Sunday, February 14, 2016

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N6691P: Accident occurred February 12, 2016 near Sturgis Municipal Airport (49B), Meade County, South Dakota

NTSB Identification: GAA16LA128
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 12, 2016 in Sturgis, SD
Aircraft: PIPER PA24, registration: N6691P
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 12, 2016 about 1215 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-24-250 airplane, N6691P, impacted a light pole and terrain while executing a missed approach at the Sturgis Municipal Airport (49B) in Sturgis, South Dakota. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a day, instrument flight rules personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident at the airport and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Jamestown Regional Airport (JMS) in Jamestown, North Dakota. 

The pilot reported that he was conducting an area navigation global positioning system (RNAV GPS) instrument approach to runway 29. During the descent to the decision altitude, he reported that the passenger in the right seat could see the runway, but he could not see the runway from the left seat. He stated that as the airplane descended closer to the decision altitude, he became "disoriented." The pilot stated that he "looked out to the left and then forward" and that he was "unable to understand the instruments and compute his altitude and airspeed."

The pilot reported he executed the missed approach procedure and that the airplane "settled and drifted." The airplane impacted a light pole and then impacted terrain, coming to rest in a ditch about 1000 feet to the northwest of the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

STURGIS, S.D. - A quick thinking father saved his daughter -- and himself -- Friday in a plane crash near Sturgis in nasty weather.

Reese Kor of Piedmont was flying his daughter home from the University of Jamestown in North Dakota. Ice pellets and fog caused him to rethink his approach and he pulled up but hit a power line pole.

He managed to keep the Piper PA-24-250 Comanche level as it crash landed about half a mile from the Sturgis Municipal Airport.

Kor and his daughter Sidney sustained only minor head injuries.

Sidney Kor said she was never worried during the tense moments. "I had complete faith in my dad," she said. The FAA and the Meade County Sheriff's office are investigating the crash.

Reese Kor, of Piedmont, was the pilot of the light plane that crashed Friday afternoon near the Sturgis Municipal Airport.

A press release issued late Sunday morning from the Meade County Sheriff's Office identified both the pilot and the passenger, Sidney Kor. The release said, "The extent of their injuries (is) unknown at this time."

Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane is registered to Reese Kor, of Piedmont.

The release said the plane crashed at about 12:20 p.m. Friday as it was "attempting to gain altitude due to unsafe landing conditions caused by weather."

The right wing of the plane, a Piper 24, apparently hit a power pole, Tony Molinaro of the FAA said at the scene. The two people in the plane were taken to Sturgis Regional Hospital. A source at the hospital Sunday evening told a reporter to call Rapid City Regional Hospital on Monday for information on their conditions.


Low visibility may have contributed to the crash of a small plane near Sturgis just after noon Friday.

Tony Molinaro, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the FAA was investigating the crash, which occurred just across Alkali Road north of the Sturgis Municipal Airport, estimated at about a half-mile from the airport runway.

"While making an approach, a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche aircraft struck a (power) pole with its right wing," Molinaro said.

Molinaro said he did not know to whom the aircraft was registered.

Two people, a man and a woman, were taken by ambulance to Sturgis Regional Hospital following the crash.

Neither the names of those involved nor their conditions have been released.

Susan Sanders, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, said that visibility at the time of the crash, at 12:22 p.m., would have been about a quarter-mile.

“It was fine until about 7:30 a.m., then the fog started rolling in as the winds switched to the east,” she said.

Precipitation, in the form of freezing ice pellets, was falling in the area at the time and the temperature was 26 degrees.

Meade County Deputy Chris Williams confirmed the aircraft was coming from the east, but had no other details.

“We haven’t had the opportunity to visit with the pilot yet,” Williams said at the scene.


STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - Federal aviation officials are trying to determine what led a small plane to crash near Sturgis.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro says the Piper 24 struck a power pole about half a mile from the runway at Sturgis Municipal Airport.

A man and a woman were taken by ambulance to Sturgis Regional Hospital following the crash. Police say the two are in ''fair'' condition. Their names have not been released.

Authorities say the two were attempting to land at the airport in low-visibility conditions.

National Weather Service meteorologist Susan Sanders says visibility at the time of the crash would have been about a quarter of a mile.


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