Preliminary Accident Reports

December 2017 Issue




NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents

September 1, 2017, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Velocity SUV Experimental

At about 1236 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged while attempting to land at Albert Whitted Airport. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated the approach to land was steeper and faster than normal as he was aware of cranes near Runway 18’s approach end. The airplane landed long and instead of going around, the pilot continued with the landing. The airplane went off the runway and into Tampa Bay. Observed weather included wind from 170 degrees at eight knots.

September 2, 2017, Lyndonville, Vt.
Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1810 Eastern time when it collided with terrain during takeoff. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After taxiing, the pilot performed a flight control deflection check. He said there was corresponding movement with the flight control surfaces, but that resistance in the controls was light. His concern led him to perform the check eight times before initiating the takeoff. After liftoff, the airplane was unresponsive—slow to respond—in the roll axis.

The pilot elected to close the throttle and perform a forced landing to the grass area beyond the departure end of the runway. During the landing, the wings, cabin, empennage and the tail section of the airplane were damaged. Flight control continuity was established from the individual flight controls to all flight control surfaces, except for the left aileron. The aileron was significantly impact damaged, and its control rod was fractured. Each half of the fractured control rod was retained for further examination.

September 2, 2017, Cascade, Idaho
Glasair Glastar Experimental

At about 1030 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering. The private pilot was seriously injured; his pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier in the day, the accident pilot flew the airplane with a flight instructor for a checkout. He planned to ferry the airplane to its new owner the next day. Subsequently and after adding 38.9 gallons of fuel, the accident pilot took off with his pilot-rated cousin, heading for a backcountry airstrip. While en route, the pilot inadvertently flew into a “box canyon” and realized the airplane could not outclimb the terrain. He began a turn to escape, but the airplane stalled and impacted the ground. The impact site elevation was approximately 7500 feet msl.

September 3, 2017, Merritt Island, Fla.
Piper PA-32R-300 Cherokee Lance

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0908 Eastern time when it collided with water shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Prior to the flight, the pilot fueled the airplane to a total of 80 gallons. The preflight inspection and engine run-up did not highlight any anomalies. The extended the flaps “two notches” and rotated the airplane at 80 knots about two-thirds down the 3601-foot asphalt runway. As the airplane climbed above 20 feet agl, it experienced a decrease of engine power prior to the landing gear being retracted. The airplane was unable to climb without entering a stall. It then drifted left of the runway heading and landed in shallow water about 1000 feet from the departure end of the runway.

Weather observed eight miles southeast of the accident site included wind from 330 degrees at six knots. The pilot noted that although the automated surface observation system reported the wind from 350 degrees at five knots, the wind was light and variable at the time of the accident. Additionally, an airplane was in the airport traffic pattern and using Runway 11, so the pilot elected to depart in that direction.

September 4, 2017, Kodiak, Alaska
Cessna U206G Stationair

At about 1430 Alaska time, the amphibious float-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage while attempting a water takeoff. The airline transport pilot and three passengers were not injured. Marginal visual conditions existed.

The pilot later stated the airplane encountered small swells during the takeoff run and began to lose speed while simultaneously pitching forward. In an effort to correct for the forward pitching moment, the pilot applied full aft elevator. Shortly thereafter, he aborted the takeoff, but the airplane continued pitching forward and was struck by a larger swell. The right forward float strut fractured and the airplane rolled to the right, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing’s lift strut. An initial examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the left nose wheel was partially deployed with the landing gear handle in the up position.

September 4, 2017, Santa Paula, Calif.
Boeing A75N1 (PT17) Stearman

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a dry river bed at about 1358 Pacific time. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the airplane’s takeoff roll and departure were uneventful. However, the airplane’s climb performance was reduced after the airplane transitioned to its initial climb. As the airplane reached about 250 feet agl, it stopped climbing, so the pilot turned to the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern. The airplane then began to sink into a dry riverbed. The pilot completed a stabilized approach and landed flat, but during touchdown the airplane contacted thick brush, nosed over and came to rest inverted. A witness reported that he could not hear the engine, but observed the propeller spinning throughout the airplane’s descent.

September 5, 2017, Jacksonburg, W.V.
Cirrus Design SR20

At about 1148 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

Earlier, the pilot reported entering an area of moderate to heavy precipitation. He deviated off-course, reported clear of the precipitation, and then was cleared direct to a nearby Vortac. Shortly thereafter, the airplane entered a rapid descent from 8000 feet msl until radar contact was lost at 3000 feet. There were no further communications with the airplane. The airplane was located on September 8, in a densely wooded area about 1500 feet from its last known radar position.

The surface weather observation closest to the accident site at 1153 included 10 miles’ visibility, thunderstorms in the vicinity and a broken ceiling at 1800 feet.

September 6, 2017, Las Vegas, Nev.
Boeing 757-232

The airplane, operated by Delta Air Lines as a Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger flight, sustained a left engine undercowl fire during takeoff. The crew completed the quick reference handbook procedures, shut down the left engine, and discharged one of the fire bottles. The flight crew then initiated engine-out procedures to return to the airport. On the downwind leg, a second left engine fire warning indication was reported and the second fire bottle was discharged. The crew made an uneventful overweight landing and the airplane was met by rescue and firefighting equipment on the runway. Fire retardant was sprayed into the engine and the airplane subsequently taxied to the gate under its own power. No injuries were reported to passengers or crew.

September 13, 2017, Nantucket, Mass.
Cessna 402B Businessliner

At about 0723 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a rejected takeoff. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated he accelerated the airplane to between 90 and 95 knots and lifted off. The airplane achieved a positive rate of climb and the pilot retracted the landing gear. However, after becoming airborne the pilot was fighting with the controls to keep the airplane’s nose up. The pilot used manual trim and verified the autopilot was not engaged, however, the nose-down tendency continued. He rejected the takeoff and executed an emergency landing on the remaining portion of the runway.

Examination revealed the elevator trim tab was deflected approximately 24 degrees up (airplane nose-down), while the cockpit trim indicator depicted a nose-up trim condition. Further examination revealed the elevator trim tab pushrod was separated from its actuator but remained connected at the elevator trim tab. A drilled bolt was recovered from inside the horizontal stabilizer but the associated washer, castellated nut and cotter pin were not located.

September 14, 2017, Machias, Maine
Beech C23 Sundowner

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1130 Eastern time during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While in the airport traffic pattern and turning to a left base leg for the runway, the engine began to run rough. The pilot verified that the mixture was full rich and the fuel boost pump was on. He also applied carburetor heat, but the engine lost all power about 15 to 20 seconds later. The pilot turned the airplane directly toward the runway but didn’t have enough glide range and landed in a grass area just prior to the runway. During the landing, the landing gears sank into soft ground and the nosewheel touched down hard, which collapsed the nosegear. The airplane spun 180 degrees and came to rest upright in the grass.

Some 20 gallons of fuel per wing were removed from the airplane while the magnetos, fuel boost pump and engine-driven fuel pump tested satisfactorily. The carburetor was intact and clear of debris. The fuel bowl was also absent of debris. The propeller was rotated by hand and continuity was noted in the camshaft, crankshaft and valve train.

September 15, 2017, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Cirrus Design SR22

At about 2010 Mountain time, the airplane impacted trees and terrain while maneuvering in mountainous terrain. The non-instrument-rated private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. Night instrument conditions prevailed.

The pilot was receiving VFR flight following from ATC. Radar data show the airplane on a westerly heading, then turning southwesterly at about 11,000 feet msl. Subsequently, the airplane climbed to about 12,000 feet msl and proceeded northwest for about 12 miles. The airplane then turned back to the southwest in a gradual descent. The last radar position was at 2009:32 and 11,400 feet msl, about ¼ mile south of the accident site location.

At 2008, a weather station at 10,600 feet msl and about 16 miles south-southwest of the accident site reported wind from 240 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 23 knots and varying between 210 and 280 degrees; ½ mile visibility, fog and an overcast ceiling at 200 feet. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, sunset was at 1917 and the end of civil twilight was at 1944.

September 15, 2017, Watsonville, Calif.
Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1300 Pacific time while landing. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane’s nose landing gear separated and the aft fuselage was punctured and torn. Visual conditions prevailed.

Examination of the accident site revealed impact marks on the approach end of the runway. Debris was found near the impact marks, and the nose landing gear was found further down the runway. The airplane came to rest on the left side of the runway. The pilot later stated there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane and that the approach and landing was normal. He further stated he didn’t know how the nose landing gear separation happened.

September 16, 2017, North Branford, Conn.
Mooney M20C

At 1300 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain. The airline transport pilot/owner and the passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier on the day of the accident, the pilot/owner flew to another airport about 60 nm away to pick up the passenger. Both fuel tanks were topped off and line personnel witnessed the pilot sample the fuel before he departed with the passenger at about 1230. Witnesses near the accident site did not see the airplane or hear engine sounds, but they heard what sounded like a “crash” in the trees. The three-blade constant-speed propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange and was largely intact. There was no evidence of rotational scoring and two of the blades were not damaged. Weather reported nine miles southwest of the accident site included variable wind at three knots, visibility of 10 sm and broken clouds at 1400 feet.

September 16, 2017, Sedona, Ariz.
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

The airplane collided with a light pole at about 1430 local time while taxiing. The pilot and eight passengers were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to its left wing. Visual conditions prevailed for the Part 135 on-demand air taxi flight.

After landing, the pilot was instructed by ground control to follow a truck on the A6 taxiway to transient parking. Transient parking had been moved to the east side of the ramp and was only accessible by taxiway A6 during a fly-in and car show taking place at the time. As the pilot followed the truck, he noticed several airplanes whose wings overhung the taxiway’s right side. Ground personnel were available to clear the airplane on the right but not on the left. The airplane impacted a light pole with its left wing. The light pole was positioned about 65 feet from the taxiway’s centerline.

September 20, 2017, Rhine, Ga.
Cessna 150G

At about 0605 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses heard the airplane depart the private grass airstrip at about 0600. They said the pilot made a left 360-degree turn—as he was known to do—before they diverted their attention. Another witness heard the airplane depart, followed shortly thereafter by the sound of a crash. The student pilot was scheduled to take his private pilot checkride the following day in St. Simon’s Island, Ga. On the morning of the accident, he planned to pick up his flight instructor at a nearby airport before flying to St. Simon’s.

September 23, 2017, Ainsworth, Neb.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-40

The airplane was destroyed at about 1028 Central time when it impacted terrain 3.5 miles from its departure airport. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The airport manager watched the airplane depart and enter clouds. Several witnesses in the vicinity reported hearing the airplane take off and a loud noise shortly thereafter. The wreckage was located around 1800 that night. At the time of the accident, the wind was 360 degrees at 10 knots, visibility was 1¾ sm in mist and overcast skies were at 500 feet. The temperature and dewpoint were both 48 degrees F.

Owing to staff changes, the NTSB tells us the raw data we’ve been using to generate our monthly accident statistics graphic won’t be available until further notice. In its place, we’ll be publishing various other graphical data on general aviation safety. This month’s graph looks at the number of general aviation accidents—not accident rates—during 2014, the most recent available from the NTSB. The data are broken down by flight purpose and aircraft category