NTSB Reports: March 2015

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidentsJanuary 26, 2015, Seabeck, Wash. Vans RV-7 ExperimentalJanuary 25, 2015, Pacific Ocean Cirrus Design SR22January 21, 2015, Goodland, Kan. Piper PA-31-350 Navajo ChieftainJanuary 20, 2015, Mountain Pass, Calif. Beech 36 BonanzaJanuary 19, 2015, Shipshewana, Ind. Diamond Aircraft DA20-C1January 16, 2015, Fort Valley, Ga. Luscombe 8E SilvaireJanuary 16, 2015, Sebring, Fla. Aventura II ExperimentalJanuary 13, 2015, New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Cessna 152January 11, 2015, Prineville, Ore. RV-9A ExperimentalJanuary 11, 2015, Brighton, Colo. Piper PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IVJanuary 9, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah Cirrus Design SR22January 9, 2015, Van Nuys, Calif. Lancair 320 ExperimentalJanuary 6, 2015, Norfolk, Va. Cessna 172S Skyhawk SPJanuary 6, 2015, Long View, N.C. Beechcraft V35B BonanzaJanuary 4, 2015, Muncie, Ind. Beechcraft A36 BonanzaJanuary 3, 2015, Fresno, Calif. Cessna 172D SkyhawkJanuary 3, 2015, Key West, Fla. Cessna P206 StationairJanuary 2, 2015, Kuttawa, Ky. Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II



The airplane impacted the Hood Canal at about 1250 Pacific time. The solo airline transport pilot was missing and presumed fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses noted an airplane fly over them with an erratic-sounding engine. One witness reported seeing a three-to-four-foot portion of the airplane separate before it descended out of view. Additional witnesses reported observing debris and an oil slick. Debris consistent with the accident airplane was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

At about 1644 Hawaiian time, the airplane was ditched into the Pacific Ocean about 230 miles east of Maui, Hawaii. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported the flight was uneventful and a previous transfer from the front and aft auxiliary fuel tanks had been successful. However, when the airplane was about 900 nm from Hawaii, he was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank. Numerous attempts were unsuccessful. While in contact with the U.S. Coast Guard and near an alerted cruise ship, he deployed the airframe parachute system. The airplane descended under canopy to the water; the pilot immediately exited the airplane and inflated a life raft. He was extracted from the water about 30 to 40 minutes later. The airplane submerged shortly after the pilot egressed.

The airplane experienced a total loss of power from both engines during cruise flight at about 0754 Mountain time. The solo pilot performed a forced landing to a field where the airplane impacted terrain. The pilot was uninjured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the Part 135 on-demand cargo flight, which operated on an IFR flight plan.

The airplane impacted desert terrain at about 2005 Pacific time. The commercial pilot and single passenger were fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. Night visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane dropped below radar coverage while flying level at 7400 feet msl at 2001. When controllers attempted to re-establish communications, they were unsuccessful. The FAA issued an Alert Notice and searches were initiated by the Civil Air Patrol and local law enforcement. A personal locator carried by the pilot broadcast its location the next day, allowing the accident site to be found at an elevation of 3335 feet msl and 0.4 nm northwest of the last recorded radar location, on flat desert terrain. The debris field was 1000 feet in length and 65 yards wide.

The airplane was force-landed into a field at about 1700 Eastern time. The solo student pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

As the student pilot was practicing ground-reference maneuvers, the engine began struggling to make power. The pilot advanced the throttle to full forward, but the engine did not respond. Emergency procedures were performed from memory and the engine responded briefly but then completely lost power. During the base-to-final turn, the pilot lost control of the airplane, which descended to the ground. Examination revealed the engines induction air filter was mostly covered with ice. The alternate air lever in the airplane was OFF.

At about 1120 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a peanut field. The flight instructor was fatally injured; the private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness watched the airplane as it approached the runway for landing, noting it was moving a little up and down, like a boat on waves, as if it were fighting the wind. It then pitched steeply upward and rolled left, then pitched steeply downward and descended nearly vertically until it impacted the ground.

The flight instructor reported 7350 total hours of flight experience when applying for his most-recent medical certificate. The private pilot reported 1288 total hours of flight experience when applying for his most-recent medical certificate. All major components were accounted for at the scene. Flight control continuity was traced from each of the flight controls to all control surfaces. The engine was turned by hand and exhibited continuity from the propeller to the accessory section. Both magnetos produced spark on all four spark plug leads, and thumb compression was confirmed on all four cylinders.

The light-sport airplane was substantially damaged at about 1100 Eastern time when it impacted terrain while maneuvering. The sport pilot and student pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the local airshow demonstration flight.

According to witnesses, the airplane was performing a fifth fly-by when it pitched up, rolled to the left and descended nose-down until it impacted the ground in a near-vertical position. One witness heard the engine cut out or reducing power just prior to the nose-down descent. Another eyewitness reported the tail appeared to flutter and that the flutter was in the vicinity of the elevator trim.

Examination revealed the right side elevator, as viewed from behind the airplane looking forward, was in the neutral position and the left side elevator was in an approximate 15-degree, trailing-edge-down position. The elevator trim tab surface was in the full trailing-edge-down position and the trim tab hinge was curved in the positive direction just outboard of the trim tab at mid-span. The trim tab also exhibited binding when manually manipulated.

At about 2058 Eastern time, the airplane collided with a public beach. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Night instrument conditions prevailed; no flight plan was filed.

The pilot had contracted for a block of flight time in the airplane but had not yet been approved to fly the airplane solo. On the day of the accident, however, she flew an undetermined number of local, solo flights without the operators knowledge. She then refueled the airplane at her own expense and initiated the accident flight, intending to remain in the traffic pattern.

An initial review of available radar data depicted the airplane at about 1000 feet msl in the traffic pattern. As its altitude varied between 1700 and 1200 feet, the pilot set the airplanes transponder to squawk code 7700 for about a minute and began transmitting on the emergency frequency, informing ATC she could not maintain VFR. Controllers provided assistance and directed her toward a nearby airport. When the pilot informed ATC that she was at 600 feet, she was directed to climb. A short time later, radar and radio contact was lost. The airplane had crashed into shallow water next to a beach.

Observed weather conditions at the divert airport included an overcast ceiling at 500 feet and eight statute miles of visibility. A preliminary review of the pilots records indicated she had completed a flight review and an instrument proficiency check, in a Cessna 152, on November 19, 2014.

The airplane collided with terrain at about 1427 Pacific time. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries while all of the airframe except the tail section was consumed by a post-impact fire. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight was originating.

According to witnesses, the airplanes nose continued to pitch up during initial climb. It appeared to be at a slow speed when a wing dropped and the airplane descended vertically into the ground.

At 1246 Mountain time, the airplane impacted terrain while maneuvering. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses observed the pilot taxi the airplane from its hangar and depart. For several minutes, witnesses observed the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude and high airspeeds. Witnesses last observed the airplane make a steeply banked turn, descend and impact terrain. All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site.

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1615 Mountain time when it impacted water. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Marginal visual conditions prevailed.

Most major components of the airplane were within 15 feet of the main wreckage site, which was in about eight feet of water. Weather observed about 21 miles east of the accident site, at 1553, included wind from 280 at six knots, visibility three statute miles in haze. The private pilot had accumulated 650 total flight hours, but reportedly was not instrument-rated.

At about 1300 Pacific time, the airplane impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses heard the airplanes engine start to sputter and quit shortly after takeoff. They observed the airplane make a right turn; it started to shake before it nosed over and descended into an intersection below. The airplane impacted the ground hard and bounced backward about 15 feet, coming to rest upright.

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1330 Eastern time when it collided with trees during a forced landing. The designated pilot examiner (DPE) and student pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the instructional flight.

During a private pilot practical test, the DPE retarded the throttle during climbout at an altitude of 500 feet agl to simulate an engine failure. The student pilot lowered the nose of the airplane and maintained controlled flight but did not turn the fuel boost pump to the ON position as the DPE requested. The DPE took control of the airplane and pushed the throttle forward to regain engine power. The engine did not regain full power and the DPE made a forced landing into trees. After recovering the airplane, its engine was started and ran at idle power. After engine warm-up, the throttle was advanced and a magneto check was completed. No anomalies precluding normal operation were noted.

At about 1630 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing into trees following a total loss of engine power during initial climb. The commercial pilot was seriously injured; the three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated that, during initial climb and at about 300 feet agl, he heard a loud bang followed by a total loss of engine power. He subsequently performed a forced landing straight ahead into trees. Examination revealed a hole in the engine case near the No. 1 cylinder.

The airplane was substantially damaged upon impacting terrain at about 1600 Eastern time while maneuvering. The solo private pilot sustained minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed.

According to the pilot, he had just executed a missed approach and had been instructed by ATC to climb due to being at a low altitude. The pilot does not recall events following the ATC communications.

Examination of the airplane revealed the three propeller blades were twisted and bent aft. The forward fuselage was crushed upward and distorted. The flaps and landing gear appeared to be in the retracted position. Observed weather at the destination airport at 1553 included wind from 270 degrees at 16 knots with gusts to 25 knots, visibility mile in snow and mist, a broken ceiling at 1200 feet and an overcast at 1800 feet.

At about 1650 Pacific standard time, the airplane experienced a complete loss of engine power and struck a power line. The private pilot and passenger were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported the engine started to sputter and lose power while in cruise. The pilot initiated a forced landing onto a nearby field, during which the engine lost complete power. The airplane continued through a low-level power line. The airplane landed hard onto the field; subsequently, the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest nose-down.

The airplane was force-landed in a lagoon at about 1015 Eastern time following a total loss of engine power during an approach. The airline transport pilot and three passengers received minor injuries; two passengers were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported that, at about 300 feet agl, the engine quit suddenly with no surging or other warning signs. He selected the auxiliary fuel pump to the high position and switched fuel tanks. The engine came back to life momentarily and then quit again. Unable to make the runway, the airplane landed short in a lagoon, about one quarter mile from the runway. The airplane came to rest in about three feet of water.

Fuel was observed in the lines between the electric boost pump and the engine-driven fuel pump, in the line from the engine-driven pump to the fuel metering valve, and there was fuel in the line entering the fuel manifold valve and inside the valve. No spark was observed on the ignition leads when the magnetos were turned.

At about 1800 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain during a forced landing. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured; another passenger was seriously injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed.

At 1750, the pilot requested vectors to the nearest VFR airport due to “problems” with both engines. After ATC advised an airport was 11 miles west of his position, the pilot announced he had the airport in sight, and that the airplane’s right engine had stopped producing power. The controller cleared the airplane for a visual approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance, advised that he had lost sight of the airport and asked for the airports CTAF. There were no further radio communications from the airplane, which was last observed on radar descending through 2700 feet approximately 10 miles west of the divert airport.

The airplane came to rest inverted, with its landing gear retracted. There was a strong odor of fuel, and all major components were accounted for at the scene.


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