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Piper Malibu Small Plane Crashes Near St. Louis, Missouri

3 comments

Several sources have reported a small plane crash in Belleville, Illinois near St. Louis. Sources include the St. Louis Business Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, KSDK Channel 5, and Fox 2.

Reports have the airplane involved identified as either a Piper (PA-46) Malibu. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, one of the men killed in the crash was a Commerce Bank executive. The single-engine plane crashed into a home in the Aero Estates subdivision near Belleville, Illinois around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

From Fox 2 News:

BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR11.com) – Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are back on the scene of a plane crash at the Aero Estate Subdivision east of Belleville. The Piper Meridian went down around 6:30 Sunday evening, although a cause has not yet been determined.

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Sources close to the investigation said it was a single engine PA 46 that crashed. It had filed a flight plan with the FAA and its destination was Parks Airport in Cahokia. Sources say the plane had made two prior attempts to land at the airport.

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"It would be speculation at this time. We don’t know why this plane went down or why it went down where it went down," said Render.

Neighbors described hearing a high-pitched sound, then feeling their homes shake as they heard a loud explosion and saw a ball of fire.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families involved in this tragedy. Unfortunately, this is only the most recent of several small aircraft crashes in the past few weeks.

Just last week, three people were killed when a Cessna 310 crashed into a California neighborhood.

Also last week, Thomas J. Stewart, chairman and CEO of the nation’s largest food service distributor, Services Group of America, was among those killed in a helicopter crash near Phoenix, Arizona.

Five people were killed when a Cessna Skymaster 337 crashed on its approach to Monmouth Executive Airport in New Jersey.

There have been several Piper Malibu crashes over the past five years. (You can learn more at the NTSB web site.) Some specific examples:

February 4, 2009: There was a non-fatal Piper PA-46 crash at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. The plane went off the runway on landing. The pilot reported the plane had seven previous events of the airplane pulling to the left during landing.

November 22, 2008: A Piper PA-46 crashed, killing three people on board. Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be making a normal approach for landing when it suddenly rolled to the left, descended and impacted the terrain about one-half mile from the runway.

October 26, 2007: A Piper PA-46 sustained engine failure while in cruise flight at 21,000 feet and crashed near Fairmont, British Columbia, Canada and killing all three on board.

September 13, 2007: A Piper PA-32R crashed in thunderstorms near Whitfield, Alabama killing one.

August 6, 2007: A Piper PA-46 crashed in Sitka, Alaska during a landing approach. Witnesses saw the plane descending in a wings level, 30-45 degree nose down attitude from the base of clouds, pitch up slightly and then collide with several trees and an unoccupied house.

June 28, 2007: A Piper PA-46 crashed in icy conditions near Wellsville, Missouri, killing three people.

January 16, 2007: A Piper PA-46 crashed on landing due to the inadequate design of the engine mount, which caused an uncommanded left turn during the landing roll.

October 18, 2006: A Piper PA-46 crashed while taking aerial photographs of a MiG 21 jet. The Piper crashed after its T-tail upper section vertical stabilizer separated from the aircraft. Five people were killed.

March 15, 2005. A Piper PA-46 also crashed during the landing roll after suffering a loss of control.

It is still too early to tell what caused this Piper PA-46 light airplane to crash. Plane manufacturers need to do everything possible to ensure that their aircraft are safe and free from defects.

Learn more at our safety blog and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.

3 Comments

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  1. James Huffer says:
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    Having a large number of PIC hours it the pa-46 I think you may not want to string these accidents together as from a common cause. Please remember that the NTSB gives the “probable cause” and not an exact finding of responsibility as clearly stated in all accident synopsys reports.

  2. Brett Emison says:
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    James,

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I did not intend to suggest a common cause from the examples of other Piper PA-46 crashes. In fact, I linked directly to the NTSB reports themselves and provided a brief summary of the events.

    As I indicated in the main article, it is still too early to know what caused this specific crash at this point in time. I only intended to illustrate that this particular crash was not alone.

    Thanks again for reading.

  3. Dries Marais says:
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    Certainly a pattern seems to be apparent in the uncontrolled left swerving after landing.

    “The plane went off the runway on landing. The pilot reported the plane had seven previous events of the airplane pulling to the left during landing.

    “crashed on landing due to the inadequate design of the engine mount, which caused an uncommanded left turn during the landing roll”.

    March 15, 2005. A Piper PA-46 also crashed during the landing roll after suffering a loss of control”

    If the published quote of the NTSB finding is correct that the “inadequate design of the engine mount, which caused an uncommanded left turn during the landing roll” it is exceedingly serious. – much more serious than the Toyota inadequate design of uncommande3d acceleration.

    If people get killed due to inadequate design then that relates to culpable negligence in design and manufacture, which in turn relates to culpable homicide, and the manufacturer is open to both criminal and civil charges if this was a true NTSB finding.