NTSB Reports: November 2021

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


August 2, 2021, Amado, Ariz.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At about 0925 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following engine failure. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While in cruise, the airplane engine developed a sudden and severe vibration, then quit altogether. The pilot initiated a forced landing but his approach was too fast and he opted to land in a field on the other side of a tree line and fence. The airplane’s right wing clipped one of the trees and it subsequently landed hard, collapsing the nose landing gear. Examination revealed the right wing had impact marks and embedded tree twigs in its leading edge, while the its main spar had separated at the wing root.

August 2, 2021, Waxhaw, N.C.

Cessna 172E Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1259 Eastern time when it failed to climb after takeoff. The pilot and two passengers received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

After liftoff, the airplane became airborne and gained roughly 50 feet as the pilot maintained its best rate of climb speed, but the airplane failed to climb higher. The pilot momentarily slowed to best angle of climb speed but the airplane still wouldn’t climb. All indications were that the airplane’s engine was developing full power.

The pilot managed to touch down on a lawn beyond the runway and then turned left to avoid trees. At that point, the airplane nosed over and came to rest nose down, leaning against a tree. Field elevation was 602 feet and ambient temperature was 84 degrees F.

August 2, 2021, Sterling, Alaska

Stinson 108-1

At about 1458 Alaska time, the  airplane was substantially damaged when it failed to climb after takeoff. The private pilot and three passengers were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported that the takeoff roll took longer than normal, but the airplane seemed to climb normally with one notch of flaps until reaching about 100 feet agl. At that point, the airplane began descending into trees off the departure end of the runway. A video of the takeoff showed the airplane lift off from the runway in a three-point attitude and continued with its nose high. About six seconds after takeoff, the airplane began to descend, still in a nose-high attitude. The windsock indicated a slight right quartering tailwind.

August 2, 2021, Rushville, Neb.

Cozy MK IV Experimental

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1554 Mountain time when it was force-landed following engine failure. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

After takeoff, the pilot noticed all four cylinder head temperatures (CHTs) were higher than they should have been. The CHTs never stabilized and never decreased after takeoff. The pilot attempted to reduce CHTs with the throttle and mixture, but they kept rising and the pilot decided to return to the departure airport. After turning back, CHTs continued rising until the engine ceased producing power. During the subsequent forced landing to an open grass field, the nose and main landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest on its fuselage. Outside air temperature was 91 degrees F and the airplane’s airspeed was about 130 knots after the takeoff.

August 3, 2021, Jeffersonville, Ind.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III

At about 1115 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a runway excursion while landing. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While performing touch-and-goes, the sixth approach and landing were normal, with the airplane touching down on the main landing gear with the engine at idle. The airplane was slightly left of centerline and began drifting right. The student and flight instructor both attempted to correct for the right drift without success. The airplane went off of the right side of the runway, with the right main landing gear striking a runway light and separating from the airplane.

August 3, 2021, Iron Mountain, Mich.

Cessna 172

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1120 Central time when it taxied behind a regional jet undergoing an engine test. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

At the end of a local flight, the pilot taxied toward parking. As the Cessna passed about 200 feet behind a parked Bombardier CRJ-200, mechanics aboard the CRJ-200 were not aware of the Cessna and increased engine power during a maintenance test. The jet blast from the CRJ-200 lifted the Cessna’s tail, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing and strut.

August 4, 2021, Starkville, Miss.

North American T-6G Texan

At about 1520 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain under unknown circumstances. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Radar data show the airplane engaging in a series of maneuvers after it took off and flew to the south-southwest. The final radar return was recorded at 1518 about 0.15 mile west of the accident site. A witness saw the airplane, which was low, disappear behind some trees before an impact was heard. Ground scars and wreckage were consistent with a steep angle through trees before impact with terrain.

August 5, 2021, Ketchikan, Alaska

de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

The float-equipped airplane was destroyed at about 1050 Alaska time when it collided with terrain. The airline transport pilot and five passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions for the FAR Part 135 on-demand sightseeing flight were reported nearby.

The airplane departed on the accident flight at about 0939 with 55 gallons of fuel. According to a satellite-based tracking system, it landed on a lake at about 1018, and then took off again at 1027, en route to its base. The last satellite tracking system transmission from the airplane was at 1048; the airplane was at 1730 feet msl on a ground track of 261 degrees true. At about 1050, the airplane’s emergency locator transmitter signal was heard, and the accident side was located at about 1120.

The airplane initially impacted a tree about 435 feet from the main wreckage location; the left wing’s outboard section was located at the base of the tree. All other major components were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to remaining flight control surfaces. Fuel was noted in the line from the firewall to the engine. The propeller blades exhibited bending and chordwise scratching in several locations.

Other pilots flying in the area on the morning of the accident stated there were low clouds—600-800 feet agl—in the valley where the accident occurred. Pilots assisting with the search and rescue efforts reported that the weather was overcast and the mountain tops were obscured.

August 7, 2021, Victoria, Minn.

Mooney M20M TLS/Bravo

At about 1740 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it apparently broke up in-flight while maneuvering for an ILS approach. The private pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed.

After being cleared for the approach and while about 9.5 miles from the runway threshold on final approach, the airplane tracked left of the ILS course and descended below 2700 feet msl before transitioning to a right turn and descending below 2500 feet msl. A low-altitude alert was triggered, which the pilot acknowledged. The airplane subsequently made an abrupt left turn and entered a rapid descent, during which radar contact and communications were lost.

Several witnesses heard loud popping noises and observed the airplane in a rapid descent with both wings “folded up.” Security video near the accident site revealed the airplane was upright at ground impact, with both wings deflected up toward a vertical position. Examination of the wreckage revealed both had separated from the fuselage, with both wings’ main and rear spars fractured outboard of their respective main landing gear. The left horizontal stabilizer and left elevator were found about 720 and 800 feet southwest of the accident site, respectively.

August 9, 2021, Hiddenite, N.C.

Diamond DA42 Twin Star

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1335 Eastern time when its crew reportedly experienced a jammed pitch control. The flight instructor (CFI) and a private pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After completing several maneuvers and simulating emergency procedures, the two initiated a simulated left engine fire and emergency descent. The left engine was shut down, with its throttle, propeller and mixture controls fully closed. During the descent, the attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) failed and the CFI directed the private pilot to recover “gradually and easily” at 3500 feet msl and maintain 90 knots as the AHRS displayed a message that it was aligning/calibrating.

The CFI had noticed the airspeed had increased through 100 knots and altitude had decreased to about 3000 feet when the private pilot stated, “I can’t pitch up.” About this time, the right engine—the only one operating—began to sputter. The CFI took control, moved the mixture, propeller and throttle controls for both engines fully forward, and ensured the landing gear and flaps were up. However, he also was unable to increase the pitch and stop the descent, later reporting “it felt as if we were unable to fully pull the control stick back, as if it were restricted preventing full movement.” Both engines regained power, but he felt they “were not producing normal operation power.” After selecting a landing area, the CFI kept his hands on the control stick as the private pilot lowered the landing gear and added full flaps for landing. Subsequently, the airplane touched down nose-low in a soybean field, impacted a ditch and skidded to a stop.

Initial examination established flight control continuity. The manual elevator trim wheel indicated a slight nose-down setting. The autopilot circuit breaker was found pulled and collared. Both wing tanks contained fuel and no oil spray was observed on the engine cowling or fuselage.

August 9, 2021, Ocklawaha, Fla.

Pitts Model 12 Experimental

At about 1335 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it reportedly struck the surface of a lake. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness’s video showed the airplane in an inverted flat spin, followed by a nose-down spin to water contact. The pilot and passenger were wearing parachutes. The pilot was observed exiting the airplane at a low altitude but the video did not capture the parachute deploying before water contact. Examination established flight control continuity from the cockpit to the rudder and elevator. The throttle control was full forward and the propeller control was mid-range. The propeller remained attached to the engine, but all three propeller blades were separated at the hub.

August 11, 2021, Helena, Mon.

Cessna 425 Conquest I

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 0900 Mountain time after both engines failed. The pilot and two passengers sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

At 0847:35, while in cruise at FL240, the pilot told ATC an engine had flamed out and requested a descent. The pilot opted to divert. At 0857:15, with the airplane at about 7900 feet msl, the pilot reported that the right engine experienced a loss of power. At 0859:02, the pilot reported the airplane was going to collide with trees. The airplane came to rest with the right wing and empennage severed from the fuselage. The pilot reported filling the fuel tanks before takeoff with an additional 207 gallons of fuel and that the airplane had flown about 10 hours since its annual inspection in March 2021.

August 21, 2021, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Gulfstream G-IV

At about 1340 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its nosegear assembly failed during takeoff. The four crew members and 10 passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After a routine taxi to the runway, the PIC initiated the takeoff. He recalled that the normal callouts were made and nothing was abnormal until the airplane reached about 100 knots, at which point he felt a “terrible shimmy” that “progressively got worse and worse.” He initiated an aborted takeoff with braking and thrust reversers, and it seemed the airplane was slowing. However, it veered off the runway and the right main landing gear struck a concrete slab holding approach lighting equipment before coming to a stop. The SIC and a jumpseat occupant reported substantially similar accounts.

The airplane came to rest in a sandy grass area about 200 feet to the right of the runway centerline. Examination found several items of debris. Proceeding in the direction of the takeoff roll, the first component located on the runway was a pin that is normally seated in the nose landing gear torque link. About 1315 feet from the main wreckage was the bulk of the nose landing gear assembly, including the trunnion and truss, both tires and the lower scissor link.

August 24, 2021, Del Mar, Calif.

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1200 Pacific time when its engine failed and it was landed on an Interstate highway. The flight instructor and private pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane had just come out of its annual inspection and was being flown back to its base. As the airplane cleared a tier of the local Class B airspace and the pilot initiated a slow climb, the engine began to surge, sounding like “the throttle was cycling between open and closed.” The pilot declared an emergency, ensured that the auxiliary fuel pump was on and turned toward a racetrack. All electrical power was lost at this time. The pilot determined that he could not safely land on the racetrack and elected to land on Interstate 5 instead. During the landing sequence, the airplane struck several vehicles, which caused substantial damage to its wings.

August 28, 2021, Windthorst, Texas

Cessna 320E Skyknight

At about 1934 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was landed off-airport following an engine failure. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot had recently acquired the airplane and was flying it to his home airport. He departed with full fuel tanks. About 20 minutes after takeoff, the pilot detected a loss of power on the right engine. Activating the electric boost pump restored power for a brief time, but then the engine again lost power. The pilot shut down and feathered the right engine and decided to divert to a nearby airport but was not able to maintain altitude and performed a forced landing to a field. The left engine continued to operate until he reduced power for the forced landing. During the off-airport landing, the airplane struck trees.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here