NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


July 3, 2018, Springhill, La.
Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage

The airplane collided with terrain at about 1300 Central time. The pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, while attempting a go-around, he raised the landing gear and flaps. However, the engine was not producing power. The airplane descended and impacted the ground beyond the runway. The fuselage was substantially damaged.

July 5, 2018, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Swearingen SX300 Experimental

At about 1345 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed while landing at the Spruce Creek Airport. The private pilot was seriously injured; the pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot-rated passenger later stated he verified that the flaps were down and the three green landing gear lights were illuminated in the cockpit during the approach. Just before landing, he heard the angle of attack indicator alarm. The airplane landed hard, and he heard a loud pop and felt the left main landing gear fracture. The airplane then slid off the left side of the runway, colliding with PAPI lights, and continued sliding until the right wing dug into the ground. The airplane then flipped over and caught fire. The cockpit canopy was jammed, but several observers helped open it and egress the two occupants.

A witness reported observing that the airplane’s left landing gear was “trailing behind.”

July 7, 2018, Gulf Shores, Ala.
Piper PA-34-220T Seneca III/IV/V

The airplane was substantially damaged at 0920 Central time during a forced landing in wooded terrain. The private pilot and four passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Before takeoff, the pilot checked fuel levels and estimated 30 gallons of fuel were aboard. The pilot reported no anomalies with the airplane during the flight. The pilot encountered difficulty when landing and, after the third or fourth bounce, decided to go around. After setting full power and observing a positive climb rate, he retracted the landing gear. He then observed the left engine was losing power and “surging.” The left engine stopped producing power, the stall horn sounded and the controls “started to buffet.” The pilot chose to land straight ahead into trees.

July 10, 2018, Hydaburg, Alaska
de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Turbine Otter

At about 0835 Alaska time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an impact with rocky, mountainous, rising terrain. Of the 11 occupants, the airline transport pilot was uninjured, four passengers sustained minor injuries and six passengers sustained serious injuries. Marginal visual conditions prevailed for the Part 135 operation.

While in level cruise flight at about 1100 feet msl, visibility decreased rapidly from three-to-five miles to nil. The pilot initiated a climbing right 180-degree turn, during which he saw what he believed to be a body of water and became disoriented, so he leveled the wings. Shortly thereafter, he realized that the airplane was approaching an area of snow-covered mountainous terrain, so he applied full power and initiated a steep, emergency climb to avoid rising terrain ahead. The airplane subsequently collided with rocky, rising terrain. The airplane’s floats were sheared off and it sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot stated the terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) was in inhibit mode at the time of the accident.

The U.S. Coast Guard located the accident site at 1156. By 1308, all 11 survivors had been hoisted into a rescue helicopter and transferred to a staging area for transport back to their departure point.

July 12, 2018, Plainville, Conn.
Rutan Defiant Experimental

The airplane impacted terrain at about 1042 Eastern time, sustaining substantial damage. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness reported observing the accident airplane climb out and immediately veer to the left. The airplane was at 150-200 feet agl and continued in a steep (80-to-90-degree) left bank until it disappeared below the horizon and crashed. The airplane collided with upsloping terrain about 0.4 miles southwest of the airport center. The aft engine and its wood propeller remained attached to the fuselage. They were generally undamaged, with the exception of minor non-rotational surface scratches on the propeller blades.

July 12, 2018, Tolani Lake, Ariz.
Beechcraft C90A King Air

The airplane experienced an inflight upset and was substantially damaged at about 0210 Mountain time while climbing. The pilot and passengers were not injured. Instrument conditions were reported along the route of flight; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot later reported the airplane entered an uncommanded left bank and downward pitch. The event occurred during the initial climb to cruising altitude, with the autopilot engaged and between 17,000 to 19,000 feet msl. The pilot regained control of the airplane and continued to the destination without further incident. After landing, inspection revealed damage to both wings.

July 13, 2018, Geneseo, N.Y.
Cessna 182T Skylane

At about 1800 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted takeoff. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated by the Civil Air Patrol as a familiarization flight. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, the pilot had positioned the airplane to the departure airport uneventfully. During the takeoff from Runway 23, the pilot performed a soft-field procedure on the bumpy grass surface. The airplane became airborne at about 45 KIAS, and everything seemed normal as he began to climb out of ground effect at 60 KIAS. At that time, the nose pitched up abruptly. The pilot pushed the yoke forward as hard as he could while engaging nose-down electric elevator trim. However, the airplane continued to climb at an excessive angle of attack and stalled. It subsequently rolled left, descended to the ground and came to rest inverted. Initial examination revealed damage to both wings and the fuselage. The elevator trim actuator arm position corresponded to the full nose-down position. The preliminary examination was unable to document all flight control continuity. Weather observed 20 miles away at 1754 included wind from 220 degrees at seven knots.

July 13, 2018, Deer Park, Wash.
Cessna 172R Skyhawk

The airplane experienced an inflight breakup at 1021 Pacific time and collided with terrain. The flight instructor and two student pilots were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

This was the first flight in the left-seat occupant’s training program; the aft-seated student pilot was observing. Radar data indicate the airplane was at 7000 feet msl with an estimated groundspeed of 77 knots at 1020:53. From that point, the track made a sharp 90-degree right turn and continued on a 305-degree heading for about 3020 feet and about 20 seconds. The track then made another sharp 90-degree right turn. After about 880 feet, the last radar return at 1021:18 indicated an estimated groundspeed of 117 knots. The accident site was located about 740 feet southwest of the last recorded radar return, at 2265 feet msl elevation.

The wreckage was distributed over a lateral distance of 400 feet on a median magnetic bearing of about 030 degrees. Witnesses reported the airplane was in a steep dive toward terrain when both wings departed the airframe at the same time.

July 17, 2018, Fort Rice, N.D.
Cessna 152

At about 1423 Central time, the airplane impacted the Missouri River while maneuvering. The solo commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was conducting aerial photography operations using a handheld digital camera with a telephoto lens pointed out the left window while referencing a map on his kneeboard. At about 1330, the pilot departed on the accident flight. At about 1442, local law enforcement was notified the airplane was in the Missouri River. The airplane was discovered nose down at a 65-degree angle, in about five feet of water. After the airplane was recovered from the river, examination revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures.

July 17, 2018, Miami, Fla.
Piper PA-34-200 Seneca/Cessna 172N Skyhawk

The two airplanes collided in mid-air at 1259 Eastern time. The Piper was destroyed, and the private pilot and designated pilot examiner (DPE) aboard were fatally injured. The Cessna was destroyed; its flight instructor and student pilot also were fatally injured. Both airplanes were registered to and operated by the same operator. Visual conditions prevailed.

Preliminary information indicates the Piper was en route to a nearby training area at about 1500 feet msl and was outside the local Class D airspace. The Cessna was returning from the training area and had contacted ATC to enter the Class D airspace just prior to the collision. The controller acknowledged the Cessna and issued a traffic advisory, but no further communications were received. A review of radar data revealed the two targets converged nearly straight on. At the time of the collision, the Piper was flying northwest and the Cessna was flying southeast. Weather observed at 1253 included visibility of 10 sm and scattered clouds at 3500 feet and 4200 feet agl.

July 17, 2018, Truckee, Calif.
Ryan Navion B

At about 0734 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries; one passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged during the subsequent emergency landing. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff from Runway 11 and during the initial climb, the pilot reported to ATC he had experienced a power failure and would be returning to the field. During the right turn, the airplane lost altitude, impacted terrain in a flat attitude and came to rest upright about a mile southeast of the departure end of Runway 11.

July 18, 2018, Willow, Alaska
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

The float-equipped airplane impacted tree-covered terrain at about 1900 Alaska time, following a loss of control during initial climb. The airline transport pilot died at the scene; the two passengers received serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire. Visual conditions prevailed for the Part 135 on-demand passenger flight.

Witnesses observed the pilot load the passengers’ cargo, including multiple bags of masonry mortar, three totes full of food and stores, two propane tanks, miscellaneous baggage and supplies. Numerous witnesses stated that the airplane appeared heavy as they watched two takeoff attempts, followed by a takeoff on the third run. At least three witnesses recorded the takeoff attempts on their mobile phones. Each stated the airplane departed to the south and descended out of sight below the tree line. Soon thereafter, a loud impact was heard.

July 19, 2018, Shreveport, La.
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At about 0802 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing after a loss of engine power. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance check flight.

According to the pilot, he stayed in the local traffic pattern for two touch-and-go landings. He then left the traffic pattern and turned northbound. The airplane could not attain more than a 300-fpm climb without losing airspeed, and he noticed a decrease in engine rpm. The pilot turned around and headed back to the departure airport. On final, engine rpm decreased and the engine did not respond to throttle inputs. The pilot was forced to land the airplane on a river levy. Initial inspection revealed the vacuum pump output shaft was sheared. This was the airplane’s first flight since an inspection was completed the day before.

July 20, 2018, Sheboygan, Wis.
de Havilland DH 112 Venom

The airplane impacted a structure at about 1604 Central time, shortly after takeoff. The pilot was fatally injured. Two people in the structure sustained serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed in a postimpact fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was part of a formation training flight. Review of video provided by a witness showed the lead airplane depart, followed by the accident airplane about eight seconds later. About six seconds after the accident airplane lifted off, its left wing rocked downward, then upward. Multiple witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be sluggish and not climbing. The airplane climbed to about 200 feet agl, then started a descent. It then impacted flat vegetated terrain, slid through the structure and continued about another 175 feet before coming to a stop.

July 21, 2018, Burnet, Texas
Douglas DC-3

At about 0915 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain during a takeoff attempt. The airline transport pilot captain, crew chief and four passengers sustained serious injuries. One passenger sustained minor injuries. The airline transport co-pilot and five passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The co-pilot initiated the takeoff. About 10 seconds into the takeoff, the airplane drifted right and he applied left rudder. This was followed shortly by the captain taking control of the airplane. The captain remembered the airplane swerving to the left shortly thereafter and stated he yelled “right rudder” three times before taking control. The main wheels were just coming off the ground as the airplane exited the left side of the runway. He tried to ease it back over to the runway to set it down but felt the airplane begin to enter a stall as it turned left and impacted the ground. After the airplane came to a stop, a postimpact fire ensued, during which all the occupants of the airplane egressed through the aft left door. No evidence of any flight control locks was found installed. The tailwheel locking pin was found in place and was sheared into multiple pieces.

July 24, 2018, Lincolnton, N.C.
Piper PA-32R-300 Lance

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0520 Eastern time when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The non-instrument-rated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed.

The airplane came to rest in an open field about mile from the departure end of Runway 05. All major components were accounted for at the scene. The flaps and landing gear were in the retracted position. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all the flight control surfaces to the cockpit. All three propeller blades were bent back and exhibited chordwise scratching and leading-edge gouging; one blade also exhibited S-bending. Weather conditions at 0545 included calm winds, visibility 1 sm in mist and an overcast at 200 feet.

July 26, 2018, Cleveland, Tenn.
Cessna 182P Skylane

At about 1650 Eastern time, the private pilot was fatally injured when he was struck by the propeller during a preflight inspection. The airplane was not damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot’s wife reported her husband performed a normal shutdown with the mixture control when they arrived earlier. She was outside the airplane behind the passenger door facing her seat when she heard the “propeller move.” She looked up and noticed her husband had fallen to the ground. The airplane’s ignition key was in her husband’s pocket at the time of the accident.

This Month’s Graphic



Fresh data published by the NTSB includes aviation accident statistics for the 10 years ending in 2015. At right, we’ve reproduced an NTSB chart detailing the phase of flight for general aviation personal flying accidents from 2006 through 2015.

While the greatest number of accidents occurs during landing, they’re not nearly as lethal as other flight phases.


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