NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


October 1, 2021, Chandler, Ariz.

Robinson R22/Piper PA-28-181

At about 0740 Mountain time, the Piper airplane and Robinson helicopter collided in midair. The airplane sustained minor damage; the flight instructor and student aboard it were not injured. The helicopter was destroyed; its flight instructor and student were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Both aircraft were in parallel traffic patterns and in contact with ATC at the towered airport. The airplane was operating in a closed right traffic pattern for Runway 4R and had been cleared to land. The helicopter was operating in a closed right traffic pattern for Taxiway C, which was parallel to and to the right of Runway 04R, and had been cleared for the option. Shortly after the airplane turned final for Runway 4R, its flight instructor reported they felt and heard a loud bang, and declared an emergency, requesting tower personnel to visually check the Piper’s landing gear. On touchdown, the Piper veered left and came to rest between Runways 04R and 04L. The helicopter impacted terrain about 0.5 mile southwest of the approach end of Runway 04R. Recorded ADS-B data showed both aircraft appeared to be on a base-to-final turn when their flight paths intersected at about 0740:15 and 1400 feet msl.

October 2, 2021, Lamesa, Texas

Beechcraft B23 Musketeer

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1225 Central time when it was force-landed. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was on its first flight after unspecified maintenance had been performed. It was in the airport traffic pattern when the pilot reported an engine failure and declared an emergency. The pilot made a forced landing to a field just outside the airport’s perimeter. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing, and to its nose landing gear and propeller.

October 2, 2021, Oregon City, Ore.

Zenith STOL CH750

At about 1646 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged in an off-airport landing following engine failure. The pilot was not injured; the passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported the local flight was uneventful. Returning to land, he entered a left downwind for Runway 32. Shortly after turning final, the passenger smelled something burning. A few moments later, the engine sound changed for about five seconds, followed by total loss of power. The pilot was unable to make the runway and initiated an off-airport landing. During the landing sequence, the airplane impacted trees and terrain before it nosed over and came to rest inverted.

Warrensburg, Mo.

Tandem Airbike Experimental

The unregistered two-seat ultralight was destroyed when it collided with terrain. Both pilots aboard were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The front-seat pilot had recently purchased the aircraft and asked the rear-seat pilot to teach him how to fly it. On the day of the accident, a witness saw the airplane turning and then saw the left wing drop. The airplane entered a descent and impacted the ground. The witness stated there was no cessation of engine operation. Post-accident examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

October 3, 2021, Minot, N.D.

Sonerai II Experimental

At about 1620 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an attempted go-around. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident flight was the pilot’s first in the recently acquired airplane. On initial climb from Runway 31, the pilot noticed the engine temperature was just under its redline. After reducing engine power, the temperature dropped to normal and the pilot turned downwind and prepared to land. Subsequently, the pilot determined his approach was unstable and decided to execute a go-around. During the attempted go-around, engine output seemed low and what appeared to be engine oil on the windscreen obscured his visibility. Engine temperature had risen to over 500 degrees, with normal oil pressure.

The pilot decided to land the airplane instead. On final approach, a few feet from touchdown, the airplane stalled, dropped to the runway and bounced a few times. The pilot tried to recover by adding power, but the engine did not seem to respond. The airplane veered off the runway to the right, damaging the forward fuselage and empennage. Records provided by the pilot showed the airplane’s last flight was conducted in January of 1995. The most recent condition inspection was completed in September 2021.

October 3, 2021, Andrews, N.C.

Beechcraft S35 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed at about 1948 Eastern time when it apparently flew into terrain under control. The private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Although the departure airport was VFR in rain, it’s likely the accident site was experiencing night instrument conditions.

The pilot purchased the airplane in June 2021. He departed Liberty, Texas, with a likely ultimate destination of Lancaster, Penn. The pilot’s arrival at a presumed fuel stop in North Carolina included a go-around and making left traffic to a runway with a published right-hand pattern. The pilot added 60 gallons of fuel, received a preflight briefing from Leidos and filed an IFR flight plan.

Weather at the departure airport included scattered clouds at 1400 feet, broken clouds at 3200 feet and seven miles of visibility in rain. Preliminary ADS-B data indicate the flight departed Runway 8 and made a slight left turn toward the northeast. The last recorded data point showed the airplane at about 3750 feet msl in a 656-fpm climb at 98 knots, on a course of 042 degrees. The last ADS-B data point was about 500 feet laterally from the initial impact with pine trees at an approximate elevation of 3950 feet. Examination revealed the wing flaps were retracted; the landing gear was extended.

Takeoff minimums and procedures for the departure airport requires remaining within three nm while climbing in visual conditions to cross the airport westbound at or above 4900 feet msl, then a climb to 7000 feet on a westerly heading to a Vortac radial, and then to the Vortac, before proceeding on course. The procedure is not authorized at night.

According to a witness, the pilot had recently transitioned from a Piper Warrior equipped with fixed landing gear. Sunset was about 1917 and the end of civil twilight was 1941. 

October 4, 2021, Garberville, Calif.

Piper J3C-65 Cub

At about 1200 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it veered off the runway while landing and impacted a parked airplane. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot later reported that, as the tailwheel touched down, the airplane veered to the right. He applied power to abort the landing; however, the airplane exited the right side of the runway and impacted the unoccupied airplane. Examination revealed the airplane’s tailwheel would only pivot in one direction.

October 5, 2021, Thomson, Ga.

Dassault Fan Jet Falcon 20

The airplane was destroyed at 0544 Eastern time when it collided with terrain short of the landing runway. The captain and first officer were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 on-demand cargo flight.

At about 0537, after an uneventful flight from Texas, ATC cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 10 approach. According to surveillance video, the airport and runway lights were activated at about 0539. At about 0542, the accident airplane’s landing lights came into view and were visible for about two minutes. The video showed the airplane approaching Runway 10 in a relatively constant descent and heading. About 25 seconds before the airplane’s landing lights disappeared, a momentary right turn, followed by a left turn and increased descent rate, was observed. The landing lights disappeared at about 0544. The final ADS-B data point showed the airplane at 800 feet msl and 1.36 nm from the runway threshold. The airplane came to rest about 0.70 nm from the runway threshold. There was no post-crash fire.

Examination revealed the horizontal stabilizer and its jack screw were within a normal envelope. The flap selector was in the full-flaps (40-degree) position and the landing gear handle was selected down. Both engines exhibited impact damage; foreign object debris with the appearance of wood chips and green vegetation were observed inside them.

October 8, 2021, Atlanta, Ga.

Cessna P210N Pressurized Centurion

At about 1311 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed during an attempted takeoff. The pilot and the three passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Surveillance video revealed the airplane lifted off about 1000 feet down Runway 21 in a nose-high attitude, rolled left to an inverted attitude and impacted nose-first beside the runway. The cabin and instrument panel were consumed by a post-impact fire. The inboard trim-tab actuator rod correlated to five degrees tab down with the outboard actuator rod exhibiting a five-degree tab up position. The airplane had been converted to a Rolls-Royce turboshaft engine in July 2021.

October 8, 2021, Los Banos, Calif.

Beech B36TC Turbocharged Bonanza

The airplane was substantially damaged in an off-airport landing following engine failure at about 1900 Pacific time. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While cruising at about 10,000 feet msl, the engine lost oil pressure and its manifold pressure dropped. The pilot immediately diverted to a nearby airport. In the descent, the engine momentarily produced partial power, but then serious vibrations were experienced and the engine subsequently lost all power. During this time, the cockpit filled with smoke and fire, and sparks were observed emanating from the engine cowling. Unable to reach the divert airport’s runway, the pilot conducted a forced landing on a road. During the landing roll, the airplane struck an object, resulting in substantial damage to its wings.

October 10, 2021, Greenville, S.C.

Flight Design CTLS LSA

At about 1210 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its pilot deployed the airframe parachute following engine failure. The solo pilot received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the first after an annual inspection. About 18 miles south of his destination, engine oil pressure dropped to zero. The pilot turned toward a nearby airport and declared an emergency. The engine continued to run for a few minutes before it seized. Unable to reach the divert airport, the pilot turned toward an open clearing before deploying the airplane’s ballistic parachute at about 500 feet agl. The airplane came to rest in pine trees about 50 feet high. Examination revealed two engine oil hoses were disconnected.

October 11, Mesa, Colo.

Beech 58TC Turbocharged Baron

The airplane was destroyed at 0857 Mountain time when it impacted terrain. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions with 15-knot surface winds were reported nearby.

According to witnesses at the airport, this was the airplane’s first flight since an annual inspection had been completed. After adding 100 gallons of fuel, the pilot departed Runway 03 at about 0843 and proceeded northeast for about four nm, and then turned left to the north-northwest and continued climbing. At 0852, the pilot reported to ATC he was climbing through 11,000 feet msl to 14,000 feet.

At 0855:51, the airplane turned right and descended about 1000 feet, then climbed to 15,000 feet. At 0857:00, ATC asked the pilot, “Did you get an updraft, mountain wave out there? I’m showing you 800 feet high.” The pilot failed to respond. At 0856:26, however, the airplane began a rapid descent toward terrain. Although there was no active Airmet, Sigmet, Convective Sigmet, or Center Weather Advisory for the route of flight, the NTSB noted “the potential for light to moderate turbulence and mountain wave activity near the accident site.”

October 11, 2021, Santee, Calif.

Cessna 340A

At 1214 Pacific time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a residential street while attempting an ILS approach. The solo pilot and one person on the ground were fatally injured; two people on the ground sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed at the destination airport under broken and overcast cloud layers.

After an apparently uneventful flight from Arizona, ATC began vectoring the flight for the ILS Runway 28R approach at 1209:20. The airplane was level at 3900 feet msl. At 1211:19, ATC stated it appeared the airplane was drifting right of course, which the pilot acknowledged. Shortly, ATC canceled the approach clearance and issued a series of heading and altitude instructions, which the pilot acknowledged but seemed to have trouble complying with. At 1213:35, ATC issued a low-altitude alert and advised the pilot to expedite a climb to 5000 feet.

Preliminary ADS-B data show the airplane continued a right descending turn until the last recorded target, located about 1333 feet northwest of the accident site at 1250 feet msl. The debris path—consisting of various airplane, vehicle and residential structure debris—was about 475 feet long and 400 feet wide.

October 13, 2021, Blairsville, Ga.

Piper PA-24-260 Comanche 260

The airplane was destroyed at about 0816 Eastern time when it impacted terrain during initial climb. The instrument-rated private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

According to preliminary ADS-B data, the pilot departed Runway 08 at about 0815 and turned left to a heading of about 300 degrees, and then initiated a right turn before the data ended. The airplane impacted trees and terrain on a heading of 090 degrees about 1.5 nm north of the runway’s departure end.

Takeoff minimums and procedures for the departure airport require pilots to climb in visual conditions to cross the airport at or above 4500 feet msl before proceeding on course. Weather minimums for the climb in visual conditions were a 2700-foot ceiling and three miles of visibility. Weather at 0815 included a ceiling of 200 feet overcast with ¼ mile visibility in fog.

October 31, 2021, Chattahoochee, Fla.

Van’s RV-4 Experimental

At about 1320 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain after its canopy reportedly departed the airframe. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot took off from Tallahassee, Fla., at about 1303, with Monroeville, Ala., as the destination. After departure, ATC terminated radar services and approved a frequency change. Radar data show the airplane flew westbound for about 17 minutes before contact was lost. An off-duty highway patrolman was outside his residence when the airplane’s canopy fell into his yard. The canopy was about 1.5 miles from the main wreckage. The airplane came to rest in a wooded area at the end of a 550-foot-long debris path oriented about 220 degrees magnetic. The debris path included all major portions of the airplane, except the canopy.



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