Preliminary Accident Reports

August 2019 Issue




NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents

May 1, 2019, Tyrone, Penn.
Cessna 172N Skyhawk

At about 1251 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted mountainous terrain while maneuvering. The commercial pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the flight.

According to the FAA, the pilot filed an IFR flight plan before canceling it with ATC and departing VFR. Preliminary ADS-B data depict the airplane flying the 240-degree runway heading while climbing to 2500 feet msl. The track then turned slightly right and descended to about 2000 feet, remaining on that heading and at that altitude for about 10 nm. The airplane then turned back to 240 degrees, descended slightly, then climbed back to nearly 2000 feet over about three nm. The airplane began a right turn before the data ended at 1251:02, with the airplane at about 2050 feet msl and about 0.11 mile southeast of the accident site. The airplane impacted heavily wooded terrain near the top of a ridgeline at about 2275 feet msl.

May 1, 2019, Mill Creek, Calif.
Cessna T182P Turbo Skylane

The airplane experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a power line at about 1100 Pacific time, while making an emergency landing to a grassy marsh. The flight instructor and front-seated passenger sustained serious injuries; the rear-seated pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the sightseeing flight.

While maneuvering around Mount Lassen at about 11,000-11,500 feet msl, the pilot heard a muffled “boom” from the engine compartment, followed by white vapor, a partial loss of engine power, and then black smoke entering the cockpit. The pilot trimmed the airplane for the best glide speed and the airplane began to descend at an estimated 1000 fpm. The pilot turned the airplane toward a grassy meadow, planning to flare it immediately after clearing the four-foot fence that stretched northwest-southeast across the field. The pilot suddenly spotted power lines and attempted to maneuver under them, but the airplane contacted the wires and spun from the impact, coming to rest inverted. Examination revealed the engine oil filter adapter was loose: It was required to be 65 foot-pounds, but turned when less than 20 foot-pounds were applied.

May 1, 2019, Sedona, Ariz.
Beechcraft S35 Bonanza

At about 0935 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during takeoff. The private pilot and flight instructor were not injured. Visual conditions existed.

Both pilots reported the preflight inspection, engine start, taxi out and engine run-up were normal. The pilots took off from Runway 21. Just after lift off, both pilots sensed a significant loss of engine power, the stall warning sounded and the airplane began to roll to the right. In response, both pilots pushed the nose down. The airplane drifted right and encountered rough terrain off the right side of the runway before sliding to a stop on its belly.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane, which the previous owner had flown to the airport. A pre-buy inspection was performed and the accident flight was the new owner’s first in the airplane. He reported about 1075 hours total flight experience, with zero hours in the accident airplane make and model. The flight instructor reported about 10,309 hours total time, including about 845 hours in Beech Bonanza airplanes and about five hours in make/model. Weather observed at 0935 included winds from 160 degrees at seven knots, temperature of 18 degrees C and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.

May 3, 2019, Sonoma, Calif.
Stemme S10 Motorglider

The pilot later reported that, while on final approach to Runway 26, his groundspeed was higher than his indicated airspeed. He estimated that the motorglider had touched down in the first of the 2700-foot-long runway when it veered left. He corrected with left brake and rudder, but it overran the runway and impacted a tree, sustaining substantial damage.

Wind six nm east of the accident site was reported variable at five knots. The pilot reported that observers later told him he touched down beyond the runway’s midpoint. He subsequently recommended not landing with a tailwind.

May 5, 2019, Santa Rosa, N.M.
Beechcraft A60 Duke

At about 1600 Mountain time, the airplane impacted tree- and rock-covered hilly terrain. The commercial pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight was operated on an IFR flight plan.

While en route, the pilot reported an undisclosed fuel pump issue, and diverted to the nearest airport. Witnesses at the divert airport saw the airplane flying at between 100 and 200 feet agl before it rolled twice to the left, then descended out of control to the terrain. A postimpact fire ensued.

May 5, 2019, Anderson, Ind.
Piper PA-34-220T Seneca III/IV/V

The airplane impacted terrain at about 0845 Eastern time shortly after departing Runway 36, sustaining substantial damage. The solo commercial pilot received serious injuries. Visual conditions existed near the accident site at about the time of the accident.

A witness observed the airplane depart and, during its initial climb, observed it rock back and forth. The left wing dropped, then the airplane descended and impacted the ground facing opposite the direction of travel.

NTSB_PersonalAccidents_2007_2016

The NTSB recently updated its aviation accident statistics to include calendar year 2016 data. The chart at right is from that update and graphically presents the number of accidents and fatal accidents for so-called personal flying. The good news is the number of fatal accidents is low, while the bad news is the total number of accidents is up ever so slightly.

May 5, 2019, Sandy Valley, Nev.
Flight Design CTLS LSA

During a flight review, the flight instructor briefed the pilot to expect a simulated engine failure during takeoff and an engine-out approach to a perpendicular runway. The pilot departed Runway 21 and, at about 400 feet agl, power was reduced and he turned left for Runway 12. He overshot the runway, banked to 40 degrees and felt a “strong sink.” He leveled the wings and added full power at about 150 to 200 feet agl, but the airplane continued to descend. The airplane landed hard and its left main landing gear separated, reulting in substantial damage. The pilot reported the wind was variable at five to 15 knots, gusting to greater than 15 knots. The pilot added that there was severe windshear and airport management later reported a dust devil.

May 5, 2019, Marion, Ind.
Cessna 182Q Skylane

The airplane landed hard and bounced, and the pilot decided to go around. He added full power, and the nose pitched up sharply. He attempted to lower the nose, but the airspeed decreased and he “lost lift on [the] right side.” The airplane drifted right, impacted the ground next to a taxiway and spun around. All occupants exited the airplane, which was consumed by a post-accident fire. The pilot reported that, during the go around, he attempted to use the electric trim to trim nose-down and to lower the nose, but hesitated due to the close ground proximity. Instead, he retracted the flaps. Examination revealed the trim setting was “just short of full nose-up trim.”

May 6, 2019, Foley, Ala.
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At 1247 Central time, the airplane was destroyed as it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor was seriously injured and the student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness heard the flight instructor announce on the radio, “My engine just quit!” He saw the accident airplane at about 300-400 feet agl, pitched up high “like a power-on stall” and then “lean to the left to start a spin.” A flight instructor at the airport reported flying the accident airplane the day before the accident and experiencing engine roughness. Maintenance was performed and the instructor subsequently flew the airplane again and noted no issues. Another instructor flew the accident airplane on the morning of the accident and reported it “didn’t seem to climb very well.” The engine-driven fuel pump was removed and actuated by hand. Bubbles were observed around the gasket when the pump arm was actuated. Four screws on the periphery of the pump were loose.

May 8, 2019, Moose Lake, Minn.
Mooney M20J 201

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1630 Central time when it crashed into the Moose Horn River. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot obtained a weather briefing at 1548 and left his place of work at about 1600 for the airport about seven minutes away. The pilot was issued an IFR clearance and a clearance void time of 1635. When the pilot did not check in with ATC, a search was initiated. The wreckage was found in the river the next morning, about mile northwest of the airport. A weather observation just east of the accident site at 1635 included wind from 030 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 18 knots, visibility 1 miles with light snow, an overcast at 600 feet and both temperature and dewpoint of 0 degrees C.

May 9, 2019, Savannah, Ga.
Cessna 550 Citation II

At 1228 Eastern time, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power to both engines while en route and diverted to Savannah, Ga., where it landed without further incident. Both airline transport pilots, two medical crew, and three passengers onboard were uninjured. The flight was operated as a FAR Part 135 on-demand aeromedical flight. Visual conditions prevailed; the airplane operated on an IFR flight plan.

While cruising at FL350, the crew experienced difficulty setting the left engine’s N1 speed at around 103 percent. All engine gauges were normal, but then the left engine began to “spool down very slowly.” After unsuccessfully attempting to recover engine power, the crew began a descent with the left engine at idle power, then shut it down after noticing there was no oil pressure. At about 8000 feet msl, while preparing for a single-engine approach, the right engine became unresponsive and then began “spooling down.” The crew declared an emergency and performed a straight-in approach. The airplane landed without incident and was towed to the ramp.

The airplane was based in Punta Gorda, Fla., and was fueled with 480 gallons of Jet A with a fuel system icing inhibitor (FSII) additive mixed at the time of fueling. The evening before the incident, a lineman inadvertently refilled the jet fuel truck’s FSII reservoir with a combination of FSII and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Analysis of fuel samples, fuel system filters and fuel screens from the airplane indicated the presence of urea, the primary chemical found in DEF.

May 11, 2019, Naples, Fla.
Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche

The airplane was destroyed at about 1530 Eastern time when it impacted the ground while on approach. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.

While the airplane was conducting a visual approach, ATC observed the airplane turn away from the final approach course and questioned the pilot, but there was no reply. The airplane came to rest in a residential area about five miles northeast of the destination airport. Feathers and a dead bird were found in separate areas among the wreckage. Parts from the airplane plus three inflatable life vests were found several hundred feet from the main wreckage.

May 13, 2019, Ketchikan, Alaska
DHC-2 Beaver/DHC-3 Otter

At about 1221 Alaska time, the two float-equipped airplanes collided in midair. The DHC-2’s commercial pilot and four passengers sustained fatal injuries. The DHC-3’s airline transport pilot sustained minor injuries, nine passengers sustained serious injuries and one passenger sustained fatal injuries. The DHC-2 was destroyed; the DHC-3 sustained substantial damage. Both airplanes were being operated as on-demand sightseeing flights under FAR Part 135 and were based at the same seaplane base, though flown by different operators. Visual conditions prevailed.

Flight track data depict the DHC-3 traveling southwest at about 3700 feet msl and gradually descending at 126 knots as it crossed the east side of the George Inlet. The DHC-2 was traveling west-southwest at about 3350 feet msl at 107 knots when it crossed the east side of the George Inlet. The airplanes collided at about 3350 feet msl near the west side of the George Inlet.

The DHC-3 rolled right and pitched about 40 degrees nose-down. Its pilot was able to maintain some control and flared the airplane prior to impact. The pilot estimated that the airplane impacted the water about five seconds after the collision. The DHC-3’s main wreckage came to rest underwater about 1 miles northeast of the DHC-2’s main wreckage. The DHC-2 airplane broke up in flight and was scattered over water and mountainous tree-covered terrain on the west shore of George Inlet. Its debris field was about 2000 feet long by about 1000 feet wide.

May 13, 2019, Gila Bend, Ariz.
Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0926 Mountain time during a runway excursion. The solo commercial pilot received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, he used the standard GUMP check as a landing checklist but may not have verified the landing gear position due to heavy traffic in the airport traffic pattern. In the last two minutes of his approach, an aural alarm engaged, which he dismissed as a false stall warning. The pilot later surmised the aural warning may have been part of a feature that automatically extends the landing gear in low power/low airspeed conditions. The airplane touched down on the main landing gear; he heard a sound as he lowered the nose and decided to add some power. The airplane turned about 45 degrees to the left and departed the left side of the runway, coming to rest in the dirt.

A witness observed the accident airplane at about 30 feet agl without its landing gear extended, and it was not extended when the airplane began to flare. Examination revealed the runway surface showed striated gouges and two long skid marks tracing the airplane’s path from the runway.

May 24, 2019, Atlantic Ocean
Cessna 560 Citation Encore

At about 1755 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted the Atlantic Ocean. The solo airline transport pilot is presumed fatally injured. Visual conditions existed near the accident site; an IFR flight plan had been filed. The airplane’s owner purchased it two days prior to the accident and hired the pilot to fly the airplane to Florida for avionics work.

The jet was in cruise flight at FL390 when ATC became unable to contact its pilot. The U.S. Air Force dispatched two aircraft to intercept the accident airplane, one pilot of which reported he could see the pilot unconscious and slumped over the controls. The intercepting airplanes followed the accident airplane until it descended and impacted the Atlantic Ocean about 310 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The pilot and the airplane were not recovered. The airline transport pilot reported 9016 hours total time in June 2018, and held a Cessna 560 type rating plus certification for single-pilot operation.