NTSB Accident Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


September 2, 2021, Enterprise, Ore.

Cessna 172E Skyhawk

At about 1130 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its nose wheel assembly failed and it departed the runway before nosing over onto its back. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Just prior to lifting off from a grass strip, the pilot and his passenger heard a noise and felt a bump that was different from the normal sounds made when taking off from that surface. After takeoff, they visually checked the main airplane’s landing gear, which appeared normal. The flight to the destination airport was uneventful. The landing was normal until the nose wheel touched down, when the airplane immediately veered left and nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to the airplane’s fuselage, vertical stabilizer and rudder. Examination revealed the upper torque link for the nosewheel was fractured.

September 2, 2021, Farmington, Conn.

Cessna 560XL Citation Excel

The airplane was destroyed at 0951 Eastern time when it failed to gain altitude after takeoff and collided with a power pole and a building. The two pilots and two passengers were fatally injured. One person on the ground sustained serious injuries and three people sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

Two witnesses observed the aircraft’s takeoff. One witness noted a puff of blue smoke from the back side of the airplane when it was about two-thirds of the way down the runway. The other witness stated that the nose gear was still on the ground as the airplane passed the midpoint of the 3665-foot-long runway. A third witness saw the airplane’s nose pitch up, but the airplane was not climbing. The airplane then impacted the power pole and began to oscillate about its pitch and roll axes before the witness lost sight. It came to rest with all but its empennage in the building.

Examination revealed skid marks from the right main landing gear tire beginning about 2360 feet from the approach end of the runway. A mark from the left main landing gear tire began about 2480 feet from the approach end of the runway. Both marks were continuous from where first observed to the end of the runway and onto grass adjacent to the departure end of the runway. The parking brake handle in the cockpit, and the respective valve it controlled, were both found in the brake-set position.

September 3, 2021, Wadsworth, Ohio

KR-2S Experimental

At about 1016 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain during an apparent attempt to return to the departure airport shortly after takeoff. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After taking off at 1011, ADS-B data show the airplane proceeded about 2.5 miles to the southwest before a 180-degree left turn was executed back toward the airport traffic pattern. The airplane made a gentle left turn and paralleled the runway, consistent with the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for Runway 20. When the airplane was approximately abeam the approach end of Runway 20, it made a rapid descent to terrain.

September 3, 2021, Delta, Colo.

Cessna 182D Skylane

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1200 Mountain time during a forced landing. The solo pilot was not injured, nor were the parachutists who had jumped from the airplane earlier. Visual conditions prevailed.

The skydivers aboard had already egressed the airplane and the pilot was returning to land. At about 8000 feet msl (about 3000 feet agl), the engine stopped producing power. Troubleshooting the engine did not resolve the power loss, so the pilot performed a forced landing to a flat, open hay field. During the landing roll, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

September 3, 2021, Naples, Fla.

Raytheon 390/Beech Premier I

At about 1244 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a runway excursion while landing. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During landing, the pilot applied normal braking and the airplane began slowing down. Then the brakes “faded away,” and he was unable to stop the airplane. According to the pilot, every few feet during the rollout, the brakes, would grab, lock up for a few feet and then release, but were not slowing the airplane. As the airplane overran the end of the runway, the pilot steered it into the grass and away from a jet-blast fence.

September 4, 2021, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Luscombe 8A Master

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1430 Eastern time during an emergency landing, when its engine lost power shortly after takeoff. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff, at about 200 to 300 feet agl, the engine began operating rough, which included some surging, and then it lost power. The pilot attempted to land on Runway 5, which featured a 9- to 12-knot tailwind. The airplane touched down near the end of the runway and, realizing it would not stop before the end of the runway, the pilot turned to the right and exited the runway surface. The airplane entered a soybean field and nosed over, with substantial damage to the fuselage and vertical stabilizer.

September 6, 2021, Kingsley, Iowa

Cessna A185F Skywagon

At about 1515 Central time, the amphibious float-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage when it was force-landed after a loss of engine power. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, they departed with about 70 gallons of fuel aboard for the 2+45 flight, expecting a 17-gph fuel burn. When the airplane was about 25 miles from its planned destination, the loss of engine power occurred. Troubleshooting was unsuccessful and the pilot executed a forced landing to a corn field.

September 9, 2021, Provincetown, Mass.

Cessna 402C Businessliner

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1527 Eastern time during an attempted go-around. The airline transport pilot and six passengers aboard were seriously injured. The airplane was operated by Cape Air as a FAR Part 135 scheduled passenger flight. Instrument conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot was cleared for the ILS to Runway 7. Another Cape Air pilot was holding short of Runway 25, waiting for the accident airplane to land, and first saw the accident airplane as it was rolling out and was about halfway down the 3502-foot-long runway. The airplane then took off and entered a slow climb. The pilot holding short said the attitude of the airplane appeared normal, but it was climbing slower than he thought it should. The airplane cleared the localizer antennas at the far end of the runway, then the perimeter fence, before it struck trees. The airplane disappeared into the trees, and he then saw a ball of flames.

The airplane came to rest upright approximately 200 feet from its initial contact with the trees. A postimpact fire consumed portions of the left and right wings. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Weather observed at 1537 included wind from 210 degrees at 10 knots, visibility three miles in heavy rain and mist, a few clouds at 200 feet agl and an overcast ceiling at 500 feet.

September 1, 2021, Lasalle, Colo.

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP

At about 1100 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was force-landed following an engine power loss. The certified flight instructor pilot (CFI) and student pilot (SP) sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

While simulating an in-flight engine fire/failure, the SP established a glide and chose a location for an off-field emergency landing. At about 1000 feet agl, when the CFI determined that the SP would safely reach the chosen landing area, the CFI instructed him to apply power, commence a go-around and fly back to the airplane’s base. The engine did not respond, however, and the CFI’s attempts to restart it were not successful. The CFI declared an emergency and performed a 180-degree power-off turn to a different landing location. Upon landing, the airplane contacted a raised embankment and flipped over inverted, adjacent to a corn field and dirt road.

September 11, 2021, Baker, Nev.

Beech 35-B33 Debonair

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1300 Pacific time, when its pilot conducted an off-airport landing following engine failure. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Before the accident flight, a mechanic replaced the exhaust push rod for the No. 1 cylinder. The engine was ground-run at various power settings with no anomalies noted. The mechanic subsequently deemed the airplane safe to fly back to the pilot’s home airport. During the subsequent takeoff, as the landing gear was retracting, the engine lost all power. The pilot was able to extend the landing gear and make a forced landing to the open desert terrain. During the landing roll, the nose landing gear and right main landing gear collapsed.

September 12, 2021, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Cessna 177RG Cardinal RG

At about 1609 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses observed the airplane take off and noted the engine sounded rough. The airplane did not climb as expected and veered right of the centerline, then pitched up to a nose-high attitude and made an aggressive left bank consistent with the pilot attempting to turn back to the runway. The airplane’s wings turned nearly perpendicular to the horizon and then appeared to stall, with the left wing dropping toward terrain. The airplane came to rest about 830 feet from the end of Runway 14.

Examination of the disassembled engine revealed internal corrosion, fragmented piston rings in the Nos. 1 and 4 cylinders, and evidence of blow-by on all four pistons. All the intake valve lifters and the No. 3 exhaust lifter were severely spalled. The camshaft exhibited excessive wear on the cam lobes, including pitting and material deformation. The last oil sample submitted was not tested until after the accident; the associated report said there was “enough chrome to show a ring problem.”

September 12, 2021, Rhine, Ga.

Champion 8KCAB Xtreme Decathlon

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0930 Eastern time when it collided with trees. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness and friend of the pilot reported the pilot “buzzed” him and flew around for a second pass. During the second pass, the pilot descended the airplane below the tree line and started an aileron roll; however, about halfway through the roll the pilot stopped the maneuver, and the airplane flew straight into the trees at full engine power. Flight control continuity was observed from the flight control surfaces to the flight controls within the cockpit. Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

September 14, 2021, New Smyrna, Fla.

Zenith 750 Cruzer Experimental

At about 1200 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its pilot lost control while landing with a control system malfunction. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, he purchased the airplane on the day of the accident, intending to fly it to Tennessee. Shortly after departing, he “heard a very loud boom” and the airplane “jolted nose down and to the left.” The controls were locked, and the pilot could not move the control column. The pilot applied force to the controls and they subsequently moved and felt freed from binding. Two attempts to land back at the departure airport resulted in go-arounds as the controls locked and were freed multiple times. On the third landing attempt, when the airplane was about 10 feet above the runway, the controls locked again. The airplane pitched nose down and to the left, and the left wing contacted the ground, followed by the nose landing gear, which collapsed. The airplane then departed the left side of the runway, struck an embankment and came to rest inverted in a pond.

September 14, 2021, Charleston, S.C.

Hawker Beechcraft 400A BeechJet

The jet was substantially damaged at about 1230 Eastern time when an engine cowling departed the aircraft. The two pilots were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight crew reported performing a standard preflight inspection of the airplane, which had just been released from scheduled maintenance. The only discrepancy noted was a loose bolt on the nose cone, which was tightened by a mechanic prior to departure.

The subsequent flight was uneventful until the airplane was about 15 minutes from its destination. While descending through about FL210, the crew heard and felt a loud bang, shudder and yaw. There were no anomalies noted on any flight or engine instruments. The airplane landed without incident. During the post-flight inspection, the left engine cowling was missing. The fuselage and horizontal stabilator sustained substantial damage.

September 18, 2021, Wadsworth, Ohio

RANS S-20 Experimental LSA

At about 1845 Eastern time, the airplane, N6915G, when it apparently entered the vortices produced by a nearby helicopter. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

An airport surveillance video camera captured the accident sequence. A Sikorsky S-76 helicopter and the accident airplane were both using Runway 2. Shortly after the helicopter passed the airplane, the airplane taxied onto the runway and started its takeoff roll. Moments later, just after the airplane became airborne, the airplane rolled inverted and impacted the runway. A post-crash fire engulfed the airplane.

September 28, 2021, Hiles, Wis.

Rockwell Commander 690B

The airplane was destroyed at about 0900 Central time, when it impacted terrain. The pilot and both passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the aerial imagery survey flight.

Preliminary ADS-B data revealed the airplane departed Rhinelander, Wis, at about 0850. By 0858, the airplane began to level off at about 15,600 feet msl with a maximum groundspeed of 209 knots. Between 0858 and 0900, the airplane continued in level flight; however, its groundspeed decreased to about 93 knots. A witness, located about a mile from the accident site, reported hearing a “loud, strange sounding airplane.” He looked up and noticed an airplane “nose down at high rate of speed spinning about its longitudinal axis at about 30 to 60 rpm.” The witness lost sight of the airplane behind some trees and then heard an impact.


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