NTSB Preliminary Reports

General aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 119 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in September 2001. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. The information is subject to change as the investigations are completed.

Sept. 01, Carson City, Nev.
Piper Dakota

At 19:53 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-235 lost power while on approach to Carson Airport and crashed into the back yard of a residence. The pilot, the passenger and a resident of the property who was standing in the yard were seriously injured. The pilot told an FAA inspector he switched fuel tanks as he approached the airport and the engine lost power as he turned on base leg. Attempts to restart the engine failed and the airplane crashed short of the runway.

Sept. 01, Koliganek, Ak.
Maule M-7-235B

At about 15:30 Alaska time, a float-equipped Maule M-7-235B was damaged while attempting takeoff from a remote lake about 25 miles northeast of Koliganek. The two occupants were not injured. The pilot said he taxied to the center of the 1,500-foot lake several times to check for wind conditions, but the wind appeared to be shifting. He aborted his first takeoff to the northeast and decided to take off to the southwest, including a step turn. During the takeoff run, he decided to add flaps and reached for the flap handle. However, he reached for the area where the flaps are located in his other airplane, a Piper Super Cub. He was distracted by not finding the flap handle and collided with the bank of the lake.

Sept. 04, Cottonwood, Ariz.
Cessna Skylane

At 20:40 mountain time, a Cessna 182G struck power lines approximately four miles short of runway 32 while attempting to land at Cottonwood Airport, seriously injuring the pilot. A witness said the airplane overflew the airport normally, then circled back to land, at which time it hit the 60-foot high power lines. An FAA investigator found the rented airplanes altimeter appeared to read about 600 feet low and the airport is in an area of rising terrain.

Sept. 05, Carbonado, Wash.
Cessna Cutlass

At approximately 15:30 Pacific time, a Cessna 172RG on an aerial fire survey flight crashed into high terrain while maneuvering about 5 nm east of Carbonado. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. The pilot, also a flight instructor, said he departed Boeing Field with the passenger for a fire spotting flight in the Cascade Mountain foothills. He demonstrated some flight maneuvers to the passenger, then allowed the passenger to fly. The pilot sensed a loss of climb performance and took the flight controls, but the engine began running rough and the airplane struck trees. The pilot said he may have encountered carb ice, but had never experienced carb ice before. The pilot also reported having no significant mountain flying experience.

Sept. 05, Denver, Colo.
Boeing 777

At 17:14 mountain time, a Boeing 777-236 operated by British Airways was damaged during a ground fire at Denver International Airport that killed a ground crew member. No one else was injured. A witness said the fueler had attached the refueling nozzles to the single point refueling lines in the airplanes left wing. He said the flow meter indicated the refueling had begun when a fuel line separated from the airplane and whipped around a bit. A fire ensued.

Sept. 05, Bern Township, Pa.
Piper Chieftain

At 13:13 eastern time, a Piper PA-31-350 crashed as it was returning to land at Reading Regional/Carl A. Spaatz Field. The pilot was killed. The pilot was cleared for takeoff at 13:10 and called for a right turnout. The pilot called the tower on the local frequency to report he had a problem at 13:12, but conflicting radio traffic made the call unreadable. About 10 seconds later, the tower controller asked him if he required any assistance, but got no response. A subsequent transmission from the pilot was unreadable. At 1313, the controller told the pilot to fly left traffic for runway 36 and stated runway 31 was also available. There were no further communications from the pilot.Witnesses said the left engine was smoking but sounded like it was producing power. Two witnesses said it sounded like one engine was operating roughly. The airplane then rolled right and crashed. The pilot reported more than 3,200 hours total time, but the flight to Reading had been his first solo in the PA-31. He had flown 20.2 hours in the PA-31 prior to the accident flight and was about to begin training for a Part 135 check ride.

Sept. 05, Ashland, Ore.
Beech Baron

At approximately 07:15 Pacific time, a Beechcraft 58 struck rising terrain about 10 miles southeast of Ashland, killing the pilot and two passengers. The flight had departed en route to Scottsdale, Ariz., about five minutes earlier and the pilot had been briefed on the weather, but had not filed a flight plan. Dense fog prevailed near the airport. Several witnesses at the airport said they were waiting for the weather to improve before departing.

Sept. 07, Orlando, Fla.
Cessna Skyhawk

About 22:20 eastern time, a Cessna 172R suffered damage to its left wing tip while taxiing in the company parking ramp at Orlando Executive Airport. The flight instructor and student were not injured. The aircraft had just landed and was returning to parking when the propeller of another aircraft operated by the same flight school sliced the accident airplanes wing tip.

Sept. 08, Byhalia, Miss.
Piper Saratoga

At 15:54 central time, a Piper PA-32R-301 broke up in flight near Byhalia. The pilot and passenger were killed. Witnesses said the airplane was in level flight when the left wing separated from the airplane and struck the empennage. The weather was reported as windy but with no rain or thunderstorms.

Sept. 09, Gold Beach, Ore.
Cessna Skylane

At approximately 09:00 Pacific time, a Cessna 182J struck trees while approaching the Half Moon Bar Lodge airstrip, located about 28 miles northeast of Gold Beach. The pilot suffered minor injuries and the passenger was killed. The pilot said the airplane stalled and struck trees while turning from the base leg to the final approach.

Sept. 10, Washington, Ct.
Yakovlev YAK-52

At 20:23 eastern time, a Yakovlev YAK-52 crashed during a severe rainstorm near Washington, killing the pilot. The flight was en route from Wurtsboro, N.Y., to Providence, R.I., on the last leg of a flight from Arlington, Wash. The pilot had just purchased the airplane and was flying it home. The airplane was equipped for IMC flight, but the previous owner warned the pilot not to fly in IMC or night VFR because the layout of the flight instrument panel was unconventional. Weather radar showed an area of heavy precipitation at the accident site at the time of the crash. Two witnesses reported hearing the plane pass close to their house and then heard and felt the impact, and then smelled a fire. Because of the heavy rain, they did not investigate until the next morning.

Sept. 11, Terrorist Hijackings
As of press time for this issue, the NTSB has not released any reports relating to the hijacked airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania field.

Sept. 14, Hendersonville, N.C.
Cessna Centurion

At about 21:37 eastern time, a Cessna T210F crashed on Pinnacle Mountain near Hendersonville while being vectored for an ILS approach to Asheville. VMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The pilot was killed. The airplane was cruising at 9,000 feet when the controller issued a vector for the approach and cleared the pilot to descend to 6,000 feet. The pilot reported precipitation and turbulence and was unable to hold altitude within a few hundred feet. The controller told the pilot he had descended below the MVA and that his heading was off course. Soon the pilot was flying 100 degrees to the right of the assigned heading, airspeed had increased dramatically and the airplane was below minimum vectoring altitude. By the time radar contact was lost, the pilot had turned more than 360 degrees from the assigned heading and groundspeed had varied between 170 knots and 15 knots.

Sept. 16, Sarasota, Fla.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 08:28 eastern time a Cessna 172N flipped inverted while taxiing after landing at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. The pilot was not injured. The airplane had just arrived on an IFR flight from Atlanta, Ga., and landed on runway 32. While taxiing after landing, a gust of wind flipped the airplane. Winds were reported at 340 at 45 knots, gusting to 60.

Sept. 16, Tucson, Ariz.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 07:45 mountain time, a Cessna 172L crashed into a house and burned in Tucson, killing the pilot. The flight had taken off from La Cholla Airpark, a private residential airport, in violation of flight restrictions against VFR flight. The airplane was detected by Tucson Approach and the controller transmitted in the blind, telling the pilot to return to the point of origin. The pilot did not respond but the airplane reversed course and the transponder code changed from 1233 to 1203. About six miles south of the departure airport, the airplane crashed into the house.

Sept. 19, St. Bonifacius, Minn.
Cirrus SR-20

At 08:30 central time, a Cirrus SR-20 lost engine power and was damaged while landing in a field near St. Bonifacius. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The flight was en route from Minneapolis to Rapid City, S.D. Examination of the engine revealed three punctures in the top of the crankcase at cylinders number 1, 2 and 4. A 2-inch diameter piece of the crankcase rested on top of the engine. The oil drain plug was absent. The threads at the oil drain port showed no damage or evidence of safety wiring. There was no evidence of oil in the engine.

Sept. 19, Indianapolis, Ind.
Beech King Air

At 07:55 eastern time, a Beech 200 crashed into the instrument approach light system for runway 23L while landing at the Indianapolis International Airport. The pilot and eight passengers reported no injuries. The pilot said the weather was IMC with heavy rain and 1 miles visibility. The approach lights were visible at the outer marker. The flight encountered heavy chop about 300 yards from the end of the runway. A pilot-rated passenger said the runway was in sight when the rain got so heavy that forward visibility was negligible.

Sept. 23, Watertown, Ct.
Starduster Too

At 13:30 eastern time, a homebuilt Starduster Too struck trees while maneuvering near Watertown. The student pilot was seriously injured. Witnesses reported the airplane flying at an altitude estimated as 150 to 500 feet agl at a high rate of speed. They said the airplane made high-speed, steep turns at low altitude. A city police officer reported seeing the airplane performing low-altitude aerobatics. The pilot said his attention was distracted while he was trying to tune his handheld radio to the AWOS frequency and he flew into the trees. The pilots logbook contained 31.7 hours of flight experience, 17.9 hours of which were in the Starduster Too.

Sept. 23, Petoskey, Mich.
Piper Seneca II

At 14:35 eastern time, a Piper PA-34-200T struck rocks while making a forced landing onto the shoreline at Petoskey after apparently running out of fuel. IMC prevailed. The pilot and one passenger suffered minor injuries, while five other passengers were uninjured. The pilot had flown to Mackinac Island the previous evening and the pilot calculated he had enough fuel to get from Mackinac Island to Pellston, Mich. (Fuel is unavailable at Mackinac Island.) He had about 12 gallons in each tank at takeoff and Pellston was about 10 minutes away. The pilot said the vectors he was given resulted in a 90-degree intercept of the final approach course and he flew through the localizer. The controller issued instructions to climb and reintercept the localizer. The pilot queried the climb, but the instructions were repeated. He passed the outer marker 3,600 feet high and could not descend to the airport. He executed a missed approach and was cleared to Charlevoix. He couldnt find it on the map, so he was cleared to Harbor Springs. He could not fly the RNAV approach there and he reported being very low on fuel. The right engine failed and he was told he was over Harbor Springs, although he was over Petoskey. He descended through the clouds, the left engine failed, and the airplane broke out about 300 to 400 feet above the water. He maneuvered toward shore and crashed into shallow water at the shoreline.

Sept. 24, St. George, Utah
Cessna Skymaster

At approximately 16:15 mountain time, a Cessna 337B struck a power line and crashed in St. George. The pilot was killed. The ferry flight originated in Mesquite, Nev., approximately 20 minutes earlier. The interior of the airplane, including avionics and some instruments, had been removed with refurbishing scheduled at a later date. The fuel selector panel and handles were also removed. The pilot flew the airplane to Mesquite in February 2001, where it had been repainted. He was ferrying the airplane back to St. George when the accident occurred. Prior to takeoff, he requested that 15 gallons of fuel be added to each side. The airplane was next seen on a left base leg for runway 34, but the pilot was forced to abandon the approach due to traffic departing on runway 16. The airplane was next seen on a left downwind leg for runway 16 with the front prop barely turning when the airplane struck power lines.

Sept. 28, Wildwood, N.J.
Cessna 170

At about 11:00 eastern time, a Cessna 170B on a fish-spotting flight was damaged while landing at Cape May County Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said, I landed my C-170 hard at Cape May when I caught a gust of wind, and I lost all my airspeed and she dropped, and I was too low to do anything. The pilot-rated passenger said the airplane was two or three feet off the ground when a gust lifted the upwind wing and the pilot lost control. The left wing and the prop struck the runway. The pilot reported 2,500 hours total, with about 1,700 hours in make and model.

Sept. 29, Hilo, Hawaii
Bell 206B

At 14:23 Hawaiian time, a Bell 206B lost engine power and made a forced landing about five miles south of Hilo. The pilot and two passengers were not injured and two passengers suffered minor injuries. The Part 135 sightseeing flight had departed three minutes earlier. The pilot reported a bang and a loss of engine power. A turbine wheel was missing from the engine. The helicopter had been flown about 50 hours since the wheel had been changed and the turbine seal had been replaced the morning of the accident.

Sept. 29, Marshfield, Wisc.
Cessna 414

At 17:00 central time, a Cessna 414 crashed after the pilot reported losing partial power in one engine, killing the pilot and two passengers. Visual conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was operating on an IFR flight plan from Wisconsin Rapids to Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Sept. 30, College Station, Texas
Beech BE-70

At 13:40 central time, a Beech BE-70 lost power in its right engine during initial takeoff climb and made a forced landing near College Station. The pilot and eight passengers were not injured. The pilot said the right engine started losing power at about 150 feet agl. He decided to land on the remaining runway and lowered the gear, but then the engine regained power. He decided to proceed and raised the gear, but within a few seconds the right engine lost all power. The pilot executed a gear-up forced landing to a grassy area between two roads a half-mile north of the runway.

Also With This Article
Click here to view “Accident Totals, September.”


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