NTSB Accident Reports

A monthly summary of recently published NTSB preliminary accident reports involving general aviation and air carrier aircraft


June 1, 2023, Pellston, Mich.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III

At about 1155 Eastern time, the airplane sustained substantial damage when its left main landing gear strut failed, leaving the wheel assembly attached only by the brake line. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured in the subsequent landing.

On takeoff following a touch-and-go landing, the pair “heard an unusual noise.” As they maneuvered for a precautionary landing, the airport manager radioed that the left main landing gear wheel assembly was hanging from the landing gear strut. The flight landed at an airport with better fire and rescue services. Examination revealed the landing gear strut housing was fractured at the upper torque link connection.

June 1, 2023, Statesboro, Ga.

Beech V35A Bonanza

The airplane struck a light pole and came to rest short of the runway threshold at about 1455 Eastern time. The pilot received minor injuries.

The flight’s purpose was to test the newly installed servos for the Garmin GFC-500 autopilot and calibrate the fuel flow sensor. During the takeoff, the pilot noticed the controls felt “slightly heavy,” so he used the electric trim to lighten them. The autopilot climbed and maintained the selected altitude of 3000 feet msl. After an hour of testing the autopilot in heading mode, he programmed a descent to 2000 feet and selected the autopilot’s nav mode to return.

During the approach, the autopilot did not respond, so the pilot disconnected it and flew by hand. As he applied engine power, the nose suddenly pitched steeply down. The pilot “struggled to control the airplane” and was “fighting” the unresponsive yoke. On final, the pilot was unable to arrest the descent before striking the light pole.

June 2, 2023, Gibbon, Neb.

Van’s RV-7 Experimental

At about 0907 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain after reporting airframe ice in an area of extreme precipitation. The pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

About two hours after departing Denver, Colo., at 15,000 feet msl, the pilot encountered ice and requested a lower altitude. Shortly after the descent began, ATC advised him of “extreme precipitation” in the area. The pilot did not respond. Dashcam footage captured the airplane descending nose-down in heavy rain before impact. Weather radar at the time of the accident depicted heavy precipitation and thunderstorms in the vicinity.

June 3, 2023, Albertville, Ala.

Zenith 601XL Experimental

The amateur-built experimental airplane was substantially damaged at 1320 Central time when it collided with terrain, apparently out of control. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. 

Several witnesses near the accident site reported the airplane appeared to “porpoise” several times. The engine then increased to full power and the airplane nosed over into a vertical descent before disappearing behind trees, coming to rest inverted. All major components were located at the accident site. Control continuity was confirmed, as was the engine’s mechanical condition. The elevator trim and associated servo were found in the full nose-down position. According to witnesses, the pilot had just completed the airplane build and was operating the airplane as a test flight.

June 4, 2023, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Beech A36 Bonanza

At 1215 Central time, the airplane was force-landed about a mile from the intended airport after its engine quit, apparently for fuel-related reasons. The airline transport pilot and the passenger were uninjured.

The pilot later stated that both fuel gauges indicated a little less than half full before takeoff. The pilot flew the airplane about 12-15 miles west of the departure airport to maneuver and, after about 10-15 minutes, returned for landings. Approaching the airport, the pilot switched from the left to the right tank. The left fuel gauge indicated just above the yellow arc while the right one showed about 3/8 of a tank. On the base leg for landing, the engine began to run rough. The pilot switched tanks again, turned on the boost pump and “tried the ignition,” but was unable to restore engine power. Both wings and the horizontal stabilizer were damaged.

June 4, 2023, Montebello, Va.

Cessna Model 560 Citation V

The airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain at about 1523 Eastern time. Its fuel apparently was exhausted after the pilot became incapacitated. The airline transport pilot and three passengers were fatally injured.

The accident flight departed at 1313, destined for Long Island, New York. The last communication with it occurred at 1325, when ATC cleared the Citation to FL340 and the pilot read back the clearance. At 1328, ATC amended the clearance to FL330, but it was not acknowledged. The airplane climbed to FL340 and leveled off, on its cleared routing. Nothing further was heard from the flight.

The airplane arrived over its destination at 1432, still maintaining FL340. It then turned onto a track of about 240 degrees and started back the way it came. At 1520, the airplane was intercepted by fighter aircraft, which attempted to contact the pilot by radio, intercept flight maneuvers and flares. At 1522, it entered a rapidly descending right spiral into terrain.

June 6, 2023, Jamestown, N.Y.

Cirrus SR22

At about 1352 Eastern time, the Canadian-registered airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain after an apparent loss of control shortly after takeoff. The two Canadian-certificated pilots were fatally injured. 

The accident airplane took off at 1341, remained in the traffic pattern and performed a touch-and-go landing on Runway 31. On the go,  at about 100 to 200 feet agl, the airplane banked steeply left, leveled and then banked right, followed by deployment of its airframe parachute. It impacted a wooded area on the airport and was mostly consumed by fire. No debris path was observed. Flight control continuity was confirmed, the flap actuator corresponded to 50-percent extension and the elevator trim motor was in a neutral trim position. The engine had not yet been examined.

June 6, 2023, Panama City, Fla.

Dassault-Breguet Falcon 10

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 2017 Central time when it departed the runway following brake and thrust reverser failure on landing. The pilot, copilot and three passengers were not injured.

After an uneventful flight from Atlanta, Ga., the airplane touched down 2500 feet beyond the 10,000-foot-long runway’s threshold. The pilot extended the speed brakes and placed both engines into reverse idle. The thrust reversers never deployed, however. The pilot applied the wheel brakes and felt no deceleration. The copilot’s brakes also had no effect. The emergency brake system was engaged, but it too, had no effect. Electing to stay on the ground instead of attempting a go-around with unknown reverser status, the pilot tried to shut down the engines with the throttles but was unable because the reverser handles were still up.

Rolling off the end of the runway, the pilot ruddered the airplane between two runway approach light support poles before it came to rest after the landing gear collapsed.

June 8, 2023, Nephi, Utah

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche

At about 1219 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged while landing after diverting with an engine problem. The solo pilot was not injured.

While cruising at about 9500 feet msl, the left engine decreased from 2400 rpm to 1000 rpm briefly and then went back to 2400 rpm. The pilot troubleshot the engine, but it continued to cycle sporadically between the two rpm extremes. During the landing flare at the divert airport, the left engine lost all power. The pilot applied right rudder to counter the lowered left wing, but the airplane touched down and exited the left side of the runway, damaging the right wing.

June 10, 2023, Apache Junction, Ariz.

Daher TB 30 Epsilon

The airplane was destroyed at 0751 Mountain time when it collided with terrain in the Superstition Mountains. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The accident airplane was flying formation in the #2 position with two other airplanes of the same type.

A witness stated that the lead airplane crossed a ridgeline in more than a 90-degree bank, that the second airplane was less aggressive than the first, and the third airplane was higher and even less aggressive. The #3 airplane’s pilot airplane later reported observing the #2 (accident) airplane at his 11 o’clock position, heading toward terrain. The accident airplane’s nose pitched up and down several times, but the trajectory of the airplane did not appear to change. The airplane impacted near-vertical terrain about 200-400 feet below a ridgeline.

June 11, 2023, Porter, N.Y.

Harmon Rocket Experimental

At 1506 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain while performing an aileron roll during a low pass down a runway. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured.

Multiple witnesses observed the takeoff, which they described as normal. The pilot lifted off, climbed to about 200 feet agl and then made a sharp turn back toward the airport. The pilot flew the airplane very low over the runway, at about 10 to 15 feet, in a high-speed pass, which the witness described as “something that he did very often.” The airplane then climbed and performed what appeared to be the beginning of an aileron roll to the left. According to several witnesses, the roll continued to go to the left until the airplane was nearly inverted as the pilot made a brief radio call containing an expletive. The airplane descended and impacted trees about 500 feet north of the departure end of Runway 36.

June 17, 2023, Ebensburg, Penn.

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche

The airplane was destroyed at about 0506 Eastern time when its pilot apparently lost control in instrument conditions shortly after takeoff. The instrument-rated commercial pilot and the passenger were fatally injured.

Preliminary ADS-B data depict the airplane departing Runway 25 at 0504. It made a left turn after takeoff and gradually climbed to about 3600 feet msl, continuing in the left turn past 360 degrees until the last ADS-B target was observed at 3000 feet on a south-southeasterly heading. The wreckage was located the next afternoon and consisted of a debris field about 375 feet in length. A measured swath through the trees was consistent with a 55-degree left bank and 30-degree descent angle at impact.

Nearby weather, seven miles south of the accident site, at 0510 included visibility of ½-mile in fog, an indefinite ceiling at 200 feet vertical visibility and a zero-point temperature/dewpoint spread. Sunrise was at about 0542. Despite the weather, the pilot did not file an IFR flight plan.

June 17, 2023, Sioux City, Iowa

Gulfstream G-IV

At about 1059 Central time, the airplane experienced an uncontained right engine failure shortly after beginning a step climb at FL400. The flight crew secured the engine, declared an emergency and diverted to Sioux City for an uneventful landing. There were no injuries reported aboard the FAR Part 135 on-demand air taxi flight.

According to the flight crew, they experienced massive vibrations and a subsequent right engine rollback. Visual inspection of the engine inlet and nacelle revealed that one fan blade was separated at its midspan, and all fan blades exhibited leading edge impact damage. It also revealed a hole in the engine nacelle forward of the fan’s plane of rotation at approximately the one o’clock position. The airplane was retained for additional engine and nacelle examination.


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