NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


May 1, 2022, Huntsville, Ala.

Van’s RV-7A Experimental

At about 1705 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain short of the intended runway. The pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane departed Dallas, Texas, at 1328 and climbed to about 10,500 feet msl on an easterly course. Two hours and 48 minutes later, altitude, heading and groundspeed began large deviations. The airplane circled right and left east of Huntsville for about 30 minutes before flying a low approach over Runway 9 at a nearby airport. The airplane then made a left 180-degree turn and flew west about eight miles before turning back and descending again toward the airport. The airplane impacted terrain about 200 yards short of Runway 9 and came to rest inverted. 

May 1, 2022, Toms River, N.J.

Cessna 172N Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1820 Eastern time when it collided with terrain after an engine failure. The flight instructor and student pilot had no injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

During approach and landing practice, the student applied full power for a go-around, but the engine did not respond. The flight instructor took control and tried to land on a runway, but the airplane settled onto a grassy area, collided with a fence and came to rest inverted. Both pilots egressed the airplane. Examination revealed the outer right wing was bent down 90 degrees.

May 2, 2022, Connellsville, Penn.

Cessna 414

At about 1550 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it departed the end of the runway during an aborted takeoff. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries; the passenger was seriously injured. The flight was operated as a post-maintenance test flight. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot, who was also a mechanic, reported he had uninstalled and reinstalled the autopilot mode control unit due to a discrepancy; the flight was to evaluate the autopilot’s performance. When the airplane reached liftoff speed, the flight controls would not move, even with both hands on the yoke. The pilot pulled both throttles to idle and applied maximum braking but the airplane rolled off the runway and down a ravine before colliding with trees and terrain.

Examination revealed an avionics mounting rack was conflicting with the elevator bellcrank. There was no evidence that supporting straps were installed to hold the rear portion of the avionics rack level.

May 2, 2022, Seneca, S.C.

Grumman American AA-1C T-Cat/Lynx

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1800 Eastern time when it lost all engine power shortly after takeoff. The pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the first flight after the airplane’s annual inspection and installation of two magnetos.

The pilot later reported the airplane had “plenty of fuel” and the run-up was normal. Shortly after takeoff from Runway 23, the engine lost all power. The pilot’s next recollection was waking up in the hospital.

The airplane impacted a wooded residential area about ¼ mile from the departure end of the runway. A witness reported the airplane “was low” and the engine stopped suddenly with “no backfire.” First responders reported an odor of fuel at the accident site. Examination revealed the fuel selector did not display a detent or “click” when positioned to the left fuel tank. The selector’s position before the accident could not be determined. Both magnetos produced spark on all towers, and magneto-to-engine timings were within specifications. 

May 3, 2022, Altha, Fla.

Cessna 172

At about 1700 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it was unable to gain altitude after takeoff. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured; two other passengers were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the airport manager, the flight departed with full fuel tanks. The pilot was in the left front seat and was local to the area. The non-pilot airplane owner was in the right front seat. According to surveillance video and witnesses, the airplane lifted off and immediately pitched to a high angle of attack at slow speed. It then proceeded past the departure end of Runway 36 and began a left 270-degree turn. The airplane proceeded eastbound without an appreciable climb rate and crossed the departure end of Runway 36, and then descended out of sight behind a hangar, impacting the ground. A post-crash fire ensued.

May 6, 2022, Tybee Island, Ga.

Cirrus Design SR22

The airplane descended into the Atlantic Ocean at 0844 Eastern time, presumably after its solo private pilot became incapacitated and suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane departed Lexington, S.C., at about 0738. It turned south, climbed to about 4000 feet msl and was cleared for the RNAV GPS approach to Runway 17 at Barnwell Regional Airport (BNL), Barnwell, S.C., with ATC asking the pilot to report the “FATSU” waypoint. The pilot acknowledged the request but did not subsequently report passing the waypoint. The airplane overflew Runway 17 at BNL at about 2200 feet msl and continued to fly another 113 miles on a 170-degree heading. Fifteen miles out over the Atlantic Ocean, it began to slow and descend briefly. Then, when passing through about 1500 feet msl, the airplane entered a left-arcing descending turn with a corresponding increase in groundspeed. The last target was observed at 0844 as the airplane descended through 75 feet msl.

May 6, 2022, Sausalito, Calif.

Van’s RV-10 Experimental

At about 1210 Pacific time, the airplane collided with terrain while maneuvering. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Although visual conditions were widespread, witnesses report fog and restricted visibility near the accident site.

The airplane departed Sacramento, Calif., at about 1129 and climbed to about 5500 feet msl on a southwesterly heading. It then entered a descent over San Pablo Bay as it flew toward San Francisco Bay. Beginning at 1152, the pilot made numerous requests of ATC, including for a “Bay Tour” while en route to his destination of Half Moon Bay, Calif. Each time, the pilot was instructed to remain clear of Class B airspace.

The airplane approached the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge at about 1205. During the next five minutes, the airplane made a series of turns at various altitudes below 2100 feet msl near the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The track ceased at 1209:41, about 1700 feet south of the accident site at approximately 850 feet msl.

Two witnesses about 0.6 nm east of the accident site around the time of the accident reported low visibility and a thick fog layer; one witness stated she could not see the top of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, which extends 746 feet above the water and was about 0.8 nm southeast of the accident site. The accident site was discovered at an elevation of about 800 feet msl.

May 8, 2022, Grasmere, Idaho

Comp Air 8 SS52 Experimental

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1419 Mountain time when it collided with terrain under unknown circumstances. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Preliminary data show the airplane departed Boulder City, Nev., at 1122. The airplane tracked north-northeast at between 11,000 feet and 13,000 feet msl. At about 1339, the airplane began a descent and at about 1357, turned east. At about 1410, the last radar return showed the airplane’s altitude was about 6200 feet msl at a groundspeed of 121 knots. Subsequently, the airplane impacted hilly terrain at an elevation of about 5780 feet msl. The FAA issued an Alert Notification for the missing airplane after the pilot made a distress call.

May 9, 2022, Lehighton, Penn.

Diamond DA42 Twin Star

At about 1145 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing when its pilots were unable to restart an engine after simulated one-engine-inoperative flight. The flight instructor, student pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While conducting a simulated engine-out drill, the pilots followed the checklist and secured the right engine. During the drill, the airplane descended “a few hundred feet.” Using the checklist, they then initiated the restart procedure, which “took some time to complete.” They slowly increased manifold pressure to keep shock cooling to a minimum, and as they advanced the throttle, it became apparent that the engine was not producing power and the propeller was only windmilling. They then performed the checklist again in an attempt to restore engine power, but without success.

At this point the airplane had descended to the ridge tops, and the flight instructor elected to perform a forced landing to a field. The touchdown was smooth and under control, but the airplane then slid into a ditch crossing the field and nosed over.

May 11, 2022, Broomfield, Colo.

Cessna 172N Skyhawk

The airplane was destroyed at about 1235 Mountain time when its pilot apparently lost control in the traffic pattern. The solo pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

After a local flight to a nearby airport followed by performing some flight maneuvers, the airplane returned to its base airport. The pilot performed one approach to Runway 12R and remained in the traffic pattern. The local controller instructed the pilot to widen his downwind leg before turning base for Runway 12R, due to traffic landing on Runway 12L. The controller then changed the landing to Runway 12L and cleared the pilot to land. The pilot performed a right turn to the base leg, and after being established on final for Runway 12L, the airplane abruptly turned north and rapidly descended, impacting an intersection about ½ nm northwest of the approach end of Runway 12L. A post-impact fire ensued.

May 11, 2022, Athens, Ga.

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche 250

At about 1853 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it encountered terrain short of the intended runway after its pilot reported complete engine failure. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and sought instruction to familiarize himself with the RayJay turbocharger system before flying home to Texas. Two days before the accident, the engine was not developing full power and manifold pressure was low. Maintenance personnel found a loose wire was grounding one of the magnetos. The next day, engine performance had improved, but it was still not producing adequate power. Maintenance personnel subsequently cleaned, gapped, tested and reinstalled the spark plugs and adjusted the mixture; manifold pressure increased to 26 inches Hg. 

On the day of the accident, the airplane departed Louisburg, N.C., at about 1619 and flew generally southwest at between about 4000 to 5000 feet msl for about two hours and 20 minutes. About 23 nm east of Athens, Ga., the airplane completed two circles to the right and then continued in a gradual descent toward Athens.

About seven miles east of the Athens airport, the pilot contacted ATC and was instructed to land on Runway 27. About a mile from the runway, the pilot declared an emergency and stated he had lost all engine power. The last track data was observed at 1852 as the airplane descended below about 200 feet agl. The airplane came to rest about ¾ of a mile from the approach end of Runway 27.

Examination revealed the right magneto failed to produce spark and its hold-down nuts would grind when rotated; when disassembled, the shaft was off center due to impact.

May 14, 2022, Miami, Fla.

Cessna 172H Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1251 Eastern time when it was force-landed on a bridge following reported loss of engine power. The pilot was fatally injured, two passengers were seriously injured and five people on the ground received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight departed Hollywood, Fla., at 1238, destined for Key West, Fla., but initially headed east to the shoreline for sightseeing. At 1248, when the airplane was southbound along Miami Beach at about 1200 feet msl, the pilot transmitted a Mayday call and shortly told ATC he was putting the airplane down on a bridge. 

The airplane touched down on the Herman B. Fultz Bridge in a northbound direction, with the left main landing gear tire and right main landing gear tire straddling the raised concrete median. It then struck a vehicle from behind on the northbound side, crossed over the median and struck another vehicle from the front, which was traveling on the southbound side, before it nosed over and came to rest on the northbound side of the bridge, facing southbound. The airplane traveled about 318 feet after striking the first vehicle before it came to rest. A post-crash fire ensued.

Examination revealed the fuel selector valve handle was destroyed by the fire. The valve was positioned between the both and right tank detents.

May 15, 2022, Monroe, La.

Cessna 421C Golden Eagle

At about 1320 Central time, the airplane experienced control system difficulties immediately after takeoff. The pilot and five passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After departure, the pilot heard a “loud pop” and the control yoke began oscillating violently. He declared an emergency and proceeded to a nearby airport for its longer runway and emergency services. The control yoke continued to oscillate until the airplane was on final approach. The pilot landed the airplane without further incident.

Examination revealed the right elevator had mostly separated from the horizontal stabilizer. There was a small puncture on the right side of the elevator. A small inboard, forward portion of the elevator remained attached. A review of the airplane’s maintenance logbooks revealed that the elevator trim system was re-rigged two days earlier.

May 17, 2022, Cleburne, Texas

American Aviation AA-1A Trainer

The airplane was substantially damaged in an apparent stall/spin accident at about 1751 Central time. The student pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed. 

Earlier, the student pilot had flown a passenger to a nearby airport and back. He departed solo at about 1734. About five miles south of the airplane’s base, he made a left turn at about 200 to 300 feet agl to the west of his house while on a southerly heading and at a groundspeed of about 70 knots. The airplane subsequently turned right and flew to the west of the pilot’s house, also at about 200 to 300 feet agl, on a northerly heading with groundspeed of about 90 knots. The airplane continued turning right and then rapidly descended. Witnesses reported very strong and gusty wind from the south at the time of the accident.

The airplane impacted a grassy field in a nose-down attitude with minimal forward momentum. Both wings were crushed and the tail section was twisted slightly to the right of the fuselage when viewed from the rear. Two propeller strike ground scars were located immediately in front of the wreckage.


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