following day. The pilot reported that there were no known mechanical malfunctions or failures prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain runway alignment during approach and subsequent loss of directional control during landing.

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