NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


The following briefs were selected from the 192 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in August 2002. 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, August.”


August 01, Gypsum, Colo.
Piper Cherokee 180

At approximately 0855 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-180 crashed while maneuvering near Gypsum, killing one passenger and leaving the other three occupants seriously injured. A flight instructor departing behind the accident flight said the airplane used about 5,000 feet to become airborne, then began a slow climb toward rising terrain, where it maintained 200-300 feet agl. The airplane crashed about 19 miles from the airport at an elevation of about 10,050 feet msl and a density altitude of more than 13,000 feet.

August 01, Burnsville, N.C.
Cessna 182

At 1346 eastern time, a Cessna 182H ran off the departure end of runway 32 at Country Club Airport in Burnsville. The pilot and two passengers were not injured and one passenger received minor injuries. Witnesses said the pilot had attempted two approaches to land before the accident landing, finally touching down on the third try approximately 1000 feet from the departure end of the 2,875-foot runway. The airplane rolled off the departure end of the runway and down an embankment, and onto a dirt road.

August 01, Marietta, Pa.
Grumman Tiger

At about 2030 eastern time, a Grumman American AA-5B crashed shortly after takeoff from Donegal Springs Airpark, killing the pilot and three passengers. Witnesses said the pilot had trouble starting the airplane and that engine power was intermittent during the takeoff and initial climb. The pilot had bought the airplane about three weeks earlier, and during his initial repositioning flight had experienced trouble starting the engine on at least two legs of the flight. One departure was delayed while the pilot had a mechanic clean and gap the spark plugs and verify magneto operation. Post-crash investigation found the top and bottom spark plugs of two cylinders were oil-soaked.

August 02, Avalon, Calif.
Beech Baron

At 1415 Pacific time, a Beech 58TC crashed after aborting a landing on runway 4 at Catalina Airport. Both occupants were killed. According to the airport operations supervisor, the sky would clear enough for pilots to see the airport, and then the sky would become overcast again in a moment. Two airplanes that landed prior to the accident airplane used runway 22 after circling the airport for 20 minutes. Sky conditions became obscured for runway 22 and the accident airplane circled to land on runway 4. The supervisor said the pilot came in fast and hot and he advised the pilot to go around. Another pilot, a relative of the accident pilot, contacted the accident pilot and told him to go around. The airplane touched down at midfield and the pilot braked hard enough to cause smoke from the wheels. The airplane skidded down the runway and hit a berm just beyond the departure end. The airplane catapulted off the berm, the engines revved and the airplane dropped 600 feet to flat terrain off the edge of the airport.

August 03, Marthas Vineyard, Mass.
Long EZ

At about 1230 eastern time, the pilot of a homebuilt Long EZ suffered medical incapacitation and the airplane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean near Marthas Vineyard. The pilot was determined to have died before impact. The pilot was gathering NOAA research data in the purpose-built airplane. He was making low passes over research buoys. The pilot reported no trouble, but another airplane spotted wreckage floating in the water. An autopsy showed the pilot suffered a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage that was too large to determine its origin or its dimension.

August 04, Marietta, Okla.
Cessna 172

At approximately 1430 central time, a Cessna 172 crashed on initial climb near Marietta, leaving three occupants with serious injuries. The airplane apparently took off with a left quartering eight-knot tailwind and struck a tree at approximately 30 feet agl about 100 feet northwest of the runway.

August 06, Aledo, Texas
Yak 52

At approximately 1715 central time, a Yakovlev YAK 52 experimental/exhibition airplane crashed while doing low-altitude aerobatics, killing the pilot. Witnesses said the pilot was on the back side of a loop when the airplane descended straight down into the ground.

August 06, Coatesville, Pa.
Piper Cherokee

At about 1035 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-235 crashed into trees after losing engine power while on approach to Chester County Airport. The pilot was seriously injured. The pilot had flown from the Chicago area, destined for Coatesville, and was about one mile out from runway 11 when the engine lost power. The pilot attempted to make a downwind landing to runway 29 but crashed a half-mile short. An inspector determined the airplane had run out of fuel.

August 07, Gualala, Calif.
Mooney M20M

At about 1930 Pacific time, a Mooney M20M crashed while attempting to go around at Ocean Ridge Airport. The pilot was not injured and the passenger sustained a minor injury. The pilot reported he had never flown into such a short runway (2,500 feet) and he overflew the runway twice before trying to land. He made the approach with full flaps at 65 knots into the setting sun. The airplane drifted left of the runway and the pilot added power to go around, at which time the airplane struck trees and terrain about 100 feet from the runway edge.

August 07, Cincinnati, Ohio
Cessna 182

At about 2045 eastern time, a Cessna 182Q was damaged while landing at Cincinnati Municipal Airport /Lunken Field. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. The tower controller asked the pilot to perform a short approach when the airplane was on downwind. The pilot said he was not accustomed to flying the airplane with a load of 3 passengers and fuel. The airplane touched down about 25 feet short of the runway, and then struck the elevated runway lip. The pilot said he was attempting to land close to the approach end of the runway to shorten the taxi to his hangar.

August 09, Grand Junction, Colo.
Cessna 310

At approximately 1345 mountain time, a Cessna 310N was damaged during a hard landing at Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport and, at 1456, the airplane made a gear-up landing at Walker Field. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The pilot said he made a hard landing at Glenwood Springs, followed by a go-around. Suspecting gear damage, he diverted to Rifle, Colo., but on his approach the right main landing gear fell off. Because of the limited emergency equipment in Rifle, he diverted to Walker Field. Witnesses confirmed the missing gear after he made a low pass over the runway, and the pilot retracted the gear and made an intentional gear-up landing.

August 10, Lacon, Ill.
Cessna 210

At 1330 central time, a Cessna 210L crashed during a precautionary landing near Lacon. The pilot and passenger reported no injuries. The pilots mechanic said the pilot told him after the accident that the instrument panel was so hot he could not hold his hand on it. The pilot told the mechanic that he had smelled smoke and landed in a cornfield.

August 11, Bishop, Calif.
Aero Commander 690

At about 0123 Pacific time, the pilot of an Aero Commander 690A lost control during a descending turn from left base to final for runway 30 at Bishop Airport. The pilot and three passengers were killed. Witnesses said the airplanes bank angle hit 70 to 90 degrees during the turn. The pilot had indicated to the FAA he wanted to obtain a Part 135 certificate. On the accident flight, the pilot was picking up two passengers and several hundred pounds of luggage from a connecting airline flight in Oakland. Personnel at the passengers Bishop-based business office said the passengers wanted to pay for the flight, but that the pilot told them he did not have enough time in the aircraft type to act formally as a charter pilot.

August 12, Rochester, N.Y.
Cessna 172RG

At about 1045 eastern time, a Cessna 172RG was damaged during a hard landing at Greater Rochester International Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot had flown from Rochester to Brockport and back. During the outbound leg, he suspected the airspeed indicator was reading low for his altitude and power setting, but was not convinced it was a significant problem. He landed at Brockport and departed for the return leg without exiting the airplane. On approach to Rochester, he was cleared to land on runway 22, the main runway, which led him to attempt to expedite the landing. He touched down with a high airspeed and descent rate, and the airplane was damaged in the bounced landing. Examination of the airspeed indicator showed it was slow to respond to changes in airspeed and the pitot system contained numerous leaks.

August 15, Brunswick, Ga.
Cessna 150

At about 1445 eastern time, a Cessna 150J crashed shortly after takeoff from Glynco Jetport Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. The pilot had told the owner of the airplane he intended to purchase it, and the owners agent said he could start the engine but not fly it because the insurance had lapsed. When the owners agent left the area, the 260-pound pilot and a 250-pound passenger took off. The airplane was full of fuel, putting the aircraft about 100 pounds overweight.

August 16, Fillmore, Calif.
Cessna 185

At about 1100 Pacific time, a Cessna 185A was damaged while making a low approach to Santa Paula Airport and subsequently was further damaged while making a precautionary landing in a nearby dry riverbed. The pilot departed Fresno at about 0930, but encountered low clouds upon arriving at Santa Paula. He was making a climbing right turn to get out of the clouds when he heard a loud bang. He then discovered the right gear was missing. Because of the narrow runway at Santa Paula, he landed in a nearby riverbed, at which time the left gear leg struck a stump.

August 17, Plainville, Conn.
Cessna 172

At 1129 eastern time, a Cessna 172S crashed after takeoff from Robertson Field, killing the pilot and passenger. Witnesses said the engine sounded normal during taxi and takeoff from runway 02, but at about 50 feet agl the engine noise changed as if it had experienced a power reduction. Then the witnesses saw smoke trailing from the airplane. The airplane had climbed to about 300-400 feet agl when the pilot initiated a left turn at a 45-degree bank. The left wing dropped further and the airplane descended into a parking lot. The airplane, which had about 70 hours since new, showed evidence that the engine driven fuel pump or fuel hose may have failed, causing a fire in the engine compartment. The pump and hose were retained for further examination.

August 17, Ohaiwa, Neb.
Bellanca Viking

At 1005 central time, a Bellanca BL-17-30A hit a post during a forced landing to a field 1.5 miles from Ohaiwa after a loss of engine power. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he had just refueled the airplane and asked the lineman to top off the fuel tanks. He checked the right fuel tank visually before takeoff, but did not check the left tank. The left tank was found empty and the right tank was full.

August 18, Deerfield, Va.
Piper Cherokee

At about 1515 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-180 struck trees after takeoff from a private airstrip in Deerfield. The flight instructor and pilot were killed. The property manager said the pilots had landed the wrong way on runway 15 earlier in the day. They visited friends for several hours, then departed runway 15, an upsloping 2,442-foot turf runway with what the witness called a 15-20 mph tailwind. The airplane struck an 80-foot tall tree at the end of the runway.

August 20, Rosenburg, Texas
Air Tractor AT-502

At approximately 2015 central time, an Air Tractor AT-502B agricultural airplane struck and killed a pedestrian during the landing roll at Lane Airpark Airport. The airplane was not damaged and the pilot was not injured. The pilot was landing on the grass portion of runway 31, concentrating on the runway markers in the airplanes landing light, when the right wing struck a pedestrian. Witnesses said the pedestrian occasionally took walks in the morning and evening on the taxiway.

August 20, Jacksboro, Tenn.
Beech Baron

At about 1103 eastern time, a Beech BE-55 crashed in Norris Lake, killing the pilot. The pilot had filed an IFR flight plan for a 40-minute flight from McMinnville to Jacksboro. About 25 minutes into the flight he canceled his IFR clearance and proceeded in visual conditions. Witnesses reported hearing what sounded like engine trouble, followed by the airplane rolling into at least a 45-degree bank and pitching steeply down.

August 23, Mesa, Ariz.
Cessna 172

At 0930 mountain time, a Cessna 172N aborted its takeoff from runway 4R at Falcon Field Airport after smoke was observed in the cockpit. The airplane was destroyed by fire but the flight instructor and student pilot were uninjured. The CFI said smoke started coming from the panel just after rotation. He aborted the takeoff, coming to rest in a ditch, and the two evacuated the airplane. He said the landing light circuit breaker had popped.

August 25, Petersburg, W.Va.

At 1600 eastern time, an amateur-built Genesis crashed on approach to Grant County Airport, killing the pilot. The builder of the airplane had just sold it to the accident pilot, and the pilot was ferrying it from Wisconsin to his home in Virginia. The new owner, who had never flown a Genesis airplane, first hired a ferry pilot to fly the airplane, but the ferry pilot abandoned the job in Ohio because of concerns about what he considered electrical problems and his lack of understanding of the airplanes fuel system. The new owner then flew to Ohio and to take instruction in the airplane and ferry it home. The instructor said the brakes were weak and the communications radios were essentially inoperative. The new owner called a local mechanic to fix the brakes, but the mechanic was unable to service the radios until the next day. The accident pilot declined, saying he was in a hurry. The new owner then declined the flight instructors services. The mechanic said the owner was absolutely unfamiliar with the airplane. The owner taxied the airplane around the airport for about 45 minutes, then departed without refueling. Post accident investigation indicated the airplane suffered from fuel exhaustion. During the ensuing forced landing, the pilot stretched the glide over power lines, then plunged nose-first to the ground.

August 28, Newaygo, Mich.
Piper Arrow

At 1849 eastern time, a Piper PA-28R-180 struck power lines that crossed the Muskegon River near Newaygo. The pilot and two passengers were killed. A witness said the rented airplane was flying along the river at about 20 feet above the water level when it hit the power lines.


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