NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 233 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in July 2000. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. The information is subject to change as the investigations are completed. Click here to view “Accident Totals, July.”


July 1, Spanish Fork, Utah
Diamond Katana C-1

At 13:29 mountain time, a Diamond 20C-1 lost its propeller in flight near Spanish Fork, Utah. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said that he was on a local flight and returning to Provo, Utah, when the propeller separated from the airplane. The airplane was at 9,500 feet at the time and the pilot was able to glide to the Spanish Fork airport.

July 1, Ellijay, Ga.
Mooney 201

At about 09:00 eastern time, a Mooney M20J was damaged upon landing in a field near Ellijay. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot was in the right seat and a student pilot was in the left seat. The student pilot was flying the aircraft and the pilot was following through on the controls. After takeoff from runway 3 at Gilmer County Airport, they remained in the traffic pattern. While on final approach to runway 3, the pilot told the student they would not attempt a landing. As they passed a third of the way down the runway, the pilot told the student pilot to perform a go-around. The student pilot applied full power suddenly and pulled back rapidly on the yoke. The pilot took control of the aircraft. He sacrificed the available altitude to get back airspeed and flew the aircraft about 3,000 feet before electing to set the aircraft down in an open field north of the runway. He said he was not sure the aircraft would clear the trees ahead. The left and right wings were damaged from colliding with fence poles.

July 3, Whittier, Ak.
Cessna 172

At about 18:32 Alaska time, a Cessna 172S crashed into the ocean about 10 miles east of Whittier, killing the pilot. At 17:25 a witness aboard a boat saw the accident airplane flying 10 feet off the water, with the wings rocking back and forth and almost touching the water. The witness gave a statement that said the plane was on a collision course for the cabin and pilothouse of the boat. The body of the aircraft passed between the bow anchor and the pilothouse window. Other boats reported similar experiences over the marine radio. At 18:32, a passing airplane received a distress call from the accident airplane pilot stating that he had a loss of engine power and that he was going down.

July 3, Kutztown, Pa.
Cessna 172

At about 11:30 eastern time, a Cessna 172H was damaged during landing at the Kutztown Airport, but neither the flight instructor nor student pilot were injured. The student pilot said he had accumulated 40-50 hours over the past five years, with the last flight being about a year ago. The instructor said the student pilot made the first landing on the numbers then came around the pattern for another landing. During the second approach, the airplane was high, so the student selected full flaps. The descent rate became excessive and the CFI took over, adding power to go around, then aborted the go around and tried to land on the remaining runway. The airplane touched down on a grass strip adjacent to the runway and struck a hangar with its left wingtip. It then swung around and struck the hangar with its right wing.

July 4, Deadhorse, Ak.
Cessna 207

At about 19:10 Alaska time, a Cessna 207A was damaged during an emergency landing at the Deadhorse Airport, but the pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was in cruise flight about 10 minutes after departure when he noted a light sheen of oil on the windshield. He turned around but could not see through the windshield by the time he was about two miles from the airport. While the airplane was on approach to runway 4 the propeller rpm increased for about 20 seconds, then the propeller departed the airplane. The pilot glided to a landing at the airport. The propeller and engine crankshaft flange were located and sent to the NTSB metallurgical laboratory for examination. The airplane was equipped with a Continental IO-520-F engine.

July 6, Quincy, Ill.
Piper Tri-Pacer

At about 06:30 central time, a Piper PA-22-150 crashed and burned while approaching to land on runway 9 at Blickhan Landing Area Airport. The student pilot and his passenger were killed. The flight originated from the pilots private airstrip near LaPlata, Mo, at an unknown time. Witnesses reported fog in the area on the morning of the crash. The temperature was 70 and the dewpoint 68. The wreckage was located about 500 feet from the runway threshold. The aircraft wreckage was confined to an area about 40 feet in diameter. No pre-existing mechanical problem could be determined.

July 8, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Cessna 402

At about 04:55 Atlantic time, a Cessna 402C on a Part 135 mail flight apparently crashed into the Caribbean Sea near Vieques. The wreckage was not recovered and the pilot is presumed dead. The flight was en route from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and was cruising at 7,000 feet. At about 04:53, the pilot requested a lower altitude and was cleared to 2,000 feet. The pilot acknowledged the clearance and no further transmissions were received from the pilot. Radar showed the aircraft began its descent, then a high-pitched tone was heard on the communications radio frequency. In the next 16 seconds, radar returns show the plane descending from 5,500 feet to 1,200 feet, when radar contact was lost. Debris and mail from the aircraft was located around the east end of Vieques.

July 8, Westminster, Md.
Luscombe 8A

At 13:07 eastern time, a Luscombe 8A departed the runway during the takeoff run at Clearview Airpark and was damaged when it struck a hangar. The pilot and flight instructor were not injured. The owner said he had recently purchased the airplane and needed a tailwheel checkout. The instructor said the owners handling of the airplane and use of brakes led him to believe the owner could make the takeoff. After the start of the takeoff roll, the airplane initially drifted right, and departed the right side of the 30-foot-wide runway. However, after running parallel to the runway for about 200 feet, it then crossed over the runway to the left and continued for an additional 225 feet, heading about 45 degrees left of the runway heading. The airplane passed through an area of nearby parked airplanes and then the right wing struck the edge of a hanger, after which the airplane pivoted until the left wing also struck the hanger. The owner had accumulated about 125 hours, with his last tailwheel experience over 20 years ago.

July 10, Santa Maria, Calif.
Piper Cherokee 180

At 13:45 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-180 lost power in flight and was damaged during the ensuing off-airport landing. The four occupants received minor injuries. The flight originated from Concord, Calif., two hours earlier. The Santa Maria tower reported the pilot declared an emergency due to low fuel. The airplane landed on city streets about 1 mile from the airport, hitting a tree and residence.

July 12, Ashton, Idaho
Cessna 150

At approximately 20:40 mountain time, a Cessna 150E struck a tree while making a low pass over a summer camp about six miles northeast of Ashton. The unlicensed pilot and two passengers were killed. Witnesses said the aircraft was flying wings-level toward the camp at a low altitude. The aircraft then overflew the camp very close to the tree tops. After the first pass, the aircraft gained altitude, reversed course to the south, and then descended toward the camp again. During the second pass, which was lower than the first, someone in the aircraft dropped a written note to one of the campers on the ground. The aircraft then flew about 280 feet past the center of the camp before impacting a tree near the inboard edge of the left wing.

July 12, Selma, Calif.
Piper Tomahawk

At 13:00 Pacific time, a Piper PA-38-112 lost power while conducting a go-around after a simulated engine-out procedure at the Selma Airport. The airplane crashed in a vineyard, but the student and flight instructor were not injured. The instructor told investigators company procedure called for switching to the fullest tank prior to takeoff after a touch-and-go. On the touch-and-go takeoff, the fuel tank was switched and the engine quit at 200 feet agl. The CFI took control and made an unsuccessful attempt to restart the engine. Inspectors found the fuel valve to be in between the left and right port openings, and the fuel valve control rod did not turn. The plastic fuel selector handle was cracked completely through. The inspector stated that the pilots would not have been able to tell that the fuel valve was in an intermediate position in correlation to the fuel selector handle position.

July 12, Carthage, N.Y.
Fairchild Cornell

At about 17:10 eastern time, a Fairchild M-62C crashed while departing a private airport in Carthage. The pilot was seriously injured and the passenger, who owned the airport, received minor injuries. The airplane took off to the west but could not climb above 50-foot trees at the departure end of the runway. The airport owner said most flights land to the west toward the trees and depart to the east, even if theres a tailwind, because there are no obstacles to clear. He said he mentioned this to the pilot, who elected to depart to the west.

July 14, Holly Springs, Miss.
Cessna 150

At about 23:51 central time, a Cessna 150M crashed about 750 feet south of the Holly Springs-Marshall County Airport. The pilot and passenger were killed. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center detected an ELT transmission and, at about 03:00 on July 15, determined it was emanating from an area near the airport. Wreckage was found at about 07:45. No information on the origin of the flight could be determined. Law enforcement personnel discovered 79 lbs. of marijuana in the wreckage.

July 15, Palo Alto, Calif.
Cessna Skyhawk and Beech Baron

At about 11:00 Pacific time, a Cessna 172K taxied into a Beech 58 at the Palo Alto Airport. The Cessna pilot was attempting to taxi around the stationary Beech, which was holding on a taxiway leading to runway 31. The Cessnas left wing passed over the right wing of the Baron and struck the Barons spinning propeller. No one was injured.

July 16, Immokalee, Fla.
Piper Comanche

At about 10:47 eastern time, a Piper PA-24-250 lost power and was damaged in a forced landing 5 miles southwest of Immokalee Airport. The instructor sustained serious injuries and the private-rated student sustained minor injuries. The flight had originated about 30 minutes earlier from Naples, Fla. The engine quit at 1,200 feet and the instructor switched from the right to the left fuel tank but the engine did not restart. Investigation of the wreckage revealed no visible fuel in the right main fuel tank; the fuel selector was found positioned to the right main fuel tank. The remaining tanks were nearly full.

July 17, Hernando, Miss.
Beech Baron

At about 12:02 central time, a Beech 58 suffered an in-flight electrical failure and crashed into Arkabutla Lake, killing the pilot. The Park 135 cargo flight originated seven minutes earlier from Memphis, Tenn. The pilot was cleared to climb to 6,000 feet when he reported an electrical fire. The controller advised him of an airport 12 miles away, then informed him of a closer grass strip. The pilot responded by saying that the flight needed to land immediately. Several witnesses reported seeing smoke trail the airplane in flight. A fire on the water after impact lasted an estimated 4-5 minutes.

July 18, Hamilton, Mont.

At approximately 08:30 mountain time, an Ercoupe 415-D caught fire after a hard landing at Ravalli County Airport. The student pilot/owner died of burns about two days later. The flight is believed to have departed the pilots private airstrip near Missoula, Mont., about 20 minutes prior to the accident. Witnesses said the pilot was landing with a quartering tailwind and was established at a much lower altitude than would normally be expected. As the aircraft neared the runway, it appeared to witnesses to lose airspeed and drop onto the runway very hard. Almost immediately after contacting the runway, flames were seen coming from the belly of the aircraft near the firewall. By the time the aircraft came to a stop, most of the fuselage was in flames.

July 19, Columbus, Ohio
Cessna 172

At about 08:10 eastern time, a Cessna 172M overran the runway and crashed when it turned back toward the airport after losing power on initial climb from Ohio State University Airport. The pilot received minor injuries. The pilot said he drained the sumps and found no water, then took off from runway 9R. When the airplane was about 500 feet above the ground, the engine started to sputter and then lost power. The pilot turned to land on runway 27R but overran the runway and crashed into a fence 500 feet beyond the end of the runway. No water was found in the tanks after the crash. Investigators ran the engine for about 15 seconds, during which time it ran labored. The bracket air filter was examined and found to contain a small amount of water. The engine was run again and accelerated to 1,200 rpm, with no problems reported. The pilot said he had made a two-second carb heat check during the runup but noted no rpm drop. Weather reports showed a light rain had fallen that morning and that the temperature was 17 C and the dewpoint was 14 C.

July 20, Lubbock, Texas
Cessna Centurion

At 00:30 central time, a Cessna 210D crashed while landing at the Town and Country Airpark Airport. The pilot and his passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot told local law enforcement personnel that he departed from runway 17 and remained in the traffic pattern. The pilot initially said that, during the final approach leg, the airplane struck a power line and crashed short of the runway. Investigators and police found no evidence of a wire strike. Police said the pilot told them he had consumed approximately 5 mixed drinks that evening. Witnesses added that the pilot and passenger appeared intoxicated and smelled of alcohol.

July 21, Kahului, Hawaii
Aerospatiale AS 355

At about 10:20 Hawaiian standard time, an Aerospatiale AS 355F1 helicopter struck mountains about nine miles west of Kahului. The pilot of the Part 135 sightseeing flight and its six passengers were killed. The impact site was 2,850 feet up the north face of a 2,900-foot mountain, with a slope estimated in excess of 60 degrees. Three other tour helicopter pilots from the same operator said they had flown within 2 miles south of the accident site in the half hour before the crash. Those pilots told investigators they modified their tour routes to exclude the area flown by the accident pilot because of the inclement weather conditions they observed.

July 23, Boulder City, Nev.
Piper Navajo

At 13:10 Pacific time, a Piper PA-31-350 suffered a collapsed landing gear during a precautionary landing on a beach at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The precautionary landing was precipitated by a loss of power in the left engine during cruise flight and the inability of the pilot to maintain altitude on one engine. The pilot of the Part 135 flight and nine passengers were not injured. The pilot said the airplane departed Boulder City at maximum gross takeoff weight and climbed to a cruise altitude of 9,500 feet msl. About 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot heard a loud pop sound and the left engine surged once. The pilot turned around and started back toward lower terrain. The pilot said the airplane would not hold cruise altitude at best single engine rate of climb airspeed and began to drift down. He said the beach was the only clear flat area. During the landing rollout, the aircraft encountered moderately sized rocks and collapsed the nose and left landing gear.

July 24, Harrisburg, Ill.
Cessna 210

At 11:44 central time, a Cessna 210N, operated by Teledyne Continental Motors as an experimental airplane for research and development, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on a highway approximately 12 miles south of Harrisburg. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was one of three flights en route to the AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis. The pilot said he was cruising at 6,500 feet when the airplane lost power.

July 25, Pistol Creek, Idaho
Cessna Turbo Stationair

At 11:30 mountain time, a Cessna TU-206G struck trees while attempting an emergency landing at a remote airstrip about 40 miles east of McCall. The pilot was killed. The Part 135 cargo flight had just departed Pistol Creek Airstrip, en route to Cascade, when the pilot reported he was engine out into Pistol Creek. Witnesses heard a loud popping or sputtering sound, followed by an almost complete loss of any engine noise. The aircraft turned onto a left downwind for landing, then flew base and final trailing bluish-white smoke. The aircraft banked steeply during its turn from base to final but overshot the extended centerline of the runway and angled back in toward the runway. About 200 feet prior to reaching the runway, the aircraft struck trees and burst into flame.

July 25, Oshkosh, Wis.
Beech Bonanza

At 17:00 central time, a Beech BE-35 struck the runway with its left wing while landing at Wittman Regional Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Special Air Traffic Management landing instructions, which had been issued in a NOTAM, were in effect during the time of the accident. The airplane had made a right downwind pattern and was landing at the Green Spot, located 3,000 feet from the runway threshold on the right side of runway 27. Another airplane, a Velocity, was behind the Beech on final approach, and was instructed to land on the Orange Spot, located 1,500 feet from the runway threshold on the left side of runway 27. The pilot of the Beech 35 said, When I saw the other aircraft next to me suddenly on my left I veered to the right to avoid contact with it. My plane went to the right and then I turned to the left to stay on the runway. My left wingtip contacted the runway.

July 26, Ashland, Va.
Cessna Centurion

At 00:28 eastern time, a Cessna 210D crashed shortly after departure from Hanover County Airport, killing the pilot. Witnesses reported the airplane arrived about 18:15 and the tanks were filled. Several hours later the pilot called for a weather briefing and filed an IFR flight plan. The pilot took off and was climbing to his cruising altitude of 5,000 feet when the controller called him to find out why he hadnt started turning on course. The pilot replied Ah, currently, Im at, ah … The radio continued to transmit background noise but no voice. Again a few minutes later, the aircraft transmitted background noise only. The controller tried to contact the pilot again and got a verbal response, so he issued turning instructions. The airplane at this point appeared to be circling around the airport. No further radio contact was made. The airplane appeared to hit right wing low at a descent rate in excess of 10,000 feet per minute.

July 26, Batavia, N.Y.

At 10:41 eastern time, an amateur-built Lionheart crashed on takeoff from Genesee County Airport. The three occupants were uninjured. The pilot told investigators he was attempting a takeoff from runway 28 when the airplane drifted to the right and off the runway surface. The airplane became airborne, but the tailwheel struck the turf and the airplane porpoised. The landing gear collapsed and the airplane slid into some barriers around the airports tetrahedron. Winds at the time were reported as light and variable. The pilot reported that he had about 6,300 hours of flight time, with 6 hours in the accident airplane.

July 28, Chatham, Mass.
Piper Malibu Mirage

At 17:06 eastern time, a Piper PA-46-350P ran off the end of the runway at Chatham Municipal Airport. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The pilot said the approach and landing on the 3,000-foot runway were normal, with the airplane touching down about 300 to 400 feet from the approach end of the runway. During the rollout, the airplane decelerated to about 10 knots, As he applied brakes to turn onto the taxiway at the end of the runway, however, the airplane did not respond. The airplane departed the runway and the right wing struck the ground, bending it aft. The pilot and an instructor who had also flown the 2000 model year airplane said the brakes did not work as well as on other PA-46s. An inspector and a mechanic could find no anomalies with the airplane.

July 29, Princeton, N.J.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 17:50 eastern time, a Cessna 172P crashed while landing at Princeton Airport, seriously injuring the student pilot. The pilot said he was shooting touch-and-goes when I started to flare and the airplane started to drift off the runway. I added full power and pushed the carburetor heat in. The plane lifted up and went nose in. I guess I stalled it. Witnesses said the landings were all nose-high, and on the final landing it appeared the pilot hit the tail skid on the ground.

July 30, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Beech Bonanza

At 22:00 central time, a Beech BE-A35 was substantially damaged when it experienced tail flutter near Poplar Bluff. Neither occupant was injured. The pilot said he was descending in smooth air when there was a loud noise and the airplane began to shake. He reported the shaking stopped when he pulled back on the yoke and pulled the throttle back to reduce the airplanes speed to below 144 mph. The flight landed uneventfully.

July 31, Raleigh, N.C.
Dehavilland Twin Otter

At about 00:34 eastern time, a Dehavilland Canada DHC-6-200 struck trees while maneuvering to land at the Raleigh/Durham International Airport. The pilot was killed and two passengers suffered serious injuries. The flight was en route from Hinckley, Ill., to Louisburg, N.C. for maintenance work. A visual approach at Louisburg was unsuccessful because of ground fog. The pilot, who was not instrument rated, was given vectors toward Raleigh/Durham. ATC intended to bring the flight over the top of the airport in an attempt to get the pilot visual contact with the airport. About 1 miles from the airport the pilot turned away from the field and crashed in a heavily wooded area. The fuel tanks were not breached but there was no evidence of fuel in the airplane.


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