The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary report last month for the plane crash in Tuscaloosa County, Ala., that claimed the lives of six people on August 14. According to the report, the cause of the crash was due to both fuel pumps failing. The preliminary air traffic control data indicated that the pilot, Dr. Jason Farese, reported a failure of a fuel pump and requested a diversion to the nearest airport. When the airplane was approximately 10 miles from Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, the pilot reported that the airplane had lost “the other fuel pump.”
According to the NTSM report, Dr. Farese’s Piper PA-31-325 was “topped off” with 134 gallons of fuel before departing from Kissimmee Gateway Airport in Florida around 8:55 a.m. eastern time. According to preliminary air traffic control data, Dr. Farese reported a failure of a fuel pump and requested a diversion to the nearest airport around 11:11 a.m. The controller provided radar vectors toward runway 30 at the Tuscaloosa airport.
When the airplane was about 10 miles away, Dr. Farese reported the plane had lost “the other fuel pump.” The airplane continued to descend until it impacted trees, only 1,650 feet from the end of runway 30. It was so close, but all too far, resulting in the tragic loss of lives.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, Dr. Farese held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued in August 2014. According to a flight log found in the airplane, the pilot had accumulated 48.7 hours of flight time since March 2016.
According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1984, and issued an airworthiness certificate in 1998. It was equipped with two Lycoming TIO-540-series, 350-horsepower engines. It was also equipped with two four-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propellers. The most recent annual inspection was performed on Nov. 13, 2015, and at that time the airplane had accumulated 3,260.8 total hours of time in service. The debris from the wreck covered 250 feet.
Source: Tuscaloosa News