NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 184 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in June 1999. 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, June.”


June 1, Little Rock, Ark.
McDonnell Douglas MD-82

American Airlines Flight 1420 crashed after landing at Little Rock. There were thunderstorms and heavy rain in the area at the time of the accident. The airplane departed the end of runway, went down an embankment and struck approach light structures. There was a crew of six and 139 passengers on board the airplane. Eleven people were killed in the accident, including the pilot. One person was seriously injured and four suffered minor injuries.

June 2, Friendly, Md.
Long EZ

At 09:37 EDT, a homebuilt Long EZ crashed on approach to Potomac Airfield, seriously injuring the pilot. The airplane departed Clinton, Md., at about 08:30 for a planned flight to Macon, Ga., and was later seen north of Potomac Airfield flying low. The accident airplane appeared to enter a right base for runway 24. The airplane overshot the runway, then turned back and entered a left base for the same runway. A witness said it overshot the final approach course, but corrected with a steep turn, and continued making S turns down final approach. As the aircraft got lower, it pitched up and apparently stalled into trees about 200 yards short of the runway. The airplanes canopy was not found in the vicinity of the accident site but apparently was found about 2 miles away in the Potomac River.

June 3, St. David, Ariz.
Cessna 182Q

At 08:15 MST, a Cessna 182Q crashed short of the runway at a private airstrip near St. David. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. The pilot said he carried an extra 5 knots during final because of gusty winds. When he flared to land, the aircraft experienced a greater than normal sink rate. He tried to arrest the sink with pitch and power, but the aircraft touched down short of the runway, which sits 3 feet higher than the land surrounding it. When the aircraft touched down the nose gear struck that rise and was torn off. The aircraft flipped inverted.

June 5, Nederland, Colo.
Beech V35A Bonanza

At approximately 10:19 MDT, a Beech V35A crashed into mountains during cruise flight and the pilot is presumed dead. The aircraft departed Lees Summit, Mo. at approximately 06:00 CST and was en route to Kremmling, Colo. IMC prevailed but no flight plan was filed. The pilot was instructed by Denver Approach to contact Denver Center but failed to do so. The aircraft was located along the north face of Arapaho Peak at about 14:30 the following afternoon. The aircraft impacted mountainous terrain at an elevation of 12,500 feet. A witness said he heard a plane flying overhead traveling low to the ground. He looked up but was unable to see the aircraft due to the low cloud layer. He stated that at the time he heard the airplane flying overhead, a squall line approximately 3 miles wide was passing through the area, and the mountains to the west were obscured.

June 6, Cheyenne, Wyo.
Cessna 177RG

At approximately 11:10 MDT, a Cessna 177RG lost power near Cheyenne and was damaged in a forced landing. The three occupants were not injured. The flight originated from Waxahachie, Texas, approximately 5 hours and 25 minutes before the accident and the engine quit approximately 1.5 miles from the approach end of runway 26.

June 6, Boonville, N.Y.
Beech 35 Bonanza

At 14:37 EDT, a Beech Bonanza struck trees after takeoff from the Boonville Airport. The pilot received minor injuries, two passengers were not injured and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The pilot said the winds were out of the south and the windsock looked like it was favoring runway 31, but it wasnt. I took it off the runway too slow and the torque just took over. I could feel it happening and I was wondering, What are you doing? I thought as I gained airspeed, I would gain rudder control, which I did, but by that time I was off the side of the runway.

June 9, Auburn, Ala.
Piper PA-28-181 Archer

At about 10:10 CDT, a Piper Archer crashed near Auburn after apparently running out of fuel as the owner flew the new plane home from the factory. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight had been aloft for more than four hours and was cruising at between 1,500 and 3,000 feet when the airplanes engine lost power. The pilot switched fuel tanks but the engine did not respond. He attempted to land in a field, was fast on the approach, went under some wires that surrounded the field, bounced over a road and struck the ground with the right wing. Investigators found about 8 ounces of fuel in the left wing and no fuel in the right tank.

June 11, Fort Myers, Fla.
Piper PA-24 Comanche

At about 09:44 EDT, a Piper Comanche made a gear-up landing at Page Field. The pilot and a passenger were not injured. The pilot said he had a green light indicating his landing gear were down and locked. Tower controllers reported there were three or four times in the recent past when they had to remind the pilot of the airplane to lower his landing gear for landing.

June 12, Jonesboro, Ark.
Cessna 172D

At 09:30 CDT, a Cessna 172D suffered a hard landing following an aborted takeoff from a grass airstrip near Jonesboro. The four people aboard were not injured. The pilot reported that she had planned a local orientation flight for three EAA Young Eagles. The pilot said the takeoff roll was slightly longer than expected and that, at approximately 20 to 25 feet agl, she became concerned that the airplane might not be able to clear the power lines at the departure end of the airstrip. She elected to abort the takeoff, and the airplane landed hard on the left side of the runway. A mechanic noted that the aircrafts propeller had been recently changed from a climb prop to a cruise prop.

June 12, Bradford, Pa.

At about 12:30 EDT, a homebuilt RV-6 crashed while landing at a private unlisted grass strip in Bradford. The pilot, who did not hold a pilot certificate, was not injured. The pilot said that just prior to landing, a gust of wind forced the airplanes nose gear down into the turf runway and the airplane flipped inverted. He reported 75 hours of total flight experience, with seven hours in the make and model of the accident airplane. The pilots last medical certificate was issued in 1977.

June 12, Windsor Locks, Conn.
Aero Commander 500S

At about 13:30 EDT, an Aero Commander 500S crashed while landing at Bradley International Airport. The two pilots were not injured. The owner reported that he was engaged in a local proficiency flight from Westchester County Airport, where he had been shooting approaches. During one approach the nose gear extended but the mains did not. The pilots retracted the landing gear and diverted to BDL due to its better weather. The owner, who had been receiving instruction, let the instructor pilot make the landing. On short final both engines were shut down and both propellers feathered. The airplane touched down hard, with one witness saying it appeared that the airplane dropped in from 50 feet. The pilot/owner had in excess of 3,300 hours, and the instructor had more than 8,400 hours.

June 13, Springdale, Ark.
Cessna 414 Chancellor

At 13:05 CDT, a Cessna 414 was substantially damaged when its gear collapsed at the Springdale Municipal Airport. The three occupants were not injured. The pilot told investigators he heard a small bump as the aircraft lifted off the runway at Springdale, but that it didnt concern him. When he cycled the landing gear up, however, there was a loud bang as the gear locked in the up position. He continued to Danville as planned but, during the approach, the right main gear green light did not illuminate. When he cycled the landing gear there was another loud bang. He contacted Memphis Center and advised them of his situation. Memphis requested that he fly by the Fayetteville control tower for a visual check. During the flyby, the controller advised the pilot that the right main landing gear was trailing. The flight then returned to Springdale, where a mechanic observed a flyby and concluded that the gear appeared to be down, even though the pilot did not have a green light. The pilot shut down both engines when landing was assured, and the right main gear collapsed about 300-400 feet down the landing roll. Examination of the right main landing gear revealed that the gear torque tube support bracket/pivot bearing broke, allowing the gear down lock tube to break by overtorquing.

June 13, Wimauma, Fla.
Piper PA-28R-180 Arrow

At about 17:50 EDT, a deplaning passenger in a Piper Arrow struck the propeller and was killed at Wimauma Airport. The pilot and two other passengers were not injured. After landing in the rain on a flight from the Bahamas, the pilot taxied the airplane to the terminal area so the passengers could deplane. The engine was still running when one passenger exited the airplane and went aft on the wing. A second passenger exited the airplane and fell into the propeller.

June 15, Needles, Calif.
Cessna 172

At 12:30 PDT, a Cessna 172 crashed on takeoff from a county road 22 miles west of Needles. The pilot and one passenger suffered minor injuries. Witnesses reported that the pilot landed the aircraft on Goffs Road and taxied near an automotive service station. The pilot told the service station attendant that he was en route to Bullhead City and was unsure if he had sufficient fuel aboard. He purchased five gallons of automotive gasoline in a container, carried it to the aircraft and poured it in the right wing tank. The pilot then taxied back up the road, turned around and initiated takeoff in a westerly direction. The left wing tip struck a sign post, the aircraft veered left, struck the top of the chain link fence and flipped inverted. A deputy estimated that winds were from the southwest at about 5 knots with frequent, abrupt gusts to about 20 knots and the temperature was 110 plus [Fahrenheit].

June 18, Bass Lake, Calif.
Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow

At about 09:45 PDT, a Piper Arrow crashed into trees near Bass Lake. The pilot and his three passengers were killed. The pilot had said he was going to take family members on a photo flight. At about 09:30, the aircraft flew first east then west at about 1,000 feet over Bass Lake. A witness said he saw the airplane flying about 100 feet above 100-foot-tall trees. He said the engine was running smoothly, then the power increased, followed by the sound of impact.

June 19, Albany, Texas
Glasair I

At 21:50 CDT, the pilot of a homebuilt Glasair I was killed when he lost control while maneuvering near Albany. A witness driving on a state highway saw the nav lights at about 50 feet agl and about 100 yards off the left side of the road. She said she saw the airplane abruptly initiate a near-vertical climb and then saw the lights descending toward the ground as if the airplane was corkscrewing, but the rotation stopped as the planes descent continued. She did not see or hear the impact.

June 19, Satana, Kan.
Cessna 182J

At 00:40 CDT, the pilot of a Cessna 182J was killed during an aborted landing attempt into Satanta Municipal Airport. The pilot was instrument rated and IMC prevailed, but the pilot had canceled his IFR flight plan prior to approach into the airport, which is not served by an instrument approach. The pilot crashed into a silo.

June 19, Paso Robles, Calif.
Cessna 182A

At 11:03 PDT, a Cessna 182A crashed during initial climb out of Paso Robles Municipal Airport, killing the pilot and two skydivers. Two other skydivers were seriously injured in the crash, one of whom died two days later. Winds were reported from 290 degrees at 11 knots and other aircraft were using either runway 31 or 01, but the accident airplane departed from midfield on runway 19, with 3,200 feet remaining. Some witnesses said the departure appeared normal; others said it was extremely steep. The airplane struck the ground 1,200 feet from the departure end of the runway.

June 20, Taylor, Mo.
Beech B19 Sport and Robinson R-22

At 10:45 CDT, a Beech B19 on approach for landing at Haerr Field was struck by a Robinson R-22 Beta helicopter. Both aircraft landed safely and there were no injuries. The Beech pilot said he was turning base to final when he heard a thud and felt a bump, then noticed the helicopter at his 10 oclock position and just below. The helicopter pilot said he had heard the airplanes transmissions and thought the airplane was already on the ground. The helicopter pilot said he never saw the airplane before it came right over the top of the helicopter.

June 20, San Diego, Calif.
Cessna 172M

At 22:20 PDT, a Cessna 172M suffered electrical failure and made a forced landing in a parking lot at MCAS Miramar. The rented aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot was seriously injured. The pilot had left Montgomery Field in San Diego, intending to fly a VOR-A approach into Oceanside, proceed to McClellan-Palomar, then return to Montgomery. He received a clearance to execute the approach at Oceanside, then informed the controller he had lost his VOR and would remain VFR and return to Montgomery for landing. While the aircraft was en route to Montgomery the controller lost radar contact and a few moments later lost radio contact. The controller observed a primary target proceeding on a southbound heading in the vicinity of Miramar, and then lost the primary target. The pilot told investigators that he became lost, his low voltage light was on, and he could not contact anyone on the radio. He reported that he turned off the aircraft lights to keep the battery from running down and was using a flashlight to read the instrument panel. The pilot stated that he did not believe he would make it back to Montgomery and made a forced landing in the Miramar parking lot. The aircraft came to rest inverted after striking a cement wall.

June 23, Van Nuys, Calif.
Cessna 402A

At 14:50 PDT, a Cessna 402A struck two school buses while making a forced landing on a roadway -mile from the Van Nuys airport. The aircraft apparently ran out of fuel while on approach to the airport. The pilot was not injured, and one bus driver and one child suffered minor injuries. The other driver and 45 other children were not injured. The aircraft touched down about 600 feet north of an intersection and rolled south. At the same time, two school buses were approaching the intersection on a cross street, both traveling in opposite directions. As the buses entered the intersection on a green light, the wing tips of the aircraft struck the front of each bus. Both wing tips (main tanks) separated from the aircraft and each came to rest within the intersection. The aircraft continued to rollout without further incident and the pilot braked to a stop about 1,500 feet south of the intersection. The pilot initially had departed Van Nuys for Grand Canyon, Ariz., but noted a high oil temperature indication on the right engine and made a precautionary landing in Bullhead City, Ariz. The operator dispatched another aircraft to transport the passengers and instructed the pilot to bring the airplane back to Van Nuys. The pilot reported that he did not add any fuel during his turn around in Bullhead City. Investigators found less than 1 gallon of fuel in the left auxiliary tank and less than 5 gallons in the right auxiliary tank. There was no evidence of residual fuel, fuel staining or fuel odor at the site of the separated tip tanks.

June 23, East Haddam, Conn.
Cessna 185E

At about 14:00 EDT, a Cessna 185E crashed into the Connecticut River after departure from the Goodspeed Airport. The pilot was seriously injured and a pilot/mechanic received minor injuries. The pilot/mechanic, who had performed repairs on the airplane, said it was the first flight since recent maintenance from a previous accident, in which the airplane was submerged under water. The pilot/mechanic, who was seated in the left front seat of the airplane, was not familiar with the airplane and brought along a second pilot to act as pilot in command. The pilot/mechanic handled the controls. He conducted a full runup of the engine and made three high-speed taxis down the runway. He then took off. While climbing through 25 feet, the pilot/mechanic noticed that the airplane was not performing as expected, and asked that the other pilot take the controls while he attempted to raise the landing gear. The airplane stalled, struck the water nose down and sank inverted. The pilot/mechanic escaped the sunken plane but did not see the other pilot. He dove back under water and pulled the other pilot out of the wreckage.

June 25, Cabot, Ark.
Piper PA-23-250 Apache

At approximately 18:47 CDT, the pilot of a Piper Apache intentionally ground-looped the airplane after the brakes reportedly failed to operate during the landing ground roll. The two pilots aboard were uninjured. The pilot-rated passenger said the aircraft landed on the 2,600-foot sod runway at approximately 75 mph but there appeared to be no brakes. As the aircraft neared the east end of the runway, the aircraft was ground-looped to keep from crossing Kerr Road and going into the trees. The aircraft exited the runway to the left, crossed a ditch and came to a stop in the eastbound lane of Highway 321. An inspector examined the brakes and found no anomalies, then performed an operational check and the brakes functioned properly.

June 25, Hamilton, Ohio
Lancair 235

At about 13:00 EDT, a homebuilt Lancair 235 was damaged during a loss of control during landing at Hamilton-Fairfield Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries. An investigator determined that the pilot made an approach to runway 29, but performed a go-around prior to touchdown. During a second landing attempt, the airplane touched down, then veered to the left and struck a runway light. The pilot added full power to go around again. The airplane then pitched nose-up and rolled left. The propeller struck the ground, and the airplane cartwheeled. The pilot had less than 100 total flight hours, and less than five hours in make and model.

June 25, Mandan, N.D.
Beech C-23 Sundowner

At 21:30 CDT, the pilot of a Beech Sundowner was killed when he lost control in severe weather. Witnesses reported IMC prevailed at the time of the accident but there was no flight plan. Two witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying about one mile northeast of the Mandan Municipal Airport during a thunderstorm. One of the witnesses said she saw the airplane pitching up and down and rolling left and right violently before losing sight of it due to very heavy rain. The second witness said the wind was so gusty it almost pushed his car off the road. The airplanes ground impact location was in a field, with vegetation bent almost parallel to the ground about 300 feet around the impact point.

June 26, Dawson, Md.
Piper L-4H (J-3) Cub and Piper J-3 Cub

About 12:30 EDT, two Piper Cubs in a flight of three crashed near Dawson. One passenger was killed, the two pilots and another passenger were seriously injured. At about 09:30, a flight of four Cubs left Lock Haven, Pa., where the pilots and passengers had been attending a Piper Cub fly-in. The four airplanes arrived at High Rock Airport in Dawson at about 11:20. One airplane remained at High Rock, and the other three were fueled with auto fuel. The airport owner briefed the pilots on the airport departure procedures, and the pilots elected to depart to the north. The first airplane to depart was a Cub powered by a 65 hp engine and carried only the pilot. The second airplane to depart, a Piper L-4H (J-3), was powered by a 65 hp engine and carried a pilot and passenger. The third Cub to depart was powered by an 85 hp engine and carried the pilot and a passenger. The pilot of first Cub reported that he departed to the north and made a left turn after he passed the departure end of the runway. The terrain to the west of the airport was higher and the first pilot (flying alone) reported that he was climbing better than the other two airplanes. He observed the second airplane operating just above the trees and then saw it strike trees before descending to the ground. The pilot of the second airplane said the airplane was performing well and had the right pitch attitude to climb, but it descended into the trees. The pilot of the third Cub called the first pilot to tell him of second planes crash. A few seconds later, the third Cub also crashed into the trees and caught on fire.

June 27, Laredo, Texas
Piper PA-34-220T Seneca

At 16:28 CDT, a Piper Seneca was damaged during a forced landing near Laredo. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The flight originated in San Antonio, at which time the right fuel gauge indicated 35 gallons and the left tank indicated somewhat higher, according to the pilot. Approximately 40 minutes into the flight the ammeter began indicating a failure, so the pilot turned off unnecessary electrical equipment. He then saw the left fuel gauge go from eight gallons indicated to zero and the right gauge go from 20 gallons indicated to zero. Subsequently both engines lost power. He set up to land on a road, but traffic forced him to land adjacent to the road and the right wing struck a fence. An investigation showed the aircraft contained no usable fuel.

June 28, Forest, Va.
Cessna 182

About 21:40 EDT, a Cessna 182 was substantially damaged when it overran the runway on a downwind landing at the New London Airport. Neither occupant was injured. The airplane touched down on the 3,164-foot runway 34 at 60-65 mph with 30 degrees of flaps. The airplane bounced once, began to float, and touched down again with about 240 feet of runway remaining. The pilot braked heavily, but the airplane ran off the end of the runway and came to rest inverted on the side of a road. A nearby airport reported winds of 190 degrees at 10 knots.

June 30, Kokomo, Ind.
Cessna 172R

At 13:45 CDT, a Cessna 172R was damaged when it veered off the runway on landing at the Kokomo Municipal Airport. The student pilot, who was making his first solo takeoff and landing, was not injured. After landing, the aircraft veered off the left side of runway 23 and struck the VOR station with the left wing and the nose of the aircraft.


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