March 1, 2019, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee
At about 1141 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a condominium structure while maneuvering. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the pilot’s first solo banner-towing flight. He was towing a 30-foot-high by 90-foot-long banner.
Radar data depicted the airplane flying northerly until about 1138, when it initiated a right turn to the south at about 400 feet msl. Witnesses then saw the airplane turn right to a westerly or northwesterly direction over land while radar depicted the airplane descending to about 200 feet msl. The airplane banked sharply left, and one witness observed the banner twist and separate. The airplane then banked to the right and impacted a 19-story condominium near its top floor. The airplane fell to the second floor deck and came to rest on its left side. Witnesses described the engine sound as either “sputtering,” “operating normally” or “being at a low throttle setting.”
March 1, 2019, Louisburg, N.C.
Cessna 182S Skylane
The airplane was destroyed at 1921 Eastern time when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
The pilot’s clearance called for climbing to 3000 feet msl on a 180-degree heading after takeoff from Runway 23 and the flight’s radar data was first acquired at 19:20:03, over the runway, at 425 feet msl. At 19:20:56, at 1225 feet and 99 knots, the airplane entered a right turn. At 19:21:03, the airplane reached the top of its climb in the turn at 1300 feet and 100 knots groundspeed. The airplane then entered a descending right turn and accelerated to 145 knots groundspeed before the target was lost at an altitude of 625 feet at 19:21:17. An approximate descent rate of 6000 fpm was interpolated from radar data. At 1920, local weather included scattered clouds at 300 feet, a broken ceiling at 600 feet and an overcast ceiling at 1100 feet, with five miles of visibility in rain.
March 1, 2019, Melba, Idaho
Cessna 172N Skyhawk
At about 1345 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pair had performed a series of power-off and power-on stalls between 4500 and 2000 feet msl. During another power-off stall, the engine stopped without warning, with the throttle closed and carburetor heat on. The pair were unable to restart the engine—the starter would not rotate the engine—and the flight instructor performed a forced landing to a field. During the landing roll, the right wing impacted the ground and the right wing spar sustained substantial damage.
Examination revealed the idle adjustment screw and spring assembly had separated from the carburetor; the parts were found in the lower cowling. A mechanic subsequently was able to rotate the engine via the starter.
March 2, 2019, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
During the student pilot’s touch-and-go landing, the airplane began to veer off the runway, so he added power for a go around. Shortly, he noticed the left landing gear strut was bent and the wheel/tire assembly was “missing.” A tower controller confirmed damage to the left landing gear. During the subsequent landing, the airplane skidded off the runway, sustaining substantial damage to the left horizontal stabilizer and left elevator. Video evidence revealed the airplane had drifted left and struck a runway sign.
March 4, 2019, Presque Isle, Maine
At 1143 Eastern time, the airplane landed between Runway 1 and Taxiway A in light-to-moderate snow. Earlier, the crew had conducted a missed approach to the same runway. Radar data showed the airplane was aligned to the right of Runway 1 during both approaches. Of the 31 passengers and crew aboard the scheduled domestic Part 121 United Express flight, two passengers and one crewmember received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged.
March 5, 2019, Summersville, Mo.
Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180
The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain at about 2204 Central time. The pilot was fatally injured. Dark night visual conditions prevailed.
Preliminary radar data depicted the flight westbound at 5000 feet msl. The airplane initiated a turn back toward the east before the radar track was lost. The wreckage was located the next morning by the driver of a vehicle on a nearby road. The accident site was characterized by deciduous walnut trees and hilly terrain vegetated in short grass. The wreckage came to rest on a heading of 099 degrees at an elevation of about 1330 feet.
March 5, 2019, Fellsmere, Fla.
Piper PA-28-161 Warrior III
At 0703 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed.
The student pilot was conducting her second solo cross-country flight. Radar data revealed the airplane flew west before it made a series of left and right turns before the data ended about six minutes later. At that time, the airplane was in a right turn at 550 feet, a ground speed of 117 knots and heading 153 degrees. All major airplane components were located at the accident site.
The accident flight had been planned for the previous day, but weather forced its cancellation. The flight was rescheduled for 0600 the following morning. The instructor had endorsed the student for the previous day’s flight, and later stated the student was aware she needed another endorsement before the flight. Weather observed at the departure airport at 0703 included wind from 250 degrees at eight knots, visibility six miles in light rain and mist, and an overcast ceiling at 400 feet.
March 5, 2019, Statesboro, Ga.
Velocity RG Experimental
The airplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire at about 1500 Eastern time after impacting an approach lighting system and terrain while landing. The commercial pilot was not injured; the flight instructor sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the transition training flight.
The pilot stated they were on a stabilized final approach at about 100 knots, into a headwind gusting to 18 knots. On short final, the airplane sank abruptly and lost about 20 knots of airspeed at about 15-20 feet agl. The pilot initiated a go-around procedure, added additional power and full aft stick but the right main landing gear struck an approach light. The airplane then “pancaked” onto the runway before coming to a stop. The pair exited the airplane before a post-crash fire ensued. Both pilots stated they believed they encountered wind shear on short final. At 1455, weather observed at the airport included wind from 320 degrees at 13 knots. At 1515, winds were 320 degrees at nine knots, gusting to 20 knots.
March 5, 2019, Atlantic Ocean
At about 1000 Eastern time, the airplane was ditched about 25 miles southeast of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. The private pilot and a pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was not recovered and is presumed substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported that the yellow low oil pressure light illuminated about two hours into the flight. The oil pressure gauge confirmed the low oil pressure reading of 25 psi and, as oil pressure dropped to two psi, the engine vibrated strongly and the propeller stopped. The pilot established best glide speed and deployed the airframe parachute system at 1500 ft. The airplane landed in the water in an upright position. The life raft was inflated and the pilots egressed from the airplane. They were subsequently rescued by a passing cruise ship.
March 8, 2019, Leesburg, Fla.
Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1000 Eastern time when the right main landing gear collapsed. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
During the airplane’s annual inspection, maintenance personnel suggested installing an inner landing gear door kit (STC SA00555DE). After the kit was installed, numerous test flights were conducted and all of them were unacceptable. During landing gear extension, two green landing lights appeared but the right main landing gear was very slow to illuminate. Adjustments were made after each flight, and on the last flight while taxiing back to the ramp after landing, the right landing gear collapsed. Examination revealed buckling of the right inboard wing.
March 8, 2019, Pahokee, Fla.
Piper PA-23-250 Aztec
At about 1526 Eastern time, the airplane impacted a lake while its pilot attempted an emergency landing. The commercial pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot declared an emergency to ATC and reported a rough-running left engine, which subsequently was shut down. The pilot diverted to a nearby airport and was cleared to land. Witnesses observed the airplane in a 45-degree nose-and-left-wing-low rapid descent before it impacted the lake.
March 9, 2019, Longview, Texas
Cessna T337C Turbo Skymaster
The airplane was destroyed at about 1030 Central time when it struck trees and terrain during a descent. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The airplane departed Lancaster, Texas, at about 1000. A severe thunderstorm had passed through the area between 0730 and 0830 and weather for the takeoff was “clear.” Subsequently, the airplane was reported overdue. At around 1900, a hunter discovered the wreckage along a clearway established for an underground pipeline. Examination revealed highly fragmented sections of the fuselage, wings and empennage were widely distributed around the main wreckage. All control cable, skin and structure separations exhibited an appearance consistent with overload. A section of outboard wing leading edge was found about 072 degrees and 1.7 nm from the main wreckage.
The 51-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate for single-engine land-based airplanes. His second-to-last logged flight was on May 7, 2005. The logbook’s last entry was dated August 23, 2018, and showed the pilot’s total flight time was 250.9 hours. At 1025, weather recorded about 10 nm from the accident site included wind from 220 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 28 knots; visibility 10 sm in light thunderstorms and rain; scattered clouds at 2600 feet, broken clouds at 3200 feet and broken clouds at 9500 feet. Remarks stated that a thunderstorm began at 1025.
March 9, 2019, Chamblee, Ga.
At 1547 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during landing. The two airline transport pilots and 12 passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Waffle House Inc. as a corporate flight. Visual conditions prevailed.
As the flight neared its destination, ATC advised the long runway (6001 feet) was closed until 1600 but the shorter one (3967 feet) was available. Initially, the crew requested to hold until the long runway reopened but shortly thereafter advised they would be able to land on the shorter runway. The pilot reported an “unusually hard impact” on touchdown; the landing roll and taxi to the ramp were uneventful. A hard-landing inspection was performed, which found substantial damage to the fuselage. Photographs provided by the airport manager revealed two tire tracks in the grass about 5-10 feet prior to the short runway’s threshold.
March 9, 2019, Land O’ Lakes, Wis.
Cessna 177RG Cardinal RG
On its previous flight, the airplane had been filled with fuel and flown for about 3.8 hours. Prior to takeoff, the pilot attempted to refuel the airplane but the self-service fuel pump “failed to dispense fuel.” The pilot visually checked the tanks and determined there was enough fuel for the flight. In cruise flight at about 1800 feet agl, the “engine stopped.” The pilot executed an engine-out landing to a snow-covered, frozen lake with the landing gear retracted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its left wing and fuselage. There were two minor injuries.
March 12, 2019, Latrobe, Penn.
Beech A100 King Air
At about 1335 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when the main landing gear collapsed during landing. The two airline transport pilots and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, the airplane was on approach when he lowered the landing gear handle and heard a “crunching noise.” There were no green landing-gear indicator lights. The crew ran the manual gear-extension procedures checklist, but it appeared to be jammed. After a control-tower fly-by, ATC observed that the landing gear appeared to be down. On the landing roll, the left main landing gear collapsed, followed shortly by the right main landing gear. Examination revealed the main landing gear mechanical linkage was compromised and the right main landing gear actuator shaft was broken.
March 16, 2019, Talkeetna, Alaska
The airplane was substantially damaged during an off-airport, emergency landing at about 1650 Alaska time, shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor and student were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
During the first takeoff attempt, condensation formed on the airplane’s windscreen, so the instructor aborted the takeoff and taxied back for a second full-length takeoff attempt. Just after becoming airborne, the airplane pitched up unexpectedly, so the instructor pushed the control yoke full-forward to lower the nose, but the airplane failed to respond. Approaching a tree line and unable to correct the nose-high attitude, the instructor reduced engine power to idle over tree-covered terrain. The airplane settled into the trees and came to rest near a road. The occupants were able to egress without further incident. The flight’s purpose was an introductory flight lesson to a prospective new student.
March 16, 2019, Riverside, Calif.
Beech D50 Twin Bonanza
At about 1149 Pacific time, the airplane impacted terrain, fatally injuring the solo airline transport pilot. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
After a delay he attributed to electrical issues, the pilot took off but shortly thereafter advised he was returning with electrical issues and a failed right engine. The airplane subsequently diverted to a closer airport but crashed about two miles from the divert airport. Witnesses observed the airplane flying at a low altitude before its nose dropped and it began to spin. One witness estimated the airplane made 1.5 revolutions before he lost sight of it behind houses. Another witness reported the airplane spinning to its right.
The NTSB recently updated its aviation accident statistics to include calendar year 2016 data. The chart at right is from that update and graphically presents the phase of flight in which fixed-wing Part 135 on-demand operators got into fatal and non-fatal accidents in 2016.