The NTSB has released its preliminary report on the December 24th crash of a Piper PA46-500TP in Corinth, Mississippi. The pilot of the aircraft survived the crash with minor injuries. The aircraft's three passengers, however, were seriously injured.
The report states that after takeoff, the aircraft's right cowling door opened and began moving up and down several inches. When the pilot turned to the left, the cowling door completely opened, causing the pilot to lose control of the aircraft. The airplane struck a tree and landed on the front lawn of a nearby house before catching on fire.
The cowling covers the aircraft's engine. According to the NTSB, the pilot stated he conducted a routine and uneventful pre-flight inspection of the aircraft. The NTSB will be assessing whether such was the case, but they will also certainly investigate whether a maintenance-induced failure or a manufacturing defect present in the cowling door may have led to the malfunction.
The aircraft, registration number N891CR, was manufactured by Piper in 2007 and had a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine. It is owned by North Mississippi Pulmonology Clinic, Inc. of Booneville, Mississippi.
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