March 2016 NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


January 1, 2016, Newman Lake, Washington
Piper PA-18-135 Super Cub

At about 1530 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a precautionary landing following a partial loss of engine power. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After reaching the destination, he overflew the airstrip to judge the depth of the snow on the runway. While maneuvering, the pilot observed a power reduction. After attempts to restore power were unsuccessful, the pilot elected to make a precautionary landing on the snow-covered airstrip. On touchdown, the main landing gear dug into the snow and the airplane nosed over, with substantial damage.

January 2, 2016, Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

The airplane sustained substantial damage after impacting terrain at about 1205 Alaska time. The VFR scheduled Part 135 commuter flight carried eight people. The airline transport pilot and four passengers received serious injuries; three passengers had minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed at the destination airport at the time of the accident.

The airplane impacted a ridgetop at 3000 feet msl, and came to rest 300 feet later at a 2500-foot elevation. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage and wings. The pilot later reported overcast skies and snow-covered ground produced a flat light condition. About six miles northeast of the accident site, at 1156, the destination airport’s automated weather reported wind from 170 degrees at five knots, broken clouds at 4400 feet, an overcast at 5000 feet, six statute miles of visibility and a temperature/dewpoint of 19 degrees/12 degrees F.

January 2, 2016, Rosamond, California
Velocity Standard RG Experimental

At about 1430 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged following loss of engine power and a forced landing. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported that about 10 miles from the departure airport, “the engine hesitated, corrected itself, then hesitated again.” He turned back and about five miles from the runway, the engine lost power. The pilot made an off-airport forced landing, with substantial damage to the airplane.

January 2, 2016, Salem, Oregon
Vans RV-8A Experimental

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1530 Pacific time following a loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing. The pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported the engine surged while turning from base to final, followed by a partial loss of power. Knowing he would not make the runway, the pilot landed about 50 yards short, collapsing the nose landing gear and damaging the firewall.

2015 US Civil Aviation accidents

January 3, 2016, Wayne, Nebraska
Cessna 172N Skyhawk

At about 1840 Central time, the airplane impacted terrain, sustaining substantial damage. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed at the destination airport.

As the pilot neared the destination flying VFR on top, ATC reported instrument conditions at the airport. The pilot decided to land at a nearby airport but radar and radio contact were lost. The airplane came to rest about eight miles east of a potential divert airport.

January 3, 2016, Ingleside, Texas
Cessna 170B

The airplane impacted terrain at 1440 Central time, following a loss of engine power during takeoff. The two private pilots aboard were not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage and left wing. Visual conditions prevailed.

At approximately 200 feet agl after takeoff, the engine partially lost power, briefly regained some power, then lost it again. The pilot executed a forced landing in mesquite tree-covered terrain. The pilot later stated he believed the engine lost power due to carburetor ice. Nearby weather included temperature of nine degrees Celsius and a dew point of five degrees.

January 4, 2016, Alpine, Wyoming
Yakovlev (Aerostar) Yak-52

At about 1615 Mountain time, the airplane collided with terrain while maneuvering. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident flight departed and was seen north and west of the airport, performing aerobatic maneuvers. No witnesses apparently observed the impact, but the passenger’s father noticed the debris field formation from pattern altitude in another airplane. Examination of the accident site revealed all control surfaces and major components of the airplane. All identified disconnects in flight control push-pull tubes were angular and jagged; all identified disconnects in flight control cables were splayed.

January 4, 2016, Henderson, Nevada
Beechcraft Model 35-C33 Debonair

The airplane landed short of the runway at about 1715 Pacific time after experiencing a partial loss of engine power on final approach. The private pilot and the flight instructor were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. Visual conditions prevailed.

The cross-country instructional flight was intended to familiarize the airplane’s new owner with it. As the instructor turned onto final approach to the runway, the engine stopped producing power. He checked the instrument gauges, manipulated the fuel selector and adjusted the throttle in order to regain power, but there was insufficient altitude to restart the engine. The airplane landed hard short of the runway, collapsing the nose landing gear.

January 6, 2016, Savannah, Georgia
Pilatus PC-12

At about 0830 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following an apparent engine failure shortly after takeoff. The two pilots aboard sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

While in the initial climb, engine instruments indicated low torque. The flying pilot turned the airplane toward open ground while the monitoring pilot verified the landing gear was down. The airplane then made “what appeared to be a normal landing” but then encountered a drainage ditch. Nearby controllers noticed an engine-compartment fire after the airplane came to rest.

January 8, 2016, Concord, N.C.
Cirrus SR22

The airplane was substantially damaged during impact with terrain at 1538 Eastern time, after its airframe parachute was deployed following loss of control. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Instrument conditions prevailed.

While executing a coupled ILS approach, the pilot observed indications the airplane was below the glideslope but the autopilot did not correct for the deviation. After breaking out well to the left of the intended runway, ATC directed the pilot to execute a missed approach and vectored the airplane to a nearby airport. The pilot hand-flew the airplane to the divert airport and was cleared for a GPS approach but set up for the wrong procedure. After additional vectors, he was established on the inbound course and once again engaged the autopilot again. The airplane began to climb and banked right, and the pilot received “terrain” and “envelope protection” warnings, plus a low-altitude advisory from ATC. He pushed the “straight and level” button on the autopilot, but the airplane did not respond. He deployed the airframe parachute and secured the engine, and the airplane descended into a residential area, impacting a chain-link fence.

January 13, 2016, Gilmer, Texas
Cessna 172N Skyhawk

At about 0105 Central time, the airplane was located in a wooded area approximately 0.5 nm from the destination airport’s runway. The non-instrument-rated private pilot was fatally injured; a passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane received substantial damage to the wings, fuselage and empennage. Night instrument conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan nor receiving any ATC services.

January 14, 2016, Meeker, Colorado
Beechcraft C35 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain at about 1745 Central time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While en route during the accident flight, the pilot requested flight following services from ATC and requested clearance to fly a higher altitude to stay clear of clouds. After receiving flight following, a controller queried the pilot on his change of route and altitude before noticing the airplane descend and losing radar and radio contact. A search and rescue effort was activated and the airplane was found early the following morning in mountainous terrain.

January 14, 2016, Garden City, Texas
Piper PA-22-108 Colt

At 1609 Central time the airplane impacted terrain and was destroyed. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses reported the pilot intended to fly the airplane to a nearby airport to it to a friend. He reportedly started its engine at about 1530, but no witnesses observed the airplane take off. The accident site was located about eight miles southwest of the destination airport and about four miles south of the expected route of flight. The main wreckage came to rest in an area of mostly flat terrain. The debris field was about 100 yards long. At 1615, an automated weather observation about 16 miles northeast of the accident site recorded wind from 230 at 15 knots, 10 miles of visibility and clear skies.

January 14, 2016, Wake, Virginia
Flightstar II Experimental

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1400 Eastern time when it departed controlled flight and impacted wooded terrain. The solo sport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

On the morning of the accident, witnesses watched the pilot as he performed an uneventful preflight inspection of the airplane. Subsequently, when the airplane was about two miles south of the departure airport, a witness observed it flying southerly at an estimated 1200 feet agl. The witness heard a loud “cracking” sound and watched as the airplane’s left wing folded upward from its mount on the fuselage, and heard the engine’s rpm increase as the airplane entered a spiral nose dive. He further described that the left wing was “flapping wildly” as the airplane descended in a spiral toward the ground.

January 16, 2016, Kingston, Tennessee
Beechcraft A23 Musketeer

At 1110 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged by a collision with a tree during a forced landing. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The day before the accident, the pilot drained the left fuel tank to clear any debris from the sump valve. All of the drained fuel went into the right wing tank, bringing it to approximately 28 gallons. He added back approximately 1.5 gallons to the left fuel tank, then sumped both tanks for water and contamination. The following day, he flew around the local area for approximately 45 minutes before landing back at the departure airport. He taxied around the airport, then took off again. A few minutes later, the engine stopped. An unsuccessful attempt was made to restart the engine, and the pilot performed an emergency off-field landing.

January 17, 2016, Madison, Georgia
Cessna 152

At 1945 Eastern time, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power, was force-landed on a road and struck a telephone pole with the left wing. The commercial pilot and the passenger were both seriously injured. Visual conditions existed.

While en route, the pilot advised ATC the airplane’s engine was running rough and he wanted to land at a nearby airport. The controller assisted the pilot and provided airport information. About three minutes later, the pilot told the controller that he was not going to make the airport. The controller provided a highway for the pilot to land on but there were no further communications. An FAA inspector subsequently observed both of the airplane’s fuel tanks were empty.

January 17, 2016, Hanalei, Hawaii
Airbus (Eurocopter) EC130

The helicopter landed hard at about 1430 Hawaii time, after a reported loss of engine power. The commercial pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries; four passengers were seriously injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the air tour flight.

The pilot reported being about mile off shore at 1300 feet when he heard the low rotor rpm horn. He immediately entered an autorotation, turned toward the beach and transmitted that he had an engine failure. The helicopter landed hard on the beach. He applied the rotor brake and noted the engine was not running.

January 18, 2016, Cedar Fort, Utah
Cessna 525 CitationJet

The airplane was destroyed at about 1000 Mountain time following an in-flight breakup while maneuvering at altitude. The airline transport pilot and his sole passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported a flight management system (FMS) and ATC cleared the flight to FL310 and provided vectors around light precipitation. Shortly thereafter, the pilot declared a MAYDAY, stated that he was having difficulty with the backup FMS, and that he was hand-flying the airplane. Radar observed the airplane turning right before the target was lost. There were no further transmissions from the accident airplane. The airplane’s wreckage was located in open, flat ground, extending for about a mile. All of the airplane’s primary flight controls were accounted for at the accident site.

January 18, 2016, Venice, Florida
Cessna 210 Centurion

The pilot reported he was distracted by approximately eight other airplanes in the traffic pattern. He subsequently forgot to extend the landing gear and landed with it retracted. The airplane came to rest upright on the runway. Examination revealed damage to the lower fuselage, which included the keel and bulkhead. When the landing gear selector handle was moved to the extend position after jacking the airplane, the landing gear extended normally.

January 25, 2016, Lodi, California
Cessna 210 Centurion

The airplane was substantially damaged during a runway overrun at about 1930 Pacific time. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Following a normal landing, the pilot let the airplane roll to the end of the runway. As the pilot applied brakes at an estimated 15 to 20 mph, the felt like it was “skidding or losing traction.” The pilot stated he applied normal pressure to the rudder pedals. Despite his attempts to stop the airplane, it impacted an airport perimeter fence about 495 feet beyond the runway threshold.

January 27, 2016, Bakersfield, California
Cessna 340A

At about 0939 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its right main landing gear collapsed during a landing attempt. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While maneuvering for landing, the pilot received “gear unlocked” indications for the right main landing gear. After ATC confirmed the landing gear was extended, the pilot retracted it and departed the traffic pattern to troubleshoot the indication. He then manually cranked the landing gear to the “down” position, but continued to receive unlocked indications for the affected gear. When he returned to the airport to land, the pilot touched down on the left main landing gear first, then gently put weight on the right gear, which collapsed during the landing roll. Examination of the right main landing gear well revealed a broken downlock brace.


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