NTSB Preliminary Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


The following briefs were selected from the 121 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in December 2001. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. The information is subject to change as the investigations are completed.

Nov. 02, Argyle, N.Y.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 14:10 eastern time, a Cessna 172D crashed while returning to land at Argyle Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said the oil access door popped open shortly after takeoff when he was at about 150 feet agl. He decided to return for a landing and made a left turn toward the airport. He said the airplane then lost lift because of strong wind and the airplane struck the ground about -mile from the approach end of runway 21. Wind at an airport eight miles away was reported as 190 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 18 knots.

Nov. 03, North Lima, Ohio
Maule M7-260

At about 13:30 eastern time, a Maule M7-260 was damaged while landing on a private lake in North Lima, Ohio. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reportedly landed on the lake with the landing gear inadvertently in the extended position, and the airplane flipped over.

Nov. 03, Avalon, Calif.
Piper Cherokee Six

At 16:45 Pacific time, a Piper PA-32-260 lost power after takeoff and was ditched into the Pacific Ocean about four miles south of Catalina Island. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The pilot reported the engine began making a rattling noise with a loss of engine power after takeoff. He was unable to return to the runway and landed in the ocean. The Catalina Island airport manager stated that a pilot reported hearing the accident airplane prior to departure and that the engine sounded terrible or strange.

Nov. 05, Lucile, Idaho
Cessna 185

At approximately 18:00 mountain time, a Cessna A185F departed McCall, Idaho, for a planned 45-minute flight to Cottonwood. The airplane was reported missing by a family member, and the airplanes wreckage was located the following day approximately 3 miles south-southwest of Lucile. The pilot was killed. The aircraft crashed on the west slope of the river canyon where it makes a 90-degree right turn, from north to east. A bowl is located adjacent to this 90-degree turn, generally to the north and west of the turn. No pre-accident anomalies were found. A thin layer of clouds was reported at the time at 5,500 feet, and the accident site was at 2,700 feet. There was no moon at the time of the accident.

Nov. 07, Backus, Minn.
Taylorcraft F-19

At approximately 20:00 central time, a Taylorcraft F-19 struck a tree while in cruise flight nine miles west of Backus. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The flight originated in Park Rapids, Minn., about 20 minutes earlier and was en route to Pine River. The weather was reported as 400 feet overcast with three miles visibility, mist, temperature 43, dew point 42. The pilot was not instrument-rated.

Nov. 07, Winston Salem, N.C.
Cessna 310

At 11:18 eastern time, a Cessna 310Q crashed into a residential area six minutes after takeoff from Smith Reynolds Airport, killing the pilot. Controllers said the pilot notified them that he was experiencing oscillations in the airplanes controls. Then the pilot said he had the problem under control and was continuing onto his destination. Shortly after that the pilot radioed that he was experiencing a lot of down pressure on yoke. Shortly after that the airplane crashed. The airplane crashed 55 degrees left-wing low and 60 degrees nose-down.

Nov. 09, Ogden, Utah
Agusta A119

At approximately 14:45 mountain time, an Agusta A119 helicopter crashed during landing at the Mackay-Dee Hospital helipad. All three occupants were slightly injured. The pilot said the approach was a little high and he lowered collective control. Rotor rpm and N2 decayed to 96%, then dropped to 80% and did not recover. A hard landing ensued and the helicopter rolled over on its left side. The helicopter, one of three in operation, had approximately 39 hours time-in-service. Previous maintenance discrepancies included several reports of rotor rpm and N2 decay of approximately 4% whenever collective was lowered, but all of these discrepancies occurred during ground tests.

Nov. 09, Puyallup, Wash.
Piper Arrow

At approximately 21:30 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28R-200 on short final for runway 16 encountered rotor wash from a helicopter operating near runway 16 at Pierce County Airport/Thun Field. No one was injured. The airplane experienced a roll, yaw, and sink rate excursion upon encountering the rotor wash. The crew applied corrective flight control inputs in an attempt to counter this excursion, but the airplane touched down in grass adjacent to the paved runway surface. The flight crew, which included a flight instructor and a private pilot receiving flight instruction for his FAA commercial pilot practical test, continued the landing rollout in the grass, but the airplanes nose gear collapsed.

Nov. 09, North Las Vegas, Nev.
Cessna Centurion

At 18:49 Pacific time, a Cessna 210K suffered a collapsed landing gear while landing at North Las Vegas. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The landing gear would neither fully retract nor fully extend after takeoff and the pilot elected to return to North Las Vegas. The accident flight was the first flight of the airplane following an annual inspection in which the landing gear was reported as having a discrepancy. The gear was re-rigged and the aircraft placed on jacks. Mechanics successfully cycled the gear 10 times using a external hydraulic pressure source. The accident flight was the first takeoff after the inspection. The emergency manual extension hand pump would not give a landing-gear-extended cockpit indication. Subsequent inspection revealed the engine-driven hydraulic pump was inoperative.

Nov. 10, Corning, N.Y.
Cessna 152 and Cessna 172

At 17:00 eastern time, a Cessna 152 struck a parked Cessna 172 during landing rollout at Corning-Painted Post Airport. Both aircraft sustained substantial damage. Neither occupant of the 152 was injured. The flight instructor said he landed on runway 31 and planned for a long rollout so the student could practice taxiing. During the rollout, the student pressed the left brake, and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway, striking the parked Cessna. The left wing of the Cessna 152 impacted the left strut of the Cessna 172. The Cessna 152 rotated to the left, and its propeller then sliced through the empennage of the Cessna 172 and came to a stop.

Nov. 10, Mounds View, Minn.
Beech Bonanza

At 16:20 central time, a Beech V35 lost power and struck a tree and crashed one mile south of the Anoka County/Blaine Airport. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured and one other passenger suffered minor injuries. The rear-seat passenger said they had been making left traffic for runway 35 and had been operating in the traffic pattern for 20 to 30 minutes when the engine quit. As they turned base to final the airplanes right wing hit a tree and the airplane went straight down. The passenger exited through an emergency door and noted the airplane beginning to burn. He then got the other two occupants out of the airplane. An initial examination of the engine and other airplane systems showed no anomalies.

Nov. 10, St. Augustine, Fla.
Extra 300L and Vans RV-3

An Extra 300L and an amateur-built RV-3 collided in flight while flaring to land at St. Augustine Airport. The Extra suffered minor damage and the RV-3 was substantially damaged. No one was injured. The Extra pilot said he was on a sales demonstration flight with a prospective buyer and announced the flight inbound on the airports Unicom/CTAF, apparently without success. They heard other airplanes announcing their positions in the traffic pattern for runway 2 and made a standard entry into a left downwind at 800 feet behind a Cessna. As he flared to land, he felt a bump similar to a hard landing, then landed straight ahead and saw the RV-3 on the runway behind him. The RV-3 pilot said he overflew the airport at 1,500 feet and entered a left downwind for runway 2, reporting his position on Unicom/CTAF. While on final approach he saw a Falcon jet back-taxing on runway 2 after landing on runway 31, so he went around and took up a position behind the Cessna. He reported his position on short final. As he was touching down, he felt an impact coming from above and saw the Extra land.

Nov. 11, Sarasota, Fla.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 10:51 eastern time, a Cessna 172S crashed while landing at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The student pilot was not injured. The pilot departed from runway 4 and felt the trim forcing the nose of the airplane down. She informed the control tower that she was having difficulty and the controller cleared her to land on runway 32. She attempted to manually control the trim, but was unsuccessful. She put both hands on the control wheel and activated the autopilot red disconnect button with negative results. She said she knew she was not flying the airplane. She did not attempt to turn the autopilot off at the control head because she had not received any training in how to do so. The airplane touched down on the runway and began to porpoise. It veered to the right of the runway about 500 feet from the end of the runway.

Nov. 12, Graham, Texas
Piper Cheyenne

At 23:25 central time, a Piper PA-31T1 crashed on approach to Graham Municipal Airport. The pilot and his three passengers were killed. The pilot was instrument-rated and IMC prevailed, but a flight plan was not filed. The flight was reported overdue the next day and the crash site was found three days after the crash. The wreckage indicated the airplane crashed while in controlled flight. A weather station 32 miles from the crash site reported broken cloud layers at 600 and 7,000 feet, visibility four miles in mist, temperature 15, dewpoint 14 at the time of the crash.

Nov. 13, Santa Monica, Calif.
Cessna 340

At 18:35 Pacific time, a Cessna 340A overran runway 21, vaulted an embankment and came to rest on an airport service road during an aborted takeoff at Santa Monica Municipal Airport. The pilot and passenger were killed. Witnesses reported the airplane passing low and fast down the runway. They then reported hearing the engines retarded to idle, skidding noises and the sound of impact. A flight instructor saw the airplane taxi directly from an airport restaurant parking area to the runway, without stopping in the runup area. The airplanes flight control lock was found installed in the pilots control column.

Nov. 15, Leesburg, Va.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 18:16 eastern time, a Cessna 172S was destroyed by an explosion and fire after the pilot shut down the engine on the taxiway at Leesburg Executive Airport. The pilot was seriously injured. The pilot said he was flying to a nearby airport to pick up a passenger and return. The aircraft had been loaded for a departure the next day to make a fishing trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The airplane was loaded with fishing gear, camping gear and 15 gallons of 100LL avgas in four, five-gallon cans. The fuel cans and the gear were secured under a cargo net in the airplane two days prior to the accident. The pilot said he taxied to the runup area and got an overwhelming fuel smell. He shut off the engine and exited the airplane. However, he left the master switch and lights on and the airplane cabin exploded.

Nov. 16, Spearville, Kan.
Piper Saratoga

At 18:39 central time, the pilot of a Piper PA-32R-301 lost control and crashed three miles north-northwest of Spearville. The pilot was killed. IMC prevailed and no flight plan was filed. A witness observed the airplane fly over his house heading southwest, turn south and go into a fog bank. The airplane then came out of the fog heading west and diving to the ground.

Nov. 19, Patterson, La.
Grumman American AA-1B

At 17:30 central time, a Grumman American AA-1B lost power on initial climb from Williams Memorial Airport and crashed, killing the pilot. A witness said the airplane began a shallow climb after takeoff. When it was at about 90 to 100 feet agl, the engine lost power, regained partial power and then lost power again. The witness saw the airplanes nose lower and the airplane made an abrupt steep right bank past 90 degrees and crashed.

Nov. 21, Eagleville, Calif.
Aero Commander 500

At 11:26 Pacific time, an Aero Commander 500S struck mountainous terrain on Eagle Peak, killing the four occupants. The flight departed Reno, Nev., about 10:45 on an IFR flight to Wenatchee, Wash. The pilot requested 12,500 feet msl as a cruise altitude and the sector controller informed the pilot that he was unable to clear the flight to that altitude because the minimum enroute altitude for the route segment was 14,000 feet. The pilot then canceled his instrument flight plan and stated that he was VFR on top at 10,500 feet. At 11:26, the controller lost radio and radar contact.

Nov. 21, Brookville, Pa.
Cessna Skylane

At 18:30 eastern time, a Cessna 182 lost engine power and was damaged in the ensuing forced landing, leaving the pilot with minor injuries. The pilot said he departed at about 16:45 on a cross-country trip. He set power and leaned the engine to about 11.5 gph. After about 2 hours, 15 minutes of flight, the engine lost power. He reported the loss of power on 121.5 and another pilot helped the pilot troubleshoot the problem. The pilot checked the magnetos, turned the carburetor heat ON and checked the fuel selector, which was in the Both position. The pilot ensured that the primer was locked and set the mixture to full rich, the throttle to full open, and the boost pump to ON. The pilot began a descent at best glide speed and turned toward the nearest airport. About 1,500 feet agl the engine completely lost power. Post accident investigation revealed the left wing contained about 25 gallons of fuel. The airplane had a usable fuel load of 56 gallons and did not have a Both position on the fuel selector.

Nov. 26, Reidsville, Ga.
Cessna 310

At about 16:05 eastern time, a Cessna 310C lost engine power and crashed in the ensuing forced landing at Reidsville Municipal Airport. The pilot and four passengers suffered minor injuries, but the airplane was destroyed. The flight had originated earlier in the day at Niagara Falls, N.Y., and had made a fuel stop in Hickory, N.C., departing about 14:15. All four fuel tanks had been topped off at Hickory. The pilot took off on the main (tip) tanks, cruised on the inboard tanks until they were nearly empty, then switched back to the main tanks. After about 20 minutes, the engines began to surge and lose power. The pilot diverted to Reidsville but could not make the runway. The pilot said the airplane did not respond to control inputs just prior to the landing flare. The airplane touched down hard and the right wing exploded. The airplane slid about 100 feet and the left wing exploded.

Nov. 27, Evansville, Ind.
Mooney TLS

At 15:13 central time, a Mooney M20M crashed about a mile north of Evansville Regional Airport as the pilot was attempting to return to the airport after takeoff. The pilot and passenger were killed. The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and then said there was a fire onboard at an unspecified location. The flight, planned to be an IFR flight to Indianapolis, had taken off only a minute earlier.

Also With This Article
Click here to view “Accident Totals, December.”


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