January 2, 2019, Sacramento, Calif.
Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey LSA
The amphibian nosed over and became partially submerged during a water landing. The private pilot received minor injuries; the passenger succumbed to injuries 14 days after the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported that, after departure, another airplane distracted his attention and he forgot to retract the landing gear. It was not until the airplane was just about to touch down on the river that he realized that the landing gear was still extended. When the airplane touched down, it immediately nosed down and partially submerged.
January 3, 2019, Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
Piper PA-24-250 Comanche 250
At 1600 Eastern time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a field while on approach to land. The commercial pilot and the flight instructor were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The landing gear did not fully extend; the gear handle was “stuck” mid-extension and would not retract. The emergency extension handle would not release. About this point, the engine failed to produce power. Unable to glide to the runway, the pilot made a forced landing on a soccer field. The airplane struck a ditch, damaging the airframe and an engine mount.
January 6, 2019, Flint, Mich.
Cessna T210 Turbo Centurion
The pilot experienced an unsafe landing gear indication and landed with the gear partially extended at about 1640 Eastern time. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.
Upon raising the landing gear after takeoff, the gear motor continued to operate longer than normal, and the pilot heard an abnormal sound toward the end of the sequence. The right main gear was hanging at about a 45-degree angle, and the left main gear was not visible. The pilot completed the appropriate checklists, without change. The pilot declared an emergency and ATC confirmed during a fly-by that the main gear was not extended. During the landing, the nose gear remained extended and the two main gear were retracted. The airplane came to rest on the runway and the passengers egressed without further incident.
January 7, 2019, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking
At about 1334 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a lake while maneuvering. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
A witness observed the airplane appear to perform “a tight U-turn” about two or three treetop heights above the water surface. The airplane then spiraled straight down counterclockwise and impacted the lake.
January 7, 2019, Colusa, Calif.
Beechcraft A36 Bonanza
The airplane collided with terrain at about 1050 Pacific time, two miles south of its departure airport. The private pilot and passenger aboard were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Instrument conditions existed in the area; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
A witness saw the airplane taxi out and heard its pilot on the CTAF. The witness estimated the cloud ceiling was about 500 feet and visibility was about one mile. Preliminary data indicate the airplane departed to the southwest and climbed through about 1000 feet msl when a right turn was followed by a rapid descent until radar contact was lost.
January 12, 2019, Uvalde, Texas
Canadair CL 600 2A12
At about 1130 Central time, the Challenger 601 business jet impacted terrain following a runway excursion while landing at a private airstrip. The airline transport pilot, first officer, flight attendant and six passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to an airport representative, the airplane landed hard and a tire either popped or the landing gear tore off. The airplane slid off the runway’s right side, proceeded through a ditch and struck a perimeter fence before coming to a stop. The right main and nose landing gear had collapsed and were damaged. Additional damage included the right wing, right inboard flap, nose and vertical stabilizer.
January 13, 2019, Salem, S.D.
Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III
The airplane impacted terrain at about 1425 Central time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
While en route, the instrument-rated pilot reported to ATC that he was having chest pains and was blacking out. The controller tried to get the pilot to land anywhere but lost contact with the airplane. The 69-year-old pilot’s third-class medical certificate was dated October 5, 2016. Weather at the nearby departure airport included wind from 200 degrees at 13 knots, 10 miles of visibility and an overcast at 1500 feet. The temperature was 1 degree C; dew point -3 degrees.
January 13, 2019, Adrian, Mich.
Piper PA-32R-300 Lance
At 1746 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it landed short of the runway after its engine failed. The airplane impacted a fence and terrain; the solo private pilot received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
Post-accident examination of the Lycoming IO-540-K1G5D engine revealed a crankshaft gear bolt, p/n 13S19649, was fractured. The engine logbook stated an AN8-14 bolt had been installed. The illustrated parts catalog and a mandatory service bulletin specified an AN8-14A bolt.
January 13, 2019, Port Hadlock, Wash.
Beechcraft B35 Bonanza
The airplane collided with trees at about 1400 Pacific time following a loss of engine power. The solo commercial pilot received minor injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff the cockpit door opened, and that while turning onto left downwind to return to the runway, the engine lost power. The pilot subsequently initiated an off-airport forced landing, during which the airplane struck a stand of trees.
January 15, 2019, Salt Lake City, Utah
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140
At about 1050 Mountain time, the airplane landed hard on a road following a partial loss of engine power during a go-around. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its landing gear and right wing. Visual conditions prevailed.
While on final approach, the airplane was high, so the pilot initiated a forward slip to lose altitude. He reduced the throttle but instead of decreasing, engine rpm increased. The pilot opted to initiate a go-around to troubleshoot the problem, retracted the flaps and added full throttle control. The engine would only develop about 1500 rpm, however, which was not sufficient to maintain altitude. The airplane continued beyond the runway and subsequently landed on the road.
January 17, 2019, Ellensburg, Wash.
Piper PA-23-250 Aztec
The airplane impacted terrain at about 1645 Pacific time. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.
A witness about 2300 feet from the accident site reported observing the airplane about 200—300 feet above the ground, “diving down sideways.” Another witness reported seeing the airplane at about 300 feet agl and heard the engines “gunning.” He observed the airplane impact the ground at about a 45-degree angle, right-wing low.
January 18, 2019, Beechwood, Wis.
Piper PA-24-250 Comanche 250
At about 1520 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing after a partial loss of engine power. The solo private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot was cruising at 3000 feet msl when he noticed the carburetor temperature gauge moving through the yellow arc (cooling) toward the red arc (getting colder). About the same time, the engine began to lose power and rpm was dropping. The pilot performed remedial actions and, after applying carburetor heat, engine roughness worsened. With only partial power, the pilot selected a field for a gear-up forced landing.
January 19, 2019, Keshena, Wis.
Stinson 108 Voyager
The airplane impacted trees and a road at about 1130 Central time during a forced landing. The pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.
While in cruise, the engine experienced a momentary and substantial loss of rpm. The pilot enrichened the mixture, activated the carburetor heat and switched fuel tanks. The engine recovered and the pilot left the carburetor heat on for about three minutes, then slowly turned it off. About two minutes after the carburetor heat was turned off, the engine ceased producing power. The pilot reported that once the engine stopped, it did not “windmill” and the starter would not engage. An asphalt road with trees on both sides was chosen for a forced landing. During the landing, the airplane impacted the trees and bounced on the road, coming to rest upside down on a snow-covered embankment.
January 21, 2019, Kidron, Ohio
At about 0912 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a takeoff attempt. The captain and first officer were fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the positioning flight.
A witness observed the airplane lift off about a third of the way down the runway. Soon after it became airborne, white smoke was seen coming out of the left engine. The airplane began to veer to the left and did not climb normally. The witness watched the airplane descend over a building until he lost sight of it. The airplane struck power lines and trees before impacting the ground and came to rest about 200 yards beyond the runway’s departure end.
January 25, 2019, Mt. Hood, Ore.
Rockwell Commander 112
The airplane collided with terrain at 1559 Pacific time while maneuvering around the peak of Mount Hood. The solo private pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.
Radar data indicate a target approaching Mount Hood at 1521 from the north at about 10,000 feet msl. The target then flew a counterclockwise, six-mile-wide orbit around the 11,239-foot peak. The target got closer to the peak as the orbit continued, until it reached its highest altitude of 11,900 ft about mile north of the summit. The target continued to track around the peak until it reached the southern side, when it rapidly descended. The last recorded radar target was at 9600 feet, about 400 feet northwest of the crash site.
Nearby airports reported relatively light surface winds while area upper air soundings indicated wind speeds reached about 45 knots out of the north at elevations between 10,000 and 15,000 feet.
January 26, 2019, Lexington, Ky.
Beechcraft S35 Bonanza
At about 1540 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing while on final approach. The airline transport pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, the airplane was “high” on the approach and he “slipped” it until descending to his desired approach angle. At about 1000 feet agl, the pilot added power to arrest the descent but the engine did not respond. Remedial actions were unsuccessful at restoring power, and the airplane lacked the altitude necessary to glide to the runway. During the off-field landing, the airplane struck several fences which divided the property and substantially damaged the left wing, fuselage and empennage. The airplane came to rest 1.4 miles from the approach end of the runway. Thirty-seven gallons of fuel were removed from the fuel tanks during recovery operations.
January 27, 2019, Fort Worth, Texas
Beechcraft A36 Bonanza
The airplane lost engine power during a practice instrument approach and was force-landed in a field at 1634 Central time. The airline transport pilot sustained minor injuries; the passenger was seriously injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward portion of the fuselage. Visual conditions were reported at the airport about the time of the accident.
Examination revealed clear, bright fuel free of contaminants was aboard the airplane. The fuel gauges indicated slightly more than in the left fuel tank; the right tank was empty. The fuel selector was positioned on the left tank. According to the pilot, both tanks were full at departure. When the engine lost power, he switched “to the other tank” and attempted to restart the engine, but to no avail.
January 28, 2019, Oceanside, Calif.
Piper PA-28-151 Warrior
At about 2052 Pacific time, the airplane collided with a hillside during initial climb. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and a pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Instrument conditions prevailed; no flight plan had been filed.
A witness saw the airplane take off but lost sight of it when it flew behind a tree line. However, he then heard a loud impact that he likened to a car crash. He was not able to see the hillside, which was covered in a low fog layer. He reported the crash, but authorities were unable to locate the site until the next morning at about 0715. The airplane had come to rest just below the ridgeline of a 210-foot hill.
January 28, 2019, Prospect, Ore.
Wittman 8-W Tailwind Experimental
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1750 Pacific time when it impacted terrain following a partial loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing. The solo pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot had purchased the airplane the previous week, had assembled it the day prior to the accident, and had worked on the engine just prior to the flight. Shortly after taking off to the south and at an altitude of about 200 feet, the engine experienced a partial loss of power. The pilot, unable to maintain altitude, made a forced landing about two miles south of the departure airport. During the landing sequence, the airplane collided with a stand of trees.
January 29, 2019, Grand Prairie, Texas
Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP x 2
At about 1330 Central time, the two Cessnas collided in midair about six nm from their base airport. Both airplanes sustained substantial damage to one wing; one airplane also had a damaged fuselage. The flight instructor and student pilot aboard each airplane were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The flight instructor aboard one Cessna recalled the other airplane in his left peripheral vision immediately before the collision. He did not have time to react. The other flight instructor also reported he did not have time to avoid the collision, estimating impact occurred within one second of observing the conflict. Both airplanes landed without further damage.
Safety in Numbers
The NTSB recently updated its aviation accident statistics to include calendar year 2016 data. The chart at right is from that data and presents the year-over-year total number of accidents, along with fatals, for the years 2007 through 2016.
If economic factors are responsible for declining accident numbers from 2007 through 2010, it’s likely they’re also to blame for the slight rise from 2010 through 2012.