NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 112 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in November 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, November.”


Nov. 1, Millersburg, Ohio
Beech Bonanza

At about 10:15 eastern time, a Beech A-36 was damaged during a forced landing at Holmes County Airport. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The pilot reported the power failure to ATC approximately 6 miles northwest of Millersburg and was given radar vectors. The airplane struck the trees and crashed next to the runway. The right fuel tank was full, the left fuel tank was empty and the fuel selector was set on the left tank.

Nov. 2, Ridgefield, Conn.
Cessna 172

At about 19:00 eastern time, a Cessna 172N crashed and burned after takeoff from Danbury Municipal Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The pilot said the fuel tanks were full and free from contamination. She said she started the engine with the fuel selector positioned to the left wing fuel tank and switched to the right wing fuel tank just prior to taxi. She performed an engine run-up which included a check of the carburetor heat system and then taxied to runway 26. After the run-up she switched the fuel selector to the both position. When the airplane was about 450 feet agl the engine ran rough and lost power. The airplane descended into treetops and came to rest about 12 to 15 feet above the ground, then fell and burned.

Nov. 3, Des Moines, Iowa
Luscombe 8A

At 16:48 central time, a Luscombe 8A crashed on approach to runway 31R at Des Moines International Airport, killing the pilot. The pilot was being vectored for a landing on runway 31L when he asked if he could use 31R. The tower controller told the pilot to keep the turn tight and asked the pilot if he could turn base from where he was. The pilot said that he could. A witness on the ground said the airplane made a tight turn in toward the runway and immediately turned to final with a bank angle approaching 90 degrees. The witness said that at impact the airplanes wings were perpendicular to the ground and the nose was pitched down approximately 20 degrees. A Boeing 737 had landed on runway 31R just before the accident occurred.

Nov. 4, Livermore, Calif.
Piper Cherokee

At 12:01 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-140 was damaged while landing in a field after losing engine power five miles east of Livermore Municipal Airport. The CFI was seriously injured and the pilot-rated student was not injured. The student said he was shooting approaches into Livermore and, while on the ILS Runway 25R approach, he intended to switch from the right tank to the left tank, but moved the fuel selector handle to the off position. When he and the CFI attempted to move the fuel selector handle back to the left tank, it jammed.

Nov. 5, Teec Nos Pos, Ariz.
Piper Arrow

At about 14:55 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-200 suffered an in-flight structural failure near Teec Nos Pos and crashed, killing the pilot and passenger. The airplane was operated by a flying club in Broomfield, Colo., and had departed on Nov. 3. A notepad found in the wreckage documented a flight from Jeffco Airport in Broomfield to Monarch Pass, Blue Mesa, Dove Creek, Page and Las Vegas. The wreckage was found at 8,600 feet in the Carrizo Mountains after an ELT beacon alerted the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

Nov. 6, Selma, Calif.
Cessna 340

At about 04:00 Pacific time, a Cessna 340A crashed while on approach to land at Selma, killing the pilot and seriously injuring the passenger. The airplane departed the Part 135 air taxi companys base at San Luis Obispo about 02:35 and picked up a passenger at Paso Robles at about 02:50. En route to Selma, the pilot was receiving VFR flight following but reported the airport in sight and canceled the service. Witnesses said the airplane made two attempts to land on runway 28 and the final approach to runway 10. Ground fog was obscuring the airport and there was an estimated 500 feet of horizontal visibility. The airplane crashed into an embankment 176 feet from the runway 10 threshold. There are no lights prior to the threshold.

Nov. 6, Roswell, N.M.
Cessna 152

At 17:48 mountain time, a Cessna 152 lost power and was damaged in a forced landing near Roswell. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. The flight instructor said the engine stopped producing power and he performed a night forced landing to a dark area. During the forced landing the airplane struck a wire and then the ground.

Nov. 9, Tucson, Ariz.
Cessna Skylane

At 10:33 mountain time, a Cessna 182P nosed over during landing rollout on runway 11R at the Tucson International Airport. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The tower controller said the airplanes approach looked a little steep. The airplane appeared to have passed over the landing threshold, then it bounced on the runway and porpoised before veering off the runway and nosing over in the dirt shoulder. The airplanes nose wheel assembly was found about 300 feet from the main wreckage.

Nov. 10, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Cessna 425

At approximately 12:15 mountain time, a Cessna 425 crashed about two miles north of Fanning Field. The two occupants on board for the maintenance test flight were killed. The aircraft had recently had maintenance work performed on its autofeather system after reports of the left engine not autofeathering properly in flight. The maintenance work was performed and the purpose of the accident flight was to verify proper inflight operation of the system. Two witnesses described the aircraft as entering a spiral from a banked turn about five minutes after takeoff. One said he first observed the aircraft flying south 200 to 300 feet agl. He said the aircraft entered a left turn and began a skidding or sliding motion. It entered a spiral about 1 second later and crashed. The cockpit autofeather switch was found in the OFF position and both propeller levers were found full forward. All four blades of the detached left propeller appeared to be feathered.

Nov. 11, Lake Elsinore, Calif.
Schweizer SGS 1

At about 15:08 Pacific time, a Schweizer SGS 1-36 struck trees while approaching Skylark Field. The student pilot was seriously injured. The student was returning to land when he misread the altimeter and initiated a circle to lose altitude. Midway through the turn the student realized his error and headed directly back toward the airstrip. The glider continued to descend and crashed about a half-mile from the airstrip.

Nov. 12, Hanksville, Utah
Cessna 175

At approximately 09:30 mountain time, a Cessna 175 crashed while maneuvering about 17 miles east of Hanksville, killing the pilot and seriously injuring the two passengers. One passenger said the airplane approached a bluff where several cowboys waited. The intention was to drop a message to them, indicating the whereabouts of stray cattle. The airplane suddenly sank, like we hit a downdraft, and the pilot banked right to avoid the bluff. The airplane encountered another downdraft and collided with terrain.

Nov. 13, Winchester, Va.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 08:00 eastern time, a Cessna 172L ran out of fuel and crashed near Winchester Airport. The pilot received minor injuries. The pilot said he departed Bangor, Maine, on November 12 and stopped in Oxford, Conn., where the airplane was refueled. The pilot then flew to Doylestown, Pa., and arrived after dark. Due to the lack of ground transportation, he spent the night in the airplane and departed about 04:30 the following morning for Front Royal, Va. At Front Royal, he encountered low clouds and flew to his planned alternate of Luray Caverns, Va. Again, he encountered low clouds and proceeded toward New Market, Virginia, where low clouds were also present. The pilot returned to the Front Royal area where he established radio contact with Dulles Approach Control. He reported he was low on fuel and requested vectors to the nearest VFR airport. He was vectored toward Winchester but made a forced landing about two miles from the airport. The airplane had been flown about 5.5 hours since its last refueling.

Nov. 15, Temecula, Calif.
Glasair 1 RG

At 10:50 Pacific time, an experimental Glasair 1 RG struck utility lines and crashed south of Temecula. The pilot and his passenger were killed. A witness said the aircraft was performing a series of aerobatic maneuvers. He described the airplane as pulling up, rolling and then diving until out of sight. At the bottom of each dive he heard the engine accelerate and the airplane would begin another climb. During the final maneuver, he did not hear the engine accelerate nor did he see the airplane climb again following the descent.

Nov. 15, Everglades City, Fla.
Beech Musketeer

At 12:06 eastern time, a Beech BE-23 struck water while attempting a go-around on runway 33 at Everglades Airpark. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The pilot said he experienced strong gusty winds that caused the airplane to bounce on the runway. The pilot said he began to execute a go-around with full power but the airplane would not gain flying speed and settled into the bay at the end of the runway.

Nov. 16, Bradenton, Fla.
Lockheed-Martin F-16 and Cessna Skyhawk

At about 15:48 eastern time, an Air Force F-16CG and a Cessna 172 collided in flight near Bradenton. The pilot of the F-16 ejected and was unhurt. The pilot of the 172 was killed. The F-16 was one of two airplanes operating on a low altitude training mission, and had filed a composite military IFR/VFR flight plan. The 172 had just taken off from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport en route to St. Petersburg and was in radio contact with Tampa Approach. Tampa cleared the pilot to climb from 1,600 to 3,500, which he acknowledged. The controller alerted the Cessna pilot to the fighter traffic 55 seconds later, but the pilot did not respond. The two F-16s had departed Moody Air Force Base about 30 minutes earlier. Miami Center cleared the flight to descend to 13,000 feet and instructed the flight leader to contact Tampa Approach. The leader could not establish contact and called Miami Center to cancel IFR. Miami Center advised him of the Cessna traffic. The two fighters conducted a g awareness check, accelerating to 400 knots and making a right 90-degree turn, followed by a left 90-degree turn back on course and continued the descent. Miami Center lost the F-16s radar signal and called Tampa Approach to determine the F-16s altitude. Tampa saw the aircraft at 2,000 feet. The F-16s continued the descent to about 5 to 6 miles north of the entry point for VR1098. The flight leader saw his wingman and the Cessna collide in a left-to-left impact.

Nov. 16, Missing in Oregon/Idaho
Cessna Stationair

A Cessna U206F operating on a Part 135 aerial survey flight was reported missing. The aircraft was monitoring deer migration along the Snake River, first by homing in on radio collars while flying at 2,000 feet agl and then spiraling down to 500 feet agl to visually identify the herd. The aircraft took off at about 11:45 and was last heard from at about 12:00. When it did not land as scheduled at 15:00, a search was begun. The search was suspended after six days and the pilot is presumed dead.

Nov. 16, Oxnard, Calif.
Cessna Centurion

At 15:40 Pacific time, a Cessna 210K lost engine power and made a forced landing near Oxnard. The pilot, his passenger and two dogs were not injured. The flight had been airborne for about 30 minutes when the pilot noted an abnormal vibration that increased despite his attempts to correct the problem. He declared an emergency and was given vectors to the nearest airport, but the engine quit entirely. He spotted an open area and made a forced landing off-airport, where the airplane hit trees and a fence. The original Continental IO-520 engine had been replaced 57 hours earlier by a Continental IO-550 under an STC.

Nov. 17, Ontario, Ore.
Piper Tri-Pacer

At 13:18 mountain time, a Piper PA-22-135 experienced an in-flight breakup shortly after takeoff from Ontario Airport. The pilot was killed. Investigators said the left side forward wing lift strut separated from the aircraft in flight and the wing tip section outboard of the lift strut attachment folded up. The aircraft then descended to an open field and was consumed by fire.

Nov. 17, Hagerstown, Md.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 09:58 eastern time, a Cessna 172K was damaged during takeoff from Hagerstown Airport. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. The pilot said the purpose of the flight was to introduce several passengers to the Young Eagles Program. He performed a pre-flight inspection, and explained to the passengers the function of each component as he checked it. He then taxied the airplane to Runway 27 and applied full power for takeoff. The airplane rotated on its own and the pilot noted the gust lock was still connected to the control yoke. The airplane climbed to about 20 feet and stalled, crashing to the runway.

Nov. 18, Minot, N.D.
Cessna 150

At 16:05 central time, a Cessna 150K flipped over in a crosswind while taxiing to runway 31 at Minot International Airport. The instructor and student were not injured. The instructor said they were taxiing the airplane when slush was encountered on the left side. That, coupled with a sudden increase in wind speed – gust, made the airplane skid to the left. The nose sank into a snow bank. As they were preparing to exit the airplane, the instructor pilot said, The nose submerged in further and the tail moved upwards progressively till the aircraft laid upside down. Winds were reported at 24 knots.

Nov. 20, Miami, Fla.
Airbus A300

At about 12:22 eastern time, an Airbus A300B4-605R operated by American Airlines as flight 1291 had a flight attendant receive fatal injuries during an emergency evacuation after the flight returned to Miami. In addition, one passenger was seriously injured and 15 suffered minor injuries. The captain stated both automatic cabin pressurization controllers would not control cabin pressure while climbing through 16,000 feet and that the forward outflow valve went to the full open position. He told controllers he was unable to control the pressurization and that he would need to return to Miami. During the return, the flight attendant call chime continually chimed erratically and the forward lavatory smoke detector sounded. About three minutes before landing the captain declared an emergency with air traffic controllers and requested that fire trucks be standing by for the landing. After landing, the aircraft would not depressurize. Firefighters saw no signs of fire from the outside, but about 1 minute after their inspection the pilot reported they had a fire and would need to evacuate. As the flight attendant opened the door, the pressure caused it to explode outwards and the flight attendant was hurled to the pavement. The other injuries occurred when the passengers slid down the evacuation slides.

Nov. 21, Wewahitchka, Fla
Piper Turbo Lance

At about 09:30 central time, a Piper PA-32RT-300 lost engine power and landed in rough terrain near Wewahitchka. The three occupants reported no injuries. The pilot said he smelled something and when he checked the instruments he noticed that the oil pressure had decreased. He felt that he could not make it to an airport so he decided to land in rough terrain. Examination of the engine revealed no visible oil on top of the engine, but oil was observed at the lower portion of the firewall. The engine had not been examined at the time this report was released.

Nov. 23, Stillwater, Okla.
Piper Cherokee 180

At about 03:15 central time, a Piper PA-28-180 crashed about -mile north of runway 17 during an instrument approach to Stillwater Municipal Airport. The non-instrument rated pilot was killed and the passenger was seriously injured. An IFR flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed Hays, Kan., at 01:10 en route to Stillwater. The pilot had flown to Stillwater from Cullman, Ala., with his wife, arriving Nov. 22 at about 18:30. At about 21:45 he left alone, flew to Hays and picked up his daughter. He refueled and filed an IFR flight plan back to Stillman, departing Nov. 23 at about 01:10. When he arrived at Stillman, visibility was 4 miles in light rain and mist, ceiling 300 feet and temperature and dewpoint were both 9 degrees C. The pilot missed one approach and was vectored for a second one when radar contact was lost. In the three years since he got his license, the pilot logged 818 hours of total flight time, including 5.4 hours simulated instrument flight, 224 hours at night and 270 hours of cross-country flight.

Nov. 26, Katy, Texas
Cessna 172 and Cessna 150

At 17:10 central time, a Cessna 150E and a Cessna 172N collided in cruise flight near Katy. The pilot of the 150 was killed and the two occupants of the 172 were uninjured. Both airplanes were on VFR cross-country flights without flight plans. The pilot of the 172 said the airplane was in level flight at 2,000 feet approximately 10 miles west of the West Houston Airport when she dialed in the CTAF to make a position report. She said she was scanning the area when she noticed an airplane approaching her airplane from the left side at a 90-degree angle. She stated that the airplane was flying at an altitude slightly below her airplanes altitude. She initiated a climb and right turn but the two airplanes collided. The 150 entered a spiraling descent and crashed next to an interstate highway. Following the collision, the passenger awoke and assumed control of the airplane. He recovered control at about 500 feet agl and observed that the right main landing gear had separated and sections of the outboard right wing and aileron were damaged. The passenger continued flying the airplane to the West Houston Airport and landed on runway 15. Postaccident examination found red paint transfer markings on the bottom side of the right wing. The right wing exhibited a partial separation extending from the trailing edge to the leading edge on a 45-degree angle.

Nov. 26, Preston, Minn.
Smith Aerostar

At 10:00 central time, a Smith 60-601P struck trees during initial climb from runway 28 at Fillmore County Airport. The pilot and passenger reported no injuries. The pilot reported, I initiated the takeoff on runway 28, accelerated to 100 MPH, rotated & lifted off. The gear and flaps were raised, and the aircraft stopped accelerating at about 112-115 MPH. I lowered the nose to pick up some speed, but it still wouldnt accelerate. I could see the trees approaching west of the airport and knew I didnt have climb speed, but also knew there was no choice but to pull up & hope I didnt stall. I pulled up sharply, but clipped the tops of the trees, the airspeed was still at 115 MPH IAS with 12+ degrees nose up, and the airplane climbing rapidly. I then looked at the GPS ground speed read out, and realized that it was at 140 Kts. After assessing things, it became obvious that airspeed was not reading correctly. The pilot also reported the pitot had recently been the home of a mud dauber nest.

Nov. 26, Gainesville, Texas
Piper Malibu

At 23:22 central time, a Piper PA-46-310P made a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Gainesville. The pilot was not injured. The pilot told investigators that when he was approximately 15 to 20 miles north of Gainesville the airplane experienced a severe vibration. The engine oil pressure began to rise, then dropped, and the engine lost power. The pilot declared an emergency to Gainesville Municipal Airport Tower and attempted to land at GLE. The airplane came to rest in a grassy field approximately 200 yards from the runway threshold. Investigators found a large hole in the engine crankcase between the #3 and #5 cylinders.

Nov. 28, Tyler, Texas
Christen Eagle

At 16:24 central time, an amateur-built Christen Eagle II crashed while maneuvering near Tyler. The owner and a pilot-rated passenger were killed. A witness, an aerobatic flight instructor and former Navy pilot, said the airplane had completed about four hammerhead stalls and was conducting its fifth when the accident occurred. The witness said the pilot was maneuvering below a layer of scattered clouds he estimated to be at 3,000 feet agl. During each of the hammerhead stalls the pilot was recovering from the dive at approximately 200 to 300 feet agl. The witness stated that, on the last maneuver, the airplane flew dangerously low.

Nov. 30, Clifton, Ariz.
Beech Baron

At 19:44 mountain time, a Beech D55 struck a power pole and crashed while on final for runway 7 at Greenlee County Airport. The pilot was killed and a passenger was seriously injured. A witness said he was at the airport to pick up the pilot and passenger for an Amway meeting in Clifton. The airplane made three attempts to land and on the fourth attempt he saw the airplane veer to the left and burst into flames. The main wreckage was located approximately 600 feet from the approach end of the runway. An investigator noted that, because of hills, the top of the pole was lower than the approach end of the runway.

Nov. 30, Taos, N.M.
Cessna Skylane

At 09:30 mountain time, a Cessna 182P crashed at the 11,000-foot level of Frazier Mountain, 15 miles northeast of Taos. The pilot and his passenger were killed. Witnesses at the Taos ski area said the airplane turned up a canyon across the valley from the ski area and disappeared from view. Winds in the area at the time of the accident were reportedly about 50 knots.


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