NTSB Reports: October 2021

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


July 1, 2021, North Pole, Alaska

Cessna 170B

At about 1500 Alaska time, the airplane was destroyed during a takeoff attempt. The pilot and three passengers were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness observed the airplane take off and climb to about 100 feet above trees on the departure end of the runway. The airplane then made a sharp left turn. The left wing impacted a tree and the airplane descended into terrain. The airplane sounded normal throughout. The airplane came to rest upright and was destroyed in a post-crash fire.

July 1, 2021, Lamoni, Iowa

Cirrus Design SR22

The airplane was destroyed at about 0755 Central time during an apparent aborted landing attempt. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Several witnesses observed the airplane bounce during the attempted landing, followed by an increase in engine noise. The airplane veered left and pitched up, and then descended and “tumbled on the ground into a bean field” adjacent to the runway. A post-crash fire ensued.

July 1, 2021, Missoula, Mon.

Cessna 172R Skyhawk

At about 1149 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it apparently flew into terrain under control. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to ADS-B data, the airplane proceeded southwest after takeoff at 1141 and turned to a westerly heading at about 1743, at an altitude of 3850 feet msl. The last recorded ADS-B target was at 1147:19, with the airplane at 5225 feet msl and 68 knots groundspeed. The airplane came to rest about three miles southwest of the last ADS-B target, at an elevation of 4664 feet msl.

July 1, 2021, Wichita, Kan.

Piper Aerostar 600

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1920 Central time when it apparently ran out of fuel and was landed off-airport. The solo commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

When about five miles from his destination, the pilot told ATC he was experiencing engine trouble. He then shut down the right engine to preserve the remaining fuel and make it to the airport. According to the NTSB, the “airplane was unable to continue with powered flight with just the left engine operating.” The pilot performed a forced landing to a muddy wheat field about 2.5 from the destination. Examination revealed the fuel gauges showed “a zero indication. There was no evidence of fuel at the accident site or in the airplane.”

July 2, 2021, Roff, Okla.

Beechcraft 35-33 Debonair

At about 0225 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Unknown weather conditions existed at the accident site.

The airplane earlier had flown from Ada, Okla., to Ardmore, Okla. At about 2200, it took off and flew toward Ada, then turned around and landed back at Ardmore at about 2253. At 0211, the airplane took off again, headed for Ada. Its altitude varied between 1000 and 2000 feet msl, climbing to 3000 feet once and then descending. Shortly before the flight track ended, it apparently entered a left turn, its groundspeed fluctuating. The last radar data point was about 0.20 miles northwest of the accident site with the airplane in a left turn at 102 mph. The airplane impacted trees and terrain. A nearby resident heard the noise but did not observe anything. The resident noted weather conditions were “very foggy and misty, with low visibility.”

July 3, 2021, Aspen, Colo.

Beechcraft G36 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed at about 1838 Mountain time when it collided with terrain. The two pilots aboard were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Prior to takeoff, the pilots rejected an IFR clearance requiring a climb to 17,000 feet, opting instead to climb VFR over the airport and proceed “once we see what’s going on.” As the flight climbed through 10,100 feet, the pilots informed the tower that they would depart to the east, stating “we’re above it,” and the controller approved a frequency change. The flight continued to the east and southeast and soon approached a ridgeline topping out at over 13,000 feet. Tracking data indicated the airplane was at 11,500 feet msl as it approached the ridgeline, then it dropped off radar.

July 6, 2021, Ashtabula, Ohio

T-51D Mustang Experimental

At about 1445 Central time, the homebuilt airplane was substantially damaged during an aborted takeoff attempt. The pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot intended to perform fuel flow and fuel indicator checks on the newly built airplane. After takeoff, while climbing through 200 feet agl, the engine lost power. The pilot noticed the engine computer circuit breaker had tripped, but an attempt to reset it was unsuccessful. He nosed over the airplane to land on the remaining runway but the left main landing gear collapsed and the airplane ground looped.

July 6, 2021, Manteo, N.C.

Piper PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1508 Eastern time after its engine lost power and the pilot turned back to the departure airport. The airline transport pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Just after retracting the landing gear, the pilot noted a loss of thrust. Remedial actions restored power, albeit with a brief interruption, but the pilot was able to climb and turn back toward the departure airport. He landed about midfield, at the intersection of Runways 35 and 23, aligned about 35 degrees off the heading for Runway 35. The airplane rolled into a grassy area and its nose landing gear collapsed.

July 10, 2021, Longmont, Colo.

 Cessna 421C Golden Eagle

At about 0920 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a takeoff attempt. The pilot and three passengers received minor injuries. 

After the airplane lifted off from the runway, the pilot didn’t feel that the engine(s) were making full power. The airplane settled back onto the runway, and then rolled off the departure end, coming to rest upright. A small post-crash fire developed. Substantial damage was noted to the airplane’s fuselage and wings.

July 10, 2021, Wikieup, Ariz.

Beechcraft C90 King Air

The airplane was destroyed after its airframe apparently failed at about 1255 Mountain time during its aerial reconnaissance and supervision mission in support of firefighting aircraft. The pilot and Air Tactical Group supervisor were fatally injured. Flight conditions included smoke from nearby wildfires. 

The airplane had been on-station for about 45 minutes over the area of the Cedar Basin fire, flying multiple orbits at about 2500 feet agl. The last radar data point showed the airplane’s airspeed about 151 knots, its altitude about 2300 feet agl and descending, and its location about 805 feet east southeast of the accident site. A witness observed the airplane in a steep dive before it impacted a ridgeline in mountainous desert terrain. A post-crash fire ensued. The left wing was located about 0.79 miles northeast of the main wreckage; it did not sustain thermal damage.

July 13, 2021, Monterey, Calif.

Cessna 421C Golden Eagle

At about 1042 Pacific time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the pilot had requested an IFR clearance to VFR-on-top.

The departure clearance used the Monterey Five departure procedure, which included instructions to turn left after takeoff. After takeoff, as the airplane climbed through 1700 feet msl, ATC noticed the airplane was turning in the wrong direction. The controller issued instructions for an immediate turn to a 030-degree heading, which the pilot acknowledged. The controller then issued two low-altitude alerts but there no response and no further communication with the pilot was received. The flight’s ADS-B data was lost at an altitude of 775 feet msl, about 520 feet southwest of the accident site.

A witness observed the accident airplane descend below the cloud layer in a right turn with its landing gear retracted, then impact a pine tree before it dropped below the tree line. Weather included visibility of nine statute miles and an overcast ceiling at 800 feet agl.

July 14, 2021, Muscatine, Iowa

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180

The airplane was destroyed at 1238 Central time when it collided with terrain. The non-instrument-rated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Unknown weather conditions prevailed at the accident site, with a broken overcast at 6500 feet agl and six miles of visibility reported nine miles away.

Originating in Iron Mountain, Mich., at 0918, the flight proceeded VFR on roughly a 210-degree track at 4500 feet msl until about 1141, when it began a series of course and altitude changes. At 1238, while heading about 240 degrees at 2900 feet, it turned right and began a descent. Turn radius decreased and descent rate increased until the last recorded data point at 1238:28.7. The final data point was about 200 feet from the initial impact location.

July 15, 2021, Dinsmore, Calif.

Mooney M20J 201

At 1154 Pacific time, the airplane was destroyed when it struck a tree during initial climb. The pilot, the pilot-rated passenger and two other passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness observed the accident airplane circling before it landed on 2510-foot-long Runway 27, into winds from the west. The airplane made a complete stop mid-runway and three individuals disembarked. When all had reboarded the airplane, the pilot taxied to the arrival end of Runway 9 and began a takeoff, rotating just short of the displaced threshold and “barely” clearing the fence. The airplane’s right wing impacted a tall redwood tree; the wreckage was located about 1600 feet beyond the departure end of Runway 9.

July 16, 2021, Angwin, Calif.

Beechcraft V35 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed at 0840 Pacific time when it struck a tree during an attempted go-around. The two pilots and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight’s radar track showed a wide left base turn to final, overshooting the final approach, before realigning with the runway. Witnesses observed the accident airplane touch down, and then bounce several times before the pilot initiated a go-around. The airplane cleared the first tree line at the departure end of the runway, then began to pitch up, the left wing dipped down, and then the nose dropped. The airplane hit a tree about ½-mile beyond the runway’s departure end and came to rest about 500 feet from the tree.

July 23, 2021, Oshkosh, Wis.

RV-7 Experimental/RV-8 Experimental

At about 1345 Central time, the experimental amateur-built (EA-B) RV-7 airplane sustained minor damage and the EA-B RV-8 airplane was substantially damaged when they collided on the runway shortly after landing. Neither pilot of the two airplanes was injured. 

The pilots were landing in a four-airplane formation on Runway 27’s green dot during the AirVenture fly-in. Shortly after the RV-8 touched down, ATC requested the flight of four to turn right onto the grass. He started the turn when suddenly the RV-7 struck his airplane.

The RV-7’s pilot reported his airplane touched down and bounced. It settled back onto the runway and started to slow. As the tailwheel touched down, the RV-8 temporarily went out of view. When the RV-8 came back into view, it was turning in front of his airplane. He immediately applied brakes and right rudder, but his left wing impacted the RV-8’s rudder, aileron and right wing, which resulted in substantial damage.

July 26, 2021, Truckee, Calif.

Bombardier Challenger 605

The airplane was destroyed at about 1318 Pacific time while maneuvering to land after an instrument approach. The pilot, co-pilot and four passengers aboard were fatally injured. Marginal visual conditions were reported; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.

Nearing the destination, ATC advised the crew to expect the RNAV (GPS) Runway 20 approach. The crew accepted the approach, but requested to circle to Runway 11 and was told to expect it. The flight was then cleared to hold at the initial approach fix for the Runway 20 approach. After a turn in the hold, ATC cleared the flight for the Runway 20 approach, cancelled radar services and handed it off to the tower. Once the crew announced they were making a right turn and reported Runway 11 in sight, ATC cleared them to land on Runway 11 and informed them that the airplane was not in sight. The crew acknowledged the clearance, which was their final radio communication. A witness observed the airplane come from the northwest about 20 feet above the trees. The airplane then entered a steep left turn and banked erratically just before it impacted trees and then the ground.

July 27, Patterson, La.

Cessna 182T Skylane

At about 0830 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged in an off-airport landing following loss of engine power. The solo pilot sustained a minor injury. Visual conditions prevailed.

While in cruise flight, the airplane’s engine surged and went to full power. The pilot attempted to regain control of the engine by adjusting the throttle but was unsuccessful. The engine then went to idle and he was unable to restore engine power. The pilot performed a forced landing, during which the airplane nosed over in a watery marsh. The pilot was able to safely egress. When the engine cowling was removed, the nut used to secure the throttle onto the throttle body was found loose. The associated cotter pin was not located in the engine compartment.

July 27, 2021, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Socata TBM-700 C2

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1105 Eastern time when it ran off the end of the runway during an attempted landing. The private pilot and four passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, his approach was “uncomfortably fast.” The airplane crossed over the threshold of the 3700-foot-long runway at 125 to 130 knots and touched down on its first third to the middle third. He applied brakes, but the runway was wet and slick. Unable to stop on the remaining runway, the pilot attempted to move the throttle from beta to full to abort the landing, but the throttle “stuck.” The airplane subsequently came to rest about 325 feet past the end of the runway.

According to the FAA inspector who responded to the accident site and conducted an initial examination of the airplane, the engine mounts and left wing sustained substantial damage. The flaps were found in the “TAKEOFF” position. All engine and flight controls were intact from the cockpit controls to their respective control surfaces, and they functioned normally. In addition, examination of the brakes revealed no anomalies.


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