NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and airline accidents


October 2, 2004, Santa Fe, NM.
Sukhoi SU-29

At 1327 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed and its solo ATP-rated pilot fatally injured upon impact with terrain 500 feet west of Runway 20 at the Santa Fe (N.M.) Municipal Airport. Visual conditions prevailed for the aerobatic flight, which was the second performance in the 2004 Santa Fe Air Show. An FAA inspector witnessing the airshow later reported that the airplane was high, at approximately 1500 feet AGL, when it entered an inverted spin. The inspector said, The pilot attempted to recover but didnt make it. The airplane struck flat in an upright, nose down attitude and was engulfed in a fireball. A witness, one of the air shows performers, said the pilot was performing a torque roll. The witness said he saw the airplane come out the bottom of the smoke and enter an inverted flat spin. The witness said he saw the airplane make three revolutions. The witness said he thought the pilot had gone too far. He came off the throttle, the rotation stopped, then the airplane yawed. I heard the engine come in. The airplane came around in a positive attitude. He was getting low. He was upright in a spin. He went to full power. He made a turn and a half and then hit [the ground].

October 3, 2004, Marion, Iowa
Piper PA-28-180

The aircraft was substantially damaged when it impacted an airport hangar while attempting a go-around from Runway 17 at the Marion (Iowa) Airport at 0930 Central time. The Private pilot and passenger reported minor inuries; visual conditions prevailed. According to the pilot, on his first landing approach, he encountered turbulence and decided to go around for another attempt. During the second approach, the airplane again encountered turbulence and the pilot went around. The pilot stated, Immediately it felt like a gust of wind went under my right wing and belly and just started pushing me over, to the left. I immediately applied right rudder and aileron as hard as I could and tried to push the nose down but there was no response. The airplane went up and over to the left and impacted the airport hangar. The pilot stated the passenger might have inadvertently stomped on the pedals during the go-around. Reported weather at a nearby airport included wind from 200 degrees true at 15 knots with gusts to 19 knots.

October 8, 2004, Broomfield, Colo.
Mooney M20E

At approximately 1130 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain and a fence following a loss of control while performing touch and go maneuvers at Jeffco Airport, Broomfield, Colo The Private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot later stated he was performing touch-and-go landings to Runway 29L. On the approach, the pilot configured and stabilized the airplane for landing and all seemed to be in order. After crossing the runway threshold, the pilot felt the speed and sink rate were too fast. The airplane touched down and bounced twice. At that point, the pilot added power to abort the landing. The airplane drifted to the left and began to porpoise. Subsequently, the airplane skipped across the grass adjacent to the runway, went down an embankment, and came to rest upright against a chain-linked fence. The pilot did not have a complex airplane endorsement in his logbook.

October 9, 2004, Salida, Colo.
Cessna 210M

The airplane was substantially damaged when it struck a fence and terrain during a forced landing at approximately 1810 Mountain time. Visual conditions prevailed; the pilot, pilot-rated passenger and three other passengers aboard were not injured. The flight originated from Bullfrog Basin, Utah, at approximately 1630. The pilot later stated the airplane was in level cruise flight at 13,500 feet msl when the engine began chugging and started losing power. All attempts to restore power were to no avail. When he turned final for the runway at Salida, he lost visual contact with the runway from the suns glare. The pilot selected a field and touched down mile off runway centerline and 1 mile short of the runway.

October 9, 2004, Hearne, Texas
Bellanca 7ECA

At approximately 1100 Central time the tail-wheel equipped airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with a bale of hay at the Hearne (Texas) Municipal Airport. The Commercial pilot was not injured; the passenger sustained minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; no flight plan had been filed. The pilot later reported that he made a 180-degree turn after landing on Runway 36 and was taxiing to the main ramp at a speed of approximately 30 knots with quartering eight-knot tailwind. When the ramp was approximately 500-600 feet ahead, the pilot decreased power, and the airplane began to veer to the left. The pilot applied right rudder and tapped the left brake, but the airplane continued to veer to the left. The pilot then pulled the stick back to force the tail wheel onto the ground and applied pressure to both brakes but they were not effective. The airplane collided with a bale of hay approximately 200 feet to the left of the runway. Upon impact, the airplane nosed over and came to rest in an inverted position.

October 10, 2004, Germantown, N.Y.
Cessna 172N

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0035 Eastern time during a collision with trees during maneuvering flight. The non-Instrument-rated Private pilot and passenger were fatally injured; night visual conditions prevailed. The flight departed Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) in Islip, N.Y., with the Fulton County Airport in Johnstown, N.Y., as the planned destination.The pilot was in radio and radar contact with the Albany Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and receiving flight following services. About 0034, both radio and radar contact was lost; the TRACON did not receive a distress call from the pilot. At about 0030, three witnesses reported an airplane descended through a cloud layer with an increase in engine noise. The noise was continuous, with no sputtering. Two of the witnesses reported that the airplane was initially on a northwesterly heading, and then made a left turn toward a southeasterly direction, before descending rapidly into terrain. A nearby weather reporting stations observation close to the time of the accident included visibility of 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2100 feet, a broken ceiling at 2600 feet and an overcast ceiling at 3400 feet.

October 11, 2004, Madison, Conn.
Piper PA-28-161

At about 1748 Eastern time the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a house while attempting to execute a forced landing. The Private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Day visual conditions prevailed for the planned flight from Nantucket, Mass., to New Haven, Conn. According ATC tapes, the pilot made a Mayday call and reported he was at 4000 feet msl and descending without engine power. The accident pilot reported that there was oil on the windscreen. A controller provided radar vectors towards an airport approximately four miles southeast. When the airplane was approximately two miles from the airport at 1600 feet msl, the pilot reported seeing a field to his left. The controller asked the pilot if he thought he could make the airport. The pilot said he was going for the field, which was the last recorded transmission from the accident airplane. According to a witness that was standing about 30 feet from the accident site, the airplane came through the trees, and impacted her house. The witness added she did not hear the engine, and the sound of the airplane in the trees was what initially caught her attention.

October 13, 2004, Idaho Springs, Colo.
Cessna 182R

The airplane was destroyed and the ATP-rated pilot fatally injured on impacting mountainous terrain at 0738 Mountain time while maneuvering. Instrument conditions prevailed at the time of the accident; no flight plan had been filed for the cross-country flight that originated at Englewood, Colo., about 20 minutes earlier and was en route to Aspen, Colo. According to the Clear Creek County Sheriff, weather at the time of the accident was cold with a low overcast, and occasional light snow. Reported weather recorded at a nearby station included visibility of less than statute mile, snow and an overcast sky at 200 feet agl.

October 19, 2004, Atlanta, Ga.
Beech Baron B-55

At 1054 Eastern time the airplane collided with the ground and burst into flames. Instrument conditions prevailed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the Instrument-rated Private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight had departed the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee, Ga., nine minutes earlier. About seven miles south of PDK, the pilot reported that he was in trouble. The departure controller immediately issued the pilot radar vector information for an eastbound heading, but the pilot never responded to the radar vector information. Shortly afterward, radio and radar contact was lost. Witnesses in the vicinity of the accident site reported seeing the airplane spinning out of the clouds in a flat attitude. A review of weather data and witness reports reveal that low clouds, fog, heavy rain and thunderstorm activity were in the area at the time of the accident.

October 19, 2004, Hyak, Wash.
Aero Vodochody L-39

Radio and radar contact were lost with the aircraft at 1158 Pacific time; as of October 26, 2004, the airplane had not been located and was presumed destroyed. Its occupants, a Private pilot and his passenger, are presumed to have received fatal injuries. The flight departed Boeing Field in Seattle, Wash., at 1146 and was in an area of reported instrument conditions on an IFR flight plan. Approximately nine minutes after takeoff, the pilot reported passing 8000 feet for 15,000 feet. About 70 seconds later, a controller cleared the flight to 17,000 feet. A short time later, the pilot advised ATC that he had an in-flight emergency. About 15 seconds after declaring the emergency, the pilot transmitted three times in a rapid, excited voice that he was Out of control. The controller was not able to make any further radio contact with the aircraft. A preliminary review of recorded radar tracking data indicates that the aircraft climbed to a mode C altitude of 17,100 feet but was there for less than 15 seconds before starting to descend again. The aircraft was lost from radar just over one minute after it reached 17,100 feet, at approximately 15,900 feet.

October 20, 2004, West Columbia, S.C.
Cessna 172SP

At 1600 Eastern time, the aircraft collided with an airport sign after veering left off of Runway 5 during an attempted landing at the Columbia (S.C.) Metropolitan Airport. The Student pilot, on his first solo flight, was not injured, although the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed. The Student pilot later stated that his the first full-stop landing was routine and smooth. The second pattern and approach were normal and stabilized but, during the touchdown, the airplane abruptly bounced on the runway. The student then increased engine power in an attempt to control the descent, but his efforts failed and the airplane bounced on the runway and became more difficult to control. The airplane then veered left of the runway centerline and departed the runway surface into a grassy area.

October 20, 2004, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
Eurocopter BO-105S

The helicopter was destroyed when it crashed into Choctawhatchee Bay at about 0043 Central time; the Commercial-rated pilot, paramedic and flight nurse aboard the air ambulance flight were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; no flight plan had been filed. Earlier, at 0041, the accident pilot called his dispatcher via radio and reported airborne with three persons on board, 2 hours 20 minutes of fuel and an estimated flight time of 10 minutes. At 0043, the helicopter called via radio and reported that they were returning to base due to weather. The dispatcher did not talk with the flight after this. At 0050, the dispatcher cleared the Airheart One call, believing that they were back at base due to the short flight time. At 0610, the relief pilot that was coming on duty advised that the helicopter was not at its base. Search and rescue operations were initiated and the wreckage of the helicopter was located in Choctawhatchee Bay about 0820. A witness, who was fishing nearby between 0030 and 0100, reported observing an unknown aircraft flying to the north. The aircraft made a turn toward the east and descended. He did not see or hear the aircraft after this. Recorded radar data showed that the flight climbed to 900 feet while proceeding north across the bay. The flight then descended to between 700 and 800 feet and initiated a turn to the east. At 0042:49, the last radar contact was recorded when the flight was at 700 feet, flying on a east-southeast heading.

October 21, 2004, Guntersville, Ala.
Piper PA-32RT-300T

At 1503 Central time the airplane collided with trees and the ground, and burst into flames during an attempted forced landing following a loss of engine power during cruise flight. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed. The Private pilot received serious injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. According to the pilot, the engine started running rough and then quit. There was oil on the left side of his windscreen. The pilot declared an emergency and ATC diverted him towards Guntersville, the closest airport. Shortly afterward, the pilot lost radio communications with ATC and became unsure of his position. He observed a field decided to land in it. Just prior to landing, the airplane struck trees, damaging the wings, and ended up on its back.


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