NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


The following briefs were selected from the 99 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in February 2002. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. The information is subject to change as the investigations are completed.

Feb. 03, Joshua Tree, Calif.
Beech Baron

At 0953 Pacific time, a Beech 95-B55 was damaged in an off-airport landing following a loss of power while on approach to Joshua Tree Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot, with about 600 hours in the airplane, said the airplane had come out of its annual inspection just over four flight hours earlier. The engines lost power in the traffic pattern. Both auxiliary tanks were empty, the right tank was empty and the 37-gallon left main tank was nearly full. Both fuel selectors were on their respective main tanks. The accident flight from Santa Monica, about 45 minutes, was made with each engine supplied by its main tank. The pilot said the left engine lost power on downwind, so he shut it down and feathered the propeller. He made a wide base leg and lowered the landing gear as he turned to final at about 500 feet. About 10 seconds later the right engine quit. He tried to restart the left engine but failed, and he could not make the airport.

Feb. 04, Bethel, Alaska
Cessna Stationair

At about 1042 Alaska time, a Cessna 206 crashed into snow-covered terrain about 80 miles northwest of Bethel, killing the pilot. The Part 135 cargo/mail flight was en route to Chevak at the time of the accident. Civil Air Patrol personnel said they could not conduct a search of the area due to low clouds, low visibility and icing conditions. A pilot who departed Bethel about 10 minutes before the accident flight, also bound for Chevak, said the weather along the route was low visibility with snow squalls moving through the area and flat lighting conditions.

Feb. 06, Camden, Ark.
Beech King Air

At 0815 central time, a Beech 200 was damaged in a hard landing at Camden/Harrell Field, but none of the eight aboard was injured. The pilot executed the GPS 18 approach to runway 18 and broke out of the clouds at about 900 feet msl. During the landing flare, at approximately 15 to 20 feet above the runway, the pilot felt a shudder, the aircraft dropped, then touched down hard on both main landing gear. The left main gear sheared, the left wing struck the ground and the nose gear was damaged. The airplane touched down within the first 800 feet of the 6,501-foot runway.

Feb. 06, Atlanta, Ga.
Piper Cherokee Six

At 1402 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-300 crashed nine minutes after takeoff from Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, killing the pilot and three passengers. The pilot had filed an IFR flight plan to Savannah, Ga., and was given instructions after departure to fly a heading of 090. Instead, the airplane flew a wide arc to the right through 360 degrees. Departure again instructed the pilot to fly 090 and instructed the pilot of the 360-degree turn. Shortly after that, the controller asked the pilot to say heading, and the pilot reported 240. The controller again instructed a turn to 090. Radar data showed the airplane then turned left to about 060 degrees before turning right and beginning a descent. The controller queried the pilot, who said he was trying to get out of a spin. The airplane then descended until it crashed about 1.8 miles east of the airport. The pilot had received his instrument rating in December 2001.

Feb. 07, Houston, Texas
Piper Super Cub

At 1722 central time, a Piper PA-18-150 lost power while towing a banner and was damaged in the ensuing forced landing. The pilot was not injured. The pilot was flying at 1,000 feet on the right tank, which indicated full, when he was distracted by radio communications with other banner tows. The engine quit and the pilot switched to the left tank, which was full, but could not restart the engine. Prior to the airplanes forced landing, the banner got tangled in trees and wires.

Feb. 09, Prescott, Ariz.

At 1402 mountain time, an amateur-built Pulsar made a hard landing at Love Field, collapsing the landing gear. The student pilot/owner was operating the airplane with a commercial pilot, the previous owner, riding in the right seat to help the new owner familiarize himself with the airplane. The student pilot reported about 100 hours total time and said it was his first flight in this kind of airplane, and the accident occurred on the first attempted landing.

Feb. 11, Afton, Wyo.
Aviat Husky

At approximately 1310 mountain time, an Aviat A-1 was damaged while landing at Afton Municipal Airport. Neither occupant was injured. The pilot said he landed slightly to the right of centerline on runway 16 to avoid an icy patch and the right stabilizer and elevator struck a runway light. The airplane swerved to the right and nosed down into a snow bank.

Feb. 12, Scappoose, Ore.
Piper Comanche

At about 1500 Pacific time, a Piper PA-24 being hand-propped started and crashed into a fence and trees at Scappoose Industrial Airpark. The passenger was killed and the pilot was not on board at the time. The pilot said he fueled the airplane and then could not start it. He moved it away from the fuel pump, set the parking brake, advanced the throttle about -inch and turned on the mags. The passenger was in the right front seat when the pilot pulled the prop through and the engine started immediately. As he started to walk around the wing, the power advanced to what sounded like full power. The airplane knocked down the pilot and careened across the airport.

Feb. 13, Glendale, Ariz.
Two Cessna Skyhawks

At 0917 mountain time, a Cessna 172S veered off runway 01 during landing and struck a taxiing Cessna 172N at Glendale Municipal Airport. None of the four occupants of the two airplanes was injured. The pilot of the landing airplane said he completed air work in the local practice area and returned for landing. Upon landing, the airplane bounced, veered to the left, and exited the runway about midfield between a taxiway and the high-speed taxiway. It crossed a gravel area between the runway and a parallel taxiway and struck the oncoming airplane. Each airplanes left wing tip contacted the left wing root of the opposing airplane.

Feb. 14, Kotzebue, Alaska
Boeing 727

At about 1750 Alaska time, a Boeing 727-100 was damaged on approach to Ralph Wien Memorial Airport. No one aboard the Part 121 cargo flight was injured. The operator said that the pilot was on a visual approach when he overshot the runway centerline while turning from base to final. The pilot made a left and a right turn to realign the airplane with the centerline, and during the right turn, the right wing struck the snow-covered ground.

Feb. 14, East Moriches, N.Y.
Classic IV

At 1330 eastern time, an amateur-built Classic IV crashed during landing at Lufker Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The pilot said he was practicing high-speed taxi runs when the airplane inadvertently became airborne. He continued the takeoff, remained in the pattern and set up for a landing. The airplane bounced and the pilot added a bit of power. The airplane then became airborne again, banked to the left and crashed. The pilot said it was his first flight in this type of airplane.

Feb. 16, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Grumman Mallard

At about 1310 eastern time, a Grumman G-73T operating as a Part 121 scheduled flight was damaged while landing at Paradise Island. The flight crew of two and four passengers reported no injuries. The captain said the first officer was at the controls at the time of the accident. Boat traffic and waves made the landing area rough, and as the airplane prepared to touch down the airplane started to skip. The captain told the co-pilot to add power, but before he could the airplane landed in the water and became airborne again due to the choppy water. The airplane left the water nose-high and left wing low, with partial power and the flaps extended. The left float caught the water and was bent inward.

Feb. 16, Belle Glade, Fla.
Aerostar 601P

At about 0800 eastern time, a Ted Smith Aerostar crashed near Belle Glade, leaving the pilot with serious injuries. The pilot said he was aware of reported thunderstorms along his route of flight and near the departure airport. He said he stayed low to avoid clouds, but saw a hole in the clouds and climbed through. When he reached 13,000 feet, he noticed that he was very close to a storm, so he turned the airplane 180 degrees, but flew directly into a storm cell. The turbulence of the storm caused the airplane to go into an uncontrolled dive. He was able to level the wings and pull the nose up just before impact with the ground.

Feb. 16, Fredericksburg, Va.
Piper Arrow

At about 1930 eastern time, a Piper PA-28R-200 struck trees during a forced landing near Fredericksburg. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The pilot said he was approaching Shannon Airport and decided to switch the fuel from LEFT to RIGHT. The engine quit. Examination of the wreckage revealed the fuel selector was in the OFF position, but it was unknown if the fuel selector was moved by emergency response crews. Additionally, when the fuel selector was moved from LEFT to RIGHT, the selector contacted a sheet metal screw that felt similar to the selector being secured into the RIGHT detent. However, at that point, fuel flow would not have been possible.

Feb. 17, Newbolds Corner, N.J.
Piper Cherokee 140

At 0939 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-140 was damaged in a forced landing after losing engine power near Newbolds Corner. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The pilot reported that the airplane had recently received an annual inspection. The pilot had departed Bedford, Mass., with full fuel tanks and was in cruise flight when the engine started to act like it was running out of fuel. He made a forced landing two miles from the nearest airport. Examination of the wreckage found a leaking B-nut on the exit side of the engine-driven fuel pump. The nut was found to be finger-tight and needed two full turns to stop the leak.

Feb. 17, Exeter, R.I.
Rockwell Twin Commander

About 1752 eastern time, a Rockwell 500S crashed while on approach to Quonset State Airport, killing the pilot. The flight was inbound to Newport State Airport and cleared for the Localizer Runway 22 approach, circle to runway 34. However, the pilot flew through the localizer and reported he was having all sorts of problems. The controller said the weather was better at Green State Airport, and the pilot requested vectors there. The pilot was unable to get established on the approach, again reporting, I have problems. The controller asked what kinds of problems he was having, and the pilot replied, Im all over the place. I think Im iced up. The controller suggested heading for Quonset, which was four miles away. The pilot replied, Give me something. Radar and radio communication was then lost. One witness reported the airplane descending at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Weather reports in the area included temperatures a few degrees above freezing, light rain, low ceilings, and visibilities of 6-8 miles.

Feb. 18, Englewood, Colo.
Beech Bonanza

At 1148 mountain time, a Beech B36TC suffered a collapsed nosewheel after landing at Centennial Airport. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The pilot said his landing approach was a little fast, a little high, so he retarded the throttle and flared. The airplane struck the runway hard and bounced, breaking off the nose landing gear and sending the airplane off the runway and into runway lights.

Feb. 18, Pond Creek, Okla.
Cessna 177

At 1330 central time, a Cessna 177 flew into the ground near Pond Creek, leaving the pilot with serious injuries. The flight was a pipeline patrol, cruising at about 300 agl. The pilot said he dozed off and woke up when the airplane struck the ground.

Feb. 21, Fredericksburg, Texas
North American T28

At 1524 central time, a North American T28C lost engine power and was damaged in the ensuing forced landing. The pilot was not injured. The airplane had departed from Caldwell, Texas, and was cruising at 4,800 feet when the engine failed. Investigators found the airplane contained 12 ounces of fuel.

Feb. 22, Santa Paula, Calif.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 1330 Pacific time, a Cessna 172S struck a block wall during landing rollout at Santa Paula Airport. The student pilot suffered minor injuries. The 130-hour pilot was making a supervised solo cross country flight and reported he had landed at the airport more than 15 times. He said he determined the wind favored runway 22, but overran the runway and struck the building. A witness, a banner tow pilot, said the wind was from 040 at 10 to 15 knots and other traffic was using runway 4. He added that the accident airplane floated 2/3rds of the way down the runway, bounced off the nosewheel, floated some more and then landed near the end of the runway. Tire skid marks started 539 feet before the end of the 2,650-foot runway.

Feb. 23, Vero Beach, FL
Piper Cherokee 180

At 1145 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-180 broke up in flight over the Fort Drum Wildlife Management Reserve. The pilot and passenger were killed. The airplane was on an IFR flight plan in IMC when the accident occurred. Most of the wreckage was found within 500 feet of the fuselage, but the right aileron and flap were not located. Other pilots in the area reported encountering severe turbulence at about the time of the accident. One pilot stated that his airplane lost a thousand feet of altitude and almost flipped over. Other pilots were asking controllers to get them out of the area and assign them a lower altitude.

Feb. 23, Atlantic City, N.J.
Piper Warrior

At about 1335 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-161 overran the runway at Bader Field, damaging the airplane but leaving the pilot and two passengers uninjured. The pilot said he touched down with about 2/3rds of the 2,948-foot runway remaining, but then the wind caught the plane and started to push it off the runway. He tried to take off, but the airplane struck vegetation and came to rest in the water. A witness stated the landing was the pilots second attempt. The airplane touched down at taxiway B, about 2,000 feet beyond the approach end of runway 29. The airplane then veered off the right side of the runway and into the weeds. Winds at a nearby airport were reported from 290 degrees at 5 knots.

Feb. 24, Madera, Calif.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 1750 Pacific time, a Cessna 172N nosed over during a precautionary landing about 11 miles east of Madera. The private pilot was not injured. The pilot said he had been flying more than an hour when he became uncertain about his location and noticed it was getting foggy. He decided to make a precautionary landing. The pilot landed on a 650- to 700-foot airstrip used for radio-controlled airplanes. The airplane overran the strip and struck a berm. Responding law enforcement officers reported there was no fog in the area and that visibility was unrestricted. Other nearby airports reported clear skies and visibility of 10 miles. The accident happened right at sunset.

Feb. 25, Hudson, Fla.
Cessna 152

At about 0900 eastern time, a Cessna 152 suffered a catastrophic engine failure about 10 minutes after takeoff, forcing the solo student pilot to make a forced landing. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was in cruise flight at 2,300 feet when he heard a loud bang and observed smoke coming up over the windshield. He started for a golf course, but noticed golfers in the way, so he transitioned to a road. On the rollout, the left wing his a sign. Examination of the airplane revealed a hole in both tops of the engine case halves in the vicinity of the No.3 and No. 4 cylinder, with a broken connecting rod sitting in the hole. The last engine overhaul was eight years ago, at engine total time of 6,342.3 hours. At the time of the accident the engine had accumulated 3,278.5 hours since the overhaul.

Feb. 28, Peoria, Ariz.
Schweizer glider

At about 1720 mountain time, a Schweizer SGS 2-32 struck a man on a bicycle while landing on runway 23L at Pleasant Valley Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured, but the man on the bicycle sustained serious injuries. The pilot told a sheriffs deputy that he was blinded by sun glare when he turned from base to final and did not see the person on the runway.

Feb. 28, Hamilton, Ga.
Piper Cherokee Six

At about 0950 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-300 lost engine power while cruising at 4,500 feet and crashed near Hamilton. The pilot was killed and the passenger was seriously injured. The VFR flight was under flight following when the pilot reported first a rough running engine and then a complete engine failure. The pilot of a nearby airplane was vectored to the accident site and located the wreckage, then provided directions to lead rescuers to the accident site.

Also With This Article
Click here to view “Accident Totals, February.”


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