The following briefs were selected from the 117 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in November 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, December.”
December 01, Brevard, N.C.
At about 1025 eastern time, a Cessna 182J struck a ditch during an aborted takeoff at Transylvania County Airport. The pilot and two passengers reported serious injuries. The pilot said he was on the takeoff roll on runway 27 and ready to rotate when he discovered the flight controls would not move. He was about two-thirds of the way down the 2,903-foot runway when he retarded the power and applied the brakes. The airplane overran the departure end of the runway.
December 03, Vici, Okla.
At 1345 central time, a Cessna 172M nosed over in a field during a precautionary landing near Vici. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reported that, while flying from Liberal, Kan., to Oklahoma City, he encountered ice throughout the airframe. He made an unscheduled landing at Woodward, Okla. After removing some of the ice, the pilot departed Woodward and again headed for Oklahoma City. He was cruising at 115 mph when he encountered freezing rain. Over the next 20 miles, the pilot observed the indicated airspeed decay progressively to 80 mph. He then initiated a descent to maintain 80 mph and diverted to Vici Municipal Airport. When he could no longer maintain 80 mph, he elected to land in an open field, during which time the landing gear collapsed and the airplane flipped inverted.
December 03, Eastman, Ga.
At 1407 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-161 crashed into a hangar while taxiing for parking. The pilot was not injured. The pilot stated he was taxiing between a parked airplane and the hangar when he applied left rudder to stop his turn. At that point, he inadvertently stepped on his headset cord and his head was jerked downward. While he attempted to untangle his head from the headset cord, the airplane continued forward and collided with the hangar.
December 04, Cincinnati, Ohio
At 1732 eastern time, a Cessna 210M on a Part 135 cargo flight was damaged during an emergency landing at Lunken Field. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was approaching Owensboro, Ky., for landing when he selected the gear down and his right leg was sprayed with hydraulic fluid. The gear down-and-locked light did not illuminate. He aborted the landing and circled while he and ground personnel tried to solve the problem. He then diverted to Lunken Field, where the charter company has a maintenance base, where ground personnel were able to see that the main gear were dangling. He secured the engine and landed on runway 07, but the airplane veered off the right side of the runway and was damaged. Inspection revealed the left side hydraulic line installed from the gear handle to the gear power pack was ruptured due to contact with the rudder interconnect cable. The Cessna 210 Service Manual revealed that there were no defined instructions as to how the rudder interconnect cable or hydraulic line should have been installed, nor did it provide clearance limits for the two components.
December 05, Miami, Fla.
At about 2040 eastern time, an amateur-built Fourwind 192 struck the Federal Reserve building in Miami. The two occupants, both pilots, were killed. The flight had departed Marathon, Fla., about 40 minutes earlier. As the airplane was transitioning north through the Miami Class B airspace and receiving VFR advisories from Approach, controllers saw it alter its course to the southeast without explanation. The controller failed to establish communications with the flight and it crashed into the building about three minutes later.
December 06, Fort Myers, Fla.
At about 1539 eastern time, a Beech 58 crashed after an approach to Page Field. The pilot and one passenger were killed. The flight had originated in St. Joseph, Mo., bound for Naples, Fla., with a fuel stop in Centerville, Ala. At Naples the pilot was cleared for the VOR 23 approach, but missed it. The pilot requested a diversion to Page Airport to shoot the ILS 5 approach. Radar information showed he was never established on the localizer. He missed the approach, verified the ILS frequency with controllers, and requested another try. He said he had flown the first approach on automatic and would make the second attempt on manual. The controller asked fuel status and the pilot reported it was practically nil. The controller said the third approach would be a surveillance approach and he would be given heading and descent instructions while on the localizer course. This approach also resulted in a miss, and the controller attempted to vector the flight to Southwest Regional Airport for an ILS because that airport had high intensity approach lights. As the flight was being vectored, it descended into a residential area. Weather at the time included a ceiling of 300 feet, visibility 3 miles, temperature 16 F and dewpoint 16 F.
December 08, Scottsdale, Ariz.
At 2027 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-161 lost power on initial climb from Scottsdale Airport and crashed into a restaurant parking lot. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. The flight originated at Mesa, Ariz., at 1815 and flew to Tucson. The return flight was to include a touch and go in Scottsdale and return to Mesa. He landed in Tucson and started the return leg without shutting down. On the takeoff out of Scottsdale, the airplane reached about 300 feet agl and the engine sputtered and quit. No fuel was found on the aircraft. The pilot reported that, before he departed, the fuel level was at or slightly below the tabs, which would be about 34 gallons. The operators policy is to refuel airplanes to the tabs after every flight unless the next pilot requests more. The accident flight operated for 2.3 hours since engine start at Mesa. A review of the operators fueling records showed the airplane was refueled after its first flight of the day but not after a 2.4-hour flight just before the accident flight. A fuel truck operator said he asked the accident pilot just before departure if he needed fuel, but was told no.
December 10, Eagle, Colo.
At about 1115 mountain time, a Mooney 252 lost engine power and was damaged in a forced landing at Eagle County Airport. The two occupants were not injured. The pilot said the airplane had lifted off and climbed to 50 feet when the engine lost power. He attempted to land on the 2,000 feet of runway remaining, but the airplane slid off the icy runway, traveled across a 600-foot overrun, and collided with a ditch. Airport emergency personnel who responded to the scene reported finding cowl plugs still in place.
December 13, Manassas, Va.
At about 1830 eastern time, a Piper PA-601P was damaged during takeoff from Manassas Regional Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said the takeoff roll was normal up to about 65 knots. At that point, he felt a shudder that seemed to come from the wheels. He attributed it to standing water on the runway. Within a second he felt a second shudder and started having problems with directional control. He aborted the takeoff and the airplane yawed and departed the runway within two seconds. The airplane slid about 1,000 feet through wet grass before coming to a stop in a ditch. The pilot also reported it had snowed two days earlier and it had rained steadily on the day of the accident.
December 14, Cashiers, N.C.
At about 1133 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-150 crashed about seven miles west of Cashiers. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. The pilot said he was flying from Nashville to Greenville, N.C., at a cruising altitude of 7,500 feet. He then saw some lenticular clouds along his route of flight, so he began a climb to 9,500 feet. As he reached 9,000 feet, he saw Greenville in the distance, so he began a VFR descent. The next thing he knew, the airplane struck two trees. The airplane hit a snow-covered mountain at about 4,200 feet.
December 16, Anaheim Hills, Calif.
At about 1430 Pacific time, a Piper PA-24-250 crashed into several homes in Anaheim Hills following the in-flight separation of the left wing and horizontal stabilizer. The pilot and passenger were killed. The pilot was flying from Prescott, Ariz., to Orange County, Calif., and filed an IFR flight plan in flight near Palm Springs. The flight was level at 3,000 and cleared to intercept the localizer for the ILS approach to runway 19R at John Wayne when the controller noticed the airplane make an unusually hard right turn. The airplane then disappeared from radar. Debris from the airplane was strewn along a path about a quarter mile long. The first piece located in the path was a 6-foot section of the outboard left wing, including the wing tip, followed by the outboard three feet of the right horizontal stabilator. Pieces of the empennage, in addition to outboard sections of the left and right wings and ailerons, were strewn throughout the debris path.
December 20, Macon, Ga.
Piper Cherokee Six
At 1957 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-300 crashed after losing engine power near Macon. The pilot and three passengers were killed, and one passenger suffered minor injuries. The pilot was on an IFR flight plan when he reported to controllers that he had smoke in the cockpit. He was given radar vectors to the nearest airport but reported he had lost engine power and could not make it to the airport. The controller told him of a nearby highway and the pilot said he was looking for it. The airplane struck trees on the way down.
December 20, Woodbury, Ct.
At 2105 eastern time, a Piper PA-32R-301T crashed shortly after the pilot reported an in-flight fire while in cruise flight. The pilot and passenger were killed. The airplane was cruising from Rutland, Vt., to Farmingdale, N.Y., when the pilot reported the fire. The controller vectored the pilot toward Waterbury-Oxford Airport. It was five miles out descending out of 5,500 feet. The approach controller cleared it to land on any runway. The pilot entered a close-in downwind for runway 36 and the tower controller noted the engine compartment engulfed in flames. Witnesses on the ground also reported flames coming from the airplane.
December 23, Dolan Springs, Ariz.
At 1137 mountain time, a Robinson R22 Beta struck power lines and crashed near Dolan Springs. The pilot and passenger were killed. The flight originated from Las Vegas, Nev., at an unknown time. A witness said the helicopter was flying over his lane on Interstate 93 about 30 miles north of Kingman when it struck the power lines. Indications are that the wires were about 30 feet agl at their lowest point between poles.
December 23, Chehalis, Wash.
At approximately 1430 Pacific time, a Grumman American AA-1 crashed into a pond about a quarter-mile short of runway 33 at Chehalis-Centralia Airport. The pilot was seriously injured and his passenger received minor injuries. The pilot and his passenger took off hoping to look at some land in the local area, but soon after becoming airborne found that the subject area was covered by dense low-level fog. They returned to the airport and, because of fog to the north and west of the field, made a straight-in VFR approach to runway 33. During the last part of the approach, the pilot reduced the power to near idle and, when he advanced the throttle, there was no response from the engine. As the pilot attempted to stretch the glide to the runway, the aircraft slowed and dropped into the pond.
December 24, Egypt, Ark.
At approximately 0954 central time, a Beech BE-58 crashed after an uncontrolled descent near Egypt, killing the pilot. The pilot was on an IFR flight plan from Cherokee Village, Ark., to Jonesboro, Ark., with a planned time en route of 35 minutes and six hours of fuel on board. His preflight weather briefing included reports of low ceilings and pilot reports of icing from 2,300 feet to 3,300 feet. There was also an Airmet for icing and turbulence. Shortly after takeoff the pilot reported icing at 4,800 msl and requested a descent to 4,000, which was approved. A few minutes later, he asked for a deviation to land at Walnut Ridge Regional Airport and was cleared for an instrument approach into the airport. Shortly afterward the airplane dropped from radar. Weather at the time was reported as visibility of 1 sm, overcast ceiling at 800 feet and temperature and dewpoint identical.
December 25, Hollywood, Fla.
At 1130 eastern time, a Beech F-35 Bonanza experienced an airframe vibration while descending out of 3,500 feet 25 miles west of Hollywood North Perry Airport. The pilot slowed the airplane and landed without further incident. The pilot said he was descending from 3,500 feet at 180 knots indicated when he felt the tail flutter. He reduced power, slowed the airplane and landed successfully. A post-landing inspection found the empennage aft of the rear bulkhead had substantial wrinkling near the horizontal stabilizers.
December 26, Akron, Ohio
At about 1430 eastern time, a Cessna 172S was damaged during landing at Akron-Canton Regional Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was landing on runway 23 with a crosswind of about 15 knots about 30 degrees right of the runway centerline. The airplane touched down hard and bounced five or six times before he performed a go-around. During the second landing attempt, the pilot experienced difficulty manipulating the airplanes controls. The airplane landed hard, veered off the right side of the runway and struck a snow bank. Post accident inspection found the outboard six inches of the propeller tips were curled aft and the upper part of the landing gear strut was pushed into and through the firewall. Additionally, the movement of the airplanes control column, rudder pedals, aileron cables, and elevator trim was restricted due to impact damage.
December 28, Payson, Ariz.
At 1510 mountain time, the pilot of an amateur-built Lancair 235 lost control during an aborted landing on runway 24 at Payson Airport. The pilot was killed. A witness said the pilot had bought the airplane two days earlier and was planning to conduct fast taxi tests. On the second test, the airplane became airborne and the pilot departed the airport. Other witnesses said they saw the accident airplane make two approaches that culminated in go-arounds, and on each approach the airplane displayed pitch deviations. On the third approach, the airplane landed hard about 1,500 feet down the runway. It bounced into the air, landed back on the runway, and the engine powered up to abort the landing. The witnesses the saw the airplanes nose pitch up, pitch down and crash. A review of the pilots logbook revealed the pilot had no Lancair flight time and had not flown since May.
December 31, Mount Union, Pa.
Socata TB 9
At about 1200 eastern time, a Socata TB 9 overran the runway after aborting takeoff at Huntingdon County Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reported he was departing on runway 22, a 3,120 feet-by-80 feet gravel and turf runway. The pilot said the runway was too soft and the airplane did not accelerate properly. He was able to lift the nose gear off the ground, but the airplane would not become airborne. The pilot then aborted the takeoff and the airplane overran the runway into a ditch.