NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


January 23, 2023, Provo, Utah

Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300

At about 1135 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted takeoff. The pilot sustained fatal injuries, two passengers were seriously injured and one passenger sustained minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed.

A witness reported the accident airplane was hangared until 1055, when it was pulled outside and fueled. He estimated its pilot started engines around 1110 or 1115, about the same time light snow began to fall.

The fueler later reported observing unfrozen water droplets on the wings. After parking the fuel truck, the fueler noticed the accident airplane start its takeoff roll appearing to “pull up steep” and roll to the left before the left wing impacted the ground. Additional witnesses observed the accident airplane take off, climb to about 20 to 30 feet agl and then both wings wobbled “back and forth.” The airplane banked right and then “hard left” as the left wing struck the ground.

January 4, 2023, New Harmony, Utah

Piper PA-34-220T Seneca V

The airplane was destroyed at about 1456 Mountain time when it collided with rugged, obscured terrain. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed. 

Preliminary ADS-B data show the accident airplane took off at about 1441, proceeding northeast and climbing to 10,000 feet msl before beginning a series of climbs, descents and turns. The last 15 seconds of data show the airplane in a climbing left turn to 7525 feet msl about 2000 feet west of the accident site. The airplane collided with terrain in a ravine at an elevation of 6600 feet msl, about 200 feet below the surrounding ridgeline.

Multiple witnesses reported that the mountain range was obscured with clouds. A pilot-rated witness heard a low-flying airplane go over her house and reported cloud bases in the area of between 200 and 300 feet agl at the time, with surrounding terrain completely obscured.

January 5, 2023, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cessna 182M Skylane

At about 1220 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was force-landed after the engine became unresponsive. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Approaching the destination, the pilot observed another aircraft in the area that posed a possible conflict. He elected to perform a 360-degree turn at about 500 feet agl to increase spacing. The airplane was configured with 10 degrees of flaps extended, 13 inches of manifold pressure and with carburetor heat on. Entering the 360-degree turn, he increased power to 17 inches and held altitude. About halfway through the 360-degree turn, he attempted to add more power but the engine did not respond. With little altitude or time to restart the engine, he executed a forced landing to a field. During the landing, a propeller blade and the firewall were damaged. 

The pilot later stated the airplane had about 38 gallons of fuel aboard, with the fuel selector positioned to both tanks. After the accident, the engine started normally and idled smoothly. A magneto check was performed at 1500 rpm, with about a 75-rpm drop on each magneto. Carburetor heat was activated and indicated a drop in rpm when applied.

January 6, 2023, Fayetteville, Ark.

Beechcraft M35 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed at 1753 Central time when it collided with trees and terrain under unknown circumstances. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, the accident airplane had flown a 153-nm cross-country flight to deliver two passengers. The accident flight was the return, which began at 1649 and was conducted mostly at 4500 feet msl. At 1746, when the airplane was about 18 miles from its destination, it began a descent averaging about 425 fpm. At 1752:22, the airplane entered a left turn from an altitude of about 1875 feet msl, or about 600 feet above the destination airport’s field elevation.

A witness heard the airplane, reporting its engine sounded as if it was losing power but then “revved up really high.” This cycle occurred three or four times over a span of 10–15 seconds. The engine subsequently seemed to stop; however, he was unsure if the airplane had simply descended behind a ridgeline. He did not hear the impact, nor did he see the airplane.

January 7, 2023, Suffolk, Va.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At about 1213 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain after an apparent engine problem. The pilot/owner and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot obtained his private pilot certificate on November 29, 2022. He owned the accident airplane and contacted a mechanic on January 1, 2023, advising of excessive rpm drop during a magneto check and requesting evaluation. On January 4, the mechanic replaced three spark plugs and reinstalled the others. Later that day, the pilot performed an engine run-up but the problem was not resolved. The mechanic told the pilot the airplane could not be flown until he had time to work on it some more, which most likely would be no sooner than Monday, January 9.

Instead, on January 7, a witness observed the airplane in a “nosedive,” emitting two trails of black smoke, before it impacted terrain and was mostly consumed in a  post-crash fire. The airplane had not been released from maintenance for the engine anomaly.

January 7, 2023, Kent, Wash.

Quad City Challenger II E-LSA

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1318 Pacific time when it impacted two storage structures, coming to rest on a roof. The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot-rated passenger had recently purchased the airplane and hired the front-seat pilot to fly it to another airport. The pilot later reported that a preflight and flight-control check were satisfactory. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot realized the airplane “just wanted to turn right and would not turn left,” according to the NTSB. About this time, the pilot-rated passenger/owner in the rear seat noticed the rear control stick was positioned to the left and the left aileron was in the neutral position. 

Preliminary ADS-B data show the airplane making multiple descending right turns over the accident site location. Security videos from the storage facility show the airplane in a nose-down, right-wing-low attitude before impacting the buildings.

January 11, 2023, Dayton, Va.

Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga SP

At about 1809 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain. The solo non-instrument-rated private pilot was fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed at the accident site.

Earlier, the pilot flew the accident airplane from Alabama to Winchester, Virginia. A passenger was dropped off, the airplane was refueled and the pilot departed on the return flight at about 1739. At 1741, the pilot requested and received flight-following services from ATC and climbed to 6500 feet msl. At about 1803, the pilot advised ATC he was going to descend to 5500 feet for a few minutes. The controller acknowledged the altitude change. No further radio transmissions were received from the airplane. At about 1810, the controller broadcast that radar contact was lost.

The accident site was located early the following morning at an approximate elevation of 4000 feet msl. Examination revealed the propeller blades exhibited leading-edge damage and S-type bending consistent with high engine rpm. Weather recorded at 1755 about 13 miles southeast of the accident site at an elevation of 1165 feet included visibility of seven statute miles and a broken ceiling at 3800 feet. Sunset occurred at 1715; the end of civil twilight was at 1745.

January 11, 2023, Auburn, Neb.

Cessna 150H

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1924 Central time when it collided with terrain under unknown circumstances. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane departed Lincoln, Nebraska, at about 1845, climbed to 3500 feet msl and proceeded southeast. About six miles northwest of its presumed destination, the airplane began descending. The last ADS-B data point at 19:22:26 showed the airplane about 1.1 miles west of that airport at 105 knots groundspeed and about 1900 feet msl/1000 feet agl. The airplane impacted a farm field on a southeasterly heading about 1.2 miles south of the Runway 34 threshold at the destination, coming to rest upright. The initial impact point included depressions in the field of all three landing gear, with the nose landing gear axle and nose landing gear steering rods found nearby.

January 12, 2023, Dawsonville, GA

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180

At about 2017 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it struck terrain after an apparent loss of control. The solo non-instrument-rated private pilot was fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed.

According to FBO personnel at the departure airport, KCNI, the pilot arrived via rental car at about 1600 and requested that his airplane be fueled. The FBO was unable to fuel the airplane at that time due to heavy rain and lightning nearby, and discussed with the pilot his plan to take off in poor weather and at night. The pilot stated he had an international flight scheduled the next day, departing from Washington, D.C., and asked, “After the rain passes it should be fine, right?” After further discussion, the FBO staff booked a local hotel and provided the airport gate code in case the pilot wanted to access his airplane before the FBO opened the next morning.

The pilot returned to the airport later in the evening after the FBO had closed and fueled the airplane from the self-service pump. Preliminary ADS-B data show the airplane departed KCNI’s Runway 23 at 2005 that evening. The airplane flew various headings to the east-northeast and reached a peak altitude of about 7200 feet msl. In the final two minutes of flight, the airplane began to descend, entering a series of tight turns before it entered a rapidly descending spiral. The airplane impacted wooded terrain at an elevation of 1250 feet msl about 14 miles northeast of KCNI.

January 13, 2023, Wasilla, Alaska

Taylorcraft BL-65

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1545 Alaska time during a precautionary off-field landing. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. 

After a heavy snowfall, the forward fuel tank cap was found dislodged, allowing snow to accumulate into the tank. During his preflight check, only a small amount of water was found in the forward fuel tank. After takeoff, the engine began to run rough, so he made a precautionary landing on a remote road and found additional water in the tank. The pilot’s mechanic then traveled to the airplane, drained fuel from the carburetor, and test-ran the engine. The pilot then took off from the road but the engine began to run rough again. The pilot again landed on the road but the right wing impacted a street sign and the airplane came to rest in a ditch.

January 16, 2023, Kingfisher, Okla.

Piper PA-32-301T Turbo Saratoga

At about 1242 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain in a near-vertical attitude for unknown reasons. The  pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight.

Cellphone video shows the airplane trailing back smoke before it rolled over and dove into terrain, followed by a post-impact explosion. According to the NTSB, “The accident flight was the first flight after the airplane had undergone maintenance including the installation of a new autopilot system and an annual inspection.” All tail surfaces were intact except for impact damage to the right stabilator tip. Except for breaks consistent with impact damage, control-cable continuity from the cockpit to all control surfaces was confirmed.

January 17, 2023, Yoakum, Texas

Piper PA-46-350P JetProp DLX

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1039 Central time when it collided with terrain short of the runway while performing the RNAV (GPS) Runway 31 instrument approach. The pilot and copilot, plus two passengers were fatally injured. One passenger sustained serious injuries. Information on weather conditions was contradictory.

Preliminary ADS-B data indicate the airplane was on about a one-mile final to the destination airport after flying the approach when it turned to the right, descended and impacted terrain, coming to rest upright about 1.5 miles southeast of the destination airport.

January 18, 2023, Middlefield, Ohio

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain

At 0903 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was landed long during a one-engine-inoperative landing. The airline transport pilot and five passengers were uninjured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 non-scheduled passenger flight. An IFR flight plan had been filed.

As the airplane climbed through about 6000 feet msl in IMC, the pilot observed oil leaking from the right engine nacelle. When the airplane had climbed to roughly 7400 feet msl, the pilot noted a loss of right engine power. He secured the engine, declared an emergency and requested to divert to the closest airport. The pilot successfully completed an approach to the divert airport, touching down in the landing runway’s “first one-third” at “about 120 knots with zero flaps.” The airplane overran the departure end of the runway, coming to rest upright about 600 feet beyond the runway.

January 19, 2023, North Castle, N.Y.

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza

The airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during an engine-out emergency landing. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. Low instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed. 

The flight departed John F. Kennedy International Airport (KJFK) for Cleveland, Ohio, and was in initial climb at 1718:31 when the pilot informed ATC he had a “dead cylinder” and requested to divert. The controller vectored the airplane toward While Plains, N.Y. (KHPN). At 1725:13, while northeast of KHPN at 4500 feet msl, the pilot broadcast, “mayday mayday mayday mayday.” The controller informed the pilot that KHPN was behind the airplane and to turn left or right as necessary. The flight turned southwest at 1725:54, descending to 3600 feet. The pilot was cleared to land at 1727:49, with ATC providing the direction and distance to KHPN, which the pilot acknowledged during his last transmission at 1728:23. The airplane at that time was about 1.6 miles from KHPN at 800 feet. At 1728:43, the controller transmitted that radar contact was lost. Examination revealed fresh oil on the bottom of the fuselage and a hole in the crankcase at the #6 cylinder. A deformed connecting rod cap with two fractured and entrapped connecting rod bolts was found inside the engine.


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