NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and airline accidents


The following briefs were selected from the preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in June 2003. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. Click here to view “Accident Totals, June.”


June 02, Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Beech Baron

At 1645 central time, a Beech 58P struck the ground 120 feet short of runway 28 at Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. The pilot said he did not realize there was a hill at the approach end of runway 28. During approach, the nose gear of the airplane collided with the hill short of the runway.

June 03, Frederick, Md.
American Champion 7GCAA

At 1235 eastern time, an American Champion 7GCAA registered to the factory was damaged while landing at Frederick Municipal Airport. The flight instructor and private pilot were not injured. The pilot was executing his first landing in the airplane in an effort to obtain a tailwheel endorsement. After the airplane touched down on runway 23, it veered to the left at a 45-degree angle. The instructor assumed the controls and added full power. The airplane climbed back into the air and the CFI tried to realign it with the runway centerline. The airplane descended back to the ground and touched down hard on the left main landing gear, shearing the landing gear assembly from the fuselage. The airplane then departed the left side of the runway, where the left wing dug into the ground.

June 03, Tallahassee, Fla.
Cessna 210

At about 1630 eastern time, a Cessna 210E caught fire while standing after engine start at the Tallahassee Regional Airport. No one was injured. The pilot said he started the engine and was reading back an instrument clearance when fire was observed coming from the engine compartment. The pilot and two passengers evacuated safely. Moments later, the fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. Examination revealed there was a fuel leak in the engine compartment.

June 06, Los Angeles, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At 1555 Pacific time, a Beech A36TC descended into a three-story apartment building in the Fairfax District. The pilot and three passengers were killed. One person in the apartment building was killed and seven people were seriously injured. The flight had departed Santa Monica Municipal Airport about 10 minutes earlier and was en route to Las Vegas and then Sun Valley, Idaho. Witness accounts said the airplane was flying straight and level, then climbed into the clouds. Shortly after that, it came spinning toward the ground. The pilot had discussed with the tower controller the fact that there was cloud cover in the area and said he would try to pop through the broken stuff.

June 07, Cody, Wyo.
Helio Super Courier

At 1530 mountain time, a Helio H800 struck the ground 200 feet from the approach end of runway 22 at the Yellowstone Regional Airport. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the three passengers reported no injuries. The airport manager said the airplane took off on runway 04 and started spitting oil. The airplane got to about 300 feet agl when the pilot returned for landing. The witness said he noticed the oil cap was off the engine and the oil stick was out.

June 07, Sheboygan, Wisc.
Cessna 172

At 2145 central time, a Cessna 172P crashed at Sheboygan Municipal Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. The pilot departed for Wausau into a heavy ground fog that limited visibility to 30 to 50 feet. No flight plan was filed, and it was unknown whether the pilot was instrument rated.

June 07, Bartlesville, Okla.
Acro Sport II

At 1209 central time, an amateur-built AcroSport II lost engine power near Bartlesville and was damaged in the ensuing forced landing. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The flight had departed Bartlesville Airport about 10 minutes earlier. The pilot had requested fuel service while he was at the airport, but the service was not performed and the pilot departed without checking. Post-crash investigation found the fuel tanks empty.

June 09, Santa Nella, Calif.
Rockwell Aero-Commander 112

At approximately 0900 Pacific time, a Rockwell Aero-Commander 112TC struck mountainous terrain approximately seven miles west of Santa Nella, killing the pilot and leaving the flight instructor seriously injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed. Witnesses said the location, at 1,402 msl on a steep hillside, was shrouded in fog, with visibility of less than 100 yards.

June 10, Fallon, Nev.
Piper Comanche

At about 0930 Pacific time, a Piper PA-24-250 lost engine power during cruise and crashed during a forced landing on a highway near Fallon. The pilot was not injured. The local flight departed Fallon Municipal Airport about 0815 and the pilot flew to Lovelock, Nev., to practice takeoffs and landings. He was returning to Fallon when the engine lost power. The pilot said the accident was due to fuel exhaustion.

June 10, Dodge City, Kan.
Boeing 757

At approximately 1000 mountain time, the captain of a Boeing 757-200 was rendered incapacitated when he was hit on the head by the cockpit doors upper blow-out panel. The airplane was cruising 34 nautical miles southwest of Dodge City when the incident occurred. A flight attendant was attempting to secure the door after delivering a tray of refreshments. The first officer diverted to Denver and landed uneventfully.

June 11, St. Simons Island, Ga.
Vans RV-6A

At 1130 eastern time, an amateur-built RV-6A flipped over during an aborted takeoff from Malcolm McKinnon Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The pilot said the right control stick was secured with the passenger seat belt, acting as a gust lock. He took off without removing the belt from the stick.

June 11, Kent, Wash.
Cessna 182

At approximately 2100 Pacific time, a Cessna R182 struck terrain following an aborted takeoff at Crest Airpark. The flight instructor, pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot was undergoing transition training to fly complex airplanes. During takeoff after the first touch and go, the flaps failed to retract and the airplane would not climb. The flight instructor attempted to land on the remaining runway, but the landing gear did not extend completely. The airplane had a documented history of the flaps not cycling correctly, including on the flight prior to the accident flight. The flaps cycled normally during an initial inspection after the airplane was recovered.

June 12, Albuquerque, N.M.
Cessna 172

At approximately 1145 mountain time, a Cessna R172E suffered a damaged wing while taxiing when it was knocked over by jet blast from a DC-9. The student pilot was not injured. The pilot was taxiing to the runway at Albuquerque International Airport when an American Airlines jet was cleared for taxi from Gate B1. As the DC-9 added engine power for taxi, the jet blast struck the Cessna and the wing spar was bent when the wing struck the ground.

June 13, Boise, Idaho
Mooney M20C

At approximately 2115 mountain time, a Mooney M20C suffered a gear collapse while taxiing for take off at Boise Air Terminal/Gowan Field. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said he was taxiing for takeoff and approaching the end of the taxiway prior to turning onto the runway. He reduced power and the nose gear and left main gear collapsed without warning. The pilot also reported that the nose landing gear had collapsed after engine shutdown about two months earlier, but the reason for the nose gear collapse had not been determined.

June 13, Tribune, Kan.
Cessna 210

At 0940 mountain time, a Cessna T210N was damaged during an in-flight fire while in cruise flight near Tribune. The pilot diverted to Tribune Municipal Airport and landed without further incident. The pilot reported the airplane had been in the air for more than 2.5 hours when the nose wheel suddenly extended. He diverted to Tribune and landed, but did not notice any evidence of fire until a postflight inspection revealed the cowling around the turbocharger had been consumed by fire.

June 14, Houston, Texas
Grumman Tiger

At about 1100 central time, a Grumman AA-5B crashed on the runway during an aborted landing at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said he was cleared to land behind a helicopter, which he recognized as a military CH-47 Chinook. After the Chinook landed on the numbers, the tower instructed the helicopter to air taxi to the helipads. The pilot mentioned to his passenger that they would land long to avoid rotor-wash, aiming for the IFR touch down blocks a thousand feet south of the numbers. At approximately 20 feet above the runway, the airplane encountered turbulence and the left wing violently dipped down, the left main gear hit the ground, and the airplane bounced. The pilot added power and went around, and then landed safely, but post-flight examination revealed the left wing was damaged.

June 15, Jeannette, Pa.
Cessna 205

At 1315 eastern time, a Cessna 205 crashed just after takeoff from Greensburg Jeannette Regional Airport, killing the pilot and three skydivers and leaving a fourth skydiver seriously injured. Witnesses said the engine began to sputter when the airplane was about a quarter mile from the runway. The pilot apparently tried to execute a turn back to land in the opposite direction, but the engine stopped sputtering and the turn was continued until the airplane was perpendicular to the runway. The airplane began to climb, then the engine ceased and the airplane crashed into trees. Examination of the wreckage found the fuel in the tanks, lines and boost pump was contaminated. The operator had been fueling the airplane from plastic fuel containers, but the fuel tanks were not found.

June 16, Yelm, Wash.
Seabee RC-3

At approximately 1830 Pacific time, a Downer RC-3 struck trees following a takeoff run at Western Airpark. The pilot was seriously injured and the passenger was killed. The airplane had just been sold to the pilot, who was in the process of repositioning it to another airport. The airplane had not flown for approximately two years. Witnesses said the airplane did not accelerate past about 50 mph and the engine did not sound like it was producing full power during the takeoff run. The airplane went off the end of the runway, clipped trees at about 40 feet agl and went into a ravine.

June 17, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Cessna 172 and Cessna 182

At about 1950 eastern time, a Cessna 172N and a Cessna 182Q collided while in cruise flight about 300 yard east of the beach at Deerfield Beach. The collision killed the pilot and two passengers in the 172 and the pilot and passenger in the 182. Both flights had originated at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The 172 took off at about 1835 and the 182 at 1940. The airplanes were flying in opposite directions. Witnesses said the southbound airplane was a little lower than the northbound airplane, and just before collision the southbound airplane banked as if to take evasive action. The raised wing struck the higher airplane and sheared off. The northbound airplane flew a little longer before crashing into the water.

June 19, Weed, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At about 1100 Pacific time, a Beech S35 struck a tree in flight near Weed and then landed uneventfully at Colusa County Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was cruising from Medford, Ore., to Fullerton, Calif., and he was distracted and looked down. When he looked up, he was in the clouds. He heard a loud thump or bang and immediately entered a climb. The pilot then made a planned fuel stop at Colusa and discovered that the right wing leading edge was crushed, the bottom of the right wing was punctured, and the leading edge of the right stabilizer was slightly crushed.

June 20, Grants Pass, Ore.
Vans RV-8

At approximately 1425 Pacific time, an amateur-built Vans RV-8 lost engine power in the pattern at Grants Pass Airport and struck trees, killing the pilot. The airplane, which had not flown in about a year, had taken off about five minutes earlier. The airport operations director said the pilot/owner was preparing the airplane for sale. The airplane was on downwind when the pilot reported he was having engine problems. However, the pilot extended his downwind well past the approach end of the runway, then turned back toward the airport and crashed a half-mile short of the runway.

June 21, Cushing, Okla.
Cessna 182

At approximately 1630 central time, a Cessna 182H modified to fly skydivers crashed after the pilot lost control during the drop. The pilot was killed. Two parachutists were seriously injured. Two parachutists had minor injuries, and one parachutist had exited the airplane before the loss of control and was uninjured. The airplane was cruising at 3,500 to 4,000 feet when the first parachutist jumped. The airplane continued on for a few seconds, then, witnesses said, the airplane went upward then out of control in a counter-clockwise spin. During the spin, two other parachutists jumped. Post-crash examination of the wreckage showed the airplane struck the ground in a relatively flat attitude.

June 25, Boonville, Mo.
Eurocopter 120

At about 2245 central time, a Eurocopter EC120B crashed near Boonville shortly after taking off, killing the pilot. At the time of the crash, the weather report consisted of: wind 350 at 8 knots gusting to 18; visibility 3/4 mile; heavy thunderstorms with rain and mist; broken clouds at 300 and 900 feet agl, overcast layer at 3,100 feet agl; temperature 22; dew point 21.

June 26, Hollister, Calif.

At 1924 Pacific time, an amateur-built Glasair JM-1 suffered a partial loss of power during initial climb from Hollister Municipal Airport and crashed while maneuvering for a forced landing. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were seriously injured. The owner reported the airplane had just departed runway 31 when the engine started to run rough. In an attempt to return to the airport, the airplane clipped a tree and landed in a field where it struck a piece of concrete and came to rest inverted. The electric fuel pump, which was required for flight, was not turned on.

June 28, Fort Collins, Colo.
Vans RV-6A

At 1130 mountain time, an amateur-built Vans RV-6A lost engine power on initial climb from Fort Collins Downtown Airpark and crashed. The pilot and passenger were killed. Witnesses reported the airplane had just taken off and was climbing to the east when they heard the engine stop. The witnesses said the airplane turned toward the airport, departed controlled flight and crashed near the southeast corner of the airport.

June 29, Durango, Colo.
Cessna 210

At approximately 1530 mountain time, a Cessna 210K was damaged when it veered off the runway while landing at Durango-La Plata County Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The pilot said the aircraft came in hot and he attempted to make a crosswind landing. He added power when he realized he needed to go-around, but he veered off the right side of the runway.

June 30, Gadsden, Ala.
Aero Vodochody L39C

At 1533 central time, an Aero Vodochody L39C jet lost engine power due to foreign object ingestion and crashed on takeoff from Gadsden Municipal Airport. The pilot ejected but was killed. A witness said he saw debris in the air just as the airplane lifted off, then heard the sound of the engine ingesting debris. The witness said the airplane appeared to struggle back and forth, then it veered left and was at an approximate 90-degree angle and no more than 50 feet above the ground when the pilot ejected. Examination of the wreckage found the baggage door from the left nose baggage compartment had separated with the locking mechanism attached to the door. A fabric briefcase, numerous papers, and other objects from the baggage compartment were found on the runway near the point where the airplane rotated.


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