NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 191 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in September 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, September.”


Sept. 1, Seven Springs, Pa.
Cessna 310

At about 14:50 eastern time, a Cessna 310 crashed while attempting to make a single-engine landing at Seven Springs Airport. The two occupants suffered minor injuries. The airplane was in cruise flight from Atlanta to Glens Falls, N.Y., and had made a fuel stop in Charleston, W.Va. The flight at 5,000 feet was uneventful until the passenger told the pilot the right engine spinner looked unusual. To get a better look at the spinner, the pilot reduced the throttle on the right engine, but still could not identify the problem. The pilot then advised air traffic control that he was going to shut down the right engine to examine the spinner. After securing the engine, the pilot could see the spinner had a tear in it. He restarted the engine, but then shut it down because of a vibration and elected to divert to Seven Springs. While on short final, the pilot realized he would not make his intended touchdown point and decided to go around. He advanced the throttle on the left engine, the airplane rolled right and the right wing contacted several trees. The right spinner had a 1/2-inch crack that turned into a tear that went a third of the way around the spinner.

Sept. 2, Paso Robles
Aeronca 7AC

At about 1230 Pacific time, an Aeronca 7AC was damaged when it departed the runway after landing at Paso Robles Municipal Airport. Neither occupant was injured. The pilot said that, after touchdown, the airplane swerved to the right and he had no control of the airplane. He and the passenger later determined the rudder pedals failed to respond because the passengers foot was stuck between them.

Sept. 3, South Kingstown, R.I.
Piper Saratoga

At 13:46 eastern time, a Piper PA-32R-301 broke up in flight over South Kingstown, killing the three people and one dog aboard. The airplane was flying IFR from Chatham, Mass., to Philadelphia at 8,000 feet. No radio transmissions indicated there were any problems with the airplane. Transponder and radar returns showed the airplane departing cruise flight by making a descending 270-degree turn, then turning back about 30 degrees. During the turn, the descent rate increased from 1,300 fpm to 16,000 fpm. The stabilators and vertical fin were found some distance from the main wreckage. The heading indicator and the attitude indicator showed damage consistent with a loss of vacuum.

Sept. 3, Peyton, Colo.
Cessna Stationair

At approximately 08:15 mountain time, a Cessna 206A was substantially damaged when the airplane taxied – without the pilot – into a hangar at Meadow Lake Airport. The pilot received minor injuries and the passenger received serious injuries. The pilot said that the airplanes battery was low and he was unable to start the engine. He asked his wife to sit at the controls while he hand-propped the airplane. The engine started and the airplane taxied into a hangar.

Sept. 3, Auburn, Wash.
Cessna Skyhawk

At an unknown time, a Cessna 172P was substantially damaged at an unknown location and by an unknown pilot. The Chief Flight Instructor from the operator reported that the aircraft is used for rental purposes and had been flown several times since the last maintenance inspection. On about September 4 or 5, a pilot reported that during the pre-flight inspection, he noted wrinkles in the skin on a wing. A mechanic looked at the aircraft and reported that it was okay for flight. On September 7, the aircraft went in for the scheduled 100-hour inspection. During this inspection, maintenance personnel reported the wing spar and the horizontal stabilizer spar were both bent as if they were overstressed.

Sept. 5, San Diego, Calif.
Williams Mite M18L

At 12:14 Pacific time, an experimental Williams Mite M18L lost its vertical stabilizer and rudder assemblies while maneuvering over Gillespie Field. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reported feeling a vibration as he approached the airport and he experienced difficulty controlling the airplane. The separated stabilizer and rudder assemblies were subsequently located on airport property. Inspectors discovered evidence of dry rot on the fracture surfaces.

Sept. 7, Elmer, N.J.
Cessna Cardinal RG

At 10:00 eastern time, a Cessna 177RG was substantially damaged while landing at a private airstrip in Elmer. Neither occupant was injured. The CFI on board said the pilot wanted to take the airplane to Cross Keys to have the transponder inspected and then complete a biennial flight review. During the course of the review, the instructor told the pilot to conduct a power off landing at Elmer. The pilot made a continuous turn from downwind to final, lowering the landing gear and selecting two notches of flaps. When the airplane was about 10 feet above the runway, the pilot commented they were going to hit a little hard. The instructor responded by telling the pilot to add a little power. The pilot advanced the throttle to full open. The airplane turned left, the left wing contacted corn next to the runway and the airplane struck the ground.

Sept. 8, Cross Keys, N.J.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 10:25 eastern time, a Cessna 172P was damaged during takeoff from Cross Keys Airport, leaving the pilot with minor injuries. The pilot said he was flying from the front right seat, practicing for his CFI practical test, when during his takeoff roll the seat slid rearward. He aborted the takeoff, secured the seat and departed uneventfully. He performed some maneuvers and landed at Millville Municipal Airport. He then departed and returned to Cross Keys. After landing, he made another takeoff, and this time the seat slid rearward again and he lost control of the airplane. The airplane climbed 20 to 30 feet, then cartwheeled along the left wing, struck two parked airplanes and burned. The holes in the right front seat tracks were worn and oblong, despite the fact that the airplane had recently undergone a 100-hour inspection.

Sept. 9, Brookhaven, Miss.
Beech Baron

At about 10:26 central time, the pilot of a Beech 58P crashed while circling to land during a VOR/DME-A approach to a runway at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. The pilots father and brother, both of whom are pilot-rated and were at the airport, the airplane flew over the runway at about 500 to 600 feet agl on the downwind leg with gear and flaps extended. As it reached the approach end of runway 22, the airplane started banking to the left until it was banked 70-75 degrees. The airplane then pitched nose down and crashed.

Sept. 11, Fort Pierce, Fla.
Piper Warrior and Piper Aztec

At 12:46 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-161 and a Piper PA-23-250 collided on final approach to runway 9 at Saint Lucie International Airport. The pilots, sole occupants of each plane, were killed. The pilot of the Warrior, a Saudi Arabian national with a private license making an instructional flight, made a touch-and-go landing and re-entered the traffic pattern. The tower controller instructed him to execute a 360-degree right turn on downwind. Meanwhile, the pilot of the Aztec reported 10 miles west inbound to the airport and was instructed to continue straight in and report crossing the interstate highway. When the Aztec pilot reported over the interstate, the tower controller told him to follow the Warrior, which was turning base to a three-mile final to runway 9. The pilot of the Aztec reported he was looking for the traffic. At 12:46:19, the tower controller asked the pilot of the Aztec, Do you have the Cherokee off of your left wing? The pilot of the Aztec reported, No contact. At 12:47, an airplane flying above the airport reported that they had just witnessed a mid-air collision three miles from the end of runway 9. The wreckage of both airplanes was found within a few feet of the extended centerline of the runway and about 75 feet apart.

Sept. 11, Anchorage, Alaska
Piper Navajo

At 13:13 Alaska time, a Piper PA-31-350 was damaged during a wake turbulence encounter about 3.5 miles northwest of Anchorage. The pilot was not injured. The pilot was in contact with controllers, who pointed out traffic departing the Lake Hood Seaplane Base but did not advise him of a McDonnel Douglas MD-11 that was on final approach to land on runway 14. His flight path was behind and below the MD-11. Shortly after the MD-11 airplane passed his position, the pilot said his airplane encountered wake turbulence from the MD-11 that produced a violent vertical wind shear. The airplanes right winglet mounted landing light cover and the landing light assembly departed the airplane and the gear warning horn sounded. The pilot regained control of the airplane and landed at Merrill Field. A postflight inspection of the airplane revealed upward bending and wrinkling of the upper wing surface at the right winglet attach point. Additional wrinkling was noted on the upper right wing surface at the mid-span/mid-chord area. Slight upward bending was found at the left winglet attach point. Radar data showed the accident airplane crossed the flight path of the MD-11 at a 90-degree angle. The Navajo was about 300 feet below the MD-11 and about 55 seconds later in reaching the point where the flight paths intersected. The MD-11 was on the glide path for runway 14, and the pilot of the MD-11 was in radio contact with the Anchorage Tower.

Sept. 12, Friday Harbor, Wash.
Cessna Skyhawk and Cessna Skylane

At approximately 15:15 Pacific time, a Cessna 172P that was taxiing for takeoff struck a Cessna 182J that was stopped on the taxiway with its engine running. No one was injured. The 172 pilot said he was taxiing south toward runway 16. As he approached the fuel island, he noted an aircraft fueling on the outside (taxiway side) of the fueling island. He also saw the Cessna 182 taxiing toward him. The 182 stopped abeam the fueling aircraft and, as the 172 pilot tried to taxi between the two airplanes, the 172s left wing struck the Cessna 182s left wing.

Sept. 13, Ontario, Ore.
Cessna 150

At approximately 09:15 mountain time, a Cessna 150H lost power on departure and crashed. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. A total of 2.5 quarts of fuel was recovered from the aircrafts fuel system. The aircraft has a total fuel capacity of 26 gallons, of which 3.5 gallons are unusable.

Sept. 14, Tacoma, Wash.
Luscombe 8A

At 17:53 Pacific time, a Luscombe 8A suffered a collapsed landing gear at Tacoma Narrows Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot was landing on runway 17 after hearing an ATIS broadcast that indicated winds from 240 degrees at 17 knots, with higher gusts. He made a successful wheel landing, but as he was lowering the tailwheel a gust induced the airplane to turn to the left. The right main gear then collapsed and the right wing struck the runway.

Sept. 15, Sheridan, Wyo.
Piper Archer

At approximately 16:10 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-181 struck terrain while maneuvering about 20 miles west of Sheridan. The pilot was not injured, but his passenger sustained a serious injury. The pilot was flying IFR from Pierre, S.D., to Red Lodge, Mont. West of Sheridan, he cancelled his IFR flight plan and received VFR flight following as he started crossing the Big Horn Mountains. He turned up a valley and soon realized the terrain was rising faster than the airplane could climb. Terrain proximity precluded him from turning around, so he elected to land in a meadow. Both wings and the fuselage were buckled.

Sept. 15, Phoenix, Ariz.
Piper Warrior

At 11:00 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-161 lost power on initial climb from runway 7L at Deer Valley Airport. During an attempted return to runway maneuver, the aircraft landed short of runway 25L and struck a perimeter fence. The CFI and student pilot were not injured.

Sept. 16, Morris, Ill.
Piper Cherokee 140

At 08:45 central time, a Piper PA- 28-140 veered off the left side of runway 36 while landing at Morris Municipal Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Inspection of the airplane revealed the left main gear tire was low on air prior to touchdown. The pilot stated he serviced all three landing gear tires prior to takeoff about 30 minutes earlier.

Sept. 16, Zephyrhills, Fla.
Grumman Tiger

At about 10:00 eastern time, a Grumman AA-5 lost power one minute after takeoff from Zephyrhills Municipal Airport. The pilot and one passenger were not injured; one passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot said the preflight and engine run-up were uneventful, but the airplane failed to climb as expected after takeoff. He raised the nose and saw the tachometer indicated 1,900 to 2,000 rpm. He verified that the mixture control was full rich, the auxiliary fuel pump was on and the throttle was full forward. He advised his passengers of the situation and maneuvered the airplane for a landing in a field. Examination revealed that the mixture control cable was broken approximately three inches from the attach point at the carburetor. The mixture control arm at the carburetor was found in the idle cutoff position.

Sept. 16, Everett, Wash.
Cessna Skyhawk and Cessna Skylane

At 10:33 Pacific time, a Cessna 172L collided with a Cessna 182P while taxiing on taxiway A-4 at Snohomish County Airport. Neither pilot was injured. The pilot of the 172 said he was taxiing forward in a line of aircraft and stopped his aircraft about 10-15 feet behind the Skylane directly ahead. As he waited for his turn, he focused his attention on setting up radio frequencies for his upcoming flight. When he looked up, he noted that his aircraft was rolling forward. He applied brakes and right rudder, which swung the nose of his aircraft to the right, but not before the propeller struck the 182s right horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

Sept. 17, Prescott, Ariz.
Piper Warrior

At 15:18 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-161 lost power and collided with objects on the ground during the ensuing forced landing about four miles northwest of Ernest A. Love Field Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot was flying from Mariposa, Calif., to Mesa, Ariz., with a fuel stop in Prescott. He calculated the leg to Prescott would take 4 hours 15 minutes. When he arrived in the area, the pilot informed the Prescott tower he was low on fuel. About five minutes later, he informed the tower that he was out of fuel. He attempted to land on Highway 89, but traffic was too heavy. He then made an emergency landing in a shrub-covered area, where the airplane lost its gear and nav lights, the wing spars were broken and the airplane nosed over.

Sept. 18, Nuiqsut, Alaska
Piper Chieftain

At about 15:10 Alaska time, a Piper PA-31T3 crashed shortly after a rejected landing at Nuiqsut Airport. The pilot and four passengers were killed and five passengers received serious injuries. Witnesses said the airplane touched down on runway 22 with the landing gear retracted. The fuselage-mounted belly cargo pod lightly scraped the runway for about 40 feet, but the airplane transitioned to a climb. As the airplane began climbing away from the runway, the landing gear was observed to extend. The airplane climbed to about 100 to 150 feet above the ground and began a descending left turn until it crashed about 300 yards south of the airport.

Sept. 20, Jeffersonville, Ind.
Piper Navajo

At 19:30 eastern time, a Piper PA-31-325 ran off the end of runway 14 at Clark County Airport and went down a ravine. The pilot reported minor injuries. The pilot said he landed long on the 3,899-foot runway and couldnt stop the airplane. The pilot blamed a severe tailwind component. The 18:56 weather observation at the Louisville International Airport, 11 miles south of the accident site, showed wind 220 degrees at 14 knots.

Sept. 21, Buffalo, Mo.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 18:55 central time, a Cessna 172 crashed following a go-around attempt at Buffalo Municipal Airport. The student pilot and two passengers on board reported no injuries. The student pilot said that he was flying a solo cross-country flight from Lebanon, Mo., to Stockton, Mo., and back to Lebanon. On arrival over Stockton, the pilot discovered the airport was closed. On the return to Lebanon, one of the passengers asked the pilot to make a momentary stop at the closest airport. The pilot chose the Buffalo Municipal Airport. On his landing attempt at Buffalo, the pilot elected to execute a go around. A passenger on board said, The buzzer went off and the airplane fell into the ground.

Sept. 22, Tuba City, Ariz.
Cessna Skylane

At about 20:43 mountain time, a Cessna 182 crashed into hills about 1.5 miles northeast of the Tuba City Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. The pilot had volunteered to transport blood to the Tuba City Hospital. According to a courier for the hospital, the airplane was to arrive about 20:35. The courier arrived about 20:25, and about five minutes later the pilot-operated runway lights came on. Within 3 to 5 minutes the courier saw an airplanes lights heading toward the airport. The airplane continued north and did not land. The National Weather Service had issued an advisory for turbulence and strong southwest winds 25 to 35 knots with gusts to 45 from early afternoon to early evening. The Tuba City Police Department personnel estimated the wind was out of the southeast about 40 to 50 miles per hour around the time of the accident.

Sept. 24, Orlando, Fla.
Embraer EMB-120RT

At about 12:41 eastern time, an Embraer EMB-120RT operated by Comair Inc., had an in-flight fire in the right engine shortly after takeoff from Orlando International Airport. There were no injuries. The flight had just departed runway 17 in Orlando, en route to Fort Myers, when the right engine lost power and caught fire. The pilot made a teardrop maneuver and returned to MCO, landing without further incident on runway 35. After landing, the flight taxied onto a taxiway and the passengers and crew evacuated. Preliminary inspections of the engine revealed an internal failure of the No. 6 bearing, and subsequent failure of a fuel line, which resulted in an engine fire.

Sept. 25, Navasota, Texas
Cessna 152

At 01:24 central time, a Cessna 152 crashed near Navasota, killing the pilot and passenger. VMC prevailed and the airplane was on an IFR flight plan. The pilot told controllers he was having a problem with the vacuum system and was disoriented. The controller provided vectors to the pilot so he could return to College Station. During this time the pilot reported that he was in a left turn, although the controllers radar scope indicated the airplane was in a right turn. Subsequently, the airplane disappeared from radar.

Sept. 26, Charlotte, N.C.
Douglas DC-3

At about 06:35 eastern time, a Douglas DC-3 nosed over during landing at Douglas International Airport. The pilot said he made a normal IFR approach to runway 5 and had a gear down-and-locked indication. On touchdown, the airplane yawed right and nosed over. Examination of the airplane revealed that the right landing gear had collapsed.

Sept. 27, Owingsville, Ky.
Cessna Skylane

At 13:50 eastern time, a Cessna 182Q crashed during a forced landing in Owingsville; the pilot, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died of injuries he received. The pilot departed Manassas, Va., and was cruising about 30 miles east of Lexington when he contacted Lexington Approach to report he was low fuel and engine sputtering. The pilot transmitted only two calls before radio contact was lost. The airplane crashed adjacent to the westbound lanes of Interstate 64. The airplane showed evidence that it had a fuel leak for some time. Water was drained from the airplanes fuel tanks, fuel lines, carburetor bowl and cylinders. One of the fuel caps was broken and the inside of the filler port was rusted and the fuel bladder was wrinkled. The airplane was out of annual, the pilots last medical was issued four years earlier and his BFR was a year past due.

Sept. 28, Smithers, British Columbia
Cessna A185F

In the late morning or early afternoon Pacific time, a Cessna A185F recently purchased by a U.S. citizen crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 87 miles northwest of Smithers. The pilot and two passengers were killed. A VFR flight plan had been filed but meteorological conditions at the time of the accident were not known. The flight was en route from Smithers to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The accident site was along a direct line between Smithers and Whitehorse at about 5,200 feet. The site was on the southeastern face of a snow covered, treeless ridgeline. Weather forecasts along the route of flight called for ceilings from 5,000 to 7,000 feet on the day of the accident.

Sept. 30, Tucumcari, N.M.
Ercoupe 415-C

At 16:45 mountain time, an Ercoupe 415-C crashed immediately after takeoff from Tucumcari Municipal Airport. Both occupants, neither of who were certificated or student pilots, were killed. The flight was unauthorized by the airplanes owner. The occupants were reportedly a father and son who had been hired to mow grass at the airport. An airport employee said the airplane reached about 150 feet agl, wobbled from side to side, and dove nose-first to the ground.

Sept. 30, Telluride, Colo.
Sukhoi SU-26

At approximately 14:20 mountain time, a Sukhoi SU-26 crashed shortly after takeoff from Telluride Regional Airport. The pilot was killed. VMC prevailed for the aerobatic flight that was originating at the time of the accident. According to the Telluride airport manager, the airplane had departed and popped up to near vertical. The airplane then entered a spin and crashed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here