NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


December 1, 2004, Lees Summit, Mo.
Piper PA-28-181

At 1200 Central time, the rental airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Lees Summit Municipal Airport (LXT). Visual conditions prevailed; there were no injuries. The local flight originated from LXT at 1030.The pilots preflight inspection included checking the fuel gauges and the fuel level in each tank, which was just under the tabs. After a touch-and-go landing at a nearby airport, he climbed and headed to the east. A few minutes later, the engine sputtered just a little. He applied carburetor heat, and the engine smoothed out. He returned to the nearby airport, landed and performed a runup. He then shut down the engine and checked the fuel sumps again. He restarted the engine and performed another runup and then flew to a third airport and performed another touch-and-go. He then departed and was en route back to LXT when the engine began to run rough. He then performed a forced landing. An FAA inspector reported that no usable fuel was aboard.

December 1, 2004, Teterboro, N.J.
Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV

The airplane was substantially damaged while landing at the Teterboro Airport (TEB) at 1623 Eastern time. No one among the two flightcrew, single flight attendant and six passengers was injured; visual conditions prevailed for the chartered IFR flight from London, United Kingdom.On arriving in the Teterboro area, the flight was cleared for the ILS Runway 19 approach and to sidestep to land on Runway 24. The airplane encountered a gusty right crosswind, but it was less turbulent than expected. The airplane initially overshot the extended Runway 24 centerline, but became stabilized at 1000 feet agl. The airplane touched down within the first 2000 feet of the runway and slightly right of runway centerline. The flightcrew was unable to activate the thrust reversers, and did not recall the ground spoilers deploying. The airplane did not decelerate and the captain activated the emergency braking system; the co-pilot extended speed brakes. The captain was unable to control the airplane after the emergency braking system was activated and the airplane departed the right side of the runway about 5500 feet beyond the approach end. The airplane then traveled over a grassy area, struck trees and came to rest upright.

December 3, 2004, Belle Fourche, S.D.
Cessna 182P

At 1910 Mountain time, the rental airplane, was substantially damaged during a landing on Runway 32 at the Belle Fourche Municipal Airport (EFC). Night visual conditions prevailed; the Private pilot reported no injuries while three passengers sustained minor injuries. The flight originated from the Front Range Airport in Denver, Colo., at 1600.Following the first landing attempt, the pilot executed a go-around, during which the landing light circuit breaker tripped. He reset the circuit breaker twice and then switched the landing light off after the circuit breaker would not reset. Additionally, the pilot stated that he could not get the instrument panel lights to operate, and the overhead light(s), which were red in color, did not provide enough illumination for him to see the instrument panel. The pilot stated that the right front seat passenger used a flashlight to illuminate the instrument panel, but the flashlight ceased to operate prior to the second landing attempt.During the second landing attempt, the nosewheel touched down first. The right landing gear then contacted a grass area on the eastern edge of the runway when the airplane encountered a wind. The pilot held a medical certificate with the following limitation: Not valid for night flight or by color signal control. The pilot reported zero hours of night flight time in the accident make and model. An FAA inspector operated the landing light for about 30 seconds and noted that none of the instrument panel light(s) illuminated, and the overhead light(s) illuminated. No circuit breakers tripped during this operation.

December 4, 2004, Belgrade, Mt.
Cirrus Design Corp. SR22

The airplane impacted mountainous terrain while maneuvering at approximately 1530 Mountain time. The Commercial pilot and two of the three passengers were killed; the other passenger received serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.At the time of the accident, a motorglider was flying near where the accident occurred. The motorglider pilot and the accident-aircraft pilot coordinated a rendezvous away from the departure airport. Subsequently, the accident airplane made one pass above the glider, then circled and made a second pass above and to the left of the glider. The glider pilot then watched the airplane continue heading north straight out in front of him for about 5 to 10 seconds. Since the glider was losing lift, he then made a turn to the south. After gaining altitude, the glider pilot turned back to the north. He then saw a column of black smoke, which was later identified as being from the crash site. The column of smoke was located just south of the 8800-foot peak on the transverse ridge. The glider pilot estimated it was 5 to 10 minutes between the time he last saw the airplane and the time he turned back north and spotted the smoke. The glider pilot reported that the weather was clear blue sky, no turbulence, no sucking downdrafts, but some down air in the area where he last saw the airplane.

December 6, 2004, Bellevue, Idaho
Cessna 208B Caravan

At about 1020 Mountain time, the Part 135 commercial cargo flight collided with flat open terrain.Visual conditions prevailed; the aircraft was operating on an IFR flight plan. The aircraft was destroyed by impact damage and a post-crash fire. The Airline Transport pilot-in-command and another deadheading pilot were fatally injured. The flight originated from Salt Lake City, Utah, about one hour prior to the accident and was destined for Friedman Memorial (SUN), Hailey, Idaho. After executing the RNAV (GPS) Runway 31 approach to SUN, the flight was cleared to land while still in instrument conditions. There were no further communications.The pilot of a Cessna Citation 525, who flew the same approach to SUN about 20 minutes prior to the accident aircraft, reported his aircraft was picking up moderate mixed ice on the wings and windshield.

December 7, 2004, Vandalia, Ohio
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo

The airplane was destroyed and the Commercial pilot aboard was fatally injured on impact with terrain while on approach to the James M. Cox Dayton International Airport. Instrument conditions prevailed; the Part 135 cargo flight originated from the McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tenn. According to an initial review of ATC voice and radar data, the airplane was at 5000 feet, when the pilot contacted Dayton Approach at 0121. At 0135, the pilot was vectored to intercept the Runway 6L localizer, and was cleared for ILS Runway 6L approach. The airplanes last radar target was observed at an altitude of 1200 feet msl, and a groundspeed of 130 knots. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest inverted on airport property, on a bearing of 053 degrees, and a distance of mile to the runway.Subsequently, the pilot of another PA-31-350 operated by the same company who landed on Runway 6L shortly before the accident, reported that he observed the approach lights at an altitude of about 300 feet but did not see any sequenced flashing lights, and noted that the approach lights were all solid. A post-accident check of the lighting system revealed that 2 of the 15 sequence flashing lights were not operating. In addition, four random steady lights were also not working.

December 8, 2004, Tulsa, Okla.
Beech B200 King Air

At approximately 1831 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain approximately four miles north of Runway 18L at the Tulsa International Airport. The Private pilot/owner, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. Night visual conditions prevailed for the Part 91 business flight, which originated from the La Crosse (Wis.) Municipal Airport (LSE). The 2100-hour pilot subsequently stated that, while approximately 47 nm north of the destination, the fuel gauges indicated approximately 200 pounds of fuel each for a total of 400 pounds. Approximately six miles from the runway, the right engine started to sputter before it finally quit. The left engine quit just a few moments later. The auto ignition system installed in the airplane attempted to restart the engines. The engines restarted momentarily, and then quit once more. The pilot spotted a street below and stalled the airplane in an empty space directly over the street. After a hard landing onto the street, the right wing hit a telephone pole, and the left wing then hit several tree limbs before the airplane impacted a hill and came to a stop. There was no post-impact fire.

December 9, 2004, Pelzer, S.C.
Diamond Aircraft DA40-180

The certified Flight Instructor, pilot-rated passenger and non-rated passenger received fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed at 1013 Eastern time after colliding with a power line, trees and the ground while on an ILS approach to Runway 5 at the Donaldson Center (S.C.) Airport. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed for the cross-country Part 91 flight which originated from Jacksonville, Fla., at about 0800.As the airplane executed the ILS approach, an air traffic controller observed it to descend below the minimum safe altitude of 2500 feet. Attempts by the air traffic controller to reestablish radio contact with the pilot were unsuccessful. At 1021, the local 911 operators received a telephone call, at which time the caller reported the downed airplane 9.4 nm south of the airport. The crash site revealed a damaged power line about 75 feet above the ground tops of four trees that were also damaged.

December 9, 2004, Fabens, Texas
Mooney M-20F

At approximately 1512 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing on an Interstate highway following loss of engine power. The Private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight originated at Austin, Texas, and made an intermediate stop near Fort Stockton, Texas. The flight then departed at approximately 1415, with the El Paso (Texas) International Airport as its final destination. While on the ground at Fort Stockton, the pilot added a quart of oil to the engine, for a total of seven quarts. Approximately 45 minutes later, the pilot noticed the #2 cylinder head temperature gauge was indicating a lower than normal temperature, and shortly thereafter, there was a loss of engine oil pressure. The pilot determined that there were no available nearby airports and, a few minutes later, the engine stopped. The pilot determined that the safest place to land was the westbound lane of Interstate 10 below him. During the landing, the right wing collided with the rear of a large truck. The airplane then flipped over and came to rest inverted.

December 10, 2004, Englewood, Colo.
Mitsubishi MU-2B-60

The airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near the Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colo. Night visual conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, which occurred at approximately 1940 Mountain time. The Part 135, IFR flight was en route to Salt Lake City, Utah. The Airline Transport-rated pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries.According to witnesses and preliminary ATC communications, the airplane departed Runway 35R and executed a climbing left turn to a heading of 280 degrees. During the initial climb, the pilot told ATC he had a problem, was shutting down an engine and needed to return to the airport.Witnesses observed the airplane execute a left turn for a base leg to Runway 35R. The airplane continued past the Runway 35R centerline and then executed a left turn toward Runway 35R. Shortly after the airplane turned toward Runway 35R, ATC observed the airplanes landing lights point straight down, and the airplane then disappeared from the controllers view.

December 19, 2004, La Mirada, Calif.
Cessna 182P

At about 0948 Pacific time, the airplane collided with a 760-foot-tall radio transmission tower while in the traffic pattern at the Fullerton (Calif.) Municipal Airport. The Private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.Subsequently, a witness stated he observed the airplane flying low, in a westerly direction. He noted that the airplane was in a wings-level attitude and that the propeller appeared to be turning. The airplane continued towards two parallel towers, both of which had numerous guy wires attached. He observed the inboard section of the airplanes left wing collide with the taller tower, impacting about 10 feet below the pinnacle. After the initial impact, a fire erupted and both wings, followed by the tail, floated toward the ground. The accident site was located in an industrial parking lot about 1.6 nm from the geographical center of Fullerton Municipal Airport on a bearing of 280 true.The Airport/Facility Directory, Southwest U.S., indicates there is a lighted tower measuring 819 feet msl two miles west-northwest of the airport. The Los Angeles VFR Terminal Area Chart, dated December 23, 2004 (50th edition), discloses the transmission tower height extends 820 feet msl and 760 agl.

December 20, 2004, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Learjet 25B

The airplane collided with a berm following a loss of directional control while landing on Runway 13 at the Eastern Iowa Airport, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 1315 Central time. No one among the ATP-rated captain, Commercial-rated co-pilot, or two medical crew members was injured. The aeromedical positioning flight was being conducted in VMC; an IFR flight plan had been filed with an intended destination of McAllen, Texas.Both pilots later reported what they thought were rough spots on the runway during the takeoff roll. After raising the landing gear the crew noticed an unsafe gear indication for the nose gear. The flight leveled off at 5000 feet and recycled the landing gear at least four times to no avail. The crew then requested a landing back at the departure airport and observed a down-and-locked indication for all three landing gear during the visual approach. After the nose wheel touched down, the airplane made a sharp left turn off the side of the runway and contacted a four-foot high berm. Post-accident inspection revealed a nose-gear strut seal had blown, preventing the nose gear from centering.

December 22, 2004, Hartford, Conn.
Piper PA-46-350P

At 1730 Eastern time, the aircraft was substantially damaged while landing at the Hartford Brainard Airport (HFD) in Hartford, Conn. Neither the Private pilot nor his passenger was injured. Night VMC prevailed for the local post-maintenance test flight.After completing several approaches at another airport to test a new avionics installation, the flight returned to HFD, and conducted the LDA Runway 2 approach. During the final approach, the pilot felt a thump coming from the left wing area. After parking the airplane, the pilot inspected the left wing and observed distorted spots in the wing and a broken position light. Further examination revealed substantial damage to the leading edge of the left wing, and minor damage to the left landing gear door, the left flap and the left horizontal stabilizer. The left-wing outboard recognition light was damaged, and the light fixture cavity contained numerous tree buds.

December 25, 2004, Howards Grove, Wis.
Beech S35

The Bonanza was substantially damaged by impact forces and a post-impact fire while both the ATP-rated pilot and passenger were killed following a loss of engine power. Visual conditions prevailed for the planned IFR flight from the Manitowoc County (Wis.) Airport to the Lewis University Airport in Romeoville, Ill. Preliminary information indicates that at 1006, while at 4000 feet msl, the pilot declared an emergency with the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center, stating the cabin was filling with smoke and that they were diverting to the Sheboygan County (Wis.) Memorial Airport (SBM). Subsequently, the airplane contacted trees at the edge of an open field in Howards Grove, Wisconsin, approximately 3 miles north of SBM. Preliminary examination revealed two holes in the top of the engine case abeam the #4 cylinder. The larger of the holes was located on the left portion of the case and the smaller of the holes was on the right portion of the case. The journal end of the #4 connecting rod was sticking up through the larger hole. The end of the rod that was sticking up through the case had sustained impact hammering damage. The piston end of the rod remained connected to the piston which was inside the cylinder.

December 27, 2004, Roswell, N.M.
Cessna 172S

At 1822 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed when it departed controlled flight and impacted a highway. Night visual conditions prevailed for the local IFR flight. The Private pilot and sole occupant was fatally injured.Several witnesses in vehicles driving westbound on the highway stated they saw the airplane traveling northwest at approximately 2500 feet agl. One witness stated the airplane suddenly started downward at a steep angle and crashed. Another witness said it took only a few seconds from the time the airplane started downward until it impacted on the highway. A third witness said he saw a green and red light coming down at a high angle and very fast, and he heard [a] loud noise, not [an] explosion.The Roswell Approach Control reported the pilot was cleared to fly the VOR-B approach to the Roswell Industrial Air Center airport. The airplane was on the inbound turn of the procedure turn portion of the approach, heading toward the north. At 1822, Roswell Approach Control lost radar and radio contact with the airplane. At the last recorded radar position, the airplane was approximately 12 nm west of the Chisum Vortac, at 5800 feet mean sea level, and traveling at a speed of 132 knots.


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