April 2016 NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


Cirrus Design SR22T

January 26, 2016, Xenia, Ohio

At about 1800 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during final approach. The solo pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

After a normal IFR flight, the pilot was cleared to fly an RNAV approach, broke out of the cloud base and canceled IFR. An airport employee witnessed the airplane flying downwind beneath the cloud base and later stated it appeared to be setting up for a circling visual approach. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane appear to start a left base turn to final and then nose down prior to the runway threshold. Observed weather included a 1700-foot ceiling with wind from 240 degrees at nine knots, gusting to 14 knots and variable between 240 to 330 degrees.

Lancair IV-P Experimental

January 30, 2016, Albany, Ga.

The airplane was destroyed at 1445 Eastern time when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot, pilot-rated passenger and one additional passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses indicated the airplane lifted off within the first 1000 feet of the runway then began to bank sharply and reached a 90-degree bank as it climbed to treetop height. The airplane then began to pitch downward and descend while maintaining the 90-degree bank until it struck the ground. The airplane impacted a grass field about 1900 feet down the runway and 280 feet to the right of the runway centerline. A witness reported the pilot/owner was in the left front seat and the pilot-rated passenger was in the right front seat.

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu

January 31, 2016, Burns, Ore.

The pilot performed a forced landing about 1455 Pacific time following a loss of engine power during cruise. The solo private pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

While cruising at FL190, the engine’s manifold pressure dropped from 29 to 15 in. Hg. The pilot arrived over the divert airport and began a circling descent. When he moved the gear selection lever to the down position, there was no indication the gear had deployed. He did not have time to perform the emergency extension procedure and decided to land gear-up on the snow adjacent to the runway. At about five feet agl, the left and right main landing gear deployed, but not the nosegear. The airplane’s nose dug into the snow during the ground roll and the airplane stopped abruptly.

Tecnam P92 Echo Super LSA

February 1, 2016, Arcola, Texas

At about 1015 Central time, the airplane impacted terrain and was destroyed. The flight instructor was fatally injured and the student pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness reported the airplane took off from Runway 9. At about midfield, the airplane was in a nose-high attitude. Its left wing dropped and the airplane entered a left turning descent. It impacted a parked Cessna 172, and came to rest on a Gulfstream American AA5A airplane. A post-crash fire consumed much of the AA5A and the accident airplane.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

February 1, 2016, Sturtevant, Wis.

The airplane collided with a moving vehicle while attempting to land at about 1715 Central time. The commercial pilot and his passenger were uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial fuselage damage when the vehicle separated the landing gear from the airplane during the collision and the subsequent landing without landing gear. Visual conditions prevailed.

Subsequently, the pilot was asked if he used the installed precision approach path indicator (PAPI) during the accident approach. He indicated he did not use the PAPI as it was out of service. On December 13, 1997, another Piper PA-28-140, flown by a student pilot, was destroyed during a collision with a moving tractor-trailer truck and terrain while on short final approach to the same runway. The student pilot was fatally injured. The investigator in charge of the 1997 accident noted the potential airplane and highway traffic conflict, and the state of Wisconsin and airport owner subsequently installed the PAPI. According to the airport manager, the PAPI was out of service because of winter frost heaves, which cause its tilt switch to sense it is not level and shut itself off so an erroneous glidepath is not indicated. A Notam for the PAPI being out of service was issued the next day.

Cessna 182T Skylane

February 1, 2016, Mobile, Ala.

At about 1945 Central time, the airplane was destroyed by a collision with trees, terrain and a post-crash fire following a missed approach. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions existed. The airplane was operated by the Civil Air Patrol.

At 1936, while the flight was being vectored for an ILS approach, ATC issued alternate missed approach instructions, which included a climb to 2000 feet and to maintain runway heading, then handed off the flight to the local control tower. At 1944, the pilot declared a missed approach. By 1945, the tower controller informed approach control that the airplane had been lost from radar. Weather observed at 1956 included wind from 140 degrees at seven knots, visibility sm in fog, and vertical visibility of 200 feet.

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II/III

February 2, 2016, Miami, Fla.

The airplane ditched in the Atlantic Ocean at 1135 Eastern time after a partial loss of engine power. The private pilot was not injured; the pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and the fuselage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated that when he performed the engine run-up before departure, he noted that the right magneto had a higher rpm drop than normal. He leaned the mixture and let the engine run for about a minute and a subsequent magneto check showed the condition had cleared itself. While returning, at an assigned altitude of 500 feet msl, engine rpm dropped even with full throttle applied. He was unable to maintain altitude and made a forced landing in the ocean close to shore.

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SPs

February 3, 2016, San Diego, Calif.

At about 1130 Pacific time, the airplane impacted a parked Cessna 172S. Both airplanes were occupied with one certified flight instructor (CFI) and one student pilot; no one was injured. The in-motion airplane sustained minor damage; the struck airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage structure and rudder. Visual conditions prevailed.

The CFI aboard the in-motion airplane reported he and his student were idling while listening to the ATIS when the airplane started to move with a right-turning tendency. The CFI stated he did not notice it at first, but when he did, he stepped on the brakes. However, the airplane increased its right turn and struck the parked, occupied airplane.

North American F-51 Mustang

February 5, 2016, Maricopa, Ariz.

The airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain at about 1157 Mountain time. The commercial pilot and the airline transport-rated passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness observed the airplane in a nose-down spiral at about 1500-2000 feet agl until it impacted the ground. Another witness stated the airplane was in a dive and that he did not observe the airplane pull out.

Beech M35/Bellanca 8KCAB

February 5, 2016, San Pedro, Calif.

At about 1500 Pacific time, an M35 Bonanza and a Bellanca Decathlon were substantially damaged when they collided in mid-air over the Los Angeles Harbor. Both the private pilot and instructor aboard the Bonanza were fatally injured. The solo private pilot aboard the Bellanca also was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Both airplanes impacted the water and sank. Multiple search and rescue agencies responded to area, and the wreckage of the Beech was located and recovered on February 7. The Bellanca was recovered on February 9, 2016.

Beech B36TC Turbocharged Bonanza

February 8, 2016, Santa Barbara, Calif.

The airplane completed a forced landing at about 1741 Pacific time, following a total loss of power during takeoff. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to its left wing. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane’s turbocharger recently had been serviced and the flight was intended as a test. During the takeoff roll, the pilot noted the engine tachometer and manifold pressure instruments displayed normal readings. When the airplane reached 300 feet agl, the engine lost power. The pilot executed a tight left turn to return to the airport, switched fuel tanks and cycled the “low” and “high” modes of the fuel boost pump, but was unsuccessful in restoring power. The airplane came to rest about mile from the departure runway.

Cessna 560 Citation V

February 9, 2016, Dallas, Texas

At about 0800 Central time, the airplane experienced a flight control malfunction during takeoff. The two flight crewmembers and three passengers on-board were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the Part 135 on-demand air taxi flight.

During takeoff, the first officer stated he had difficulty maintaining runway heading and the airplane tended to roll right. As speed was increased, the control pressures required to maintain level attitude also increased. The first officer transferred control to the captain who experienced the same flight control difficulty. The captain attempted to adjust the aileron trim, but it would not move; the trim indicator appeared centered. The flight crew declared an emergency and requested to return. While slowing for landing, the right rolling tendency decreased and the flight crew was able to free the aileron trim control. The flight crew landed the airplane without further incident.

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca

February 9, 2016, Williamsport, Penn.

During a cross-country flight at night, the pilot was attempting to deviate around deteriorating weather. He failed to maintain terrain clearance and the airplane contacted the top of a tree. The pilot subsequently landed the airplane uneventfully. Examination revealed damage to the wings and windshield.

Flight Design CTLS

February 10, 2016, Springville, Calif.

At 1617 Pacific time, the airplane entered a hard left turn while flying at low altitude and descended into terrain. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area then depart to the southwest. The airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways, wing-down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensued, destroying the airplane.

Enstrom TH-180

February 12, 2016. Menominee, Mich.

The helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted obstructions and terrain during an off-airport emergency landing at about 1123 Central time. The pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Enstrom Helicopter Corporation as a Part 91 test flight. Visual conditions prevailed.

The helicopter was on a right base to a runway when the pilot felt a “jolt” in the airframe and noticed a sudden reduction in rotor rpm, although the engine continued to run. The pilot autorotated and touched down on a city street in a residential neighborhood. During touchdown, the main rotor blades struck an electric utility pole as the helicopter slid about 300 feet down the street, coming to rest upright. Damage included collapsed landing skids, the tail cone, the pylon center section, and the lower section of the cockpit. Adequate fuel was found.

Lockheed 382G Hercules

February 12, 2016, Iliamna, Alaska

At about 0745 Alaska time, the airplane rapidly depressurized during cruise flight. The crew declared an emergency, diverted and landed without incident or injury. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed. Examination revealed a large hole in the forward pressure bulkhead canted web.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III

February 12, 2016, Destin, Fla.

The airplane was destroyed when it collided with water while maneuvering to land. The private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

After an approach to land, the pilot announced a go-around and radar depicted the airplane crossing the approach end of the runway, followed by a left-hand circuit around the airport at between 500 and 700 feet msl. The airplane appeared to turn a left base but flew through the final approach course, then turned south and tracked out over the water. The last radar target showed the airplane at 175 feet msl at 128 knots groundspeed. A witness observed the airplane crossing the beach, southbound, and stated the front of the airplane was illuminated as if the engine was “on fire.”

Cessna 140

February 13, 2016, Independence, Ore.

At about 1100 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage when its left main landing gear axle broke during landing and the airplane ground-looped. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later said the approach and touchdown were normal. Just after touchdown, he felt something similar to a bump, and the airplane started to drift to the left. He tried to compensate, but the airplane continued drifting to the left, exiting the left side of the runway into the dirt and ground-looped, sustaining substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. Examination revealed the left main landing gear axle had fractured and the wheel assembly separated from the airplane.

Beech A36 Bonanza

February 18, 2016, Marshville, N.C.

The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing at about 1910 Eastern time after a total loss of engine power. The solo airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions existed; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.

Earlier that day, the airplane departed Lexington, N.C., with full fuel. It flew to Greensboro, N.C., then to Daytona Beach, Fla., where 30 gallons of fuel were added. The airplane then took off to return to Lexington, N.C. About three hours into the flight, the pilot reported a loss of power to ATC. A witness watched as the airplane descended “in a gradual glide” before it disappeared from view. Just under a quart of fuel was drained from each tank at the accident site. The bladder tanks had not been breached.

Bell 206B JetRanger

February 18, 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii

At about 1020 Hawaiian time, the helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted water during an emergency landing. The commercial pilot and two passengers suffered serious injuries, one passenger sustained minor injuries and one passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the Part 91 air tour flight.

The pilot later reported that, while in cruise flight, he felt a vibration followed by a grinding noise, then a loud bang, The pilot initiated an auto rotation but observed multiple people within the targeted landing area. The pilot initiated a left pedal turn to avoid the people and the helicopter descended rapidly into the water, about 20 feet from the shoreline.

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.

Beechcraft Model 58 Baron

Left Main Gear Collapse

Left main landing gear collapsed on landing. Gear indicator showed all three gears down and locked before touchdown. The left gear folded immediately upon touchdown. Inspection of main gear system revealed heavy damage, therefore its rigging prior to the failure is unknown.

Aircraft total time: 5713.0 hours

Beechcraft Model C90A King Air

Right Main Gear Unsafe Indication

Crew observed right main landing gear unsafe indication. After following checklists, crew was not able to acquire safe indication. Aircraft landed and after coming to a stop, the right main gear collapsed. Significant damage was discovered to the right main gear actuator support structure, with the actuator observed in the extended position.

Aircraft total time: 5086.0 hours

Cessna 401B

Collapsed Nose Gear

Nose landing gear collapsed on landing. Nose gear reported to have been operated with a deflated nose strut and on rough airstrips. Extension tests found gear would come within 0.5 in. of full-down travel. Inspection revealed excessive play in associated rods, bell cranks and bushings, and displayed little lubrication.

Aircraft total time: Unknown

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III

Failed Fasteners

Right main landing gear collapsed and folded under the wing. Fasteners attaching gear trunnion to airframe/wing failed. Evidence indicates two lower outboard fasteners were broken or loose, allowing mounting holes to elongate and splay materials outward. A bracket attached to the trunnion displayed fretting because of failed fasteners. Aircraft is used for flight training; no hard landings had been reported.

Aircraft total time: 6812.0 hours

Piper PA-31-310 Navajo C

Corroded Nose Gear Fasteners

Nose gear not extending in flight due to lack of lubrication. Airplane operated and parked on gravel next to salt water past two years. Increased lubrication interval to 25 hours and replaced most bolts and bushings on nose gear due to rust.

Aircraft total time: 16,882.0 hours

Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage

Jammed Nose Wheel

Aircraft landed with its nose wheel steering horn assembly jammed in engine mount tube, causing aircraft to depart runway. Suspect aircraft mishandling during towing may have damaged engine mount interface. Gear extension coinciding with left rudder input also is suspected to have caused the interference. Right rudder input after full extension could not clear the jammed nose wheel.

Aircraft total time: 106.0 hours


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