NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


The following briefs were selected from the 142 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in April 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, April.”


April 02, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Cessna 150

At about 1601 eastern time, a Cessna 150L crashed while attempting to land at Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field. The pilot, who held an airline transport rating, suffered minor injuries. The pilot said he abandoned his first attempt to land on runway 25 he could not properly line up with the runway due to a crosswind. He was making his second go-around when the left wing dropped and the aircraft struck terrain. Winds at the time were from 170 degrees at 8 knots.

April 03, Medford, N.J.
Cessna 310

At 1624 eastern time, a Cessna 310R struck the runway and terrain during an aborted landing at Mount Holly Airport. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The pilot said the accident occurred during the second landing attempt to Runway 26. He was late in putting the gear down and the props struck the runway. He went around and returned for landing, but in the flare the airplane stalled and crashed nosewheel first. Several witnesses said that, on the second landing, the airplane hit hard and the pilot tried to go around again but stalled in the process. Winds at the time were from 330 at 20 knots, gusting to 26.

April 04, Uvalde, Texas
North American T-28

At approximately 1610 central time, a North American T-28B crashed near Uvalde, killing the pilot. Witnesses observed the airplane flying inverted at about 800 feet agl prior to impact.

April 04, Pensacola, Fla.
Cessna 172

At 1730 central time, a Cessna 172P crashed while trying to land at Ferguson Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot reportedly attempted several approaches to runway 18 without landing, then stalled over the runway on his final attempt. Winds at the time were reported from 330 degrees at 12 knots.

April 05, Lakeland, Fla.
Piper Clipper and RV-6A

At 1505 eastern time, a Piper PA-16 a Betts RV-6A collided in mid-air while on approach to runway 27R at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport during Sun n Fun. The Piper pilot was seriously injured and the RV-6 pilot was killed. The local controller said the RV-6 was in front of the PA-16 on the downwind and on base. He saw the PA-16 overtaking the RV-6 and twice instructed the RV-6 to sidestep to runway 27 left, but the pilot did not respond to his instructions. He then told the PA-16 pilot to climb and he did not respond to the instructions.

April 05, Saline Valley, Calif.
Cessna 180

At about 1135 Pacific time, a Cessna 180J nosed over during landing rollout at a backcountry airstrip in Death Valley National Park. Neither occupant was injured. The airstrips existence is not depicted on aeronautical charts and it is not maintained. The runway is only usable in a single direction. The airstrip is locally known as the Chicken Strip. The pilot said a wheel caught in a hole in the runways surface and the airplane departed the runway. The pilot said he had landed at the airstrip a half-dozen times in the previous 90 days.

April 06, Minden, La.
Beech D-45

At approximately 1533 central time, a Beech D-45 crashed during a go-around from runway 01 at the Minden-Webster Airport, killing both aboard. Both pilots were in the process of relocating to the area and had only recently met. Witnesses said the airplane took off about 30 minutes before the accident. It returned, performed a roll over the runway and then executed a series of touch and goes. During the fourth approach, the airplane did not touch down. Subsequently, the airplane entered a left turn and descended uncontrolled to the ground.

April 06, Lakeland, Fla.
Extra 300 and Navion

At 1554 eastern time, an Extra 300L and a Navion B collided while landing on runway 09 right at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport during Sun n Fun. The pilot in the Extra and the two occupants of the Navion were uninjured. The Extra pilot said he entered a left downwind for runway 09 right and followed other traffic. He initially saw the Navion ahead of him but, during the landing, landed on top of the Navions left wing.

April 10, Juneau, Alaska
Beech Twin Beech

At about 1625 Alaska time, a Beech 18 crashed into shallow water in a tidal mud flat about one-half mile south of the Juneau International Airport, killing the pilot. The pilot was delivering building materials to a remote lodge. On the first flight, the airplane apparently was loaded with 73 bundles of wooden roof shakes. On the second flight, the airplane apparently was loaded with the remainder of the order, 77 bundles of roof shakes. Each bundle weighed about 56 pounds. Several witnesses consistently reported that the airplane departed runway 08 and climbed to about 200 to 300 feet above the ground. As the airplane approached the departure end of the runway, the nose of the airplane abruptly pitched up about 70 degrees and drifted to the right. The airplane continued to turn to the right as the nose of the airplane lowered momentarily. The landing gear extended, the nose pitched up again and the right wing dropped.

April 11, Willows, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At approximately 1006 Pacific time, a Beech G35 broke up in flight four miles west of Willows, killing the pilot and passenger. Witnesses said the airplane was approaching Thunderhill Park from the southwest at 1500 feet agl and a high speed. It banked sharply and began to circle the park when suddenly the tail began to shake violently. The tail separated and the airplane broke apart as it came down.

April 12, Oxford, Conn.
Piper Seneca

At 2135 eastern time, a Piper PA-34-200T crashed while executing the ILS/DME RWY 36 approach into Waterbury-Oxford Airport, killing the pilot. Witnesses reported hearing the engines at moderate power, then the power decreased for a few seconds before revving to full power. The crash site was about 2,000 feet southeast of runway 36. Weather reported at the time included wind from 210 degrees at 5 knots, gusting to 15 visibility 2-3 miles, ceiling 200-300 feet overcast, temperature 54 degrees F, dewpoint 51 degrees F.

April 12, Amarillo, Texas
Cessna Turbo Skylane

At 0946 central time, a Cessna T182 crashed into a power plant near Amarillo while flying 100-200 feet agl on a cross-country trip in foggy conditions. The pilot and passenger were killed. The pilot had contacted Amarillo Approach, reporting 19 miles out at 3,700 feet. The airplane did not appear on the controllers screen. At six miles out, the controller gave the pilot the current altimeter setting and told him to plan a left downwind for runway 4. The airplane flew between two 300-foot cooling towers and crashed into the power plane at 154 feet agl.

April 14, Carrollton, Ga.
Piper Cub

At 1915 eastern time, a Piper J-3 crashed while making a precautionary landing immediately after takeoff. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he noticed smoke in the cockpit during the takeoff and elected to return to the airport. He then a hard left bank and reduced power, and the airplane stalled and crashed.

April 15, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Mitsubishi MU-2B-35

At about 1503 Atlantic time, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-35 went out of control while holding and crashed into a car dealership near Carolina. The pilot and one person on the ground were killed, and two people on the ground were injured. The pilot was advised to hold VFR over the area because a military are was hot. Radar data showed the airplane began descending during the second trip around the holding pattern. Witnesses at the scene reported a ceiling of 300 feet in light rain, but no thunderstorms.

April 16, Maple Lake, Minn.
Cessna 152

At 0855 central time, a Cessna 152 crash-landed at Maple Lake Municipal Airport. The student pilot was not injured. The pilot reported a total flight time of 51.2 hours, including 4.4 in the past 30 days. Winds at the time were from 180 at 15 knots, and the student was landing on runway 10.

April 18, Petaluma, Calif.
Beech Duchess

At 1910 Pacific time, a Beech 76 suffered a collapsed landing gear during a practice single-engine go-around at Petaluma Airport. The flight instructor, the commercial-licensed multiengine student, and one additional passenger were not injured. The instructor said they were performing a single-engine VOR approach in VFR conditions when he decided to have the student do a single-engine go-around. However, he issued the go-around instruction too late and the airplane touched down with full power on the left engine, causing the pilots to lose control. The instructor said neither he nor the student were making aggressive enough control inputs to correct the situation in the early stages and he may have waited too long before assuming control.

April 19, Sedona, Ariz.
Cessna Stationair

At 1250 mountain time, a Cessna T206H porpoised after a bounced landing at the Sedona Airport. Neither the private pilot nor the three passengers were injured. The airplane was landing on runway 21, and the winds were from 170 degrees at 19 knots gusting to 26. The pilot was issued his private pilot certificate 20 days earlier.

April 19, Troy, Ala.

About 1804 central time, an Aircam amateur-built airplane struck power lines and crashed in a lake while maneuvering near Troy. The pilot was seriously injured. Witnesses said the airplane had been flying around the area at a low level for about 30 minutes, when it struck power lines about 70 feet above a lake. The crash site was located about one mile southeast of the airport. A witness, who happened to have military training in underwater rescue, jumped into the lake and rescued the pilot from the submerged wreckage.

April 21, Prescott, Ariz.
Piper Comanche

At 1900 mountain time, a Piper PA-24-250 veered off the runway and struck obstacles while landing at the Prescott Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot flew for TWA until he lost his medical in 1972. He recently reacquired his medical and reported 15 hours since returning to flying. He said he had just recently bought the airplane.

April 21, Canton, Miss.
Cessna 180

At about 1420 central time, a Cessna 180 struck a ditch during the landing roll at a private airstrip near Canton. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said the airplane touched down about 400 feet from the threshold of a 2,000-foot runway. He had rolled about 1,000 feet when the airplane drifted to the right and struck the ditch.

April 21, Creswell, Ore.

At approximately 1305 Pacific time, a Coot amateur-built airplane crashed after losing power on takeoff near Creswell. The pilot was killed. Records show the pilot had recently bought the airplane and replaced the IO-360 aviation engine with a Mazda 13B rotary automotive engine. The accident was the owners first flight in the airplane. The engine failed 1 minute, 15 seconds into the flight. Examination of the engine showed it had been installed without a drive on its metering oil pump and that the oil injection nozzles associated with the metering pump were missing from the combustion chambers. The nozzle holes were plugged with a non-metallic substance.

April 22, Hillsdale, Wisc.
Beech King Air

At 1725 central time, a Beech 200 suffered minor damage when the airstair entrance door departed the airplane during cruise at flight level 190 near Hillsdale. The airplane made an emergency landing in Eau Claire. None of the nine aboard were injured. The door was found in a field. Inspection of the door revealed it to be locked.

April 23, Louisville, Ky.
Piper Cherokee Six

At about 1724 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-260 crashed after takeoff from Bowman Field. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The pilot said the wing tip tanks were empty because maintenance on one of them was pending and that he took off with the left main tank selected. Investigators found the left tip tank selected. The pilot had recently purchased an interest in the airplane, and this was his first flight solo.

April 24, Parish, N.Y.
Cirrus SR-22

At 1906 eastern time, a Cirrus SR-22 crashed while maneuvering near Parish, killing the two pilots aboard. The two pilots had taken delivery of the airplane six days earlier and were flying from Syracuse to Rochester to show a friend. Radar data showed the airplane in cruise flight when it made what appeared to be clearing turns, followed by a 360-degree turn in each direction. Four witnesses reported what may have been several engine-out practice sequences, but on the last one the airplane pulled up sharply after power was restored, then spun to the ground. Each witness reported the spin beginning sharply nose down then flattening at the end. The airplane is not spin-certified and the manufacturer says the only accepted recovery in an unintentional spin is to deploy the airplanes parachute.

April 25, Viburnum, Mo.
Piper Lance

At 1545 central time, a Piper 32RT-300 overran the runway while aborting a takeoff from Viburnum Airport. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. The pilot said he was attempting to take off from the 3,195-foot runway with the airplane about 80 pounds overgross. He used an informal short field takeoff procedure but realized after takeoff that the airplane would not clear a church along the climb path. He landed on the remaining runway and the airplane overran the runway.

April 27, Alpine, Utah
Piper Seneca

At approximately 1100 mountain time, a Piper PA-34-200T crashed in cruise flight near Alpine. The pilot and passenger were killed. The flight was IFR from Cal Black Memorial Airport to Provo Municipal Airport. After breaking out into VFR conditions, the pilot cancelled the IFR flight plan and proceeded under VFR to Salt Lake City Municipal Airport #2. Witnesses saw the airplane flying at 500 to 1,000 feet agl until it disappeared into a fog-shrouded area of higher terrain.

April 27, Oak Shores, Calif.
Beech Musketeer

At about 1745 Pacific time, a Beech C23 lost engine power and crashed near Oak Shores, killing the flight instructor, student pilot and one passenger. An additional passenger was seriously injured. The surviving passenger said the pilots reported over the intercom that there was an engine problem and that they were headed for a gravel landing strip a few miles away. The airplane cleared a ridge top, but collided with trees about a quarter-mile from the strip. An Alert Notice and an ELT signal led rescuers to the crash site. Initial inspection showed an exhaust valve apparently broke off.


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