NTSB Reports: November 2020

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


August 1, 2020, Seiling, Okla.

Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow III/V

At about 0130 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an aborted takeoff attempt. The pilot and three passengers were not injured.

The pilot later reported confirming takeoff weight was below the maximum and adequate fuel was aboard. He calculated the airplane required 1700 to 1800 feet of the 2435-foot-long runway then held the brakes and applied full power before beginning the takeoff roll. He noticed vibration from the engine, though, and aborted the takeoff. Unable to stop, the airplane ran off the end of the runway, over a road and into trees.

August 1, 2020, Sumter, S.C.

Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1000 Eastern time after an engine failed at low altitude. The pilot and co-pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the geological survey flight.

Two hours into the low-level survey mission, the pilots switched from the inboard fuel tanks to the outboards. After 1.5 hours on the outboard tanks, the left engine started “surging” and rapidly lost power. The airplane began to lose altitude and soon had descended below tree-top level. The PIC took control and turned to a field just ahead of them. The airplane stalled just above the ground, with the right wing contacted the ground first. During the crash sequence, side windows shattered and the right outboard fuel tank exploded, igniting a post-impact fire. Both pilots egressed through the rear door.

Examination revealed both engines had separated from their wings but neither showed signs of producing power at impact. The left outboard fuel tank was completely full of fuel; the left inboard tank was empty. The right wing and the fuselage were destroyed by fire.

August 1, 2020, Bentonville, Ark.

Cessna T206H Turbo Stationair

The pilot reported landing “flat” and the airplane “bounced.” After a second “bounce,” the pilot initiated a go-around, but the nose landing gear contacted the runway a third time and the nose wheel “blew out.” The airplane veered to the left, exited the runway pavement and nosed over, sustaining substantial damage. The pilot observed no anomalies during the preflight inspection. A flight instructor who witnessed the accident stated the airplane remained in a “nose-down pitch attitude” until the nose wheel contacted the runway, which caused the airplane to “bounce.”

August 1, 2020, Dunnellon, Fla.

American Aviation AA-5 Traveler

The airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain at an unknown time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. At 1527, the pilot texted his girlfriend, saying he was going to “fly a couple laps” around the traffic pattern. When the girlfriend did not hear back from the pilot, a search was initiated and the airplane was located the following morning less than a mile west of the airport in heavily wooded terrain.

According to the airplane’s co-owner, the airplane had not flown in 14 years and was “in pieces” when purchased. The airplane was partially assembled by the pilot, who did not hold an FAA mechanic certificate but wanted to get the airplane ready for a formal annual inspection. The airport manager said the pilot had flown the airplane a few times, including on July 14, when the pilot took off and landed numerous times. During that flight, the airplane struck a runway light and sustained a tail strike.

August 1, 2020, Honesdale, Penn.

Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II

At about 0750 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted takeoff after a loss of control. The pilot and four passengers were not injured.

After releasing the brakes for the takeoff, the airplane began veering to the left, which right rudder did not correct. About halfway down the runway and not yet at liftoff speed, the airplane was near the runway’s left edge; the pilot attempted to get airborne by pulling back on the control wheel. He felt the tail “bump” and noted the airplane was off the left side of the runway. The airplane subsequently came to rest in grass with the nose landing gear collapsed.

August 2, 2020, Alabaster, Ala.

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche

The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured when the airplane failed to maintain altitude and descended to the ground at about 1010 Central time, shortly after takeoff.

Following an uneventful takeoff roll, the student rotated and raised the landing gear selector. The airplane then yawed to the right toward a line of trees. The instructor took the controls and attempted to correct with left rudder and aileron inputs; however, altitude could not be maintained and the airplane descended to the ground. After touchdown, the landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest against a fence and trees.

August 2, 2020, Cedar City, Utah

North American Navion

At about 0839 Mountain time, the airplane struck a communications tower and terrain, sustaining substantial damage. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Radar data depict the airplane taking off at about 0815 and proceeding north. Several witnesses heard the pilot make a distress call, saying they were out of gas and were trying to land in a field. Two other witnesses observed the airplane descending prior to impact with terrain. Shortly thereafter, a nearby communications tower collapsed. All major components were located at the accident site. A support cable from the tower was observed wrapped around the front of the airplane’s nose.

August 5, 2020, Miami, Fla.

Piper PA-25 Pawnee

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1333 Eastern time when it lost power and was landed off-airport. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the banner-towing operation.

The pilot picked up a banner at 1302 and climbed to 1300 feet msl, then began maneuvering over his operating area at varying altitudes. He checked the carburetor heat system multiple times, by applying it for 15 to 30 seconds and noting a 100-rpm drop. At the south end of his operating area, the pilot made a position report on the air-to-air advisory frequency that the flight was at 1100 feet, turning to the north and descending to 700 feet. As he applied carburetor heat before beginning the descent, engine rpm dropped to between 1000 and 1200. Remedial actions did not restore engine power. Ensuring no boats were nearby, he dropped the banner in the water and maneuvered for a forced landing on a road, colliding with a fence during the landing roll and coming to a stop beyond it. Examination revealed adequate uncontaminated fuel aboard the airplane and its engine started and idled during a post-landing test.

August 8, 2020, Englewood, Colo.

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II

While demonstrating a short-field approach followed by a touch-and-go, the flight instructor was unable to correct for a quartering tailwind and the airplane landed sideways on the left main landing gear. He later stated that, “[the landing] felt a bit unusual, but the approach had been stable and the landing wasn’t that bad….” After the airplane took off, its landing gear would not retract.

After troubleshooting and declaring an emergency, the flight instructor landed the airplane with an unsafe landing gear indication. After touchdown, the left main landing gear collapsed and directional control was lost. The airplane impacted taxiway lights and came to rest upright adjacent to the runway. Examination revealed overload damage at the left main landing gear attachment point.

August 14, 2020, Gober, Texas

Czech Sport Aircraft SportCruiser LSA

At about 0800 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when the pilots deployed its airframe parachute. The flight instructor and student pilot were both seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilots, they were conducting stall recovery training at about 2000 feet agl when the airplane entered a stall from which they were unable to recover. The ballistic recovery system was deployed, and the airplane impacted terrain in a nose-low attitude.

August 14, 2020, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1718 Eastern time when it caught fire shortly after landing. The pilot/owner received minor injuries; the other pilot aboard was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After about an 80-minute flight, the two returned to the departure airport and landed. During the landing roll, the pilot opened the airplane’s gull-wing door and instantly heard “a swish of air enter the cabin,” followed by a flash of fire that came forward from the rear cabin. Both occupants jumped out of the airplane as it continued down the runway and into the grass, where it came to rest upright. A majority of the fuselage and engine were consumed by fire.

August 14, 2020, Harlowton, Mon.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At about 1235 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted takeoff. The pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, he performed a short-field takeoff at the airplane’s maximum gross weight. Shortly after lifting off, airspeed decreased and the airplane descended, touching down and nosing over in a pasture about one mile west of the airport. The pilot later reported the engine’s power had declined over the months prior to the accident but the A&P who inspected it two days before the accident could find nothing wrong. The pilot reported the engine did not malfunction, yet he affirms that “the engine was not providing as much power as it should have.”

August 16, 2020, Osage Beach, Mo.

Cirrus SR22

The airplane was destroyed at about 1320 Central time during an attempt to return to the departure airport shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

Witnesses observed the pilot “flooding the engine” during startup to the point fuel was observed coming out of the engine cowling and down the nose wheel. Black smoke was coming out of the engine compartment after the engine started and before the airplane taxied, and during takeoff. Several witnesses said the engine did not sound normal. After takeoff, the pilot transmitted the CTAF frequency that he was returning to the airport. The airplane entered a left turn back to the airport at about 100 feet above the trees and then descended steeply to the ground. The wreckage was mostly consumed by post-impact fire.

August 17, 2020, Savannah, Ga.

Cessna 182P Skylane

During a preflight inspection, the pilot observed wrinkled skin on the right-side fuselage near the engine firewall. A local mechanic believed it to be minor damage and the pilot continued to his destination. Upon arrival, another mechanic noted that the damage appeared to be more serious and a ferry permit was requested. The damage was determined to be substantial and the ferry permit was denied. The pilot stated the damage appeared to be from a landing with the nose gear touching down first, but he did not recall any unusual or hard landings during his previous flights.

August 17, 2020, Groton, Conn.

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca

At about 2236 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a house while its pilots maneuvered after an engine lost power. The flight instructor and pilot undergoing instruction (PUI) sustained minor injuries. An occupant of the house sustained throat irritation due to fuel smell. Visual conditions prevailed.

Abeam the numbers with the landing gear down and 10 degrees of flaps, the PUI began to descend while turning onto the base leg. The flight instructor heard an engine sputter and verified the controls were in the proper position. The engine sputtered again and he “felt the [airplane] jerk” and took the controls. He verified the engine controls were full forward and retracted the flaps but left the landing gear extended. He verified the right engine was malfunctioning but did not feather it until he noticed a high descent rate. While maneuvering for a landing on a street, the airplane struck the house.

August 26, 2020, Peyton, Colo.

Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion

The airplane was destroyed at about 1137 Mountain time when it crashed after a loss of control while turning from base to final. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to a pilot following the accident airplane in the traffic pattern, it flew an extended downwind leg and overshot the runway while turning final. The accident airplane increased its bank during that turn to final and pitched up. Another witness saw the airplane’s wings “wiggle,” then the airplane nosed down and impacted terrain, sliding on the ground from its initial impact point to its resting point and subsequently catching fire. Examination revealed the wing flap jack screw position was consistent with retracted flaps.

August 28, 2020, Pembroke Park, Fla.

Rockwell 500S Shrike Commander

At about 0902 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a building. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight departed Pompano Beach at about 0852, then flew south-southwest just offshore. At about 0858, when the flight was about 13 nm northeast of the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, it contacted ATC for landing. One minute 49 seconds later, a pilot aboard the accident airplane advised that the flight had an engine problem and would divert to a different nearby airport. A witness heard the engines accelerating and decelerating, then change to a popping sound. Witnesses on a golf course north of the accident site reported the airplane flying in a westerly direction with no observed engine sound. The airplane collided with a storage building in a densely populated area, then fell to the parking lot.

August 29, 2020, Lawrenceville, Ill.

Cirrus SR22

The airplane was destroyed at about 0123 when it collided with trees during an instrument approach. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The flight had departed Tampa, Fla., at about 2046 Eastern time the previous day and landed at Sullivan, Ind., about 0026 Central time for fuel. At 0111 Central time, the pilot departed on an IFR flight plan for Lawrenceville, Ill., about 22 nm to the south. At about 0117, the airplane began a descent toward the destination and was cleared for the approach. When the pilot’s IFR cancellation was not received, an alert notice was issued for the airplane. Poor weather delayed search and rescue efforts. The airplane was located by search and rescue personnel at about 0730.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here