Preliminary report on Bullard plane crash released

BULLARD (National Transportation Safety Board) - 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 September 12, 2012, about 1455 central daylight time, a Piper PA-23-250 airplane, N4842P, impacted terrain following an in-flight break-up near Bullard, Texas. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to X Aviation LLC, Houston, Texas, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The flight originated from the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (KDWH), Houston, Texas, about 1355, and was en route to the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (KTYR), Tyler, Texas.

According to eyewitness statements, the airplane approached Lake Palestine while flying several thousand feet above the ground. The airplane was observed to make several turns, pitched nose up, and climbed. The airplane then rolled to the right and headed toward the ground nose first. Several witnesses observed airplane components floating down after the airplane. All witnesses reported hearing loud engine noises throughout the event.

The accident site was located on a road in a wooded, residential area. Airplane components were located in several directions from the accident site at distances up to one-half mile.

At 1453, an automated weather reporting facility at KTYR reported wind from 130 degrees at 11 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 5,000 feet, temperature 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 64 degrees F, and a barometric pressure of 30.03 inches of Mercury.

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