NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected general aviation and air carrier accidents


Click here for January accident totals.

January 01, Hollywood, Fla.
Piper Navajo

At about 18:02 eastern time, a Piper PA-31-250 operating as a Part 135 air taxi flight ditched into the Atlantic Ocean about 300 yards from shore. The pilot and three passengers were seriously injured and a fourth passenger died. The aircraft originated from the Bahamas at about 16:35. The pilot initially declared a minimum fuel status to Miami Center, then told the tower controller he would have to ditch short of the coastline.

January 02, Boise, Idaho
Beech Baron

At 10:45 mountain time, a Beech 58P on a post-maintenance test flight suffered an inflight fire in the left engine nacelle just after takeoff from Boise Air Terminal. Neither the pilot nor the mechanic was injured. The two were making a test flight after heavy maintenance and all preflight inspections and operations were normal. After the airplane climbed to about 20 feet, the pilot noticed flames coming from the left engine. He landed on the remaining runway. The fire damage was contained to the accessory section aft of the firewall, but one engine mount and the structure around the engine, including the fuel tank, were damaged.

January 04, Petaluma, Calif.
Cessna 152

At 21:58 Pacific time, a Cessna 152 crashed into mountains shortly after takeoff from Petaluma Municipal Airport, killing the student pilot. The pilot had not been scheduled or authorized by the flight school to fly that night. He was not qualified or endorsed in the accident airplane type, and was not qualified or endorsed to fly solo at night. The crash site was about two miles from the airport and about 400 feet above airport elevation.

January 05, Tampa, Fla.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 17:03 eastern time, a Cessna 172R was crashed into the side of the Bank of America Building, killing the student pilot. The student was instructed to preflight the airplane and wait for the instructor, but instead the student took off without clearance from the tower. The airplane flew over the control tower and three hangars at McDill Air Force Base before proceeding downtown. An unarmed Coast Guard helicopter intercepted the airplane and attempted to get the pilot to land. The helicopter pilots said they believed the student pilot saw their hand gestures and gestured back, however they could not determine what kind of gestures the student pilot was making. Shortly thereafter, the airplane collided with the building, imbedding itself into the 28th floor.

January 05, Oak Grove, La.
Beech Baron

At 10:10 central time, a Beech BE95-B55 crashed while maneuvering near Oak Grove, killing the pilot. IMC prevailed and the pilot was instrument rated, but no flight plan was filed. The pilot flew from Monroe, La., to a private hunting ranch near Avon the previous day. Because the weather was forecast to deteriorate, the pilot decided to return his airplane to Monroe and drive back to the ranch. A preflight weather briefer told him VFR flight was not recommended. The ceiling at the destination was about 3,000 feet, but at the accident site it was about 500 feet. A witness saw the airplane at about 300 feet agl in a steep left bank. The 1,500-hour pilot had owned the airplane since 1994.

January 06, Sturgis, Mich.
Cessna Chancellor

At 12:30 eastern time, a Cessna 414A crashed during a forced landing in a corn field after attempting a single-engine missed approach to Kirsch Municipal Airport. The pilot and one passenger reported minor injuries, the second passenger was uninjured. The pilot said the right engine lost power at about 4,300 feet shortly after departure from Kirsch. He received radar vectors for a return to the airport, during which time the airplane lost altitude at 100-150 fpm. The pilot flew the NDB 18 approach and found the airplane too high for a landing, so he missed the approach and feathered the right prop. He was unable to avoid obstructions and opted to make a forced landing.

January 09, Durango, Colo.
Cessna Skyhawk

At approximately 11:30 mountain time, a Cessna 172N struck rising terrain while maneuvering near Durango. The pilot was not injured but two passengers sustained serious injuries. The pilot said he and two friends were on a local sightseeing flight when the pilot executed a left turn to a normally okay route. However, he entered a canyon he could not exit due to rising terrain. The pilot decided to execute a forced landing to a clearing, where the airplane struck trees and terrain.

January 10, Albuquerque, N.M.
Piper Meridian

At approximately 10:57 mountain time, a Piper PA-46T was damaged on landing at Double Eagle II Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot was making an ILS Runway 22 approach but broke out of the clouds to the right of the runway. The pilot attempted to align the aircraft with the runway by banking left, then right, but the right wing struck the runway and the airplane crashed and slid 1,500 feet to a stop. Neither occupant was hurt.

January 13, Micanopy, Fla.
Piper Comanche

At about 00:35 eastern time, a Piper PA-24-250 crashed three minutes after takeoff from Gainesville Regional Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. A refueler at the airport said the two occupants bought 30 gallons of fuel and told him they had just flown down from Pennsylvania. They joked about being tired and dragging. They also said they were concerned about continuing on but were too close to their destination to stay in Gainesville. The refueler also said ceilings were low at the time and there was light rain.

January 13, Grand Junction, Colo.
Maule M-5-235C

At approximately 14:45 mountain time, a Maule M-5-235C was damaged in a groundloop upon landing at Grand Junction. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said the landing was normal but the airplane suddenly groundlooped to the left. Postaccident examination of the airplanes left steering cable revealed the swaged attachment had separated.

January 14, Oxford, Mass.
Piper Cherokee 180

At 12:10 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-180 was damaged during an aborted landing at Oxford Airport. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The pilot intended to land at Southbridge Municipal Airport about 9.5 miles southwest of Oxford Airport. He landed about a third of the way down the 2,047-foot runway but determined he would not be able to stop by the end because of snow and patchy ice, so he added power and took off for another try. However, he could not outclimb trees at the departure end of the runway. His intended destination has a 3,500-foot runway. The airplanes performance charts show it would need 1,190 feet to land over obstacles on a dry paved runway.

January 14, Groveland, Calif.
Piper Cherokee 180

At about 14:50 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-180 was damaged during a forced landing brought on by imminent fuel exhaustion. The pilot was seriously injured. The pilot left Truckee at about 09:45 and was destined for Tulare. He was unable to land because of a low stratus layer, so he diverted to Pine Mountain Lake and landed. He called the Tulare airport and was told the ceiling was 1,500 to 2,000 feet, so he again tried to fly to Tulare. He could not descend through the clouds, so he returned to Pine Mountain Lake, only to find it covered with a stratus layer. The pilot realized he was too low on fuel to reach an airport in VMC and contacted Oakland Center for help. The pilot was unable to find the airports to which Oakland vectored him. The pilot spotted a forestry camp with a windsock near Hwy 120 and opted to land on the highway. However, an oncoming car clipped the wing and sent the airplane into the trees.

January 15, Iraan, Texas
Cessna Skyhawk

At 14:50 central time, a Cessna 172 overran the runway at Iraan Municipal Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he had difficulty locating the windsock and then made three approaches to runway 32. On the third try, he touched down about a third of the way down the runway and could not stop, crashing through a fence, across a ditch and into a business yard. The pilot then determined he had landed with a 15-knot tailwind.

January 17, Sinton, Texas
Beech Sundowner

At approximately 21:13 central time, a Beech C23 struck trees while making a missed approach on the VOR-DME 14 approach at Sinton San Patricio County Airport. The pilot was killed. The pilot was returning home after making an Angel Flight and was cleared for the approach. He was instructed to maintain 2,000 feet until established on the final approach course. He then reported being unable to see the airport and the controller told him to fly the published missed approach. The pilot then said he had the airport in sight underneath him. The controller asked if he was landing and he said yes. The controller asked him if he was canceling IFR and he said no. He crashed just west of the airport close to what would have been a final approach course. Witnesses reported floating fog and mist in the area at the time.

January 21, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At 11:00 Pacific time, a Beech B36TC went out of control on takeoff from Mammoth Lakes Airport. The pilot and four passengers were not injured. The pilot reported the airplane encountered a wind gust while taking off on runway 27 that caused one wing to lift and the other to strike the runway. Winds were reported from 200 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 31.

January 21, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Cessna 206H

At 16:30 Pacific time, a Cessna 206H went out of control on landing at Mammoth Lakes Airport. The pilot was not injured. As he approached the airport, the ASOS reported winds from 210 degrees at 25 knots gusting to 45. He landed successfully but, as he slowed to about 30 knots on the runway, a crosswind gust lifted the left wing and sent the airplane into a snow-covered embankment. Subsequent gusts lifted the tail and flipped the airplane inverted.

January 22, Milton, Fla.
Bellanca Decathlon

At about 15:00 central time, the pilot of a Bellanca 7KCAB experienced a loss of control during the landing roll at Peter Prince Field Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said they were approaching with light and variable winds when he noted the ball was full left with no rudder input. He went around twice trying to figure out why the airplane was not flying as it should. During the third approach he had full left rudder pedal input and nearly full left aileron inputs applied and was, able to keep wings level and fly fairly straight down the runway. He performed a wheel landing and when the tailwheel touched the ground the airplane immediately swerved to the right and groundlooped. Examination revealed the left rudder cable was off the pulley, leaving the rudder control surface and the tailwheel free to move.

January 25, Anchorage, Alaska
Airbus A340

At 02:43 Alaska time, an Airbus Industrie A-340-300 operated by China Airlines took off from taxiway Kilo instead of runway 32 at Anchorage International Airport. The takeoff was without incident. The airplane was taxiing from the gate, southbound on taxiway Romeo and made a right turn onto Kilo. The airplane was cleared to take off on runway 32, but instead of taxiing on Kilo to the runway, the airplane accelerated down the 6,800-foot taxiway and took off. After departure, landing gear tire impressions were found in a snow berm at the end of the taxiway.

January 26, Marlboro, Mass.
Socata TB-9

At 16:02 eastern time, a Socata TB-9 was damaged after overrunning the runway while landing at Marlboro Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said the wind was a 90-degree crosswind from the left at 7-10 knots. His first two approaches to runway 32 terminated in a go-around due to excessive speed. On the third approach, he thought the airplane touched down about a third of the way down the runway but the brakes were not immediately effective. The pilot was unable to stop the airplane on the runway and struck a chain-link fence located about 10 feet beyond the departure end of the runway. The pilot said he had never before landed on a runway as short as the 1,682-foot strip. The 98-hour pilot received his private pilot certificate on December 4, 2001, and had logged 20 hours as pilot-in-command.

January 27, Clarksville, Va.
Jodel F-12

At about 14:00 eastern time, a homebuilt Jodel F-12 crashed on approach to Marks Municipal Airport, killing the pilot. The airplane had been involved in an accident in 1991 and had finally been repaired. The FAA required 10 hours of local flight to assure it was airworthy. The pilot was flying the airplane to see if he would agree to fly off the 10 hours of restricted flight. The 3,900-hour pilot did not have any experience in make and model. Witnesses said the engine failed as the airplane was returning to the airport.

January 27, Alexandria, Minn.
Bellanca Super Viking

At 12:47 central time, a Bellanca 17-30A crashed at Chandler Field Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. IMC prevailed and the pilot was not instrument rated. A flight instructor said he discussed the weather with the pilot before takeoff and asked if the pilot was instrument rated. The pilot said he had completed the training but had not yet taken the checkride. The instructor repeatedly tried to talk the pilot out of making the flight, but he started the airplane and taxied to the runway. When the pilot announced his intention over the CTAF to take off, the instructor advised him to be careful of the freezing fog and sleet that was falling at the time. The instructor added that about five minutes after the airplane took off … someone keyed their mike and we heard heavy breathing and cussing over the radio. The instructor and another witness looked out the window to see the airplane heading toward the building. The pilot then banked steeply to the left and the airplane crashed. There was 1/8th inch of ice on the leading edges of the wings and empennage and the wheels were extended.

January 28, American Fork, Utah
Beech Bonanza

At approximately 08:30 mountain time, a Beech V35B crashed while maneuvering near American Fork. The pilot was killed. A lineman who refueled the airplane said the pilot told him he was going to scud run to Delta, Utah. The lineman said it was snowing heavily and visibility to the south was nil when the airplane took off. Radar data depicted a VFR target proceeding south from West Jordan along I-15 to American Fork, where it made a left turn and proceeded into American Fork Canyon. The target circled three times as it went further into the canyon and then radar contact was lost.

January 31, Chester, Conn.
Beech Bonanza

At about 18:50 eastern time, a Beech V35B crashed during a night circle-to-land instrument approach at Chester Airport. The pilot and his passenger were killed. The pilot was inbound to Chester and requested the GPS Runway 35 approach. The controller then cleared him for the approach and approved a change to the CTAF, which the pilot acknowledged. The airplane flew inbound on the approach, descending to 1,500 feet, at which point radar contact was lost due to interference with terrain. A witness saw the airplane flying parallel to the runway at about 400 feet agl, but about 1,000 feet east of the runway. It made a left turn, as though making a turn from downwind leg to base at low altitude. The turn was flat, the pattern was tight and the airplane was slow. Suddenly the airplane entered a steep left bank and crashed.


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