NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and airline accidents


The following briefs were selected from the preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in January 2004. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. Also included are the “January Accident Totals.”


January 01, Sheridan, Ark.
Mooney Ovation

At approximately 1515 central time, a Mooney M20R lost engine power and was damaged in a forced landing while diverting to Sheridan Municipal Airport. The private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The flight was headed IFR from Walnut Ridge, Ark., Brownsville, Texas, when the pilot reported the engine was running rough. He diverted toward Sheridan and reported the airport in sight, but ended up in a field about 2.5 miles short of the runway. Examination of the airplane found that the fuel selector was on the left tank, the left tank was empty, and the right tank contained 25 gallons of fuel.

January 01, Dallas, Texas
Bellanca Super Viking

At 1004 central time, a Bellanca 17-30A crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 15 at Addison Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. Four minutes after the flight departed IFR for Amarillo the pilot reported he had lost his panel. The aircraft crashed into two houses, destroying them in the ensuing fire. No one on the ground was injured. Weather at the time of takeoff included a ceiling of 100 feet overcast, temperature and dewpoint at 17 degrees C, visibility of 7/8ths of a mile.

January 03, Hayfork, Calif.
Cessna 172

At about 1400 Pacific time, a Cessna 172N nosed over during the landing roll after encountering snow at Hayfork Airport. The pilot was not injured. The flight had originated at Cottwood, Calif., earlier in the day and had most recently departed Hyampom, Calif., about 15 minutes earlier. The pilot said he was attempting a short-field landing to the snow-covered runway, but during the landing roll, snow accumulated in front of the nose wheel and caused the nose over. The pilot also said he saw tire tracks on the approach end of the runway prior to landing, but did not realize they were from a vehicle instead of an airplane until afterward.

January 03, Redlands, Calif.
Cessna 172

At about 1200 Pacific time, a Cessna 172F struck a light post while attempting to go around at Redlands Municipal Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot departed Riverside and was planning to land on runway 26 at Redlands. He received weather information from the Unicom operator, who reported winds at 15 knots with gusts to 27 knots, windshear and a strong crosswind. During the landing roll, the airplane encountered a gust of wind the pilot estimated in excess of 30 knots. The airplane veered off the runway into the adjacent gravel area. The pilot applied full power to go around but the left wing collided with a light post, damaging the aileron. The pilot then elected to return to Riverside, where the winds were lighter.

January 03, Window Rock, Ariz.
Cessna 421

At 1530 mountain time, a Cessna 421C landed hard in gusty wind conditions at the Window Rock airport. The pilot and four passengers were not injured. The Part 135 flight departed Flagstaff, Ariz., at 1443 and made a VOR/DME-A circling approach to runway 02 in gusty wind conditions. He reported icing conditions with possible airframe icing as a contributor to the premature landing stall. Prior to the flights departure from Flagstaff, the destination weather was reported as 1,200-foot ceiling and 1-mile visibility, with a 900-foot ceiling and 1-mile visibility as the landing minimums. During the approach the local Automated Surface Observing System was reporting less than the weather briefing, but the pilot reported having the runway in sight.

January 03, Amarillo, Texas
Mooney M20C

At approximately 1445 central time, a Mooney M20C crashed near Amarillo, Texas, after the pilot reported having chest pains. The pilot was killed. The pilot departed Amarillo and requested flight following for a VFR cross-country trip. A few minutes later, he reported chest pains and advised he was returning to Amarillo. Witnesses and the recorded radar track showed the airplane entered a steep descending right turn.

January 08, Galesburg, Ill.
Beech King Air

At about 1427 central time, a Beech E-90 was damaged when the cabin door opened in flight and struck the empennage. The pilot and six passengers were not injured. The flight had originated about seven minutes earlier.

January 11, Vacaville, Calif.
Cessna 140

At about 1830 Pacific time, a Cessna 140 struck trees during a forced landing near Vacaville. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The flight had departed 15 minutes earlier on an 18-mile flight from Napa. While the airplane was airborne, fog closed in over the area. The pilot looked for a hole so he could descend. He contacted Travis Approach on the emergency frequency and was given vectors to the nearest airport. While en route, the airplane apparently ran out of fuel.

January 12, Cedar City, Utah
Beech Travelair

At 1142 mountain time, a Beech B95 crashed about 16 miles northwest of Cedar City Airport, killing the designated pilot examiner and the commercial pilot examinee. The aircraft was on a check ride that had begun about 25 minutes earlier. There were no ground scars and the airplane apparently hit upright and wings level.

January 14, Deer Park, Wash.
Cessna 185

At approximately 1000 Pacific time, the pilot of a Cessna 185 lost control during the landing roll at Deer Park Airport. Neither the pilot nor the flight instructor was injured. The pilot told investigators he had not flown a conventional gear aircraft in several years and wanted to be checked out by a qualified instructor. Prior to the accident flight he had received approximately 4 hours of dual instruction in the aircraft but did not yet feel comfortable in the airplane. The pilot made a wheel landing and the airplane veered, but the pilot just lost it, he reported. The aircraft struck a berm and a snow drift off the right side of the runway before flipping over and coming to rest inverted. The pilot said he did not think the instructor provided any assistance in helping him recover from the loss of control.

January 14, Fort Meade, Fla.
Cessna 210

At about 0630 eastern time, a Cessna 210L struck a fence during takeoff from a private airstrip in Fort Meade. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he noticed fog getting heavier as he was making his engine runup, but he decided to depart anyway. During the takeoff roll, he focused on keeping the airplane straight but did not notice he was not rolling parallel to the runway until he saw the fence.

January 15, Kelleys Island, Ohio
Cessna 206

At 1930 eastern time, a passenger boarding a Cessna U206G was seriously injured when he walked into the spinning propeller as the airplane was standing with the engine running at Kelleys Island Airport. The pilot and second passenger were not injured. The pilot said they arrived from Sandusky, Ohio, and he parked the airplane with the engine running to disembark two passengers. He said he did not consider it an unsafe practice because he had seen commuter airliners do it. The pilot set the parking brake and exited the airplane. He saw the two passengers exit the airplane and proceed to their vehicle. As the pilot was boarding a new passenger to Sandusky, one of the previous passengers returned and walked into the propeller, breaking his collarbone.

January 16, Tehachapi, Calif.
Cessna 180 and Beech Baron

At about 1415 Pacific time, a Cessna 180K and a Beech 95-B55 collided in flight about 6.5 nautical miles west of Tehachapi. The pilot in the Cessna was killed and the pilot of the Beech suffered minor injuries. Witnesses said the Beech was flying westbound and the Cessna was eastbound, with both in level cruising flight. They said it did not appear that either airplane altered course before the collision. The pilot of the Baron said he was in a cruise climb when he saw the Cessnas right lading gear approaching him. After the collision, he observed a dirt airstrip and landed.

January 17, Port Huron, Mich.
Cessna 310

At 1110 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 310R struck a snow bank after the pilot lost control while landing on runway 4 at St. Clair County Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot stated during the landing there was almost no traction between the airplane and the runway and the airplane slid off the left side of the runway. The pilot said the AWOS was broadcasting a notice to airmen that gave runway friction readings of 33, 35, and 36.

January 17, Clearwater, Fla.
Twin Comanche/Cessna 150

At about 1427 eastern time, a Piper PA-30 and a Cessna 150H collided in-flight while in the traffic pattern at the Clearwater Air Park. The Cessna crashed and the pilot was killed. The Twin Comanche was damaged but the pilot was able to land the airplane with no injuries to the two aboard. The Piper was on an IFR flight plan from Winter Haven to Clearwater. The Cessna was on a local flight. The Piper had advised Tampa Approach that the airport was in sight and the controller cleared him for a visual approach. The pilot then canceled IFR and the controller acknowledged and advised the pilot of traffic 1.5 miles north of the airport, heading south. The Piper pilot advised he would look for traffic. The Piper pilot announced his entry into the traffic pattern on the airports Unicom frequency and advised of all turns in the pattern. The Cessna pilot advised on Unicom that he was crossing midfield but did not announce direction or intentions. No other radio transmissions from the Piper were heard. The Piper pilot said he was 2/3 down the runway on the downwind leg when his passenger hollered. He looked to his right and observed an airplane so close that he did not have time to take corrective action before the collision.

January 18, Tucson, Ariz.
Cessna 210

At 0552 mountain time, a Cessna P210N, N4873K, lost electrical power during cruise flight and returned to Tucson International Airport. During the landing roll, the landing gear collapsed and the airplane collided with a taxiway sign. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was en route to Dallas when a light illuminated, indicating that the battery was not charging. After lowering the landing gear and the flaps, the pilot turned the master switch to the OFF position in order to conserve power but apparently did not wait for the green down-and-locked indication. During the landing roll, the left gear collapsed, the airplane began skidding, the right main gear collapsed, and the airplane collided with a taxiway sign.

January 19, Grass Valley, Calif.
Cessna 172

At about 1825 Pacific time, a Cessna 172K struck trees while attempting to land at Nevada County Air Park. The pilot and passenger were killed. The flight originated as an IFR flight from Grass Valley to Palo Alto, but as the airplane approached the destination the transponder code changed to indicate a communications failure. Bay TRACON determined the pilot could receive but not transmit. Because of the Class B communications requirement, Bay TRACON suggested the pilot try to contact Stockton Tower. The pilot contacted Stockton while 12 miles west of the airport, and Stockton could barely hear his transmissions. The pilot advised Stockton to cancel his IFR flight plan and he would proceed VFR back to Grass Valley. Witnesses observed the pilot make two attempts to land at Grass Valley. According to airport personnel, the airport had been zero visibility and zero ceiling in fog for 20 minutes prior to his arrival.

January 21, Pueblo, Colo.
Dassault Falcon

At 0045 mountain time, a Dassault Falcon was substantially damaged during landing on runway 8L at Pueblo Memorial Airport. The pilot, copilot and three passengers reported no injuries. The copilot reported that the landing was fine until he activated the airplanes thrust reversers, at which time the airplane yawed to the left and the pilots lost control of the airplane. A witness said the airplane spun around two or three times on the runway, which was covered with three-quarters of an inch of wet snow. The airplane came to rest in a field 150 feet north of the runway and 5,000 feet from the approach end. The right engine thrust reverser was observed in the stowed position. The left engine thrust reverser was deployed.

January 22, Lake Worth, Fla.
Piper Apache

At about 1148 eastern time, a Piper PA-23-160 crashed in a residential area while returning to land at West Palm Beach County Park Airport. The pilot and passenger were killed. The pilot contacted Palm Beach Approach shortly after taking off from Lantana and requested flight following to Everglades City. Shortly after this the pilot reported that he needed to return to Lantana. Shortly after this the pilot transmitted on the Unicom frequency that he was 4 miles southwest of the airport, inbound for landing on one engine. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane on downwind abeam the end of runway 27 at about 400 feet. The airplane then turned base leg for runway 27 and continued to lose altitude. The pilot then overshot the turn to final while at an altitude of about 100-150 feet. The bank angle increased to 50-60 degrees and the nose of the airplane dropped.

January 23, Compton, Calif.
Thorpe T-18

At 0953 Pacific time, an amateur-built Thorpe T-18 rolled over and landed inverted at Compton/Woodley Airport, killing the pilot. The airplane had been flying for about 40 minutes, making several takeoffs and landings. The pilot of a Robinson helicopter, also in the pattern, said the Thorpe pilot was announcing his intentions on the common frequency. Meanwhile, an EC-135 helicopter called, reporting two miles east of the airport for a straight-in approach to runway 25R. The Robinson pilot said the other helicopter and the Thorpe arrived at the runway at about the same time. The Robinson pilot said he transmitted a warning to the pilots to watch out. When the two aircraft were about 100 feet apart and at a height of about eight feet, the Thorpe turned right to avoid the EC-135, rolling inverted and landing on the canopy. The EC-135 pilot said he heard the Robinsons transmissions but not the Thorpes.

January 24, Bedford, Mass.
Rockwell Commander

At about 1015 eastern time, a Rockwell 112A burned after a forced landing near Hanscom Field. The two pilots received minor injuries. The pilots reported being in cruise flight when they noticed smoke in the cockpit. The shut down the electrical system, and then the engine began to vibrate. They shut down the engine so it wouldnt vibrate off the frame and then noted a fire had started in the engine compartment. The pilots opted to land on a flat area on the Concord River floodplain, but the airplane hit the tops of trees about 100 yards prior to reaching the floodplain, and a tree bent over and deposited the airplane on the ground upright. The airplane was consumed by fire.

January 27, High Falls, Ga.
Cessna 150

At 1611 eastern time, a Cessna 150G struck trees and crashed while maneuvering over a residence in High Falls. The pilot was killed. Several witnesses said the pilot was circling over several homes at a low altitude and waving his hand out the window. The witnesses then saw the airplane in a steep turn and descending into the trees.

January 30, Akron, Ohio
Learjet 35

At about 1235 eastern time, a Gates Learjet 35A was damaged when taxiing after landing at Akron-Canton Regional Airport. The pilot and co-pilot were not injured. The pilot said the taxi from the runway to the ramp was normal. After making a 90-degree turn onto the ramp, the airplane began to slide on top of an ice layer. The brakes were ineffective and the co-pilot shut down the engines. Due to the downward slope of the ramp area and the wind conditions, however, the airplane continued to accelerate and struck a concrete retaining wall. An FAA inspector noted that the ramp area was covered with a 1-inch layer of smooth clear ice. Winds at the time were from 300 degrees at 16 knots, with 27-knot gusts.


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