NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and airline accidents


November 4, 2004, Key West, Fla.
SOCATA TB-20 Trinidad

At about 1927 Eastern time, the airplane was lost from radar 4.87 nautical miles and 192 degrees from the Key West International Airport, Key West, Fla. Visual conditions prevailed for the planned flight from Key West to the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport in Sarasota, Fla. The airplane was presumed destroyed and the pilot is presumed to be fatally injured; the passenger was fatally injured. The flight originated at about 1923. At 1924:28, the pilot established contact with the Naval Air Station Key West Air Traffic Facility. At 1926:36, the NAS ATCF controller advised the pilot to turn right heading 360 degrees and when able to proceed direct to Lee County VORTAC, which the pilot correctly read back. At 1928:47, the NAS ATCF controller advised the pilot that the facility was not receiving the transponder beacon return and to reset the transponder code to 0040; the pilot did not acknowledge this. Subsequently, the U.S. Coast Guard located the passenger and debris from the airplane. Neither the main wreckage or the pilot has been located.

November 10, 2004, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Piper PA-32R-301T

The airplane was destroyed during multiple impacts with trees and terrain, and by a post-impact ground fire, at about 2200 Pacific time, some about 17 nm north of Santa Barbara, Calif. Undetermined weather existed at the accident site, in a wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest. The Private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured during the dark nighttime flight. The flight originated at Bakersfield, Calif., at 2136. Preliminary radar data indicates that the aircraft proceeded Santa Barbara on nearly a direct route. All communications to and from the pilot were routine. The accident time was estimated, based on the loss of radio and radar contact with the airplane; the wreckage was found within two miles of the airplane’s last recorded radar position. The aircraft initially struck trees at an elevation of 6630 feet msl, which was a few yards from the top of a ridgeline.

November 12, 2004, Paint Lick, Ky.
Cessna P210

At 1147 Eastern time, the airplae was destroyed during a forced landing attempt. The Commercial pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the flight between Talladega, Ala., and Columbus, Ohio. While in cruise at FL190, the pilot reported a loss of cabin pressure, and thought he had a turbocharger problem. After a descent and changes in heading, the pilot stated, “We’re declaring an emergency, I’ve got low oil pressure, I need the closest airport.” The controller advised that Madison County Airport (I39) was 12 miles north. At this point, the airplane was at 12,300 feet. Subsequently, the controller advised the pilot that the airplane was over the airport at 7200 feet. The airplane’s last recorded altitude was 1600 feet msl, about 600 feet above terrain. The airplane wreckage was located about 1.5 nm southwest of the Madison County Airport. There was a six-inch-diameter hole in the top of the engine, between the number five and number six cylinders.

November 14, 2004, San Antonio, Texas
Piper PA-31-350

The airplane was destroyed and all five aboard were fatally injured at approximately 1718 Central time after impacting a multi-unit residential building and the ground following a loss of control while on an instrument approach to Runway 3 at the San Antonio (Texas) International Airport (SAT). The Commercial pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect. The flight originated near Dodge City, Kan., at approximately 1345. Preliminary radar data shows that the aircraft remained initially left of the localizer course line before turning right of the localizer approximately two miles before the final approach fix (FAF). Radar then showed the aircraft turn to the left of course line. When the aircraft was abeam the FAF, it was approximately 1 mile left of the course line. As the aircraft closed to approximately 1.5 miles from the runway threshold, the aircraft had veered about 1.3 miles left of the course line, at which time ATC instructed the pilot to turn left to a heading of 270 degrees. The aircraft continued to turn left through the assigned heading and appeared to be heading back to the ILS course line. Thereafter, the aircraft descended below radar coverage (approximately 1200 feet msl). A witness reported observing the airplane in a near-vertical attitude as it impacted trees and the side of an apartment complex.

November 14, 2004, Dubbs, Miss.
Piper PA-28R-200

At about 1220 Central time, the airplane was destroyed and the Private pilot and two passengers aboard fatally injured when it crashed in the town of Dubbs, Miss. Visual conditions prevailed for the flight, which originated in Gonzales, La., at about 1030. Two witnesses stated they observed the engine making a “funny” noise, and then the airplane spiraled downward, with parts coming off of it. The fuselage of the accident airplane impacted inverted, in an open cotton field. Outboard portions of both wings had separated from the airplane at the wing splice and the stabilator and vertical stabilizer/rudder had detached from the airplane at their attach points. Weather in the vicinity included a ceiling at about 3000 feet and cloud tops extending to about 8000 feet. The pilot was not Instrument-rated.

November 16, 2004, Drake, Ariz.
Cessna 337B

The airplane collided with terrain at about 1630 Mountain time while scouting for elk. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight originated at Clark Memorial Airport, Williams, Ariz. A witness observed the airplane flying low and slow in and out of the local canyons and valleys over the previous few days and on the day of the accident. The airplane’s owner said that the believed the pilot had been taking hunters on elk scouting flights in the local area over the last couple of days.

November 22, 2004, Houston, Texas
Gulfstream Aerospace G-III

At about 0615 Central time, the airplane crashed while on the ILS Runway 4 approach to the Houston Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. The airplane struck a light pole adjacent to a roadway and crashed into a field about 3 miles southwest of the runway, destroying it and killing the two pilots and one flight attendant on board. Weather conditions at the airport before the accident included fog, broken ceilings of 100 and 600 feet and surface visibilities of between about 1/3 to 1/2 mile. A minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW) was issued to the flight seconds before the end of the CVR recording. Preliminary evaluation of ATC communications and radar data indicates that the flight converged on the localizer, eventually becoming aligned near the end of the last radar returns. The data further indicate that the flight’s average descent rate was about 1000 fpm over the last minute of radar returns. The FAA conducted a flight check of the approach the day after the accident; no anomalies were noted.

November 24, 2004, Paeonian Spring, Va.
Cessna 310R

The airplane was substantially damaged and both aboard were fatally injured at about 1209 Eastern time after impacting terrain during an approach to the Leesburg Executive Airport in Leesburg, Va. Widespread instrument conditions prevailed for the flight from Wilmington, N.C. Earlier, the pilot had attempted the Localizer Runway 17 approach at Leesburg, which resulted in a missed approach. During a second attempt at the approach, the airplane impacted trees about 4.5 miles from the Runway 17 threshold. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the pilot’s altimeter displayed a reading of 190 feet; its Kollsman window displayed an altimeter setting of 29.83 inches of mercury. Weather reported at Leesburg, at 1201, included 10 statute miles of visibility an overcast cloud layer at 300 feet agl and an altimeter setting of 29.80 inches of mercury. The airport elevation at Leesburg is 389 feet msl.

November 25, 2004, Corona, Calif.
Cessna 411

At 1434 Pacific time, the airplane collided with terrain during the initial climb about one minute after takeoff. The Private pilot and one passenger were fatally injuried; the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed. Witnesses observed the airplane taking off on Runway 25. It climbed straight out about one mile before beginning to fishtail slightly. They observed the right wing rotate down about 45 degrees and then the nose of the airplane abruptly pointed down. The airplane maintained a steep downward path until it disappeared behind trees. The witnesses then observed a plume of smoke.

November 25, 2004, Kilmichael, Miss.
Cessna 195

The airplane impacted the ground after colliding with power lines at about 1501 Central time. Visual conditions prevailed; The Private pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. Friends of the pilot’s family later stated the pilot and his son had dropped off the pilot’s father, daughter and niece and were returning to the Winona-Montgomery County Airport, which is near the home of the pilot’s in-laws. Witnesses at the in-laws’ house saw the airplane fly over the house, turn around and fly toward the house at a low altitude. The airplane’s left landing gear collided with power lines spanning a pond behind the house. The airplane nosed over and impacted the ground at the water line of the pond. The airplane cartwheeled between several trees before coming to a stop upside down in the backyard of the home.

November 27, 2004, Arlington, Wash.
Robinson R22 Beta

At about 0935 Pacific time, the helicopter was destroyed after impacting terrain during an uncontrolled descent while maneuvering near Arlington, Wash. The flight instructor and the pilot-rated student sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed the Arlington Municipal Airport, Arlington, Wash., at approximately 0930. Numerous witnesses saw the helicopter flying over the area before it impacted the ground. One witness reported hearing the helicopter “…make a loud bang, then watched it fall from the sky.” Another witness reported seeing the helicopter flying north from AWO, “…and as it disappeared into the distance I heard a large prolonged ‘shuddery boom,’ and then no more helicopter engine noise.” Debris was observed scattered over an area of approximately 2000 feet in length and 500 feet in width.

November 28, 2004, Montrose, Colo.
Canadair CL-601-2A12

The business jet was destroyed when it impacted terrain at 0955 Mountain time during takeoff from the Montrose Regional Airport in Montrose, Colo. The captain, flight attendant and one passenger were fatally injured. The first officer, and two passengers sustained serious injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed. The airplane arrived around 0900 and dropped off a passenger. After remaining at the FBO for about 50 minutes, the airplane was boarded and taxied onto Runway 31 where it performed a static run-up for approximately one minute. Subsequently, the initial ground roll appeared to be uneventful. Several witnesses reported hearing a loud “boom” or “whooshing.” The airplane was observed in a yaw to the right, putting the tail of the airplane perpendicular to the runway. The airplane impacted terrain to the right of runway and slid approximately 1400 feet, through the airport perimeter fence, across a road and through an adjacent fence. Reported weather included calm winds, a visibility of 1 1/4 miles in light snow and mist, a few clouds at 500 feet agl, an overcast at 900 feet agl, a temperature of -1 Celsius and a dewpoint of -2 C.

November 30, 2004, Chesterfield, MO.
HFB 320 Hansa

At 1956 Central time, the jet was destroyed when it impacted the Missouri River during initial takeoff climbout about two miles west of Runway 26L at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in St. Louis, Mo. The pilot and copilot received fatal injuries. The ferry flight was en route to Toledo, Ohio; night visual conditions prevailed.

November 30, 2004, Philadelphia, Penn.
Mitsubishi MU-2

The aircraft was substantially damaged at 0608 Eastern time when it collided with an aircraft tug during an attempted takeoff from the Philadelphia International Airport. There were no injuries among the pilot, the tug driver, or two additional ground personnel. Visual conditions prevailed for the flight. At 0604, a Delta Air Lines maintenance tug, towing an MD-80, contacted the ground controller, advised he was at the south apron and requested to relocate to “Echo one.” The tug was cleared to “…proceed as requested and cross Runway 35 to spot eleven and call ramp control.” At 0605, the MU-2’s pilot advised he was ready for takeoff on Runway 35 at the Kilo intersection. He was subsequently cleared for takeoff after being advised of traffic to avoid in his departure flight path.According to the pilot, during the takeoff roll, he observed an aircraft tug at the runway’s centerline, moving right to left. The pilot then aborted the takeoff, applying maximum braking and reverse thrust. He attempted to maneuver the airplane to the left side of the runway toward the grass; however, the airplane contacted the tug at the intersection of Runway 35 and taxiways “Golf” and “Echo.” The MU-2’s right wing tip fuel tank was separated from the right wing and impacted the tug cab. The right wing structure sustained substantial damage and “bald spots” were observed on the landing gear tires. No damage was observed to the MD-80.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here