NTSB Preliminary Reports

Selected recent general aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 173 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in May 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, May.”


May 1, Kotzebue, Alaska
Piper Super Cub

At about 06:30 Alaska daylight time, a ski-equipped Piper PA-18 collided with snow-covered terrain 33.5 miles west-northwest of Kotzebue. The pilot, who held an expired student pilot certificate, was killed. Passing villagers found the airplane inverted about one mile east of the coast near Cape Krusentern and notified the Alaska State Troopers office in Kotzebue at about 19:00. Family members said the pilot departed Kivalina about 05:30 with a load of whale meat after traveling to Kivalina the day before the accident. The weather conditions reported by villagers in the area of the accident included low ceilings, fog, and scattered snow showers.

May 1, Salem, Ore.
Christavia Mark I

At 08:18 PDT, a homebuilt Christavia Mark I kitplane pitched down and crashed while on short final to runway 34 at McNary Field. The pilot was uninjured. The pilot reported that he took off from runway 13 for the initial test flight following installation of a new engine. The airplane was nose-heavy during climb out and the pilot declared an emergency and turned back toward the field. During the approach the nose of the aircraft abruptly pitched down when the pilot reduced power for landing. He was unable to recover control. The center of gravity at the time of the accident was found to lie one-half inch forward of the forward-most cg limit for the airplane. The pilot/builder reported that he had made two changes within the aircraft after having worked up the basic aircraft cg calculations. He had replaced the aircraft battery, which was located forward of the cockpit, with a larger unit weighing 7 pounds more than the former battery. He had also replaced the engine exhaust assembly with a newer, stainless steel system, which weighed 2 to 3 pounds more than the former one.

May 2, Orlando, Fla.
Cessna Citation

At 19:13 EDT, the right wing assembly of a Cessna 501 suffered damage when the airplane landed with the right main landing gear partially extended. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. The pilot said he silenced the landing gear warning horn while en route then forgot to lower the gear before landing. Just prior to touch down the pilot attempted to lower the landing gear. The airplane touched down with the landing gear in transit, and the right landing gear collapsed.

May 5, China Lake, Calif.
Beech Queen Air

At 10:30 PDT, a Beech 65-90 became entangled with a deploying parachute. The accident sequence was filmed by several video cameras from different angles and perspectives. While stabilized at 20,000 feet msl and 180 knots, two crewmembers in the back of the aircraft ejected a 331-pound dummy rigged with a main and reserve parachute. As the dummy cleared the doorway, the pilot chute from the main parachute deployed, immediately followed by the deployment of the drogue chute. The drogue chute traveled above the left horizontal stabilizer while the dummy fell below. The dummy became entangled on the left horizontal stabilizer and the aircraft made an uncommanded noseover into a negative G arc. Then the main chute deployed and the drogue chute lines separated. The dummy fell freely from the aircraft as the main canopy opened. As the dummy fell away, the aircraft pitched up and began an uncommanded roll to the right, stopping in a fully inverted attitude. The pilot was able to recover and returned to the airport and landed without further incident. During the accident sequence, one crewmember who had crouched behind the dummy for the test deployment was thrown about the cabin and received serious injuries. The other crewmember in the back of the airplane held onto the static line and was uninjured.

May 6, Jacksonville, Fla.
Schweizer SGS 2-33 glider

At about 14:30 EDT, a Schweizer SGS 2-33 crashed on landing at Herlong Airport, Jacksonville, Florida. The student pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was maneuvering over the airport, executing steep turns to dissipate his altitude in preparation for a landing, but as he flew the landing pattern, he saw he was too far from the airport. During maneuvering to reach the airport, he entered a spin, recovered from the spin and then maneuvered to avoid wires. During the subsequent landing, the glider collided with shrubs and small branches.

May 7, Jackson, Miss.
Beech Bonanza

At about 17:00 CDT, a Beech F35 was damaged during descent toward Jackson. VMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reported that he was descending in smooth air at 650 fpm to 4,000 feet when he heard a woofing noise coming from the tail. The controls shook continuously. The airplane power settings were 16 inches of manifold pressure and 2,100 rpm, and the indicated airspeed varied from 155 to 160 mph. The pilot said that the sound went away after he reduced power to idle. He put the gear down and stabilized the airspeed at 120 mph, then landed without further incident. After landing the pilot noted that there was extensive damage in the area of the empennage, including wrinkled skin, chipped paint, sheared rivets and buckled stringers.

May 7, Show Low, Ariz.
Cessna Turbo Centurion

At 10:00 MST, a Cessna T210L departed the runway while landing at Show Low. The pilot and two passengers received minor injuries. The other two passengers were not injured. According to a pilot-rated passenger seated in the right front seat, the pilot unsuccessfully tried to get a wind and runway advisory from Unicom and did not overfly the airfield or make a low pass along the runway. After turning final, the aircraft drifted off course to the left, and then began to weathervane to the right during the rollout on the runway. The aircraft then crossed the centerline and off the right side of the runway. The pilot added power and returned to the runway, but crossed the centerline again and ran off the left side. The airplane then struck a ditch, collapsing the nose gear.

May 7, Delta Junction, Alaska
Cessna 170B

At about 18:40 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Cessna 170B crashed after losing power. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reported that the engine failed while in cruise flight at about 600 feet agl and he could not get it started again.

May 9, Kennesaw, Ga.
Velocity RG

At 16:00 EDT, a propeller blade on a homebuilt Velocity RG separated during a high-speed low pass over the runway at Cobb County-McCollum Field. The pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The pilot reported that he was making a low pass over the runway at 245 mph when he felt a vibration in the airframe. He began climbing but within seconds the engine lost power. The pilot selected a forced landing area where the airplane struck trees and a chain link fence. Debris from the airplane was recovered from the approach end of the runway.

May 10, Kaunakakai, Hawaii
Rockwell Sabreliner

At about 20:31 Hawaii standard time, the six occupants of a Rockwell NA-265-65 were killed when the corporate jet struck mountains on a night visual approach to the Kaunakakai Airport on the island of Molokai. The flight was en route from Maui when the crew reported they did not have the airport in sight and the pilot requested the VOR/GPS-A approach. At about 20:30, the crew reported the airport in sight and canceled the IFR clearance. The mode C reported altitude at this point was 1,800 feet. The aircraft impacted the side of a mountain ridge about 100 feet from the 1,400-foot top, about one mile southeast of the VOR and 3.3 miles southwest of the airport.

May 11, Bryson City, N.C.
Mooney M20C

At about 18:15 EDT, a Mooney M-20C collided with a wooden pallet and other materials during landing rollout at Sossamon Field. The pilot, who was uninjured, said he was going to the airport to talk to the airport manager about debris being stored next to the runway. The airplane encountered a quartering crosswind during the landing. It drifted to the right on landing rollout, and the right wing tip collided with a wood pallet. The airplane pulled to the right, went across an apron and collided with stored material, collapsing the nose gear.

May 12, Houston, Texas
Beech Baron

At 11:51 CDT, a Beech BE-95-B55 crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all six people on board. The cross-country flight was originating from Houston Hobby Airport was destined for Galliano, La. According to numerous witnesses, during takeoff from runway 22 the Baron pitched up to a nose-high attitude, momentarily pitched down slightly, then immediately pitched very nose high before rolling to the left and descending into the ground. The witnesses reported hearing both engines producing power during the incident. Examination of the airplane revealed that the flight control lock was installed in the cockpits flight control column. The control yoke was separated from the control column and both the left and right control yoke horns were separated from the yoke.

May 13, Casa Grande, Ariz.
Piper Lance

At 13:00 MST, a Piper PA-32R was damaged during a forced landing on a highway after the engine quit. The flight instructor and student were not injured. According to the flight instructor, the student was under the hood preparing for an approach to Casa Grande Municipal Airport. While attempting to switch the fuel selector to the fullest tank the student inadvertently selected the off position. When the engine quit, he read the emergency engine power loss checklist to the instructor, who performed the required actions. The student omitted the first item, Fuel selector-switch to tank containing fuel because he believed that he had already accomplished that item. The instructor was unable to restart the engine within the time and altitude remaining.

May 14, Wake Forrest, N.C.
Asselyn CH701

At about 19:30 EDT, an amateur-built Asselyn CH701 lost power and crashed during a forced landing to an open field. The pilot and passenger were not injured. According to the pilot, the engine quit due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot reported that he departed Louisburg, N.C., at 18:10, arriving at a private airstrip in the vicinity of Raleigh-Durham at 18:50. He departed that airstrip at 18:55 and arrived at Knightdale, N.C., at 1925. He departed Knightdale at 19:27 to return to Louisburg. In cruise flight at 1,500 feet, the pilot noticed a reduction in engine power and prepared for a forced landing.

May 19, Wasilla, Alaska
Piper Super Cruiser

At about 12:00 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Piper PA-12 sustained substantial damage during takeoff from a private airstrip. The pilot, who held a student pilot certificate, and passenger received minor injuries, while a second passenger was not injured. The pilot refused to talk to an FAA inspector and refused to provide his name or discuss the details of the accident with the NTSB investigator-in-charge. The accident was reported by the president of the homeowners association where the airstrip is located, who notified the Alaska State Troopers office and talked to the NTSB. The homeowners association president told the NTSB that the pilot reported encountering wind shear during takeoff and subsequently crashing on the runway. The Alaska State Trooper who responded to the accident obtained the names of the occupants of the airplane. The trooper reported to the NTSB that the pilot, who claimed about 300 hours flight experience, had planned to fly to Cordova to go hunting. The trooper also said the pilot told him that the airplanes annual inspection was expired.

May 20, Nashville, Tenn.
Boeing 737-500

At about 20:10 CDT, a passenger on Southwest Airlines Flight 1857 sustained a fractured wrist while jumping from the airplane after arrival at Nashville. The Boeing 737-500 was about one hour into a ramp hold due to a weather-induced airport power outage and subsequent gate unavailability. Prior to jumping from the airplane, the passenger repeatedly left his seat, approached a flight attendant at one of the aft entry doors and told her he needed some air. She directed him to reseat himself. On the third such encounter the passenger grabbed the flight attendants hair, opened the slightly ajar door and jumped to the tarmac. The flight attendant remained aboard the airplane and was not injured.

May 21, San Quintin, Mexico
Beech Bonanza

At 09:30 PDT, an instrument rated private pilot and his two passengers were killed when their Beech V35 descended out of control and crashed into water near San Quintin. The airplane was participating in medical relief operations in isolated regions of Mexico. The flight, which was originating at the time of the accident, was destined for Mexicali, where it was due to clear Mexican Customs. The 66-year-old pilot, who had no history of heart disease, reported earlier that morning that he was not feeling well, with symptoms of nausea and an upset stomach. After takeoff, the pilot made a routine radio report about cloud tops. Thereafter, the airplane was observed descending out of a stratus layer of clouds over the bay in a nose down attitude.

May 23, Aliceville, Ala.
Beech Travel Air

At about 08:10 CDT, a Beech 95-A55 was lost from radar and crashed near Aliceville. The commercial-rated pilot was killed. The flight originated about 07:49 from Meridian, Miss. The pilot advised the approach controller that he was having a problem that did not involve the airplane. He requested and received a vector to George Downer Airport, 9.6 miles from his location. The controller asked the pilot if he was declaring an emergency and the pilot responded that he couldnt move his left arm. The controller asked the pilot if he needed equipment standing by at the airport; there was no clear reply from the pilot.

May 23, Pacific Ocean
Beech King Air

At about 19:45 PDT, a Beech B200 exhausted its fuel and was ditched in the Pacific Ocean following a temporary incapacitation of the pilot, who was not injured. The flight originated at Parker, Ariz., about 17:54 MST, and was destined for Palomar, Calif. At 18:38, the pilot advised that he was sick and radio contact was lost thereafter. The aircraft was tracked on radar and intercepted by military aircraft about 100 miles beyond the destination airport. About 19:33, the pilot reported through a relay by another aircraft that he had passed out, was now recovered, but was out of fuel. The aircraft landed in the ocean about 160 miles southwest of San Diego. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the pilot.

May 24, Green Bay, Wisc.
Cessna T207A

At 15:50 CDT, a Cessna T207A flipped over while taxing onto runway 24 at the Austin Straubel International Airport. The pilot reported minor injuries. Winds reported just prior to the accident were from 310 degrees at 34 knots gusting to 47 knots. Another reading was taken as the accident was occurring reported the winds at center field from 290 degrees at 27 knots gusting to 44 knots, with winds at the northeast quadrant reported from 360 degrees at 28 knots. The tower issued a low level wind shear advisory.

May 25, Noble, Okla.
Cessna 152 and Cessna 182

At 18:20 CDT, a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 182L collided in flight near Noble. Both aircraft were destroyed and both pilots were killed. The private pilot of the Cessna 152 departed Westheimer Airport at approximately 18:00 on a local solo instructional flight. He was scheduled to fly the airplane in the local training area and practice commercial flight maneuvers. The commercial pilot of the Cessna 182 departed Westheimer Airport at approximately 18:15 on a personal cross-country flight to Sherman, Texas.

May 25, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Piper Warrior

At about 10:30 EDT, a flight instructor and student pilot sustained minor injuries when their Piper PA-28-161 crashed -mile short of the runway at the Horace Williams Airport. The pilot reported encountering severe gusting winds while on final approach to runway 27 to the extent that control about the airplanes longitudinal axis was lost. Examination of the wreckage path revealed the airplanes initial collision with the ground was on a heading of about 180 degrees. Local TV news subsequently reported that numerous trees and power lines were down as a result of winds that reached 50 to 60 miles an hour as a weather system traveled through the area at the time of the accident.

May 26, Columbia, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At 16:30 PDT, a Beech F33A crashed on takeoff. The commercial-rated pilot and passenger were killed. A pilot witness reported the wind to be 290 degrees at 14 knots with a reported density altitude of 3,900 feet. According to witnesses, the airplane departed on runway 17. It became airborne about midfield and flew nose high 10 to 20 feet above the runway. The pilot reduced then reapplied engine power, and the airplane crossed the departure end of the runway end about 20 feet agl with the landing gear extended. The airplane collided with trees about -mile beyond the runway end.

May 26, Collegedale, Tenn.

At about 18:00 EDT, a homebuilt Long-EZ crashed in the vicinity of Collegedale. The private-rated pilot and private-rated passenger were not injured. According to the pilot, he had just purchased the airplane and was conducting in-flight familiarization with the delivery pilot. After 30 minutes of flight and two landings conducted from the back seat, the pilots decided to perform a full-stop landing and switch seats. The pilot reported that the airplane got too low on final approach with the speed brakes extended, and that he was not familiar enough with the cockpit control location for the speed brakes to retract them in a timely manner.

May 27, Bunnell, Fla.
French Connection Air Show team

At about 10:45 EDT, two Avions Mudry CAP-10Bs operated by French Connection Airshows as an airshow practice flight, collided in flight and crashed at the Flagler County Airport. Both aircraft were destroyed and both pilots were killed. The formation flight departed about 15 minutes before the accident. According to eyewitnesses and examination of a videotape of the flight, the team had performed a formation hammerhead stall that terminates with the wingman rolling 180 degrees while the team is in their nose-down vertical recovery from the stall (essentially belly-to-belly), and an immediate pull-out that results in a formation split into flight paths 180 degrees apart. The accident occurred on the second attempt of the maneuver.

May 27, Prescott, Ariz.
Cessna 172RG

At about 10:20 MST, a Cessna 172RG crashed near Prescott, killing the flight instructor and commercial student pilot. The flight originated from Prescott about 09:15 and was scheduled to return by 12:00. When the airplane failed to return, a search of the practice area revealed the crash site. During examination of the wreckage site, the left wing tip navigational light was found in a ground scar about 45 feet west of the main wreckage. The underside of the fuselage was crushed upward uniformly from the engine cowling aft to the tail cone, and the wing carry-through structure had collapsed into the cabin.

May 28, Hawthorne, Calif.
Piper Malibu

At 11:59 PDT, a Piper PA-46-310P crashed in a shopping mall parking lot while maneuvering to return to the runway shortly after takeoff from the Hawthorne airport. The three occupants were killed. Multiple witnesses familiar with the airplane and the pilot described the engine sounds during the takeoff as abnormal in various degrees and reported that the climb out angle of the airplane was shallower than usual. One witness said he believed the takeoff ground roll had been longer than usual. Two other witnesses said they believed that the power output was lower than normal. According to witnesses located near the impact site, the airplane began a steep left turn between – and -mile from the runways end. The bank angle was variously estimated by the different witnesses as 45 degrees or greater, continuing around until the nose suddenly dropped and the airplane entered a spiraling descent to ground impact. The majority of these witnesses stated that they heard sputtering or popping noises coming from the airplane. The airplane had just been fueled with 120.2 gallons of 100LL avgas, but other aircraft fueled from the same truck did not report difficulty.

May 28, Kaufman, Texas
Cessna 195

At 09:30 CDT, an ATP-rated pilot suffered minor injuries when his Cessna 195 departed the runway during a precautionary landing. The pilot reported that, while in cruise flight, the engine stopped developing full power and he determined that the left magneto had failed. He initiated a precautionary landing to Hall Airport. The pilot said the runway he landed on had a dirt bank about two feet high running down the centerline. During the touchdown the airplane contacted the dirt bank and subsequently departed the left side of the runway. The pilot said there was an X made out of PVC pipe at the end of the runway; however, he did not see it prior to landing because it was covered by tall grass.

May 30, Smyrna, Tenn.
Beech Sundowner

At about 15:15 CDT, the pilot and instructor aboard a Beech C23 were killed after losing control during takeoff following a touch-and-go landing. A tower controller saw the airplane climb to approximately 200 feet, then bank to the left and pitch nose down. One witness reported that the engine was sputtering and another witness said there was no engine sound during the descent. The left wing fuel tank was ruptured and there was evidence of fuel leakage at the crash site. Approximately 4 gallons of fuel were drained from the right wing fuel tank.

May 31, Stockbridge, Ga.
Ercoupe 415-C

At about 18:30 EDT, an Ercoupe 415-C struck trees while maneuvering, seriously injuring the pilot. Witnesses reported the airplane was flying low over a private airstrip at a height of three to four feet above the ground. At the end of the airstrip the airplane pulled up and banked hard to the right. The right wing tip struck a tree. The airplane traveled about 1,500 feet and came to rest in a tree.


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