NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


The following briefs were selected from the 222 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in June 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, June.”


June 02, Alhambra, Calif.
Cessna 172

At 1742 Pacific time, a Cessna 172N lost engine power during cruise flight and was damaged in a forced landing to I-10 near Alhambra. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The pilot reported his calculations were in error and the airplane ran out of fuel.

June 02, Dalhart, Texas
Cessna 172

At 1845 central time, a Cessna 172L struck terrain during the landing flare on runway 35 at the Dalhart Municipal Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The pilot said he was flying from Liberal, Kan., to Albuquerque when he decided to land at Dalhart due to thunderstorms ahead. During final approach, the wind was down the runway, but he was struck by a left crosswind gust during the flare. The airplane departed the runway, struck the ground, and impacted a ditch before coming to rest nose down. The ASOS at the airport recorded a wind shift at the time of the accident, with gusts reaching 44 knots.

June 04, Saint Pauls, N.C.
Cessna 182

At 1700 eastern time, a Cessna 182 made a hard landing at a private airstrip, damaging the airplane but leaving the pilot uninjured. The pilot said he departed Hilton Head, S.C., and had been flying all day. He said he was very fatigued as he made his landing approach. The airplane landed hard, buckling the firewall and damaging stringers in the fuselage.

June 04, Tampa, Fla.
Cessna 172

At about 0822 eastern time, a Cessna 172S crashed near Lutz, killing the pilot. The pilot had crashed his experimental Rotorway 162F helicopter into the roof of a Tampa house at 2130 eastern time the night before, and it was discovered that the helicopter carried the wrong N-number. In the airplane crash, the pilot departed Vandenberg Airport at 0709 and orbited for about 15 minutes at 2,100 feet. The airplane then moved slightly west and orbited a roadway intersection for nearly an hour. Attempts to communicate with the airplane by the Tampa Tower and a Sheriff helicopter on several frequencies were unsuccessful. A witness reported hearing the engine rev up before the airplane pitched down and crashed at an 80-degree nose-low attitude.

June 07, Newcastle, Wyo.
Beech Bonanza

At approximately 1700 mountain time, a Beech A35 was damaged in a gear-up landing at Mondell Field. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he had just purchased the airplane and was making a local flight. When he returned to the airport for landing, he forgot to lower the landing gear and inadvertently landed wheels up. The airplane is equipped with an audible landing gear warning system that is activated whenever power is reduced below 12 inches of manifold pressure and the landing gear is still retracted, but the pilot said he didnt know if his airplane was so equipped. In any case, he said, he didnt hear the warning horn prior to touchdown.

June 07, Santa Paula, Calif.
Grumman Tiger

At about 1010 Pacific time, a Grumman AA-5B struck terrain shortly after departing from Santa Paula, killing both aboard. A witness said the airplane departed runway 22 and turned to a left downwind as it climbed. He said it held a high climb angle and appeared to be angling toward the mountains. The tops of the mountains were obscured but there was a patch of blue sky ahead of the airplane over the mountains. The airplane collided with a 55-degree slope about 200 feet below the crest of a ridgeline that ran northeast to southwest. No preaccident anomalies were found.

June 07, Fort Worth, Texas
Cessna 150

At approximately 1745 central time, a Cessna 150 lost partial engine power and crashed during the ensuing forced landing near Fort Worth. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was climbing through 50 feet agl when he noticed the engine starting to lose power. He continued to climb and flew a traffic pattern, turning to downwind at about 200 feet agl. He elected to land in a field ahead of him about a half-mile east of the runway. An FAA inspector reported the mixture control rod had separated from the carburetor.

June 08, Rio Rico, Ariz.
Piper Apache

At about 1405 mountain time, a Piper PA-23-160 crashed about three miles west of Nogales International Airport, killing all three aboard. The airplane had been rented in Chandler by an applicant for a CFI-MEI certificate. Also aboard were a CFI and a private, multi-engine pilot. The designated examiner who was scheduled to give the CFI practical test said he was conducting the test when, on engine start, he noted the left engine did not produce sufficient power. He canceled the flight for mechanical reasons. The instructor pilot consulted with the operators mechanic and apparently concluded the return flight to Chandler could be made safely. The examiner observed the CFI applicant sitting in the right front seat, the private pilot in the left seat and the instructor pilot in the middle row of seats. He watched the takeoff and noted the airplane yawed to the left and re-centered on the runway three times, and then it proceeded to accelerate slowly. The airplane abruptly pitched up about 3,300 feet down the runway and the landing gear was retracted. The airplane began to settle toward the runway, the nose pitched level, and the airplane accelerated and began a slow climb. Witnesses at the accident location reported that they did not hear an engine sound, but did see both propellers moving. They saw the airplane veer to the left to avoid a residence, strike the ground and cartwheel. Examination of both engines revealed signs consistent with spark plug oil- and carbon fouling.

June 08, Chandler, Ariz.
Fisher Celebrity

At about 0730 mountain time, a Fisher Celebrity biplane suffered a wing separation near Chandler, killing the pilot and passenger. A witness who was building the same type of airplane said the pilot bought the airplane eight months earlier but had not received original construction plans with it, so he would contact the witness with questions about the airplane. Three weeks before the accident the pilot told the witness the airplanes wing fabric was delaminating. About four days later the accident pilot called the witness and told him he had spoken to the factory about the problem. He also said he had washed the airplane and it looked a lot better. The witness offered the accident pilot some leftover fabric from his own kit and assistance in making the repair, but the repairs were never made. A witness to the accident said she saw the airplane flying close to the ground with one of the wings parallel to the fuselage. As she watched, the nose dropped, the wings folded and the airplane crashed.

June 10, Worcester, Mass.
Cessna 182RG

At about 2052 eastern time, a Cessna 182RG was damaged while landing with the gear partially extended at Worcester Regional Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said they were in cruise flight when he heard the landing gear motor activate and continue to run. He pulled the landing gear breaker and the motor stopped. He reset the breaker and performed the emergency gear extension. The landing gear extended, but did not come forward and lock. While over the runway, the pilot secured the engine and touched down close to stall speed. Only the nose gear was fully extended. Examination found hydraulic fluid in the wheel well for the nose gear and along the bottom side of the fuselage.

June 11, Gettysburg, Pa.
Piper Arrow

At about 1645 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-200 crashed on takeoff from a private grass airstrip near Gettysburg. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The pilot said he landed at the 1,800-foot long grass airstrip and then discovered it was not his intended destination. He positioned the airplane to take off diagonally to take advantage of wind conditions, but the airplane stuck trees and a powerline at the end of the runway.

June 13, Prescott, Ariz.
Beech Duchess

At about 1143 mountain time, a Beech BE-76 overran runway 21R after aborting a touch-and-go takeoff at Love Field Airport. The flight instructor and private pilot were not injured. The flight had been making touch-and-go landings, and on the third one the students door popped open. He aborted the takeoff but was unable to stop the airplane on the runway. Both pilots said the airplane was at takeoff airspeed when the door opened.

June 14, Osteen, Fla.
Piper Malibu

At about 2039 eastern time, a Piper PA-46-310P suffered a loss of control and in-flight breakup near Osteen, killing the pilot and two passengers. The pilot asked the Miami Center controller if he could deviate 12 miles west because he thought he could see a hole in the weather. The controller asked him to fly a heading of 170. The pilot said that heading would put him into weather he was trying to avoid. He was told to change frequencies and checked in on the new frequency. However, the airplane disappeared from radar on the next sweep. Radar showed a rapid descent from FL 260. Witnesses reported the airplane spiraling out of the clouds with one wing missing.

June 14, Brownsville, Calif.
Piper Tri-Pacer

At 0945 Pacific time, a Piper PA-22-135 crashed while trying to turn back to the runway after losing power on initial climb out of Brownsville. The pilot was killed. The airplane crashed about a quarter to half-mile short of the runway and burned. The flight was the first since the airplanes mixture control had been repaired.

June 15, Salt Lake City, Utah
Cessna 175

At 2012 mountain time, a Cessna 175 ditched into the Great Salt Lake after losing engine power. The pilot and one passenger suffered minor injuries; the other passenger was uninjured. When the airplane lost power, the pilot transmitted in the blind that he was going down. The Civil Air Patrol and local sheriffs office were notified, and the three occupants were found swimming in the lake near the submerged airplane.

June 15, Deer Valley, Ariz.
Cessna 182

At 0720 mountain time, a Cessna 182 dragged a wing tip during a forced landing at the Deer Valley Airport. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight was originating when the pilot heard a loud bang just after liftoff. The engine lost power and the pilot attempted to turn back to the runway.

June 17, Huron, Ohio
Piper Cherokee

At about 2100 eastern time, a Piper PA-28 made a forced landing while losing power on approach to Hinde Airport. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. The flight instructor said he told the student pilot to increase power while on short final, but the engine did not respond when the student pilot advanced the throttle. The airplane landed a half-mile short. The flight instructor secured the systems and noted the mag switch was already in the off position. The student could not remember if he had switched them off.

June 18, Medford, Ore.
Cessna 441

At approximately 1950 Pacific time, a Cessna 441 suffered a collapsed right main gear during the landing roll at Rogue Valley International Airport. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. The pilot said the gear retraction after takeoff from Lake Tahoe Airport did not feel normal and it appeared as though the gear cycle did not end. He re-cycled the gear and noted that both the gear transition light and the hydraulic light failed to extinguish at the end of the cycle. He pulled the landing gear circuit breaker to turn the hydraulic pump off. Passengers visually confirmed that the right main gear was not retracted. Prior to landing the pilot observed three green lights on the gear position indicator. Post-accident inspection found the right main gear trunnion roll pin had sheared.

June 18, Antioch, Calif.
Yakovlev YAK 52

At 1238 pacific time, a Yakolev Yak 52 airplane crashed while maneuvering near Antioch, killing the pilot. Witnesses said the airplane was performing a loop when it struck the ground nose-low.

June 19, Naples, Fla.
Piper Malibu

At about 0958 eastern time, a Piper PA-46-310P crashed just after takeoff from Naples Municipal Airport. All three aboard were killed. Witnesses said the airplane departed runway 5 and climbed only to a low altitude by the time it got to the departure end of the runway, where it made a steep right turn, spun and crashed.

June 19, Telluride, Colo.
Cessna 172

At 1030 mountain time, a Cessna 172M was damaged during a hard touch-and-go at Telluride Regional Airport. The pilot and passenger reported no injuries. The cross-country flight originated at Cortez, Colo., and after the hard landing the airplane continued to Albuquerque. The pilot reported the airplane porpoised during the touch-and-go landing at Telluride, and a post-flight inspection found a wrinkled firewall and the outer 2.5 inches of one propeller blade was bent aft 40 degrees.

June 20, Hagerstown, Md.
Mooney M20F

At about 1623 eastern time, a Mooney M20F was substantially damaged while landing at Hagerstown Regional Airport, leaving the pilot and passenger seriously injured. The pilot said the airplane touched down with about 1,000 feet of the 5,461-foot runway remaining. The pilot said he landed at about 80 miles per hour and thought he had enough runway on which to stop, but the airplane overran the ruway and struck a fence. It traveled about 800 feet past the end of runway 27. Wind at the time was from 170 at 8 knots.

June 21, Yakima, Wash.
Beech Bonanza

At approximately 1300 Pacific time, a Beech G-35 suffered apparent flutter damage while descending into McAllister Field. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. The pilot said he was cruising at about 150 mph when he experienced light to moderate turbulence. He initiated a 1000 fpm descent about 15 nautical miles northwest of McAllister Field, holding an indicated airspeed of 170 to 180 mph. During the descent, the pilot noted an airframe vibration. Post-flight inspection revealed wrinkling of the aircrafts aft-bulkhead.

June 23, Louisburg, N.C.
Cessna 150

At about 1235 eastern time, a Cessna 150D suffered an in-flight electrical fire and burst into flames after landing at Ball Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he towed a glider to 2,500 feet agl and was returning to the airport when he noticed smoke from under the right side of the instrument panel. The smoke became flames shortly before he got to the airport, and he landed, stopped and exited the airplane as quickly as possible.

June 23, North Las Vegas, Nev.
Cessna 172

At 2220 Pacific time, a Cessna 172N taxied into a concrete drainage ditch while attempting to enter the taxiway at the North Las Vegas Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said they had flown toward Red Rocks to watch the sunset, then returned to the airport. After landing he taxied clear of runway 7, thinking he was at taxiway C, but taxied into the drainage area. The pilot said he knew the landing light didnt work before he departed on the flight.

June 24, Broomfield, Colo.
Beech Baron

At 1659 mountain time, a Beech 58P crashed during a go-around attempt at Jeffco Airport. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The pilot said he was landing on runway 11L when a crosswind gust struck the aircraft. He decided to go around and applied full power amd raised the landing gear. The airplane continued to settle onto the runway, then slid off the left side.

June 26, Donnelly, Idaho
Cessna 182

At approximately 0706 mountain time, a Cessna 182L struck trees while trying to land at Donnelly. The pilot was seriously injured and the flight instructor reported minor injuries. The pilot was a customer at a commercial mountain/canyon flying seminar, while the instructor said his role was as an observer on the flight. The instructor pilot said they were making a canyon approach to U84, which involved flying at 50 to 55 mph with full flaps and full nose-up trim. The airplanes operators manual give airplanes power-off stall speed as 55 mph and a short-field approach speed of 69 mph. At approximately 5 feet agl, the instructor told the pilot to add power, but the pilot didnt respond in time and the airplane hit hard and bounced. The instructor told the pilot to push on the yoke, but the pilot added full power. The airplane veered to the left and struck trees. The instructor said all seminar participants must sign a document indicating that they will be pilot-in-command and that the seminar was not instructional in nature.

June 29, Chambers, Ariz.
Beech Bonanza

At about 2124 mountain time, a Beech C35 broke up in flight about 20 miles south of Chambers, killing the pilot. The flight originated from near Albuquerque, New Mexico, approximately 1 hour earlier. The airplane was in VFR cruise westbound under flight following and had climbed to about 11,000 feet when the airplane deviated from its course and radar contact was lost. The pilot reported no problems. Part of the right wing and right ruddervator/stabilizer were located near the northern end of the 1,650-foot-long wreckage path, with the main wreckage located near the southern end.

June 30, Ojai, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At about 1100 Pacific time, two airplanes, a Beech S-35 and a Beech V-35A, crashed while maneuvering in loose formation near Ojai. Each of the airplanes carried three people, with all six being killed. The airplanes were involved in a group that routinely gathered on weekends for local flights. On the day of the accident, eight airplanes took part. The group formed up at 4,500 feet and flew around for about 25 minutes, at which point the lead instructed the formation to separate and follow in trail. The lead and the number two airplane stayed in formation, with the second airplane on the right wing. The rest of the airplanes followed in loose trail as the leader maneuvered in a serpentine manner. A witness reported the two lead airplanes separated from the rest of the group, descended to an estimated 500 to 1,000 feet agl, and proceeded up a canyon. A few moments later, the witness observed smoke and a fire.


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