NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


December 2, 2022, Falmouth, Mass.

Mooney M20J 201

At about 1504 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it contacted terrain short of the intended runway. The private pilot was fatally injured; the commercial pilot in the right seat was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the NTSB, the commercial pilot “was not the pilot-in-command but was double checking everything during the flight. On short final, she asked if the sun was in the flying pilot’s eyes, and he said ‘Yes.’ She adjusted the sun visor, looked down for a GUMPS check, and when she looked up, she knew they were going to hit the trees. She believed the pilot couldn’t see because of the bright sunlight at the time of the approach. She stated that the engine was running fine, and they had no flight control anomalies at the time of the accident.”

December 3, 2022, Venice, Fla.

Piper PA-28-151 Warrior

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1938 Eastern time when it struck the Gulf of Mexico shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Recorded ADS-B data show the airplane lifted off Runway 23 at 1937:44, with an 88-knot groundspeed. The airplane accelerated to 90 knots and climbed to about 50 feet agl/msl. The airplane climbed as high as 75 feet and accelerated to 94 knots before descending. The final ADS-B data point showed the airplane at zero feet and 109 knots about 1800 feet beyond the departure end of Runway 23.

December 4, 2022, Cleburne, Texas

Cessna 210-5 205

At about 2056 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it struck terrain shortly after takeoff. The instrument flight instructor and the airline transport pilot aboard were fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The flight’s initial ATC clearance was to fly a 090-degree heading and climb to 3000 feet msl. After takeoff from Runway 15 at about 2055, ADS-B data show the airplane turning right and climbing as high as 1775 feet msl. After 90 degrees of heading change, a rapid descent began as the airplane continued turning. The last ADS-B data point showed the airplane at about 1275 feet msl (505 feet agl). The airplane impacted terrain on a 340-degree ground track in a right-wing-low attitude. A witness later stated the airplane’s engine sounded as if it was operating at a high power setting.

December 5, 2022, Corning, Iowa

Ercoupe 415-C

The airplane was destroyed at about 1238 when it collided with a tree and electrical wires before impacting terrain. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier in the day, an annual inspection of the airplane was completed before the pilot took off to return to the airplane’s home base. A witness observed the airplane approach the destination’s Runway 36 at low altitude and high speed. There were no witnesses to the accident; evidence revealed the airplane struck a 50-foot-tall tree and electrical wires about 600 feet beyond the departure end of Runway 36 before the main wreckage came to rest about 300 feet beyond the tree and wires.

The pilot’s student pilot certificate was issued April 5, 2018. The airplane’s maintenance records showed it had flown about 35 hours since the pilot purchased it in 2018. According to the maintenance facility at the departure airport, when the pilot delivered the airplane for its annual inspection, a flight instructor was flying with the pilot.

December 5, 2022, Yukon, Okla.

Beech F33A Bonanza

At about 2116 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain shortly after liftoff. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Recorded ADS-B data show the airplane began its takeoff roll at 2115, lifted off and began to climb, reaching about 425 feet agl before descending to about 275 feet and turning slightly left. It then entered a climb to about 450 feet agl and turned back to the right. The right turn continued as the airplane transitioned to a descent, which continued to the end of the data. The main wreckage came to rest about 1300 feet south and 200 feet east of the departure end of Runway 35L, facing 255 degrees.

December 8, 2022, Covington, Ga.

Beech A36 Bonanza

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1810 Eastern time when it was force-landed on a road following engine failure. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Dusk visual conditions prevailed. 

After leveling off at 5500 feet msl, the occupants heard a loud bang from the engine and observed sparks from the cowling as the engine lost power. The airplane’s Garmin Smart Glide mode was engaged and, as designed, the autopilot pitched the airplane up to fly the airplane’s best-glide airspeed. The system then advised there were no airports within gliding range.

The autopilot was disconnected and the right-seater hand-flew the airplane, declared the emergency and began looking for a landing area. They maneuvered the airplane for landing to the south on a section of roadway that appeared to be straight. After lowering the landing gear, they flashed the landing and taxi lights off and on to alert oncoming traffic. Soon after, the left-seater extended the flaps and the airplane’s left wing impacted a tree growing over the roadway. The airplane touched down on the road and heavy braking was applied. Almost simultaneously, the right wing impacted a stop sign, pulling the airplane into the right lane, where it impacted an intersection sign, before coming to rest in a ditch. Examination revealed a large-diameter hole in the engine crankcase adjacent to the #4 cylinder.

December 12, 2022, Carrollton, Texas

Mooney M20K 231

At about 2005 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was force-landed on a road following engine failure. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

While being vectored for an ILS approach to the destination airport, the engine lost power and the propeller “automatically feathered.” The pilot’s attempt to restart the engine was unsuccessful and he aligned the airplane with a road for a forced landing. During the approach to the road, the airplane impacted a utility pole, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. A detailed engine and airframe examination was pending.

December 13, 2022, Kellyton, Ala.

Mooney M20B

The airplane was substantially damaged at 0925 Central time when it impacted trees and terrain following a loss of engine power. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Marginal visual conditions prevailed; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.

At 0918, while en route at 6000 feet msl, the pilot declared an emergency, reporting to ATC the engine was running rough and requesting to divert to the nearest airport. Shortly after turning toward a nearby airport, the pilot reported the engine was again producing power but he wanted to continue to the divert airport. The controller assisted the flight until radio and radar contact were lost at 0925, when the airplane was about 5.8 nm from the divert airport.

A witness reported hearing tree branches breaking and looked up to see the airplane upright and level, but not generating engine noise. Video showed the airplane impacting trees before rolling inverted and descending nose-first to the ground.

The propeller exhibited minimal chordwise rotational scoring on the face sides; one propeller blade exhibited aft bending. The engine control levers were in their full forward position. The fuel selector was positioned to the right wing fuel bladder. Examination of the wing fuel bladders revealed significant fuel in the left bladder and no fuel in the right one.

December 15, 2022, Kaupo, Hawaii

Beech C90A King Air

At about 2114 Hawaii-Aleutian time, the airplane impacted the Pacific Ocean under unknown circumstances and sank. The airline transport pilot, flight paramedic and flight nurse were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the aeromedical positioning flight. An IFR flight plan was in effect.

The flight departed Maui at 2053. After a series of altitude and heading changes, at 2112, ATC cleared the flight to fly direct to the initial approach fix (IAF) for the RNAV (GPS) 4 procedure at the destination. At 2113:22, ATC asked the pilot to verify he was flying direct to the IAF as cleared. The pilot replied, in part, “Uhh, 13GZ is off navigation here…we’re gonna…we’re gonna give it a try.” The controller then acknowledged the pilot’s last statement and instructed him to turn right to a 170-degree heading and to maintain 8000 feet msl. At 2113:43, the accident pilot is believed to be heard saying, “Hang on.” There were no further communications with the accident flight.

A witness flying in the area observed the accident airplane descending to 8000 feet msl and continued watching its position lights. As the airplane continued southbound, it began a right turn and then entered a spiraling right descending turn, which steepened as the descent increased. The witness watched the airplane continue to descend until it impacted the water.

On January 9, 2023, the wreckage was located at a reported depth of about 6420 feet. The pilot, flight paramedic and flight nurse, plus a majority of the wreckage, were recovered January 10.

December 16, 2022, Brooksville, Fla.

Cessna R172K Hawk XP

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1515 Eastern time when its pilot lost directional control after landing. The solo private pilot sustained a minor injury. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the NTSB, the pilot had conducted a “normal” landing to Runway 09 when the airplane started veering to its left during the landing roll. The pilot attempted to maintain directional control but without success. It departed the left side of the runway, struck a ditch, nosed over and came to rest inverted. Weather observed at the time of the accident included winds from 020 degrees at four knots. Post-accident examination revealed the nose wheel had separated from the nose gear fork assembly, which was fractured. Pieces of the fractured fork assembly were collected from the runway and forwarded to the NTSB’s materials lab for examination.

December 22, 2022, Santa Monica, Calif.

Cessna 150A

At about 1518 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Pacific Ocean surf. The pilot sustained minor injuries; the passenger was fatally injured. 

Earlier, the airplane felt “sluggish” to the pilot during ground operations. He taxied back to his hangar to check tire pressures. Although the sluggishness was not resolved, a “successful” runup was conducted and the pilot took off, following the coastline northwest. Four minutes later, at 1025 feet agl and about 70 mph, the pilot heard a noise and turned back toward the departure airport. Unable to glide back to the airport, the pilot performed a forced landing to the shoreline. The airplane touched down in shallow water and then nosed over onto its back.

December 26, 2022, Annapolis, Md.

Piper PA-28-151 Warrior

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1015 Eastern time during a forced landing following an engine power loss. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the NTSB, the pilot’s preflight inspection was unremarkable except that he noticed “some” frost on the airplane and performed de-icing “per requirements.” Taxi, runup and takeoff operations were normal. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot noticed airspeed was decreasing below 60 knots without any changes to pitch attitude or power setting. The pilot pushed the nose down to gain airspeed and executed a forced landing to a partially frozen creek.


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