Tuesday, August 1, 2017

76-year old William Leeds of Mission, Kansas, and 55-year old James Bergman of Leawood killed after their 1965 Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche small aircraft impacted airport terrain during decent at Philip Billard Municipal Airport (KTOP), Topeka, Kansas.

Names released of 2 killed in plane crash near Billard Airport

By Kion Hudson, Melissa Brunner |
Posted: Mon 9:03 PM, Jul 31, 2017 |
Updated: Tue 3:39 AM, Aug 01, 2017

Two people are reported dead in a small plane crash near Billard Airport.
The plane went down around 8:30 p.m. Monday in a field near the airport. The Kansas Highway Patrol told 13 NEWS two people were killed.

Those people were later identified as 76-year old William Leeds of Mission, Kansas, and 55-year old James Bergman of Leawood.

KHP said it is taking the lead in the investigation at the scene. KHP crash logs state Bergman as the co-pilot of the aircraft.

Staff at the National Weather Service office at Billard Airport called 911 to report the crash.

KHP crash logs state the aircraft was traveling southeast to northwest, and appeared to miss the runway, striking the ground at a high rate of speed. The plane impacted and turned about 180 degrees, where it came to rest in a grass field in between the runway and the taxi road to the airport terminal.

Eric Johnson, head of the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority, said Topeka Police, Topeka Fire, Kansas Highway Patrol and MTAA police and fire were among agencies responding. He said the FAA will be notified to assist in the investigation.

Johnson said the airport's tower closes at 7 p.m., so would not have had communication with the aircraft.

A 13 NEWS search of FAA records shows the aircraft was a 1965 Piper PA-30 twin engine aircraft. KHP crash logs later confirmed that detail. 13 NEWS remains on the scene of this developing story and will keep you posted as the information is available.

This is another case of pilot error causing this crash and/or problem with the landing gear.  Perhaps these two were not familiar with the plane, as they were trying to buy it from its owner James

GUGLIELMINOof Mission, KS.  Here is what Guglielmino wrote when he was selling his aircraft:

Long before I bought 22HW it experienced a gear up landing. According to Patric Barry, AI/Comanche Specialist/Comanche Pilot, it was repaired professionally

Shortly after Panel upgrade, I was unable to deploy landing gear normally. After finally getting it down I landed but right main gear collapsed. No Prop strike occurred. Damage was limited to right side Aileron and flap and the fiber glass tip of wing and horizontal elevator. The push pull had failed. The entire gear was gone through and after market push pulls were added as was a wiring STC that prevents repeated cycling of the gear wiring.
At last annual in July/August, a careful inspection of the rear of the fuselage revealed a crack in the aft bulkhead. This was determined to be the result of a less than good repair of long ago damage that occurred when the tail skid hit. The bulkhead was replaced with a good used part.


Date: 31-JUL-2017
Time: 20:30
Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche
Owner/operator: Private
Registration: N22HW
C/n / msn: 30-791
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Substantial
Location: Philip Billard Municipal Airport (KTOP), Topeka, KS - United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature: Unknown
Departure airport:

Destination airport: Billard Muni (KTOP)
The aircraft impacted airport terrain at Philip Billard Municipal Airport (KTOP), Topeka, Kansas. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the two occupants onboard were fatally injured.


N22HW Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Summary
1965 PIPER PA-30
Fixed wing multi engine
(4 seats / 2 engines)
Airworthiness Class
Serial Number
LYCOMING IO-320 SERIES (Reciprocating)
Horsepower: 150
Less than 12,500lbs
Mode S Code
050357554 / A1DF6C