NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and airline accidents


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


November 01, Franklin, Ky.
Piper Tri-Pacer

At about 1715 eastern time, a Piper PA-22-150 was substantially damaged following a loss of control during takeoff from a private turf airstrip near Franklin. One passenger received minor injuries, and the pilot and another passenger were not injured. The pilot stated that he over-rotated during the takeoff roll. The airplane climbed about 15 feet, then landed hard and departed the runway to the right. It came to rest inverted in the grass about 30 feet beyond the end of the 2,000-foot long, 100-foot wide runway. The pilot had 12,000 hours flight experience with 28 hours in Tri-Pacers.

November 02 Fishers Island, N.Y.
Fleet 16

At about 1115 eastern time, a Fleet 16B was destroyed when it impacted water following low-level maneuvering about one mile south of Fishers Island. The pilot and passenger were presumed killed. The accident airplane had departed Westerly, Rhode Island, about 15 minutes prior to the accident as one of a flight of three airplanes. The other airplanes in the flight were a Citabria and an RV-8. The pilot of the Citabria said he was flying in formation with the Fleet while a passenger in the RV-8 took photographs. Two witnesses in boats described the maneuvers of the two airplanes as like they were performing in an air show or like they were dog fighting. Both witnesses described steep turns, low flight over the water, and dives toward the water followed by steep ascents. Both witnesses stated that the accident airplane had dived toward the water and appeared to be pulling up when it impacted the water. The pilot of the Citabria, who had been in radio communication with the accident airplane, circled back when the Fleet pilot did not answer a radio call. He then saw debris floating on the water. A United States Coast Guard search did not locate the airplane or its occupants.

November 06, Montauk, N.Y.
Piper Archer

At 2020 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-181 struck trees when the pilot attempted to avoid deer on the runway during a night landing at the Montauk Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot had attempted without success to turn on the pilot controlled lighting system at the airport. After several attempts, he made a low pass over the runway in an attempt to scare any deer away, then landed without runway lights. During the rollout, the pilot observed deer crossing in front of the airplane from left to right. When the pilot turned the airplane to the left to avoid the deer, the left wing struck a small stand of trees and was substantially damaged. The lighting system was tested the following morning and the runway lights did not illuminate. It was tested again the next day and all lights illuminated. The airport manager noted that the lighting control box, when examined, was wet from rain that fell the day before the accident.

November 08, Kilbourne, Ohio
Cessna 172

At about 1530 eastern time, a Cessna 172K was substantially damaged after overshooting a private airstrip in Kilbourne. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said that he landed long on the 2,800-foot-long, turf runway and was not able to stop the airplane before it departed the end of the runway. The airplane entered a plowed field and nosed over. According to the pilot, winds were calm at the time of the accident.

November 09, Millington, Tenn.
Cessna 210

At 1419 central time, a Cessna 210D was substantially damaged during an emergency landing at the Millington Municipal Airport. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The pilots were conducting touch and go landings at Dyersburg Municipal Airport, Dyersburg, Tenn. and received an unsafe landing gear indication after attempting to lower the landing gear. The landing gear would not come down even after the emergency gear extension checklist was followed. The pilot diverted to Millington and requested a fly-by so that the tower controller could check the status of the landing gear. The fly-by showed that the nose gear was extended but not the main landing gear. The pilot entered the traffic pattern and made an emergency landing to the sod area left of runway 04. After touchdown the airplane slid to the right, went up on the runway, and came to a stop.

November 09, Wooster, Ohio
Cessna 150 and Cessna 150

At 1530 eastern time, a Cessna 150M and a Cessna 150K collided at the Wayne County Airport in Wooster. The Cessna 150K, which was taking off, was substantially damaged and the Cessna 150M, which was landing, was not damaged. The student pilot in the Cessna 150M and the flight instructor and student pilot in the Cessna 150K were not injured. Both airplanes were on local instructional flights and both reported making position announcements on the CTAF. The Cessna 150K entered the pattern and landed after a third airplane that had approached the airport on a straight-in instrument approach followed by a touch and go. According to the CFI in the Cessna 150K, they heard the pilot of the Cessna 150M announce her base leg while they were on short final. The airplanes collided while the Cessna 150K was beginning the takeoff portion of its touch and go. The student pilot in the Cessna 150M reported seeing an airplane in front of her, and extending her downwind for spacing. She saw an airplane land and continued her approach. As the Cessna 150M landed, it struck the tail of the Cessna 150K that was still on the runway.

November 09, Philippi, W.Va.
Cessna 172

At 1530 eastern time, a Cessna 172N was damaged when it collided with trees during takeoff from Simpson Airport in Philippi. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. According to the pilot, he performed a short-field takeoff from runway 19 at Simpson. He rotated the airplane about 1,300 feet from the approach end of the 1,500-foot long turf runway. During the initial climb out, the airplane impacted the tops of 40-foot-tall trees, located about 200 feet from the departure end of the runway. The airplane descended through the trees, coming to rest inverted and suspended in a tree. The pilot stated that he was aware of the trees prior to takeoff. The weather station at Clarksburg, W. Va., 10 miles away was reporting wind from 340 degrees at six knots and a temperature of 46 degrees F. Interpolation of the takeoff distance chart in the Cessna 172N Pilots Operating Handbook revealed that at a weight of 2100 lbs, 1,000 feet pressure altitude, temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, and a tailwind component of five knots, the calculated takeoff distance required was 1,685 feet for operations on a dry, grass runway.

November 12, Minneapolis, Minn.
Saab 340

At about 2200 central time, a Saab AB 340 operated by Mesaba Airlines Inc. received substantial damage during a bird strike on approach to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The two pilots, one flight attendant, and 22 passengers were uninjured. The flight departed from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and was en route to Minneapolis where it landed without incident. The airplane was descending through 4,000 feet msl at 245 knots indicated airspeed when an unknown number of geese struck the vertical stabilizer.

November 13, Phoenix, Ariz.
Caravan and Bombardier Challenger

At 0647 mountain time, a Cessna 208B was damaged after being blown over by a Bombardier CL-600-2024 while taxiing to the active runway at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The pilot of the Cessna and the maintenance crew on the CL-600 were not injured. The pilot of the Cessna stated that he crossed behind the tail end of the jet after looking for and not seeing a red beacon light blinking to indicate that the engines on the jet were running. The cargo area is considered a nonmovement area, and therefore is not under the authority of the control tower. He also reported that there were no signs concerning jet blast in the accident area.

November 13, Bahamas
Piper Cherokee Six

A Piper PA-32-300 was reported missing after departure at about 0700 from Staniel Cay, Bahamas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane has not been located, and the whereabouts of the airplane and pilot are unknown. A witness reporting seeing the pilot board the airplane and depart to the southeast. Inquiries as well as subsequent searches did not reveal any information as to the whereabouts of the pilot or the airplane.

November 14, Van Nuys, Calif.
OMF Symphony

At about 1930 Pacific time, a passenger was seriously injured by walking into a moving propeller while disembarking from an OMF-100-160 at Van Nuys Airport. The passengers arm was broken in two places and the pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained minor damage. The pilot taxied the airplane to the base of the tower after landing. The passenger got out of the airplane and walked into the propeller. The operator of the aircraft reported that he was not informed of the accident by the pilot, but discovered a nick on the propeller the day following the accident and could not determined its origination. The accident pilot began his training at the flight school, but then changed schools. After he received his private pilot certificate, he returned to the school as a renter pilot and went through an extensive flight check.

November 15, Ormond Beach, Fla.
Cessna 152

At about 1020 eastern time, a Cessna 152 was substantially damaged in a hard landing at Ormond Beach Airport. The student pilot, who was on her first unsupervised solo, was not injured. The pilot said she had flown the traffic pattern twice, and had made two uneventful landings. During preparations for her third landing, another pilot suggested on the Unicom frequency that all aircraft switch to a different runway. The student pilot said that switching runways in flight caused confusion for her. The airplane porpoised as she was executing the landing flare and touchdown of her third landing, and she was unable to gain control. The nose gear collapsed, the propeller contacted the runway, and firewall was damaged.

November 16, Westerly, R.I.
Cessna 180 and Piper Archer

At 1330 eastern time, a Cessna 180 and a Piper PA-28-181 collided at the Westerly Airport while the Cessna was attempting to take off and the Piper was attempting to land on the same runway. Both flight instructors aboard the Cessna were killed, while the pilot and two passengers aboard the Piper were not injured. The Cessna was substantially damaged and the Piper received minor damage in the ensuing ground impact. The pilot of the Piper had made a previous attempt to land but was too high, so he elected to go around and make a second attempt. He remained in the pattern and announced his positions on the CTAF. A witness reported hearing these transmissions. On his second final approach, the Piper pilot saw the Cessna pulling out onto the runway but did not hear any radio transmissions by the pilots of the Cessna. He continued his approach and the airplanes collided in flight shortly after the Piper passed over the runway threshold. Witnesses reported that the aircraft collided 50 to 100 feet above the ground, with the Cessna climbing out and slightly in front of the Piper as it landed. After the collision, the Cessna pitched up, appeared to stall, and nosed over into the ground. One witness reported that the Cessna turned 90 degrees before impact. The Piper landed hard on the runway on its right main landing gear, which collapsed. The airplane veered to the right, struck a taxiway light, and came to rest upright on a taxiway. Dents and paint transfer on the two airplanes suggested that the vertical stabilizer of the Cessna collided with the underside of the right wing of the Piper.

November 18, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Beech Duchess

At about 1005 eastern time, a flight instructor preparing a Beech BE-76 for flight suffered serious injuries after being struck by the propeller. The student pilot and one passenger were not injured and the airplane was not damaged. The student pilot stated that he was seated in the right seat and the flight instructor boarded the airplane and sat in the left seat. He said the flight instructor then said something about the starter, and before saying anything else, stepped out of the cockpit and went to the left propeller. The student said he then saw the flight instructor move the propeller, and the next thing he saw was that the flight instructor was lying on the ground.

November 19, Bellevue, Idaho
Cessna 210

At approximately 1830 mountain time, a Cessna T210N was destroyed after impacting mountainous terrain about five miles from the intended destination of Hailey, Idaho. The pilot was killed. The pilot was communicating with the tower at Hailey in preparation for landing. He requested and received approval for a 360-degree turn to lose altitude, and five minutes later reported that he was about five miles south of the airport at 7,500 feet msl. The tower cleared him to land but the clearance was not acknowledged, and subsequent requests for position reports were unanswered. Search and rescue was initiated and the wreckage was found 100 feet below a ridgeline of a 7,539 foot msl mountain. 5 1/2 miles south of the Hailey airport. A second pilot flying the same route reported westerly winds aloft in the area of at least 50 knots. The weather station on the ground at Hailey indicated winds from 190 degrees at five knots.

November 19, Montgomery, Texas
Beech Mentor

At 1016 central time, a Beech A45 (T-34), operated by Texas Air Aces of Houston, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control after an in flight breakup while maneuvering near Montgomery. Both pilots were killed. The accident airplane was the flight lead of a flight of two aircraft that departed from the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, near Spring, Texas, about 45 minutes prior to the accident. They flew to a practice area, where the formation flight split up and conducted individual upset maneuver training. After completion of the training, the pilot of the second airplane suggested an air combat demonstration to the flight lead, who agreed. Both aircraft rendezvoused over Lake Conroe for a standard engagement. According to the pilot of the second airplane, the air combat demonstration began with each aircraft making a left climbing turn. After two or three turns, the right wing separated from the accident airplane, which then spun to the ground. Witnesses on the ground observed the airplanes in a bank maneuver when one of the airplanes lost a wing. The right wing was located 0.52 miles, and the right main landing gear 0.29 miles, from the main wreckage. Canopy shroud and frame fragments were found 0.16 miles from the impact crater.

November 21, Okolona, Miss.
Beech Bonanza

At about 1022 central time, a Beech G35 was destroyed after colliding with a tree and then the ground near Okolona, Mississippi. The pilot and two passengers were killed. The flight originated from Hattiesburg, Miss. under instrument flight rules in VFR conditions to Okolona. About 10 minutes prior to the accident, the pilot cancelled his IFR clearance and proceeded to the site of a commercial building housing a business he owned. He then maneuvered at a low altitude in the vicinity of the building, as observed by the foreman and several employees of the business. The foreman lost sight of the airplane behind the building but when it reappeared east of the building, he thought the left wing tip was bent and the airplane was in a banked turn. Another witness saw the airplane collide with a tree located east of the building, then crash in a field. A post-crash fire destroyed the cockpit and cabin of the airplane.

November 21, Sweetwater, Texas
Piper Cherokee 235

At approximately 0800 central time, a Piper PA-28-235 sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while in cruise flight. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. The flight was en route from Hobbs, N.M. to Abilene when the engine lost total power. The pilot attempted to reach Avenger Field Airport near Sweetwater for the forced landing, but headwinds prevented him from reaching the airport. The airplane collided with terrain about 400 feet short of the runway, then struck trees, a fence, and two poles before coming to rest on the runway.

November 24, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Cessna 172

At about 1445 mountain time, a Cessna 172P was substantially damaged after colliding with a berm during an attempted go-around from a simulated forced landing near Fountain Hills. Both pilots sustained minor injuries. The flight instructor was providing a check-out in the Cessna 172 to the recently certificated private pilot. Both fuel tanks had been filled prior to the flight. When the accident occurred, the CFI was in the process of simulating a total loss of engine power. The maneuver began about 3,500 feet agl by closing the engines throttle. According to the student, he applied full carburetor heat. The CFI turned the carburetor heat off, saying that it was unnecessary. Both pilots reported that the instructor cleared the engine by applying partial power at least two times during the descent. These procedures were uneventful. The CFI stated that he instructed the student to initiate a go-around at about 100 feet agl, but advancing the engines throttle produced no increase in engine rpm. According to the CFI, the student remained at the controls, and as he pulled the yoke aft the airplane stalled and the left wing collided with the ground. The airplane then landed hard in a dry wash. The student stated that he had initiated the go-around at about 350 or 400 feet agl, but at that time the CFI took the controls and again closed the throttle in order to continue the maneuver. According to the student, the CFI was at the controls for the remainder of the flight. At about 20 feet agl, the CFI initiated a go-around but the engines rpm did not increase in response to advancing the throttle. The left wing collided with the ground as the CFI banked left, and then the propeller impacted the ground. The flight schools policy requires that engine out simulations be terminated no lower than 500 feet agl. Also, there should always be a suitable field nearby in the event that a forced landing becomes necessary if engine power is not reacquired during the maneuver.

November 25, Warren, Ore.
Beech Bonanza

At about 0655 Pacific time, a Beech S35 was destroyed following an in-flight breakup and uncontrolled descent from cruise flight while en route from Arlington, Wash. to Fresno, Calif. The pilot and three passengers were killed. The pilot requested a weather briefing about 1 1/2 hours before the flight and filed an IFR flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions were reported over the pilots route of flight. After about an hour of flight, while at 11,000 feet msl, the pilot requested a higher altitude and was cleared to 13,000 feet msl. He subsequently reported that he was at 13,000 feet and clear of rime ice. At 0655 the pilot advised Center that he had lost suction, and declared mayday. There was no further communication with the pilot. Both wings and the tail section of the airplane were found about one nautical mile from the fuselage and engine.

November 27, Jacksonville, Fla.
Swearingen Merlin

At about 0752 eastern time, a Swearingen SA-26-AT was destroyed when it collided with trees while on an instrument approach to the Craig Airport, Jacksonville. The pilot was killed and four passengers reported minor injuries. After a flight lasting about four hours, the pilot decided to attempt the ILS Rwy 32 approach even though ATC had advised him that the airport was below landing minimums and had suggested alternates in the area. Passengers on the airplane said that while en route the pilot had mentioned fog at their destination, but he did not alert them to any possible dangers before the approach. The airplane crashed in a wooded area behind a shopping center. The recorded visibility at the time of the accident was 1/4 mile with a vertical visibility of 100 feet.

November 29, Wikieup, Ariz.
Cessna 172

At about 1400 mountain time, a Cessna 172S was substantially damaged when it impacted the side of a mountain while maneuvering about 21 nautical miles northeast of Wikieup. The pilot was not injured. The solo instructional flight from Bullhead City, Ariz. to Prescott, Ariz. originated about an hour before the accident. The pilot had planned the flight at 9,500 feet msl, but he elected to fly at about 7,000 feet msl, or about 1,000 feet agl. The flight entered an area of rising mountainous terrain and subsequently an area the pilot described as a dead end canyon. The pilot attempted to gain altitude by applying power and adjusting the fuel mixture. The airplane would not out climb the rising terrain. The pilot could not find a suitable landing site, and stalled the airplane into the mountainside.

November 30, Deming, N.M.
Cessna 210

At about 1135 mountain time, a Cessna T210K was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Deming, N.M. The pilot was not injured. The flight originated from Oakland, Calif., at 0630, bound for Deming. The pilot reduced engine power to idle and lowered his gear and flaps in order to descend steeply from 17,000 feet msl to the airport elevation of 4,313 feet msl. The pilot advanced the throttle as he approached the airport but the engine did not respond. The airplane impacted terrain during the subsequent forced landing in a field short of the airport.


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