NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


November 4, 2021, Decatur, Ga.

Cessna 172A

At about 0947 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was landed off-airport following engine failure. The solo student pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff and while flying at 1500 feet msl, the student noted the engine began running rough, followed by a total loss of engine power. The student pilot pitched the airplane for best glide airspeed and declared an emergency with ATC, and subsequently executed a forced landing to a four-lane road. The airplane stuck powerlines, however, and came to rest inverted. Examination revealed a hole in the engine crankcase above the #6 cylinder.

November 5, 2021, Harrison, Mich.

Van’s RV-6 Experimental

The airplane was destroyed at about 0937 Eastern time when it collided with terrain under unknown circumstances. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to ADS-B data, the  airplane departed Pontiac, Mich., at 0846 and climbed to 3000 feet msl. It then proceeded on a northwesterly heading until data was lost at about 0930. The last ADS-B position was about 8.4 miles and 260 degrees from the accident site, itself located about one mile south of the approach end of Runway 36 at a second airport. The airplane struck the ground in about a 45-degree, nose-low attitude, with all major airframe components still connected. One propeller blade was broken off near the hub. Neither blade was splintered and both were predominately intact.

November 5, 2021, Rock Hill, S.C.

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche

At about 1926 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain as its pilot attempted to manually extended the landing gear. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane, and his first flight in the type was earlier that day. Before that flight, he spoke with a mechanic to discuss the airplane’s “fuel tanks,” according to the NTSB. He purchased 35.78 gallons of fuel at 1620. 

At 1838, he called the mechanic again to report he was attempting to land at his destination but the landing gear circuit breaker kept popping. The pilot began to circle south of the destination airport as the mechanic provided guidance on the manual gear extension process. Several calls were dropped, but the final call began at 1913. While on that call, and at 1926, the pilot stated, “I gotta add some power” before that call was dropped. The airplane impacted a wooded area about four nm south of the destination airport and came to rest upright. All major components were located at the accident site.

November 7, 2021, Kodiak, Alaska

Wag-Aero Sportsman 2+2 Experimental

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1405 Alaska time when its pilot apparently lost control and impacted terrain. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was transporting hunting gear to a remote off-airport landing area near Saltery Cove. Numerous witnesses observed the airplane’s takeoff and reported it made a steep right turn, the nose dropped and the airplane entered a spiraling descent until impact. None of the witnesses reported any unusual sounds from the engine. Surveillance video showed the airplane impacted terrain in a right-wing low, near-vertical attitude, and came to rest about 25 feet from the initial impact point.

November 8, 2021, Villa Rica, Ga.

Mooney M20F Executive 21

At 1257 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The solo airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight’s purpose was to “warm up the oil” for an oil change and compression check as part of an annual inspection. The airplane took off at 1253:49. Preliminary ADS-B data show the airplane departed the traffic pattern area and flew about two miles north. Then it flew west for about a mile before entering a spiraling left descent and impacting a wooded area about 3.3 miles from the airport at 1257:23.

In the final 10 seconds of the accident flight, the airplane’s groundspeed decreased from 62 knots to 45 knots, and then back to 62 knots before decreasing to 43 knots. Groundspeed then increased to 84 knots before the data ended about 80 feet from the accident site. There were multiple trees near the main wreckage that did not exhibit any impact damage. There was no odor of fuel at the accident site.

November 9, 2021, Sarasota, Fla.

Piper PA-28-151 Warrior

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1605 Eastern time when it was ditched in a bay adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The solo student pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Returning from a round-trip cross-country flight, the pilot entered the traffic pattern and was turning from the downwind to base leg with a 10-degree flap setting when he noticed the throttle was stuck at 2000 rpm. After turning final and extending the flaps to 25 degrees, he realized the descent rate was too great and that the airplane was not going to reach the runway.

He completely retracted the flaps and loosened the throttle friction lock to restore power but was unsuccessful. To avoid houses at the approach end of the runway, he turned right and ditched the airplane. The airplane was subsequently recovered and examined. The throttle cable was jammed inside its housing.

November 11, 2021, Branchville, N.J.

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP

At about 1048 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain under unknown circumstances. The flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Flight track data show the airplane took off from Caldwell, N.J., at about 1030 and flew predominately in a northwesterly direction as it climbed, reaching about 6400 feet msl before entering a steep, descending left turn that continued until the flight track data was lost. The airplane came to rest in a wooded area; all major components were present. Flight control continuity was observed from the primary flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls. Initial examination of the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would preclude normal operation.

November 13, 2021, Beaver Island, Mich.

Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1349 Eastern time when it impacted terrain short of the intended runway. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured; one passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 air taxi flight.

The airplane departed at 1332 for the 27-nm flight and cruised at 1500 feet msl. About three nm from the destination, it began a descent and maneuvered toward a straight-in approach to Runway 35. Its ADS-B data ended about 0.24 nm south of the accident site, which was about 110 feet east of the extended centerline and 320 feet south of the runway threshold. Evidence indicated the airplane struck the ground in a left-wing-low, nose-low attitude. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident scene.

November 14, 2021, North Las Vegas, Nev.

IAI 1125 Westwind Astra

At about 1315 Pacific time, the business jet was substantially damaged when it overran the runway while landing. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported to first responders that he remained in the traffic pattern during the flight. He said the nose landing gear indicator was intermittent when the landing gear was extended prior to landing, so he aborted the first landing and reentered the pattern for a second attempt. Security video shows the airplane touching down with its landing gear fully extended and about 1500 feet of runway remaining. The airplane’s thrust reversers were not deployed. The airplane rolled off the end of the runway and continued over terrain until impacting a culvert, when the landing gear separated and the airplane came to rest.

November 14, 2021, Boulder City, Nev.

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1423 Pacific time when its right main landing gear failed to extend and the pilot landed with the undercarriage partially deployed. No one was injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

“A couple of days” after the airplane emerged from a paint shop and was test-flown, the pilot and a passenger departed on the accident flight. Approaching the destination, the right main landing gear would not extend. The pilot cycled the landing gear and made several abrupt and high-G maneuvers to try remedying the problem, but it would not extend. The pilot decided to land with the left main landing gear and the nose landing gear extended, which caused the airplane to depart the right side of the runway, coming to rest over a small ditch and sustaining substantial damage.

The pilot confirmed the right main landing gear was retracted, with the landing gear door open one or two inches. Climbing into the ditch below the wing, the pilot pulled hard on the main gear door a couple of times before the gear suddenly dropped down into place. The landing gear door control rod bolt had separated near its strut attachment, leaving the threaded portion in the bolt hole. The separated bolt head remained attached to the landing gear with safety wire.

November 15, 2021, Rockport, Texas

Beech A36TC Turbocharged Bonanza

At about 0745 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage when it was ditched following apparent fuel exhaustion. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the airplane held 70 total gallons of fuel before takeoff: 20 gallons in each wing tip tank, and 15 gallons in each main tank. The cross-country flight was estimated to require 45 minutes. Shortly after departure, the pilot switched the fuel selector from a main tank to the left tip tank. About 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot noticed fuel being “sucked out of both the left and right main [tank] gas caps.” At that time, the pilot was about halfway to the destination, and he decided to continue.

About 30 miles from landing, the pilot switched to the left main fuel tank. At 1200 feet agl and about four miles from the runway, the engine “sputtered a couple of times and quit completely.” The pilot switched to the right main fuel tank, which indicated half-full, and attempted an engine restart. The restart was unsuccessful, and the pilot switched back to the left main fuel tank, which also indicated half-full. Realizing the airplane was not going to make it to the runway, the pilot ditched it into Copano Bay, 1.5 miles short of the destination airport.

November 15, 2021, Abilene, Texas

Beech 23 Musketeer

The airplane was substantially damaged when it was landed in trees following apparent fuel exhaustion. The flight instructor received serious injuries and the student pilot received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

On the morning of the accident, the flight instructor added 4.19 gallons of fuel to the right fuel tank for a total of 30 gallons in it and 15 to 17 gallons in the left tank. The first instructional flight lasted 1.1 hours, during which the airplane’s fuel burn was estimated to be eight gph. About an hour into the second instructional flight of the day, during takeoff after a touch-and-go landing and at about 500 feet agl, the engine lost power. Unable to restore power, the instructor and student made an emergency landing to an area of trees.

Examination revealed the fuel tanks were breached and there was no sign or smell of residual fuel at the accident site. The fuel line from the fuel pump to the carburetor was void of fuel. The carburetor bowl was intact, but its position in the wreckage precluded its examination at the accident site.

November 15, 2021, Boyne City, Mich.

Beech E-90 King Air

At about 1245 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain short of the runway on an instrument approach. The airline transport pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect.

Once established on the final approach course, the airplane’s groundspeed gradually slowed from 129 to 88 knots over a period of one minute. Its last recorded location showed the airplane was 3.3 nm east of the Runway 27 threshold, at about 1500 feet msl (800 feet agl), and slightly left of the approach course. The airplane impacted terrain about 600 feet west of the last recorded location. Broken tree limbs indicated a descent angle of about 70 degrees.

Two witnesses heard the airplane fly overhead, followed by a loud thud. The witnesses observed very heavy sleet with low visibility conditions around the time of the accident. An Airmet for icing was valid for the accident location.

November 24, 2021, Grove City, Penn.

Cessna T210R Turbocharged Centurion

The airplane was destroyed, and the pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured, at 1746 Eastern time after the flight reported a loss of engine power. Visual conditions prevailed.

About two hours into a flight from White Plains, N.Y., to Akron, Ohio, the owner/pilot diverted to a Pennsylvania airport after reporting an “oil pressure issue.” Witnesses at the divert airport reported the pilot requested six quarts of oil and stated he thought the oil dipstick had not been properly secured. A witness further stated the airplane was “covered in oil,” which was present on the empennage, lower fuselage and engine cowl. The pilot and passenger cleaned the airplane with rags, serviced the engine with new oil and elected to resume their flight.

During the subsequent engine startup, one of the witnesses, who was also a helicopter mechanic, heard the airplane engine making “abnormal cracking and popping” noises. The pilot then taxied to the end of the runway and departed without performing an engine run-up.

About 15 minutes after takeoff, the pilot reported to ATC that the airplane was experiencing a loss of engine power. After ATC pointed out a nearby airport, communication and radar contact were lost. The airplane impacted trees and steep terrain about 1.5 miles from the approach end of the divert airport’s runway.

The engine showed evidence of heat and impact damage “but was relatively intact.” The #5 spark plug had a damaged electrode and was covered with oil. The #3 and #2 spark plugs were covered with oil. Two holes were observed in the top of the engine crankcase. One was forward of the #5 cylinder and about two inches in diameter. The second hole was located adjacent to the #4 cylinder and was about three inches in diameter. The #4 cylinder’s connecting rod was separated from the crankshaft. The #5 piston was fragmented. The two through-bolts connecting cylinders #4 and #5 were missing nuts on the right side of the engine. The two through-bolts that connected cylinders #2 and #3 were missing nuts on the left side of the engine. The two through-bolt nuts on the aft side of the #1 cylinder displayed a 0.0625-inch gap.


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