Aircraft Accidents: the NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.


US Civil Aviation Accidents

October 2, 2015, Huntsville, Texas
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At about 1030 Central time, the airplane collided with terrain and was substantially damaged. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot replaced the airplane’s battery the day before the accident. Prior to the accident flight, the pilot added air to the nosewheel tire, and told a mechanic he was flying the airplane to be examined by a prospective buyer. The airplane’s owner, the pilot’s brother-in-law, later stated the pilot was going to check the radios, but was not supposed to fly the airplane. The owner added that the airplane had not flown recently, nor had the pilot. Later that day, the airplane’s wreckage was found on a law enforcement shooting range just east of the airport.

October 2, 2015, Tokyo, Japan
Boeing 747-451

The Delta Air Lines flight, en route from Seoul, Korea, to Detroit, Mich., shut down its #3 engine and diverted to Tokyo. Upon inspection, maintenance personnel noted several holes in the low pressure turbine case, plus “nicks” to the right wing flap and aileron, and to the leading edge of the right horizontal stabilizer.

October 2, 2015, Westminster, S.C.
Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga

At about 1512 Eastern time, the airplane broke up in flight. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. Instrument conditions prevailed. An IFR flight plan was in effect.

Radio and radar contact with the flight was lost shortly after it was cleared for an RNAV approach. The last observed position was at about 2200 feet msl over the Georgia-South Carolina border. One witness heard a loud “boom,” followed by white pieces of debris falling into a lake. Another saw the airplane descending vertically, in a spiral motion, until it disappeared behind a tree line. The main wreckage consisted of the cabin, cockpit, engine, propeller, left wing and the inboard half of the right wing. About 10 percent of the empennage was recovered at a separate location. At this writing, the outboard portion of the right wing and remainder of the empennage had not been located.

October 2, 2015, Deer Park, Wash.
Coot A Experimental

The airplane was destroyed at about 1112 Pacific time when it impacted terrain about. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A pilot-rated witness heard the airplane’s engine sputter on the upwind traffic pattern leg. Witnesses observed the airplane turn left and remain within the airport traffic pattern, then “enter a spin” and descend to the ground at a point where a base-to-final turn would normally be executed.

October 2, 2015, Fall City, Wash.
Cessna TU206G Stationair

At about 1835 Pacific time, the airplane impacted terrain about a mile from the departure airport. The solo pilot was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to first responders, the airplane’s wings had been extensively damaged, and the left fuel tank had ruptured. An FAA inspector reported the engine mounts and engine were separated from the firewall and the nose landing gear fork had sheared.

October 3, 2015, Redding, Calif.
Cessna 172B Skyhawk

The airplane struck a barbed wire fence at about 1200 Pacific time, after the private pilot aborted the landing. The pilot sustained minor injuries; the passenger was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. Visual conditions prevailed.

The passenger was ejected from the airplane during the accident sequence, and found about 30 feet from the wreckage. An automated weather observation station about six miles southeast of the airport was reporting wind from 350 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 10 sm and clear skies.

October 5, 2015, Cedar City, Utah
Cessna 152

At 1303 Mountain time, the airplane impacted a dry lake bed. The airline transport pilot/flight instructor and commercial pilot/flight instructor undergoing a company check flight were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses observed the airplane performing various maneuvers. A witness observed the airplane in a nose-low descent and “fluttering leaf” before it impacted terrain. An onboard flight tracking system recorded data every two minutes. The last recorded data indicated the airplane was at approximately 3500 feet agl above the accident site, with a groundspeed of 40 knots.

October 7, 2015, Georgetown, Calif.
Luscombe 8F Silvaire

The airplane veered off the runway surface at about 1130 Pacific time, during a landing roll. Both pilots aboard sustained serious injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness reported the touchdown was normal. Shortly thereafter, the airplane began to veer right, and the tailwheel lifted off the ground. The airplane continued off the right side of the runway, and crossed a shallow ditch before it entered the paved ramp area. The pilot applied power, and the airplane lifted off but, shortly thereafter, the right wing dipped, and the airplane slid into an embankment.

October 7, 2015, Compton, Calif.
Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180

At about 1420 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a complete loss of engine power and crashed into a residential area. The student pilot sustained serious injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness reported the engine lost power shortly after takeoff, while the airplane was still over the runway. The pilot initiated a left turn, and the engine momentarily regained power. After several seconds, the engine lost power again, and the pilot initiated a forced landing.

October 8, 2015, Big Lake, Alaska
Cessna 150F

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1340 Alaska time following an in-flight loss of control and subsequent collision with a rural road. The solo commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions were reported in the area of the accident.

Witnesses observed the airplane depart Runway 4 and reported that, just after takeoff, the airplane made a left climbing 270-degree turn and eventually flew crosswind over the departure runway. As the airplane flew in a northeasterly direction, and away from the airport, witnesses reported that the airplane began another climbing left turn. During the turn, the airplane rolled to the left then descended vertically, nose first, until hitting the road.

October 8, 2015, Jasper, Ga.
Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk

At about 1830 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after a loss of engine power. The student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to a witness, the student pilot was on his second supervised solo flight. After flying over the practice area for about an hour, the student came back to the airport and performed a touch-and-go landing. During the climb after the touch-and-go, a witness heard the engine suddenly stop running. He observed the airplane turn left like student was attempting to return to the airport. The airplane then appeared to enter an aerodynamic stall and spin to the left. It was observed to descend rapidly in the spin until it was lost from view behind trees.

A small amount of fuel was observed in the bottom of the left tank. None could be observed in the right tank. The aircraft’s flight log revealed it had been flown 4.9 hours since its last refueling.

October 8, 2015, Hope, Idaho
Cessna 182P Skylane

The airplane collided with mountainous terrain at 0826 Pacific time. The private pilot, the commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger aboard were fatally injured. The airplane impacted large pine trees near a mountain ridge line and was destroyed by a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

The wreckage just below a ridgeline saddle at an elevation of 5226 feet msl. The airplane had first impacted numerous tree tops then collided with terrain about 156 feet later, along a 046-degree magnetic bearing line. There was a post-crash fire that destroyed the airplane cabin. The nearest weather reporting station was at 2131 feet msl and 15 miles west of the accident site. At 0835, that facility reported calm wind, an overcast layer at 2800 feet agl, 10 sm visibility and a zero-degree temperature/dewpoint spread.

October 9, 2015, Sheridan, Wyo.
Quest Kodiak 100

At about 1230 Mountain time, the airplane impacted terrain during takeoff. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported the flight controls had jammed during takeoff and the airplane lifted off prematurely. Two aircraft mechanics saw the airplane lift off in an extreme nose-high attitude, level off and then assume a nose-high attitude again. The airplane stalled and landed hard. The airport manager responded to the accident site and reported all flight controls moved freely. The elevator trim was found ” nose up.” Flaps were fully deployed to their 35-degree-down position and the engine condition lever was in the feathered position.

October 9, 2015, Erwin, Tenn.
Columbia LC41-550FG Columbia 400

The airplane was destroyed at about 1919 Eastern time following a collision with terrain. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The flight originated in Florida but diverted to Knoxville, Tenn., due to a “significant amount of thunderstorms,” landing at 1558. After departing Knoxville, the flight leveled off at 15,000 feet msl on a 080 ground track. About 16 minutes later, the airplane turned left to a ground track of about 330 degrees, and climbed to about 17,000 feet. About three minutes after leveling off at 17,000 feet, the flight began descending. The last radar return, recorded at 1919, was in the vicinity of the accident location, at 3400 feet msl. Several eyewitnesses reported seeing the lights of the airplane as it descended. Some witnesses also reported lightning and heavy rain were in the vicinity about the time of the accident.

October 9, 2015, Savannah, Ga.
Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II

At about 2100 Eastern time, the airplane collided with trees while on final approach to land. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions were reported at the time of the accident; an IFR flight plan had been filed. Earlier, the flight had landed in Jacksonville, Fla., for undetermined reasons. Approximately 30 minutes later, the pilot resumed the flight. The FAA inspectors who examined the airplane stated there was no smell of fuel at the accident site.

October 10, 2015, Seville, Fla.
Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1500 Eastern time after a loss of control during a low altitude maneuver. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries; the rear-seated passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions were reported near the accident site.

The flight’s purpose was to “drop boxes” at a campsite. The pilot descended the airplane to between 300 and 600 feet agl, configured it with 20 degrees of flaps and slowed to 75 knots. After successfully dropping several boxes, and during the final drop, the airplane encountered a downdraft and lost altitude. The pilot attempted to recover, but the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain. At 1453, local weather conditions included scattered, towering cumulus clouds at 3500 feet, scattered clouds at 5000 feet, scattered clouds at 7500 feet and a broken ceiling at 25,000 feet. Winds were from 060 degrees at six knots and towering cumulus clouds were noted to the south, and in the distance to the east, southwest and northwest.

October 10, 2015, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Beechcraft G35 Bonanza

At about 1735 Pacific time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering shortly after takeoff. The pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Several witnesses reported the airplane sounded like it was not producing adequate power shortly after takeoff. One witness reported strong downdrafts in the area. As it exited the airport boundaries on the runway heading, the airplane reportedly made a right turn followed by a left turn. It climbed to about 100 feet agl in an excessively nose-high attitude and continued to fly toward rising terrain. Shortly after it crossed a ridgeline, the airplane entered a nose and left-wing-low attitude, and impacted the back yard of a residence. A post-crash fire ensued.

October 11, 2015, Miami Beach, Fla.
Cessna 172N Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged when it was ditched in the Atlantic Ocean at 1537 Eastern time after a total loss of power. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While en route to Bimini and about 20 miles east of North Miami, the pilot reported he “felt a partial loss of power followed by a complete engine failure.” He was unable to restore power, and decided to glide as close to the coastline as possible. He ditched the airplane about 11 miles east of Miami Beach, Florida. A police helicopter that was already en route to the scene arrived about three minutes after the accident. The pilot was rescued by a civilian boat about 1556 and was subsequently transferred to a Coast Guard vessel.

October 12, 2015, Dallas, Texas
Beechcraft A36 Bonanza

At about 1340 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage while taxiing for takeoff when its left wingtip hit a service road fence post. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane had been cleared by ATC to taxi to the active runway via Taxiway A. While leaving the ramp area and transitioning to the taxiway, the pilot joined a vehicle service road instead. As he taxied on the service road, the airplane came to a security fence. The left wing impacted a fence post, which was part of a vehicle gate. The impact turned the nose of the aircraft to the left and the front of the aircraft impacted the vehicle gate, resulting in substantial damage. Observed weather at the facility included variable wind at four knots, clear skies and 10 miles of visibility.

October 13, 2015, Lake Worth, Fla.
Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180

The airplane impacted a residential area at about 1733 Eastern time during an approach to a nearby airport. The private pilot and one person on the ground were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by a post-impact fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane’s fuel tanks were topped off before the accident flight with 20 gallons of 100LL. While en route, the pilot received flight following from ATC and reported three miles east of the airport on the CTAF, advising he would to enter a midfield left downwind leg for the landing runway. The pilot subsequently radioed he was turning left base. No other communications were received from the pilot. A radar plot showed the airplane flying through the runway centerline and making an S-turn before radar coverage was lost. A witness observed the airplane make the S-turn, followed by a steep right 180-degree turn and descent into a mobile home park. He then saw smoke and fire where the airplane went down.

Weather observed at 1753 approximately 4.5 miles north of the accident site included wind from 140 degrees at 13 knots, visibility 10 miles, a few clouds at 5000 feet and scattered clouds at 25,000 feet.


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