Recent Developments

Speiser Krause in the News and Recent Developments

Monday, June 4, 2018

Crash of Piper Navajo Chieftan

On Saturday, June 2, 2018 at approximately 2:35 p.m. a twin engine Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan aircraft, bearing FAA registration number N41173, crashed approximately two miles off the shore of Indian Wells Beach near Amagansett, New York.  Tragically, three passengers and the pilot were killed in the crash.  One of the passengers was identified as the registered owner of the aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that it lost contact with the aircraft at approximately 2:33 p.m. and the Coast Guard began receiving reports of a debris field approximately an hour later.  First responders from the Coast Guard, East Hampton Town Police and other government agencies immediately began rescue and recovery operations but due to deteriorating weather and ocean conditions the search was temporarily suspended on Sunday, June 3, 2018.  Two of the four occupants of the aircraft and some personal effects have been recovered.  It is expected that search and recovery teams will resume their activities on Monday, June 4, 2018. 

The investigation into the cause of the crash will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board, and the NTSB will examine all potential causes including operational, mechanical and environmental issues.  Although it is too early to speculate as to the cause of the crash, reports indicated that severe thunderstorm activity was present in the location of the aircraft’s flight path.   Aircraft, especially general aviation aircraft, must avoid severe thunderstorm activity as this type of weather could induce a loss of flight control.  The NTSB will also examine whether the pilot was in communication with air traffic control at the time leading up to the encounter with the severe thunderstorm activity.  In certain situations, and pursuant to FAA policies, procedures and regulations, air traffic control is required to provide a pilot with weather information if the weather has a potentially adverse effect on the safety of flight.  While it is unknown if the aircraft’s encounter with the severe weather led to the loss of control, this will undoubtedly be a focus of the investigation.  Speiser Krause will continue to monitor the investigation and will provide further updates as more information is made available. 

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