Preliminary Accident Reports

October 2019 Issue

NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents

July 1, 2019, Fort Smith, Ark.

Beechcraft A23 Musketeer

At about 1155 Central time, the airplane experienced a hard landing on a road following a loss of engine power. The flight instructor and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the demonstration flight for a prospective student.

While returning to the airport from the practice area, the instructor switched fuel tanks, activating the fuel pump per standard procedures. Shortly after he turned off the fuel pump, the engine "started coughing" and subsequently lost power completely. His efforts to restore engine power were not successful and he set up for a forced landing to a roadway. The airplane touched down hard, collapsing the nose and right main landing gears.

July 2, 2019, Sevierville, Tenn.

Luscombe 8E Silvaire

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0930 Eastern time while landing. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot purchased the airplane the day prior to the accident. He departed the airport and performed maneuvers in the local area, then returned and completed four normal wheel landings. On the fifth landing, at about 30 mph, the tailwheel settled to the runway. When the tailwheel touched down, the pilot stated he felt a rumble "like a machine gun" and the airplane veered to the right. He applied left rudder, and the airplane subsequently veered left off the runway, the right main landing gear collapsed and the right wing spar sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain. Examination revealed the tailwheel was cocked to the right, perpendicular to the fuselage.


The chart above presents the phase of flight during which FAR Part 135 operations resulted in accidents during 2016, courtesy of the NTSB. Since thereís a much smaller sample size than for Part 91, itís difficult to draw conclusions. However, one takeaway is that maneuvering accidents remain lethal, regardless of the operation.

July 3, 2019, Haverhill, Mass.

Pipistrel Sinus Motorglider

At about 2000 Eastern time, the motorglider was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The solo private pilot/owner was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported flying at 3500 feet msl to his usual soaring location before turning off the engine. He soared for a few minutes looking for thermals, but found none and decided to head back to the departure airport while descending through 2500 feet. Although the engine restarted, it seemed "sluggish" and the pilot was not able to obtain normal performance from it, even after troubleshooting. About 1Ĺ miles from the approach end of the desired runway, the motorglider struck a fence on a hilltop at an elevation of about 300 feet msl and skidded to a stop, sustaining damage to its landing gear, lower fuselage and left wing.

July 5, 2019, Chebanse, Ill.

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1358 Central time during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power. The pilot sustained serious injuries, one passenger sustained minor injuries and second passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot subsequently reported that while in cruise flight at about 3000 feet msl, the engine quit. His attempts to restore engine power were not successful and he executed a forced landing to a wheat field. The airplane came to rest upright on a southeast heading at the end of a 75-foot-long debris path; depressions consistent with impact from the main landing gear were about 50 feet from the airplane. The left wing tip fuel tank was compromised but did not exhibit any fire damage. The wheat field was burned in an area about 35 feet behind the left wing. The right wing tip fuel tank was compromised and exhibited fire damage, with the wheat field burned over an area extending about 20 feet behind the right wing tip.

July 6, 2019, Oxford, Miss.

Cessna 172R Skyhawk

At about 1515 Central time, the airplane impacted a golf course. The student pilot sustained serious injuries that subsequently became fatal. The airplane, which was operated by the Civil Air Patrol, was substantially damaged during the impact and subsequent fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses heard the pilot transmitting on the CTAF, which they described as "panicked." Another witness saw the airplane approach Runway 9, which featured a tailwind, but not touch down. Abeam the windsock near midfield, the airplane started to climb at a "steep" angle and headed toward the golf course. The witness then observed the airplane "go straight down behind the trees."

Another witness reported the airplane appeared to be "struggling" to maintain airspeed, was nose-up and appeared to be very close to stalling. The witness indicated that the airplane then made a left turn and lost altitude, struck the ground and slid into nearby trees. Observed weather at 1515 included wind from 310 degrees at 11 knots, visibility of nine statute miles, few clouds at 3400 feet agl and scattered clouds at 4100 feet.

July 8, 2019, Bethel, Alaska

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

The airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire after impacting terrain at about 1505 Alaska time during a go-around maneuver. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the scheduled FAR Part 135 commuter flight.

While about four miles southwest of the airport, the tower controller cleared the pilot to land on Runway 12 and to "square off" his approach. Deliberately starting out higher than normal to avoid terrain, he conducted a visual approach but the airplane floated down the runway. With insufficient runway remaining, the pilot executed a go-around and partially retracted the flaps. As the airplane climbed, a tower controller urgently instructed him twice to "turn left immediately." He later stated that, as he initiated the left turn, the airplane suddenly stalled, rolled right and descended, impacting the ground in a right-wing-low attitude. Runway 12 is 1858 feet long and constructed of asphalt and gravel.

July 9, 2019, Sidney, Neb.

Beechcraft 65 Queen Air

At about 0813 Mountain time, the airplane's left wing exploded during the takeoff roll. The airline transport pilot was not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage to its left wing. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot, the outboard fuel tanks were filled prior to departure. During the takeoff roll, the pilot heard a loud bang and observed significant damage to the outboard left wing. While taxiing back to the ramp, the pilot noted a small amount of smoke coming from the top of the left wing. The pilot taxied the airplane to the corner of the ramp, performed an abbreviated shutdown of the airplane, grabbed a fire extinguisher and evacuated. The pilot did not observe any additional smoke or fire and did not discharge the fire extinguisher.

(The NTSB's records report a Beechcraft 65 Queen Air with the same registration sustained damage to its left wing and left aileron during a precautionary landing on February 22, 2019.)

July 10, Ypsilanti, Mich.

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1527 Eastern time while landing. The commercial pilot and flight instructor aboard sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

After several instrument approaches, the pair performed about four touch-and-go landings on Runway 23R. The fifth takeoff and flight around the traffic pattern was normal. On the downwind leg, the landing gear was extended, with three green lights illuminating. As the airplane crossed the runway numbers, engine power was reduced to idle at about 90 mph and the airplane touched down smoothly. The airplane decelerated while rolling about 1000 feet down the runway. Then wing flaps were retracted and full power was applied to initiate another takeoff.

According to the flight instructor, as weight was removed from the landing gear, it appeared to retract. The right wing and propeller made contact with the runway, stopping the right engine. The pilot applied back pressure and the airplane began gaining altitude, entering a right bank. Instead, the flight instructor retarded the throttles, pushed the nose down and leveled the wings. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground and slid to a stop. After they egressed the airplane, the flight instructor re-entered it to retrieve belongings and noticed the landing gear handle in the "down" position. Later, on jacks, the airplane's landing gear functioned normally.

July 19, 2019, The Dalles, Ore.

Cessna 210-5 (205)

At 0700 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a nose landing gear collapse during an aborted takeoff. The solo private pilot was not injured; the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported his preflight inspection and engine run-up were performed with no discrepancies noted. During the takeoff roll, there was no airspeed indication, however. He decided to abort the takeoff and pulled the throttle back. As he pulled back on the yoke, the airplane lifted off the runway. He reduced back pressure and the airplane started to porpoise down the runway; he recalled three or four bounces that increased in height until the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane slid down the runway before coming to a stop. The pilot exited the airplane and saw flames near the pilot-side door. The airplane was subsequently consumed by the post-crash fire.

July 19, 2019, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1440 Eastern time during a forced landing while on approach. The private pilot and two passengers were seriously injured; one passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

At 1428:21, while in cruise flight at FL190, the pilot requested a diversion from his filed destination to POU, which ATC approved. By 1433:38, the airplane was two miles west of POU at about 12,000 feet msl when the pilot stated, "...we are getting a ah fuel emergency light at this time so ah just want to expedite our approach in there." At 1435:37, the airplane was about five miles east of POU at 8100 feet, when the pilot requested a turn back to the airport and was cleared for a visual approach.

At 1437:46, the flight was about five miles northeast of POU at 3550 feet. At 1438:44 and two miles northeast of the airport at about 1500 feet msl, the airplane turned toward POU as it intercepted the inbound course to the landing runway. At 1439:32, the tower controller advised the airplane that its landing gear appeared to be retracted. The pilot responded, "We are too low we are not going to make it." The airplane came to rest upright among trees and brush. The was no evidence of fuel, no fuel spillage and no odor of fuel present at the accident site.

July 20, 2019, Battleground, Wash.

Beechcraft F33A Bonanza

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1620 Pacific time during a runway excursion. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the commercial pilot, he touched down close to the runway threshold at an approximate approach speed of 70 KIAS. During the landing roll, the pilot noticed the airplane did not decelerate as it had after previous flights. Additionally, engine rpm was higher than normal and could not be reduced. Nearing the runway edge, the pilot pulled the mixture control to idle/cutoff, but the airplane left the runway pavement, crossed an adjacent road and impacted a metal pole with its left wing before coming to rest.

July 21, 2019, Oshkosh, Wis.

Mooney M20J/Mooney M20U

The two airplanes collided in flight while joining formation for a mass arrival at the 2019 EAA AirVenture Fly-In. Both airplanes sustained minor damage. Neither pilot nor their passengers were injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilots of the two airplanes, they were flying in formation and were encountering turbulence related to wake vortices. The two airplanes were maneuvering to join the formation of another two-ship flight when the M20J's right wingtip collided with the M20U's rudder. Both pilots were unaware of the collision until after they landed.

July 27, 2019, Lake, Mich.


At about 1220 Eastern time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an impact with trees shortly after departure from a lake. The airline transport pilot suffered minor injuries while the pilot-rated passenger was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During the attempted takeoff, the pilot estimated the wind to be between 12 and 15 knots. He later said the takeoff was normal and "there was nothing wrong with the [air]plane at all." Crossing the shoreline, he estimated the airplane was 50-60 feet above the treetops. Before starting a right turn, he looked at the angle of attack indicator, noting it showed one needle width below the top of the green, and he estimated his speed as between 55-60 knots. He had initiated a 10-degree-bank right turn when it suddenly sounded like they "hit a wall."

A video of the accident flight shows the airplane in a nose-high attitude with flaps extended as it approached the trees after takeoff. As the airplane reached about the midpoint of a stand of trees, the angle of attack appears to increase and the nose drops. The right wing then lowered and impacted one of the trees. The airplane subsequently descend rapidly into the water. A post-accident weight-and-balance calculation revealed that the airplane was about 70 lbs over its maximum gross weight and outside its center of gravity envelope.

July 30, 2019, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cessna 210E Centurion

The airplane sustained substantial damage at 1600 Eastern time while landing. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, upon retracting the landing gear after takeoff, the amber gear-in-transit light would not extinguish. The pilot cycled the landing gear with the same result. He then placed the landing gear handle in the neutral position and continued the flight. On arriving at the planned destination, the pilot was unable to extend the landing gear. He declared an emergency and attempted to extend the landing gear with the emergency pump, but the gear did not respond and he observed hydraulic fluid on the floorboards. The pilot diverted to CHA and landed on Runway 20 with the nose gear down and locked and the two main landing gear partially extended. As the airplane decelerated it veered to the right, impacted a taxiway sign and slid to a stop in the grass.

July 30, 2019, Fairhope, Ala.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At about 1530 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight instructor later reported he was preparing the student pilot for his private pilot check ride. They had performed several touch-and-go landings. However, shortly after the last takeoff, the engine began vibrating severely, then lost power. The instructor performed a forced landing to a cornfield, about two miles from the airport, damaging the airplane's left wing and engine mount. Examination of the engine's #3 cylinder revealed a failed exhaust valve.