NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 226 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in August 2000. 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, August.”


Aug. 2, Clarksville, Tenn.
Beech Bonanza

At about 07:00 central time, a Beech A36 struck a tree during a missed approach to runway 35 at Outlaw Field and crashed. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The flight had departed Atlanta at 05:30. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot said he attempted to land on runway 35, then flew a missed approach. During the maneuver, the left wing clipped a tree, rupturing the fuel tank. The pilot maintained control, declared an emergency, and attempted to divert to Sabre Army Heliport. The engine quit before he got there, however, and the airplane crashed in a heavily wooded area.

Aug. 2, Taberg, N.Y.
Piper Cherokee

At about 13:00 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-180 was substantially damaged while departing a private grass strip. The pilot sustained minor injuries and three passengers were not injured. The pilot reported that, while en route to Albany, the airplanes upper door latch opened and the pilot intended to perform a precautionary landing at Becks Grove Airport in Rome to secure the door. The pilot was receiving VFR flight following from Griffiss ATC and was asked if he had Becks Grove in sight. The pilot asked the controller if the airport was a grass strip and the controller replied in the affirmative. The pilot landed on a 1,500-foot-long private grass strip that was located about 2 miles north of Becks Grove. The pilot secured the door and attempted to depart the grass strip to the east. On the second takeoff attempt – reportedly downwind – the airplane took off lethargically and continued beyond the runway and over a gully, where it settled and impacted terrain.

Aug. 4, Davis, Calif.
Piper Twin Comanche

At about 09:00 Pacific time, a Piper PA-30 went off the runway during a takeoff from Yolo County Airport and struck a runway light. No one was injured. The CFI said he and his student had completed simulated single-engine approaches at altitude and this was the first attempt near the ground. The right engines throttle was retarded and the landing and touchdown were uneventful. Power was added to do a touch-and-go. During the takeoff phase the instructor again retarded the right throttle to simulate an engine failure on takeoff. The airplane veered off the right side of the runway, bounced twice, then veered to the left side of the runway and contacted a runway light with the right wing. The CFI added power and the airplane became airborne. The pilots were unaware they collided with anything and stayed in the landing pattern and made a normal landing. During the rollout they saw debris on the runway. They stopped, shut down the engines and investigated. They noticed the damaged wing, determined that the debris came from their airplane, placed wing tip pieces in the airplane, then returned to their home base.

Aug. 5, Westhampton, N.Y.
Piper Super Cub

At about 10:00 eastern time, a Piper PA-18 was damaged while making an emergency landing at Gabreski Airport, but the pilot was not hurt. The flight departed the airport a few minutes earlier and returned to pick up a banner. The pilot said that, when he picked up the banner, the tow rope became entangled around the airplanes rudder horn. The pilot returned to land, maintaining a steep descent angle in an attempt to land before the banner struck the ground. The airplane landed hard and the main gear collapsed.

Aug. 5, Alabaster, Ala.
Cessna Skymaster

At about 08:00 central time, a Cessna P337H crashed after a go-around in Alabaster, seriously injuring the pilot but leaving three passengers uninjured. The pilot said he landed on runway 33 and was too fast. He attempted to go around, but overran the runway and struck a furrow. Inspectors found the throttle of the number one engine pushed full forward and the throttle of the number two engine on the idle position.

Aug. 6, West Milford, N.J.
Beech Baron

At about 11:30 eastern time, a Beech BE-58 was damaged during a hard landing at Greenwood Lake Airport. The two occupants were not hurt. During the landing flare to runway 24, the airplane dropped about 30 feet onto the pavement with the nose cocked about 30 degrees to the left. The left main landing gear tire blew and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway. The airplane rolled through the grass until hitting a parked airplane about 400 feet from the runway.

Aug. 9, Burlington Township, N.J.
Piper Navajo and Piper Seminole

At 07:52 eastern time, a Piper PA-31 and a Piper PA-44 collided over Burlington Township, killing the nine people on board the Navajo and the two aboard the Seminole. Most of the PA-31 struck the garage of a house and most of the PA-44 landed in a soybean field approximately one-half mile away.

Aug. 9, Gleneden Beach, Ore.
Cessna 172

At approximately 14:45 Pacific time, a Cessna 172N overran runway 35 and struck trees following an aborted takeoff at the Siletz Bay State Airport. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The flight was to have been a brief local evaluation of weather conditions before departing for Salem, Ore. The pilot said he decided to evaluate the weather conditions around the airport before departing with his wife and two children back to Salem. He taxied out to runway 35 but did not complete the Before Takeoff checklist prior to initiating his takeoff roll. He was unable to rotate the nose and realized that the aircraft control lock was still engaged. The aircraft overran the departure end of the 3,000 foot runway while traveling approximately 40 knots, went down an embankment and struck a number of small trees.

Aug. 9, Hillsboro, Ore.
Cessna 152

At 18:32 Pacific time, a Cessna 152 struck the ground short of the runway, seriously injuring the flight instructor and leaving the student pilot with minor injuries. The student said the aircraft was trailing about 30 seconds behind two Life Flight helicopters (Bell 230 and BK 117) on final approach to runway 02. After the helicopters crossed over the airport boundary fence (about 500 feet before the end of the runway) they made a right turn for landing on the ramp. The student stated that he was on the controls at the time, and at about 100 feet above ground level and 60 knots, the aircraft suddenly rolled to the right about 90 degrees. The flight instructor took over the controls and righted the aircraft, however, it continued to settle to the ground in a nose down attitude.

Aug. 9, Bridgewater, Mass.
Cessna 150

At about 13:00 eastern time, a Cessna 150 was damaged during an emergency landing in a field near Bridgewater. Neither occupant was injured. The pilot designated the PIC said the pilot-rated passenger was a mechanic who had completed an annual inspection on the airplane. The mechanic wanted to take the airplane for a test flight, but did not have a current medical certificate, so he asked the PIC to accompany him on the flight. Prior to the annual inspection, the airplane had not flown for approximately three years. The mechanic checked the main fuel strainer during the annual inspection and did not observe any debris or contamination. About 2 weeks before the accident flight, the mechanic completely filled the tanks with fuel. After the fueling, the engine would not start. The mechanic drained all the fuel and refueled the tanks to capacity, but he did not recheck the main fuel strainer. The PIC sumped the fuel tanks before the accident flight, found water, and continued sumping until the sample was clear. The inspector observed fuel contamination in the main fuel strainer and carburetor.

Aug. 10, Klamath Falls, Ore.
Lancair 235

At about 16:20 Pacific time, a Lancair 235 lost power and was damaged when it made a forced landing to a highway, or so the pilot thought. The aircraft landed on top of a flatbed tractor trailer combination that was traveling southbound on Interstate 97. The aircraft came to rest on the forward most section of the trailer, against the tractor. Neither the pilot nor the driver of the truck was injured.

Aug. 10, Avalon, Calif.
Piper Arrow

At 12:30 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28R-200 landed short of the approach end of runway 22 at the Catalina Island Airport, shearing off the right main gear and damaging the right wing. The three occupants were not injured. Steeply downsloping terrain surrounds the airport on three sides and the terrain at the approach end of runway 22 is very precipitous down to the ocean below. The pilot said the airplane was caught in a downdraft as he came over the cliff edge for landing. The airplane landed hard approximately 20 feet short of the approach end of the runway.

Aug. 10, Somerset, Pa.
Aero Commander 114-B

At 14:50 eastern time, an Aero Commander 114-B lost power while on approach to runway 24 at the Somerset County Airport and was damaged during a forced landing to a field. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The pilots son said the aircraft was on a five-mile final on the Localizer 24 approach when the pilot changed the fuel selector valve from the right tank to both, at which point the engine began to sputter. On approximately one mile final, the engine shut off completely. Examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel system was intact, and approximately one quart of light blue fuel was drained from the airplane.

Aug. 11, Albuquerque, N.M.
Cessna 150 and Stinson AT-19

At approximately 10:00 mountain time, a Cessna 150H and a Stinson AT-19 collided on final approach to Coronado Airport. The pilot of the Cessna received minor injuries and the pilot of the Stinson was seriously injured. Witnesses said both airplanes were on final, with the Stinson lower, when the Cessna descended on top of it.

Aug. 12, Carlsbad, Calif.
Cessna 150

At about 11:30 Pacific time, a Cessna 150 ditched in the Pacific ocean about 20 miles south west of Carlsbad following a loss of engine power. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The flight originated from San Diego about a half hour earlier and was en route to a fish-spotting mission offshore. The pilot said the engine rpms began a slow decay when he was about 40 miles offshore, accompanied by a loss of oil pressure and an increase in oil temperature. The pilot reversed course and headed toward Carlsbad, the closest airport. About 20 miles out the engine lost all power and the pilot ditched the airplane. A passing fishing boat picked up the pilot.

Aug. 14, Newberry Springs, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At about 12:52 Pacific time, a Beech K35 suffered an engine failure in cruise and attempted a forced landing on Interstate 40 near Newberry Springs. The airplane struck three cars, killing the pilot and injuring two occupants of one of the cars, one of them seriously. Examination of the wreckage showed an apparent catastrophic engine failure, with oil on the windshield, belly, empennage and back of the propeller blades.

Aug. 14, Ironwood, Mich.
North American Sabreliner

At 18:22 central time, a North American NA-265-80 crashed in a densely wooded area about 3.5 nautical miles northeast of the Gogebic-Iron County Airport. The two pilots were killed and two passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was cruising at FL 320 when the pilot called Mayday, saying the jet had been hit by lightning and had lost power to both engines. Shortly afterward, the pilot reported a loss of navigational instruments. A convective sigmet had been issued for possible severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail to 2 inches and wind gusts to 70 knots.

Aug. 14, Addison, Texas
Cessna Turbo Centurion

At 10:04 central time, a Cessna T210L was damaged during landing at Addison Airport. The pilot was not injured. While on a 1.5 mile final for runway 15, the pilot reported to Addison tower that he had an electrical fire with smoke in the cockpit and declared an emergency. Prior to landing, the tower advised the pilot that the airplanes landing gear was extended but not fully down. The pilot landed the airplane and it came to a stop on its belly on the east side of the runway. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the fire originated in a wire bundle under the instrument panel on the copilots side.

Aug. 15, Lumber City, Ga.
Piper Navajo

At 08:30 eastern time, a Piper PA-31-350 crashed while making an instrument approach to the Hazelhurst Airport, killing all three aboard. The flight had been cleared for an NDB or GPS runway 14 approach, which had minimums of 800 feet and one mile visibility. Witnesses said the ground level visibility was about 300 feet in fog. Radar data showed the airplane descending below 200 feet. The airplane struck 80-foot tall trees and crashed into a farmers field.

Aug. 15, Deerpark, La.
Air Tractor AT-502 and Schweizer G-164B

At 13:30 central time, an Air Tractor AT-502 and a Schweizer G-164B, both agricultural airplanes, collided in flight while landing at a private airstrip near Deerpark. The Air Tractor pilot suffered minor injuries and the Schweizer pilot was not injured. The Air Tractor was on a straight-in approach for landing north at the private airstrip and the Schweizer was inbound from the west for a north landing. The Schweizers propeller struck the top of the Air Tractors fuselage, aft of the cockpit when they were about 60 feet agl. Both airplanes struck the ground together about a quarter-mile short of the runway.

Aug. 15, Holland, Mich.
Beech Bonanza

At 23:15 eastern time, a Beech K35 was damaged during a precautionary landing at the Tulip City Airport, but the pilot was uninjured. The pilot reported that, while in flight, he found that the throttle control would only operate between throttle and full throttle, so he elected to land. He was at a point where he thought he could land, so he shut off the engine and attempted to glide to the airport. The airplane struck the ground about 300 feet short of the runway. An examination of the airplane found that the bolt that attaches the clamp for the throttle cable housing in the engine compartment was loose, limiting the movement of the throttle.

Aug. 17, Pensacola, Fla.
Lake Buccaneer

At about 17:45 central time, a Lake LA-4 seaplane crashed during a touch-and-go landing on the Perdido River near Pensacola. The CFI and the pilot receiving instruction were seriously injured. The pilot said he and the CFI had been conducting takeoffs and landings from the Perdido River in preparation for his seaplane rating. On the last touchdown, the seaplane bounced and he was recovering when the airplane got too close to a spoil island in the river. The CFI took control and started a left turn to avoid a collision but the right wing struck a tree.

Aug. 18, Austell, Ga.
Beech Duke

At 22:44 eastern time, a Beech B60 crashed during an attempted forced landing at the Fulton County Airport, killing the pilot. The flight had departed Houston about 3:15 before the accident. Reportedly, the pilot had flown to Houston earlier in the week and had experienced engine problems. The airplane was taken to a local repair facility. After several days, the pilot topped the airplanes fuel tanks and departed for Atlanta. Approximately three hours into the flight, the pilot reported that he had about 30 minutes of fuel remaining. The pilot was advised of enroute airports where he could refuel, but the pilot elected to continue the flight to the destination airport. While on final approach to runway 08, the pilot reported the loss of engine power. The airplane crashed about one-half mile short of the runway. About 3 ounces of fuel were recovered from the fuel system of the airplane.

Aug. 18, Kennebunkport, Maine
Piper Saratoga

At approximately 15:30 eastern time, a Piper PA-32R-301 was ditched in the Atlantic Ocean after an engine failure. The pilot and one passenger suffered minor injuries, a second passenger suffered serious injuries, and two passengers were killed. The pilot said the airplane was in cruise flight at 9,000 feet with the autopilot engaged, when he heard a loud report from the engine compartment and the windshield became covered with oil. The nearest airport was Biddeford, 19.4 miles away. The engine continued to produce some power and the airplane was descending at 500 fpm. The pilot distributed life vests and gave instructions on inflation. As the airplane approached the water, the pilot said he could not flare for touchdown. A swell caught the nose of the airplane and smacked it to the water. The three survivors were rescued by the occupants of a nearby sailboat.

Aug. 19, Collinsville, Okla.
Cessna 150

At 15:09 central time, a Cessna 150 crashed in an uncontrolled descent following takeoff from the south runway at the Sky Haven Airpark, a private grass airstrip near Collinsville. The pilot was killed. A witness said two Cessna 150s taxied to the north end of the airstrip. The accident airplane was number one for departure. As the airplane climbed through 50 feet the pilot banked 35-40 degrees to the left and climbed to about 200 feet. Then he made a 45-degree banked turn to the left and wagged his wings in very steep banks. He then made another 45-degree banked turn and continued wagging his wings. During the recovery from the last wag, the airplane apparently stalled and made a one-turn spin to the ground.

Aug. 24, Corsicana, Texas
Mitsubishi MU-2

At 02:15 central time, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-35 lost a right propeller blade while in cruise flight near Corsicana. Neither occupant was injured. The Part 135 cargo flight was at 11,000 feet, when the pilot heard a loud bang and felt the airplane vibrate. According to the operators chief mechanic, the vibration buckled the right engine firewall and twisted the right wing.

Aug. 25, Mayville, N.Y.
Cessna 206

At 06:20 eastern time, a Cessna 206H suffered an in-flight fire and crashed in a field in Mayville. The pilot was seriously injured. The pilot reported he was in cruise flight when an explosion occurred in the engine compartment. Flames immediately emanated from both sides of the engine, and smoke filled the cockpit. The pilot maneuvered the airplane toward some open fields, but had difficulty breathing and seeing outside the cockpit. He attempted to land in a clear area but clipped trees during the approach. The airplane was manufactured in May 1999 and had flown about 350 hours.

Aug. 26, Daytona Beach Shores, Fla.
Ryan Navion

At about 08:40 eastern time, a Ryan Navion A suffered an engine failure and ditched in the Atlantic Ocean near Daytona Beach Shores. The three occupants reported minor injuries. The pilot said they were flying from Spruce Creek to St. Augustine at 1,000 feet when the engine quit. He ditched about 150 yards from shore. The aircraft remained afloat for two to three minutes and all occupants were able to exit before the airplane sank in 11 feet of water.

Aug. 27, Westminster, Calif.
Pitts S1S and Cessna 172RG

At about 18:50 Pacific time, a Pitts S1S collided in-flight with a Cessna 172RG near Westminster. The aircraft were maneuvering during a formation flight when the collision occurred. Both airplanes made successful landings at Fullerton, Calif., and neither pilot was injured. The pilots said they were flying each others airplane at about 1,400 feet. As the Pitts maneuvered from behind to in front of the Cessna, the Cessnas propeller contacted its vertical stabilizer and rudder.

Aug. 29, Jonestown, Pa.
Mooney M20F

At 15:54 eastern time, a Mooney M20F struck a power line and crashed during an aborted landing at Dee Jay Airport. The pilot was killed. Dee Jay Airport is a private 1,800-foot sod strip oriented 09/27, with trees at the east end, and trees, houses and power lines at the west end. Traffic that landed to the west faced an uphill runway with a slight dogleg to the left. The pilots logs showed he had flown 11.8 hours in the previous eight months, with his previous flight more than three months before the accident flight. Witnesses reported the airplane flying slowly as it passed the departure end of the runway, striking the power lines and plunging to the ground. The pilot was delivering the airplane to the airport for an annual inspection, which was one month overdue.

Aug. 29, Laton, Calif.
Cessna 150

At 17:22 Pacific time, a Cessna 150L crashed while maneuvering near Laton, killing both occupants. Witnesses said the pilot frequently flew over their home at low altitude. He would orbit and converse with them. On this occasion, the airplane was orbiting at about 300 feet when the pilot opened his side window and said, Hello. One of the ground witnesses invited him to come visit after his flight and he responded, We will. The airplane continued the left turn, momentarily leveled out, then banked left and began to turn left again. The bank angle continued to rapidly increase until the witnesses could see the tops of the wings. The nose dropped and the airplane crashed.

Aug. 31, Des Moines, Iowa
Piper Dakota

At 14:00 central time, a Piper PA-28-236 experienced a left main gear brake fire while taxiing for takeoff at Des Moines International Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot apparently taxied with the parking brake set.


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