NTSB Reports: October 2015



August 1, 2015, Watertown, Wis.

Cessna Model 182 Skylane

At about 1745 Central time, the airplane lost engine power shortly after takeoff. The airplane impacted trees and was substantially damaged. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The FAA reported the pilot was doing touch-and-goes. The engine lost power and the airplane impacted trees and terrain about a mile southeast of the airport. The airplane’s empennage separated from the fuselage, and there was “heavy” damage to the right wing and fuselage.

August 1, 2015, Georgetown, Ky.

Beechcraft Model C90B King Air

The airplane experienced a loss of engine power during cruise flight and subsequently impacted terrain at about 2100 Eastern time. The commercial pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The two other passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed.

The pilot subsequently recalled a fuel crossfeed light illuminated, the pilot reset the indication, and the right engine immediately lost power while in cruise flight. The autofeather system feathered the right engine propeller. The pilot could not recall feathering the left engine. The left propeller was in the feathered position. All four propeller blades exhibited S-bending and chordwise scratching. The right propeller was in flat pitch; however, only one propeller blade was bent aft—no other damage was observed.

Preliminary information indicated the flight originated at Red Lake Airport (CYRL) in Ontario, Canada. The airplane then flew to the Duluth (Minn.) International Airport (KDLH), where it was fueled with 140 gallons of Jet A. It later landed at the James M. Cox Dayton (Ohio) International Airport (KDAY). It was not refueled prior to departing KDAY.

August 1, 2015, Reading, Penn.

Commander Aircraft 114B

At about 1319 Eastern time, the airplane was force-landed following a reported loss of engine power during cruise flight. The private pilot and airline transport pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

While at 3000 feet msl, the passenger stated they had “…lost an engine.” The passenger, who was also a flight instructor, took control of the airplane while the pilot referenced the engine failure checklist. An attempt to restart the engine was made without success. The passenger maintained control and maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing in a nearby field. During the forced landing, the right wing struck a tree. The fuselage, empennage and left wing exhibited structural damage; the right wing was sheared off at the root. Both wing tanks contained fuel, and there was evidence of fuel leakage at the accident site.

August 1, 2015, Santa Paula, Calif.

Cessna Model P337G Super Skymaster

The airplane impacted mountainous terrain at about 0905 Pacific time. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Instrument conditions prevailed.

A witness reported seeing the airplane take off at 0902. The airplane disappeared into a 300-foot overcast then reemerged—after turning 180 degrees—on a close downwind to the runway. It then departed downwind to the east. Subsequently, the airplane’s wreckage was located at about 1400. At 0855, the nearest weather observing facility, located about 10 miles southwest of the accident site, recorded calm wind, visibility five statute miles in haze and a 700-foot overcast. Weather data included cloud tops at around 2000 feet agl.

August 2, 2015, American Falls, Idaho

Piper PA-28-181 Archer

At about 1835 Mountain time, the airplane executed an off-airport landing following a loss of engine power. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing during the accident sequence. Visual conditions prevailed.

Prior to departure, the pilot detected a rough-running engine. Maintenance cleaned fouled spark plugs and the pilot departed. At 1830, the Pocatello (Idaho) Regional Airport ATC tower contacted the Salt Lake ARTCC (ZLC), notifying them the pilot reported a fuel emergency. The ZLC controller attempted to direct the pilot to an airport but the engine subsequently lost power. There was insufficient altitude to glide to the airport and the pilot landed the airplane in uneven terrain.

August 6, 2015, Hollister, Calif.

Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1030 Pacific time when it collided with a lawn mower while landing. The private pilot sustained minor injuries; the pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. The pilot-rated lawn mower operator sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot subsequently reported initially transmitting his intention to land while about eight miles from the airport. The pilot entered the airport traffic pattern on a right downwind for Runway 23, and continued to announce his position on downwind, base and final for the runway. The pilot stated he landed slightly longer than normal and during the landing roll the airplane struck the lawn mower. The airplane’s fuselage was damaged.

August 6, 2015, Chugiak, Alaska

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub

At about 2350 Alaska time, the wheel-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage during impact with the ocean. The private pilot and one passenger are presumed to have received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

At 2109, the pilot reported taxiing for departure from the McGrath Airport. At 2111, he reporting taking off. No further radio communications were received from the airplane. At 2354, a 911 call was received from the pilot, stating he had just crashed and was standing on top of the airplane. He requested rescue, stating he was too far from shore to swim. Search and rescue assets were on-scene and searching at 0016. The airplane was located the next day at about 0610, inverted and mostly submerged. The occupants were not located with the airplane. The two occupants are still missing and presumed deceased.

August 6, 2015, Montecito, Calif.

Cessna Model 182F Skylane

The airplane impacted mountainous terrain at about 2210 Pacific time. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, the pilot radioed a mayday call to ATC, indicating there was oil on his windscreen and smoke in the cockpit. Subsequently radio and radar contact was lost. The crash site was located the following morning at 0430. Oil was observed from the nose of the airplane to the tail cone.

August 7, 2015, Saranac Lake, N.Y.

Piper PA-46-500TP Meridian

At about 1750 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. The airplane came to rest upright; wreckage was consistent with a left-wing-low, nose-down impact. The flap actuator indicated a flaps-retracted setting; the landing gear actuator corresponded to a landing gear-retracted position. The elevator jackscrew corresponded to an approximate 13.5 degree tab up (50 percent nose down) setting. Propeller blades exhibited s-bending, chordwise scratching and leading edge nicks. At 1751, observed weather included wind from 360 degrees at six knots, a broken ceiling at 6000 feet and visibility 10 miles.


August 7, 2015, Montrose, Penn.

Kitfox Model 1 Experimental

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted an embankment at about 1855 Eastern time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident flight was the first time the pilot had performed landing approaches to his private airstrip; in all, he did three of them. While on final approach for the first landing attempt, the airplane entered a “steep angle turn” and impacted an embankment about 15 feet short of the runway approach end. A post-impact fire ensued. All airplane components were in the vicinity of the wreckage. An odor similar to 100LL fuel was noted at the scene.

August 8, 2015, Hot Springs, Va.

Cessna Model 182Q Skylane

At 1015 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it nosed over after a runway excursion. The private pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the airplane climbed to about 100 feet agl and then the “RPM dropped.” He lowered the nose and landed on the runway, but was unable to stop before the airplane went down an embankment and nosed over. A witness observed the airplane lift off about 2500 feet down the runway and climb to about 200 ft agl. He said the engine had an audible “sputter” and the airplane then landed back on the runway, went off the end and flipped over. The fuel strainer was absent of water or sediment, and the left magneto produced spark on all towers when rotated by hand. The right magneto did not produce spark.

August 9, 2015, Harrisburg, Ill.

Grumman American AA-5A

The airplane impacted heavily wooded terrain at about 2050 Central time. The student pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Dark night visual conditions prevailed. At 2055, an automated weather facility about 20 nm northwest of the accident site reported visibility 10 miles and a broken ceiling at 8000 feet.

August 10, 2015, Marathon, Fla.

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow

At about 0040 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted the water after takeoff. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

An eyewitness observed the airplane descend into the water and heard the operating engine. The propeller separated at the propeller flange, and was located about 300 feet from the main wreckage. All three propeller blades exhibited chordwise bending. Impact and crush damage was consistent with the airplane impacting water in a right-wing-low, nose-down attitude. The end of civil twilight was four hours earlier; the sliver moon was below the horizon.

August 12, 2015, Weirsdale, Fla.

Beech Model N35 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain at about 0930 Eastern time, shortly after taking off from a private runway. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured.

A witness saw the airplane [about 300-400 feet prior to the departure end of the 3600-foot runway] at about 50 feet agl. The witness then lost sight but subsequently heard two loud “bangs.” The witness said the engine sounded “normal” until takeoff, when it appeared a cylinder was “missing.” He also noted the airplane appeared to be flying in ground effect with a high angle of attack. The throttle and propeller controls were found pushed in; the mixture was pulled out about inch from the panel bulkhead. The fuel boost pump was found in the “on” position. The pump switch did not appear to be impact-damaged and could be switched on and off without binding.

August 13, 2015, Pacific Ocean

Lancair Evolution Experimental

At about 2215 Pacific time, the airplane descended into the water about 430 nm northwest of San Francisco, Calif. The solo flight instructor was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The flight departed Phoenix, Ariz., at about 1815, destined for Hesperia, Calif. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight operated on an IFR clearance.

The pilot’s departure was delayed to recharge the batteries. At 1825, while climbing through 18,100 feet, the airplane was cleared to FL250. At 1829, the pilot made his last radio transmission, in response to frequency-change instructions. There was no further contact. The airplane overflew the destination airport at FL250 and continued on that heading until descending into the ocean. Two USAF fighters and a KC-135 air refueling tanker intercepted the airplane near Fresno, Calif., around 1900. The intercept pilots reported the pilot appeared slumped forward in the seat.

August 15, 2015, Venice, La.

Cessna Model 172C Skyhawk

The airplane “nosed down” at about 1130 Central time after touching down on a soggy portion of the runway. The pilot and two passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Day visual conditions prevailed.

Just before entering ground effect, the pilot later said he noticed a drop in airspeed and applied power. The airplane touched down at the lower end of the runway, the nose gear dug in and the airplane nosed down and slid to a stop. Post-accident examination revealed a crushed left wing tip and buckled firewall.

August 15, 2015, Bladenboro, N.C.

Glasair Experimental

The pilot reported that the during the takeoff roll on a 2850-foot-long, 135-foot-wide turf runway, the tailwheel airplane began to veer left at full engine power. The pilot was unable to correct with right rudder and right brake input. She subsequently attempted to take off before the airplane veered too far, but it then began to porpoise. As the pilot started to reject the takeoff, the airplane traveled off the left side of the runway, struck a ditch and came to rest upright. The pilot reported in excess of 1800 hours of tailwheel experience but only 2.1 in the same make and model as the accident airplane. Winds were light and variable. Both wings and the fuselage were damaged.

August 15, 2015, West Caldwell, N.J.

Cessna Model T206H Turbo Stationair

At 1002 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of engine power during initial climb. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after becoming airborne, the pilot advised ATC he had a “problem,” declared an emergency and requested to “return to the field immediately.” The controller cleared the pilot to land on any runway. The pilot’s last communication reported he was unable to maintain engine power. The airplane then rolled left, impacted trees and terrain, and a “large fireball” was observed. Security camera video revealed the airplane appeared slow to accelerate on takeoff and did not rotate until approximately halfway down the runway. The airplane reached an altitude just above trees before descending and turning left. The airplane impacted in a nose-down, inverted attitude. A post-impact fire ensued.

There was no evidence of propeller rotation during the impact sequence. The spark plug electrodes displayed evidence of black, sooty deposits indicative of carbon fouling. A portion of the No. 3 piston’s skirt was missing and metal fragments were present in the lubrication system.

August 16, 2015, Mount Vernon, Ohio

Beech Model V35 Bonanza

The airplane experienced a propeller and engine overspeed condition while in cruise flight at about 1955 Eastern time. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions; the flight operated on an IFR clearance.

According to the pilot, while cruising at 8000 feet msl, he heard a sudden high-pitched whine from the engine and saw the engine tachometer read 3500 rpm. Unable to bring the engine speed within limits, the pilot declared an emergency and diverted to a nearby airport. While on final approach to the airport, the pilot heard a pop and noticed oil was on the windscreen. The pilot landed on the runway and discovered the propeller was missing from the airplane. The propeller has not been located.


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