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NTSB Releases Preliminary Report In Alpha Trainer Accident In Texas

Few Details In The Prelim, Accident Resulted In One Fatal Injury

The NTSB has released its preliminary report from an accident which occurred in Pampa, TX, that resulted in the fatal injury of one pilot, with a second requiring hospitalization. The prelim indicates the airplane was dragged for nearly two miles by its deployed airframe parachute before it became entangled in a barbed wire fence.

The fatally-injured pilot was identified as 64-year-old Donald Sharp, a former Texas resident who lived in Greenfield, IN. A passenger on board the airplane, 22-year-old Zachary Jenkins of Indianapolis, also a pilot, was hospitalized at Northwest Texas Hospital. Jenkins had told first responders that the two pilots had discussed the fuel situation on board the aircraft before it went down, but fuel exhaustion was not mentioned in the prelim.

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA338
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Pampa, TX
Aircraft: Pipistrel Alpha Trainer, registration: N477PA
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

On June 11, 2013, about 0130 central daylight time, a Pipistrel LSA SRL Alpha Trainer light sport airplane, N477PA, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain under unknown circumstances near Pampa, Texas. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured and the commercial pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to Wisdom Aviation LLC., and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. It is unknown where the flight originated from or where it was en route to at this time.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector who traveled to the accident scene, the pilots deployed the ballistic recovery parachute for unknown reasons, prior to impacting the ground. The airplane impacted the ground in a canyon and was drug for 1.7 miles before becoming entangled in a barbed wire fence.

Weather at the time of the accident was recorded as clear skies with wind 190 degrees at 17 knots, gusting to 22 knots.

(Pipistrel Alpha image from file. Not accident airplane.)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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