Bad Weather Contributed to Tragic Aviation Accident in West Virginia | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A Piper PA-30 airplane carrying Kwan Kwok of Virginia (VA) crashed in Rainelle, West Virginia (WV). Tragically, Mr. Kwok was killed as a result of the aviation accident. My deepest sympathies go out to his friends and family.

The plane was inspected just three days prior to the wreck.

Inclement weather may have played a role in the plane wreck since there was light-to-moderate rain. Visibility was deemed “marginal,” which translates to roughly three to five miles.

As a licensed pilot, I know how challenging it is to operate an airplane in bad weather. It changes the dynamic of the flight and heightens the risk of malfunction and/or error.

Aircraft and engine performance is reduced when flying in the rain. The engine produces less power because the air taken for combustion is less dense than dry air at the same temperature, according to Gene Benson..  

In addition, there will probably be more drag when flying in rain. Since water is denser than air, more energy is utilized to move a raindrop out of the way than to simply move air resulting in the loss of a few knots of airspeed.

Unfortunately, major flight accidents aren’t a rarity. There are about 1,600 airplane accidents in the U.S. every year. Up to this point, there have been 1,509 plane crashes nationwide.