NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.


Cessna 172 Skyhawk
March 23, 2016, Frederick, Md.

During his second solo flight, the student pilot encountered a gust of wind during the landing flare. The airplane ballooned and then bounced twice on its nosewheel. After the second bounce, the student pilot applied full power and aborted the landing. The subsequent landing was uneventful and he taxied to the ramp. Post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the firewall.

North American AT-6A Texan
March 23, 2016, Astoria, Wash.

At 1542 Pacific time, the airplane impacted the Columbia River. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.

The passenger was seated in the rear of the tandem-seat airplane; the flight was intended to be for the dispersal of her deceased husband’s ashes. Witnesses observed the airplane flying relatively low above the river’s surface. One “saw the left wing dip, as the airplane began a left turn. A few seconds later the wings were almost vertical, and the airplane then rapidly transitioned into an aggressive steep vertical dive. The airplane then hit the water in a nose-down attitude.”

Harmon Rocket Ii Experimental
March 24, 2016, Cheraw, S.C.

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain at about 0750 Eastern time. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

One witness stated the airplane was flying along the river at tree-top level when it struck a power line. Examination revealed two power line cables were found severed about mid-span between two towers, one on each either side of the river. One section of power line cable was found next to the fuselage; another was found wrapped around the engine cowling.

Piper J-5A Cub Cruiser
March 25, 2016, Lake Harbor, Fla.

The flight’s purpose was to maneuver at low altitude and chase birds away from designated fields. The pilot reported he had previously completed about eight or 10 turns over the target field. During a steep “reversal turn” to the left, the airplane impacted terrain. The pilot had no other recollection of the accident.

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche 250
March 26, 2016 in Kentland, Ind.

At about 1345 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The flight instructor and commercial pilot receiving instruction sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the flight instructor, the pilot attempted to add power while on short final but the engine did not respond. Attempts to restore engine power were not successful. The instructor reported the airplane stalled at about 10 to 15 feet agl and landed hard in an open field.

Eurocopter AS350 B2
March 26, 2016, Enterprise, Ala.

At about 0018 Central time, the EMS helicopter was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain. The airline transport pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic and patient being transported were fatally injured. According to the NTSB, night IMC prevailed for the Part 135 emergency medical services flight, which operated on a company VFR flight plan.

The helicopter departed from a landing zone at 00:16:45. Weather observed four nm east at 0015 included winds from 120 degrees at four knots, three statute miles of visibility in drizzle, overcast clouds at 300 feet and temperature/dewpoint of 17 degrees C. Preliminary radar data depict the helicopter entering a left turn and climbing to 1000 feet msl. By 0018:18 the rate of left turn was continuing to increase as the helicopter reached a peak altitude of 1100 feet. At 0018:28, the helicopter began a rapid descent, descending through 600 feet in five seconds. Moments later, radar contact was lost. Examination revealed indications consistent with the engine and rotor blades being under power at impact. The helicopter was not certificated for flight in IMC conditions.

Cessna 172N Skyhawk
March 26, 2016, Charleston, W.V.

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain at about 1208 Eastern time. The flight instructor was fatally injured; the student pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed

Surveillance video depicted the accident airplane lifting off about 1000 feet down the runway in a nose-high attitude. The airplane then rolled left and was inverted when it impacted nose-first beside the runway. Control cable continuity was established to all flight controls. The elevator trim jackscrew corresponded to an approximate neutral trim setting. The propeller exhibited rotational scoring. The airplane had been operated about seven hours since its last annual inspection. Weather included winds from 330 degrees at four knots, visibility of 10 statute miles and a clear sky.

Cessna 172L Skyhawk
March 26, 2016, McNeil Island, Wash.

At about 1315 Pacific time, the airplane nosed over in a field during a forced landing following total loss of engine power. The student pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was on the second-to-last leg of his cross-country flight. As he approached McNeil Island, the engine begin to sputter and operate intermittently at reduced power. He confirmed the throttle control was full forward, and declared an emergency with ATC. Once the airplane was over the island, the engine lost all power and the propeller stopped. The pilot landed in a field. During the landing roll, the airplane nosed over.

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec
March 27, 2016, Danville, Va.

The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a highway at about 1636 Eastern time. The private pilot sustained minor injuries; the three passengers were not injured. Instrument conditions were reported in the area.

The pilot stated the flight departed with five hours of fuel aboard for the estimated 2.5-hour flight. After about one hour of flight, the pilot reported to ATC he had lost his directional gyro and attitude indicator. While diverting to a nearby airport, the right engine abruptly lost power. After switching fuel tanks, power was briefly restored to the right engine, followed by an abrupt loss of power in both engines. The pilot then performed the forced landing on the highway. During the landing, the airplane impacted a tree and came to rest inverted in a grassy area along the road. Examination revealed there was no evidence of rotational damage to the propellers. No fuel was found in the right tanks, the left inboard tank had residual fuel and there was no blighting of the grass around the wreckage.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180
March 27, 2016, Pittsburgh, Pa.

At about 1100 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged after a fire occurred during engine start. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was having difficulty starting the engine. On the fifth attempt, he followed the “starting engine when flooded” checklist. As the propeller was turning with the starter, he noticed white smoke “pouring out” of the engine cowl. He turned off the master switch and exited the airplane. He then opened the top engine cowling, and flames suddenly emanated from the left side of the engine, and the color of the smoke changed from white to dark black. He returned to the cockpit to retrieve a handheld fire extinguisher; however, the cockpit was filling up with heavy black smoke and he was forced to egress and was unable to suppress the engine fire.

Lancair IV-P Propjet Experimental
April 1, 2016, Addison, Texas

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1720 Central time while landing when the nose landing gear collapsed, resulting in a runway excursion. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot’s initial approach resulted in a go-around after gusty winds caused the airplane to “balloon” on short final. On the second approach, the airplane touched down “just left” of the runway centerline, about 1000 feet from the approach threshold. When the pilot placed the propeller into beta mode, the nose landing gear collapsed. He was unable to maintain directional control and the airplane subsequently departed the right side of the runway. The left main wheel separated from the landing gear strut during the excursion. In addition, both wings were damaged and the left ventral strake separated from the aft fuselage.

Cessna 175B Skylark
April 2, 2016, Hurley, Miss.

At about 1707 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After takeoff, the pilot climbed to between 1200 and 1500 feet msl, and leveled off. As he leaned the mixture about to inch, engine rpm “abruptly” decreased from 2900 to 1200. Pushing the mixture and throttle controls fully forward did not restore power. He maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the nose landing gear contacted a ditch, separating it from the airplane. Examination revealed adequate, uncontaminated fuel in the fuel tanks, fuel strainer and carburetor bowl. The mixture control’s cockpit end was in the full-rich position but the lever at the carburetor was in the idle cut-off position.

Lancair IV-P Experimental
April 2, 2016, Fallbrook, Calif.

The airplane collided with a parked car on the shoulder of I-15 at about 0915 Pacific time during a forced landing. The private pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries; one occupant of the car sustained fatal injuries and the other three occupants sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses observed the airplane approaching the freeway, and noted that the engine sound was quiet. The airplane’s nose collided with the left rear portion of the car’s trunk at an angle from the left to right, and intruded into the right back seat area of the parked car. The airplane pushed the car off the freeway shoulder and into the adjacent dirt area. The airplane’s three-blade propeller and engine remained enmeshed with the car.

Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander
April 9, 2016, Taylor, Texas

At 0951 Central time, the airplane departed controlled flight and impacted terrain. The pilot and flight instructor on board were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

The training flight’s profile was to include single-engine airwork. Preliminary radar data showed the airplane was at an altitude of about 5000 feet msl and had slowed to a groundspeed of about 90 knots prior to disappearing off radar. The airplane impacted terrain shortly after the loss of radar contact.

Mooney M20K 231/252
April 9, 2016, Ocala, Fla.

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0850 Eastern time during a forced landing following a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot was fatally injured; the passenger was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was began its takeoff roll on Runway 36 with about 7000 feet remaining. Approximately one minute later, the pilot announced, “I’m losing my engine…I’m going down on 26.” The ground controller later stated, “The wings rocked a little in the turn, but when he lined up [with Runway 26] he looked clean. He still looked high, like he might touchdown past midfield and go off the departure end. He looked stable, but then he turned left. The more he turned the steeper the turn got, and then when the wingtip hit the ground the airplane was 90 degrees.”

Cirrus Design SR20
April 10, 2016, Caldwell, Texas

At an unstated time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it rolled off the end of the runway while landing. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While in cruise flight, the pilot heard loud noises of an unknown origin and requested a vector to the nearest airport. Engine power was erratic as the pilot approached the airport. The airplane was at a higher-than-normal approach speed when it landed halfway down the 3252-foot-long runway. Despite maximum braking, the airplane exited the end of the runway, striking a tree and a fence.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140
April 10, 2016, Bayport, N.Y.

The airplane sustained substantial damage at 1907 Eastern time when its engine lost power shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and the passenger were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to witnesses, the airplane’s engine lost power on takeoff. They then watched as it made a sweeping right turn, “stalled” and struck trees and power lines. The airplane came to rest in the middle of an intersection in a residential area. A post-impact fire ensued, and neighbors and responding rescue personnel assisted the pilot and passenger’s egress from the burning airplane.

Cessna 206 Stationair
April 8, 2016, Angoon, Alaska

The amphibious float-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage at about 0912 Alaska time when it impacted snow-covered, rising terrain. Visual conditions prevailed at the time of departure for the Part 135 on-demand air taxi flight. Of the four people on board, the commercial pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries. One passenger sustained serious injuries.

The wreckage was located in an open area of steep, mountainous, snow-covered rising terrain at an elevation of about 2240 feet msl. The airplane impacted the snow in a near-vertical attitude and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. The operator’s director of operations stated that, while flying another company airplane, he spoke with the accident pilot on a company radio frequency. The accident pilot commented to the director of operations that while en route to Angoon, he was unable to make it through Pybus Bay due to low clouds and reduced visibility, and that he was going to try an alternate route that had a lower terrain elevation. The director of operations added that about 15-20 minutes after speaking with the accident pilot, he landed in Wrangell and noticed the flight’s tracking signal was stationary in an area of mountainous terrain. Weather observed at the time about 17 miles northwest of the accident site included calm wind, few clouds at 2300 feet, broken clouds at 4200 feet and visibility of 10 statute miles.

Bellanca 7GCBC Citabria
April 8, 2016, Midlothian, Texas

At 1502 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged after impacting terrain during initial climb. The student pilot was fatally injured and the flight instructor sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane had returned from an earlier instructional flight with a different student and was refueled. The flight instructor was seated in the rear seat and the student pilot was in the front. The flight instructor was manipulating the controls with the student pilot observing.

The flight instructor later reported that, as the airplane lifted off the runway in a three-point attitude, he discovered the elevator control was jammed and he was unable push forward on the control stick. Witnesses reported the airplane entered a nose-up climb after takeoff to about 50 feet agl, followed by a sudden roll to the left and a steep nose-down descent to impact. Surveillance camera images showed the airplane was descending left-wing down and in a nose-down attitude of about 45 degrees. The airplane came to rest upright. There was a significant fuel spill, but no post-impact fire.


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