NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 153 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in October 2000. 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, October.”


Oct. 1, Seven Springs, Pa.
Piper Cherokee Six

At about 12:00 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-300 crashed on landing at Seven Springs Airport, killing one passenger and leaving the pilot and two passengers seriously injured. A witness said the airplane did not seem lined up with the runway as it touched down and veered off the left side of the runway. The engine revved as if the airplane was going to take off again, but it veered to the right, touched down back onto the runway, and traveled off the right side of the runway. The engine revved again, as if the airplane was going to take off, but the airplane struck trees and came to rest in a ravine. Two tail strike marks were found on the runway and one was found in the grass off the left side. No pre-crash mechanical anomalies were found.

Oct. 1, San Juan Bautista, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At about 20:10 Pacific time, a Beech A36TC crashed near San Juan Bautista, killing all four occupants. The flight was en route from Mammoth Lakes to Watsonville. IMC prevailed. The pilot was not instrument rated, nor did he file a flight plan. According to air traffic controllers, the airplane was cruising at 8,000 feet when the controller advised the pilot to switch frequencies to a new sector. The pilot acknowledged the frequency change and reported he was going to spiral down through a hole in the clouds. He never checked in on the new frequency. The next afternoon a rancher noticed a burned area on his property, went to investigate and discovered the wreckage, which was 12 miles from the destination airport. Weather in the area at the time of the accident was reported as ceiling 200 feet, fog, visibility three miles.

Oct. 2, Rapid City, S.D.
Piper Seminole

At 19:33 mountain time, the pilot of a Piper PA-44-180 operated by the University of North Dakota apparently committed suicide by crashing the airplane into runway 32 at Rapid City Regional Airport. The pilot was alone in the airplane. The aircraft had been conducting touch-and-goes when the pilot asked the tower controller to make a phone call and said, Tell my family and friends that I love them very much. The pilot then advised the controller to roll the equipment. The controller asked if he was declaring an emergency. The pilot responded with an expletive, then the airplane abruptly pitched up, climbed to about 1,000 feet agl, then crashed nose-down onto the runway.

Oct. 4, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Cessna 182

At about 09:32 Pacific time, a Cessna 182S crashed into a pond about two miles west of Sonoma County Airport, killing the pilot. The pilot was cleared to make an IFR departure, make a right climbing turn to VFR conditions on top, at which point he planned to cancel IFR. The airplane was climbing through 1,600 feet when the controller advised him the airplanes Mode C was not being received. No further transmissions from the airplane were received. The cloud tops were reported at 1,800 feet.

Oct. 5, Monroe, Wash.
Mooney M20K

At about 18:35 Pacific time, a Mooney M20K ran off the runway at Firstair Field while making a precautionary landing following a loss of engine power. The three occupants were not injured. The pilot told police he was about 10 minutes into his flight when the propeller experienced a sudden overspeed. He reduced engine power and turned toward the Monroe airport. About two miles south of the airport, the engine lost power. The pilot said he extended flaps, landing gear and speed brakes but could not hit the approach end of the runway because of his initial fear of giving up altitude too early and hitting fairgrounds. The aircraft landed long, overran the runway, and struck a tree stump in a marsh.

Oct. 6, San Dimas, Calif.
Piper Seneca

At 19:42 Pacific time, a Piper PA-34-200 crashed while executing the VOR missed approach procedure to Brackett Field Airport. The CFI and multi student were killed. IMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The approach controller handed off the flight to the tower controller, who asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight. The pilot reported the airport in sight but said he did not want to cancel IFR. The tower controller told the approach controller the pilot had the airport and wanted to cancel IFR. One minute later, the pilot reported the airport was not in sight. The pilot had passed the airport and was to the west, so the tower controller gave him vectors to return for another try and told him to maintain VFR. At that point, the pilot said he would execute the missed approach and later said he was flying. He was instructed to turn to a southerly heading and climb to 5,000 feet. The pilot said he was flying a heading of 150 to return to the VOR. The wreckage was later found about 3.5 miles north of the airport.

Oct. 6, Edgartown, Mass.
Mitsubishi Solitaire

At about 21:58 eastern time, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A crashed short of the runway while making an ILS approach into Vineyard Haven Airport. The pilot and three passengers were killed. The flight had departed Trenton, N.J., without a flight plan and weather conditions deteriorated en route. The pilot then contacted Cape Approach as he neared Edgartown and asked for an ILS approach. Night IMC prevailed. He was cleared for the approach, and the tower controller later issued a low altitude warning to the pilot. He acknowledged the warning and said he would climb. The flight was cleared to land and the controller asked how long hed be staying. The pilot responded theyd be staying overnight. No further transmissions were received. The wreckage was found about -mile from the approach end of the runway and about 50 feet to the right of the extended centerline. No precrash mechanical anomalies were detected, although the airplane was severely damaged by a post-crash fire.

Oct. 6, Sparta, Wis.
Cessna 172

At 19:20 central time, a Cessna 172M was destroyed during a forced landing near Sparta. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The flight was en route from Schaumburg, Ill., to Black River Falls. There was no fuel present in the left fuel tank of the airplane. The fuel selector was positioned on the left fuel tank.

Oct. 6, Lincoln Park, N.J.
Beech Sundowner

At about 16:30 eastern time, a Beech BE-23 was damaged while taxiing at Lincoln Park Airport. The flight instructor and student pilot were uninjured. The pilot stated that he had recently bought the airplane and was teaching his wife to taxi. He was distracted by a wasp in the cockpit and the airplane veered off to the right side of the taxiway and struck a parked airplane. The right wing of the Beech sustained substantial damage and the propeller and windscreen of the parked airplane were damaged.

Oct. 6, Port Alsworth, Alaska
Helio Courier

At about 15:15 Alaska time, a float-equipped Helio H-295 was damaged during a forced landing about 35 miles northeast of Port Alsworth. The pilot received minor injuries. The flight was en route to Anchorage when the engine began to run rough and lose power. The airplane collided with trees during a subsequent forced landing. Post-crash investigations found about 10 cc of clear water in the carburetor body drain plug. A visual inspection of the airplanes gascolator revealed the presence of about two cups of murky and silty water. The accident pilot stated that he had checked the accident airplanes fuel system for contaminants by draining a fuel sample from the gascolator.

Oct. 9, Lummi Island, Wash.
Cessna Caravan

At approximately 09:51 Pacific time, a Cessna 208B operating as a FedEx cargo flight crashed in the woods on Lummi Island, killing the pilot. The flight had departed Bellingham on a Special VFR clearance bound for Orcas Island approximately eight minutes prior to the accident. Weather at the time was ceiling 500 feet broken, two miles visibility in mist. The company reported the flight was a VFR flight because no instrument approach is published for Orcas Island. Mode C returns put the airplanes altitude at about 600 feet throughout the flight. A witness reported seeing the airplane over the water at 50 to 100 feet, going in and out of the clouds. The accident site was about 220 feet msl.

Oct. 9, Phoenix, Ariz.
Cessna Pressurized Ceturion

At 11:16 mountain time, a Cessna P210N lost power on final approach to Deer Valley Airport and crashed during the ensuing forced landing. The pilot and passenger were killed. The pilot and passenger were returning from Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and had reentered the United States at Nogales. The pilot contacted the Deer Valley Tower southeast of the airport for landing and was given a five-minute hold for landing sequence. The pilot reported a loss of engine power about 1 miles from the runway on final approach, and said he was uncertain whether he could reach the runway. The landing gear and flaps were found extended.

Oct. 10, Cotulla, Texas
Piper Apache

At approximately 15:22 central time, a Piper PA-23-160 lost power in its left engine while en route from Hebbronville to San Antonio. The airplane crashed near Cotulla, killing the passenger and leaving the pilot with serious injuries. The pilot was cruising at 5,000 feet about 25 miles from the Cotulla airport when he reported a loss of power in the left engine. He was given vectors to Cotulla and cleared to descend to 3,000 feet, then 2,400 feet – the minimum safe altitude according to controller guidelines. The pilot reported he could not maintain altitude and was still IMC, and said he was descending to 1,000 feet. He then reported he had the airport in sight, but crashed 15 miles east of the field. Preliminary investigation indicated the airplane ran out of fuel.

Oct. 10, Wichita, Kan.
Canadair Challenger

At 14:52 central time, a Canadair CL600-2B16 operating as a certification test flight crashed after takeoff from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The test flight was an evaluation of stick force per g of the airplane as per Joint Aviation Requirement 25.143(f). The pilot and flight test engineer were killed and the copilot sustained serious injuries. A witness reported seeing the airplane flying sideways about 6-10 ft. off of the ground. I then saw the aircraft level out, and I thought that everything was OK. I slowed down and was watching it and it tilted sideways again. The right wing then hit the ground and the airplane cartwheeled.

Oct. 12, Nondalton, Alaska
Beech Bonanza

At about 13:45 Alaska time, a Beech BE-A36 was damaged during the landing roll at Nondalton Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reportedly intended to raise the flaps but inadvertently raised the landing gear handle.

Oct. 13, Henderson, Nev.
Navion G

At 10:34 Pacific time, a Navion G crashed while trying to return to the runway in the initial climb from Henderson Airport. The pilot was killed. Controllers said the airplane taxied to runway 36 and took off without a clearance from ground or local control. Several witnesses, including an FAA airworthiness inspector saw the airplane make a tight left turn just off the departure end of the 5,000-foot-long runway. The left bank continued until the nose dropped and the airplane descended vertically to the ground about 1,000 feet from the approach end of runway 18. The FAA inspector reported a trail of smoke coming from the airplane during the initial climb.

Oct. 16, Hillsboro, Mo.
Cessna 335

At 19:33 central time, a Cessna 335 carrying Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan crashed near Hillsboro. The governor, also a candidate for U.S. Senate, was killed, along with the pilot and another passenger. The flight had departed Cahokia, Ill., at 19:15 CDT on an IFR flight to New Madrid, Mo. The pilot told controllers he was having problems with the primary attitude indicator and he requested a climb to a higher altitude. The pilot was issued a climb to 4,000 feet. The pilot then reported that the primary attitude indicator was not reading properly and he was trying to fly off of the copilots. The pilot then stated he wanted to divert to Jefferson City, where the weather was better. The airplane was in the process of diverting when the accident occurred. The last radar contact with the airplane was at 19:31:55 at an altitude of 3,900 feet above mean sea level.

Oct. 17, Van Nuys, Calif.
Beech King Air and Gulfstream 1

At 15:50 Pacific time, a Beech C90 collided in midair with a Gulfstream G-159 while both aircraft were on four-mile final approaches to runway 16R at Van Nuys. Both aircraft landed safely and with no injuries to any of the occupants. The Beech was flying VFR and had been cleared to make a visual approach. The Gulfstream had been cleared for an ILS approach. The Beech pilot said he was three to four miles out on final for 16R when there was a shadow over his aircraft and the nose of the Gulfstream became visible in the top of his windshield. Immediately there was a loud bang, his aircraft rocked violently, and he thinks it turned to the right. He looked outside and saw damage to the left wing. The communications radio antenna had been broken off and he could neither transmit nor hear the tower. He proceeded to land. The pilot of the Gulfstream received two traffic advisories from controllers about the Beech but reported not getting a TCAS annunciation. After the collision the Gulfstream pilot wasnt aware they had hit, but saw the King Air and initiated a go-around. They flew by the tower and were told the flaps and gear looked normal, so they landed without further incident.

Oct. 19, Camp Springs, Md.
Cessna 172

At about 14:15 eastern time, a Cessna 172M was damaged when it encountered wake turbulence from a Boeing 757-200, operated by the US Air Force, about 4 miles south of Andrews Air Force Base. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was cruising from Cambridge, Md., to Friendly, Md., and was passing south of Andrews AFB. Both airplanes were advised of each other and the pilot of the Cessna was given a wake turbulence advisory. As the pilot of the Cessna neared a point behind the Boeing, he climbed from 1,300 feet to 1,600 feet, at which point the airplane encountered turbulence and rolled to the left. After landing, the pilot noticed wrinkles and deformed skin on the top surface of the right wing, and on the left aileron.

Oct. 19, Concord, Calif.
Beech Super King Air

At 15:38 Pacific time, a Beech BE-300 overran the runway and struck an automobile at Buchanan Field during an aborted takeoff. The pilot was not injured but the driver of the car was seriously injured. The pilot reported beginning his takeoff run when he noted the airspeed indicator reading zero. He aborted the takeoff, put the power levers to reverse and applied the brakes, but the airplane skidded off the end of the runway, through a chain link perimeter fence, and struck an automobile that was traveling on the perimeter road.

Oct. 20, Kingston, Ohio
Beech Musketeer

At 22:38 eastern time, a Beech BE-23-24 crashed during a forced landing near Kingston, killing the pilot and two passengers and leaving a third passenger seriously injured. The pilot had the airplanes fuel tanks filled to the tabs before the first leg of his flight that evening, but expressed surprise at how little fuel it took. The pilot then flew a 0.9-hour flight and, on the return leg, reported a loss of engine power. The pilot tried to land on a four-lane highway but crashed heading north onto the southbound lanes. An examination of the wreckage showed only trace amounts of fuel in the fuel system.

Oct. 21, Georgetown, Calif.
Ryan ST3KR

At 15:55 Pacific time, a Ryan ST3KR crashed into trees one minute after departing from the airport at Georgetown. The pilot was seriously injured and the passenger was killed. Witnesses told police several airplanes stopped at Georgetown after one leg of a round-robin cross-country. The accident pilot left his traveling companion on the ground while he gave a ride to a new private pilot. A mechanic who observed the accident said the airplane departed on runway 34, stayed low over the runway then pulled up steeply and banked right. It then rolled sharply to the left and the nose dropped.

Oct. 21, Pulaski
Champion Citabria

At 17:05 central time, a Champion 7ECA was damaged when it veered off the grass runway that is parallel to runway 12 at Carter Airport and nosed over. The pilot was not injured. The pilot told investigators he was landing and was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting a skydiver who was standing on the runway.

Oct. 21, Leesburg, Fla.
Cessna 150 and Pitts S-2B

At about 09:45 eastern time, a Cessna 150L and a Pitts S-2B collided while taxiing at Leesburg Regional Airport. Neither pilot was injured. A witness said the Cessna had just landed and cleared the runway onto an adjoining taxiway. The Pitts was taxiing for takeoff. The witness said both pilots stopped their respective aircraft momentarily, but then proceeded to taxi and struck each other.

Oct. 23, White Plains, N.Y.
American AA-1A

At 09:12 eastern time, an American AA-1A crash-landed at Westchester County Airport. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was in a right-hand traffic pattern to land on runway 29. Witnesses said the airplane entered a steep right bank, turned final, and then descended toward the runway. The airplane struck the runway while still in the right turn, bounced and departed the runway on the right side. The initial ground strike was on the centerline in the middle of the displaced threshold for runway 29 and the wreckage came to rest before the start of the landing area.

Oct. 25, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Cessna Centurion

At 19:45 central time, the pilot of a Cessna 210 lost control and crashed during the initial climb from runway 17R at Will Rogers World Airport. The pilot was killed. The pilot had filed an IFR flight plan to Spearman, Texas, and departed at 19:42:17. The controller advised him to contact Departure and he acknowledged, but he did not check in on the Departure frequency. Witness accounts were that the airplane climbed into the clouds, then descended from them in a steep left bank.

Oct. 25, Sparta, Mich.
Piper Cherokee 140

At about 07:17 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-140 crashed on initial climb from runway 24 at the Sparta Airport, killing the pilot and leaving the passenger seriously injured. An IFR flight plan was filed to Manassas, Va., but no departure clearance was given. Visibility at the airport was less than 1/4 to 1/8 mile. The aircraft struck trees and terrain about 300 feet left of the extended runway centerline and about 1,000 feet from the departure end of the runway.

Oct. 28, Fort Collins, Colo.
Piper Seneca

At 07:22 mountain time, a Piper PA-34-200T crashed approximately 800 feet east of and 1,000 feet down runway 33 at Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport. The two occupants were not injured. The airplane was landing on an IFR flight plan. Weather at the time was reported as 100 foot overcast with -mile visibility in fog.

Oct. 28, Santa Teresa, N.M.
Cessna Turbo Centurion

At 19:55 mountain time, a Cessna T210N crashed during an attempted go-around at Santa Teresa Airport. The pilot was seriously injured. The pilot said he realized during the landing flare that he had forgotten to put the landing gear down. He applied power, but pulled the airplanes nose up too fast. The airplane stalled and impacted the ground.

Oct. 29, French Valley, Calif.
Cessna Skylane

At about 13:00 Pacific time, a Cessna 182S was damaged during takeoff at French Valley. Neither the pilot nor the flight instructor/examiner was injured. The pilot was practicing short field takeoff procedures for his trips to Mexico. He said he made a short field takeoff from runway 18 (though he described a soft field takeoff) and the instructor suggested he level off and land on the remaining runway, which they did. They then made a second takeoff from a full stop at the beginning of the runway. The pilot said the tail tie down ring and tail cone dragged the runway at rotation and the airplane pitched up so steeply that he gave control to the instructor. The instructor yelled, I dont have control. The airplane rolled off onto the right wing then quartered forward onto the left wing and nose.

Oct. 30, Tulsa, Okla.
Beech Duchess

At 18:25 central time, a Beech BE-76 crashed near the Richard Lloyd Jones Airport, killing the pilot and flight instructor. The pilot radioed Tulsa Approach and said the flight was four miles north of the Okmulgee Airport and they had an engine on fire. The pilot requested a straight in landing on runway 1L at Richard Lloyd Jones Airport. Tower controllers saw the airplane approaching fast and saw smoke coming from the right engine. The pilot then said he did not have a green light and that he was going around to land on 19R. The airplane began a turn, then rolled to the right and crashed. Examination of the right engine compartment revealed an oil line had separated from a fitting.

Oct. 30, Conconully, Wash.
Cessna Skyhawk

At approximately 08:00 Pacific time, a Cessna 172 struck trees during low-level maneuvering about seven miles northeast of Conconully. The pilot and his passenger both received minor injuries. The Canadian pilot said he took off for a local sightseeing flight and, once airborne, decided to cross the border in order to show his passenger some of the terrain in northern Washington. At the time of the accident, he was heading back toward Canada while flying very low over the trees. He said he encountered a downdraft that made the aircraft sink and one wing collided with a tree. The aircraft then cartwheeled into the forest.


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