NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


September 1, 2015, Hayden, Ariz.

Lancair Super ES Experimental

At about 0930 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed during a forced landing and subsequent post-impact fire after experiencing a total loss of engine power in cruise flight. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was cruising at 8500 feet msl when a partial loss of engine power continued to decrease until complete failure. The pilot elected to perform a forced landing to the top of a mesa. During the landing, the airplane sustained damage to its wings and landing gear. The pilot egressed, and the airplane was subsequently consumed by fire.

September 2, 2015, North Pole, Alaska

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1500 Alaska time following a loss of control while landing. The student pilot sustained minor injuries; the passenger was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A pilot-rated witness reported light wind conditions from the east at eight to 10 knots. He observed the accident airplane on final approach for a downwind landing on Runway 24. After touchdown the airplane veered to the left, then to the right, then back sharply to the left before exiting the runway. At 1458, a weather reporting facility about three miles west of the accident site reported in part wind from 090 degrees at seven knots, 10 miles of visibility and clear skies.

September 2, 2015, Advance, N.C.

Van’s RV-8A Experimental

At about 1403 Eastern time, the airplane crashed into a pond while making a low pass over an airport. Visual conditions prevailed. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and the two pilot-rated occupants were fatally injured. The flight originated about three minutes earlier.

Several witnesses noted the occupants performing a preflight inspection and that an engine run-up was conducted. After takeoff, the flight remained in the traffic pattern and was observed by a pilot-rated witness flying over the runway at about 200-300 feet above agl at an estimated 190-200 mph. When the airplane was about halfway down the runway, it briefly pitched slightly nose down. The airplane then pitched slightly nose up, and began to roll to the left in a barrel roll attempt. While the airplane was inverted, the nose came down and the airplane began descending while continuing the roll. The tail appeared to lower and the airplane was established in an inverted nose-up attitude when it hit the water.

September 2, 2015, Bon Aqua, Tenn.

Van’s RV-6A Experimental

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted wooded terrain at about 1545 Central time, following a loss of control from cruise flight. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was receiving flight following services from ATC. About 20 minutes into the flight, while in radio and radar contact with ATC, the pilot ceased communicating as the airplane reversed course, from south to north. The airplane continued north, climbed from 6500 feet to 9000 feet msl and completed two left circuits before descending rapidly into terrain. Recorded weather about 20 miles from the accident site, at 1555, included wind from 190 degrees at three knots, clear sky and visibility 10 miles.

September 3, 2015, Santee, Calif.

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II/III

At about 0915 Pacific time, the airplane struck the roof of a house, and came to rest inverted in driveway. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident sequence and post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed. The airplane had taken off only moment earlier; the accident site was about a mile from the airport.

The airplane was conducting touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. After the one, tower personnel observed the airplane make a left turn from the upwind leg and descend rapidly toward the terrain west of the field. There were no mayday calls made by the pilot. Witnesses at the accident site reported that the engine quit, and it appeared that the pilots were trying to restart it when the left wing struck the roof of a house.

September 3, 2015, Cresskill, N.J.

Cessna Model R172K Skyhawk XP

The airplane was destroyed at about 1710 Eastern time by collision with terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The private pilot and pilot-rated observer were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the flight, which was conducted as a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary maritime observation mission.

The pilot later reported that while cruising at about 2000 feet msl, the airplane’s engine stopped producing power. The pilot selected a large open area adjacent to a community center with several athletic fields for the forced landing, then observed the fields were in use and only a small space was available for landing away from people on the ground. The airplane came to rest in a hedgerow; the hard landing destroyed the airplane and required first responders to assist egressing the airplane’s occupants.

September 4, 2015, Russell Springs, Ky.

Piper PA-28RT-201 Arrow IV

Substantially damage occurred to the airplane at about 1317 Central time during a forced landing after loss of engine power. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported departing with approximately 36 gallons of fuel for his planned 30-minute flight. As he neared the destination, he opted to perform a practice instrument approach. At the final approach fix, he reduced engine power for a descent. After leveling off, he advanced the throttle lever but there was no response from the engine. He then cycled the electric boost pump switch, varied the mixture control setting and switched the fuel tank, without result, and force-landed the airplane in a field. Examination revealed the brass hex plug on the fuel servo regulator cover was not installed, and was hanging below the regulator cover by a piece of safety wire.

September 4, 2015, Wilmington, N.C.

Beech Model V35B Bonanza

At about 1050 Eastern time the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain and an airport perimeter fence during a takeoff attempt. The pilot and two passengers were not injured; one passenger sustained a minor injury. Visual conditions prevailed.

The ATC tower manager reported his attention was drawn to the airplane after it began its takeoff roll. When the airplane’s nose and right main wheels lifted from the ground, the airplane immediately turned to its left. The airplane bounced three or four times across the airport infield before it collided with the perimeter fence approximately 2000 feet beyond where it departed the runway and 1000 feet left of the runway centerline. The pilot later said that, at 30 feet agl, the airplane had “lost some power” and “was stalling.”

September 5, 2015 in Silverton, Colo.

Cessna Model 310H

At about 1408 Mountain time, the airplane impacted mountainous terrain at about 11,500 feet msl. Two non-instrument, single-engine land-rated private pilots and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was not operating on a flight plan and was not utilizing ATC flight following services. Instrument conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

September 5, 2015, Pekin, Ind.

Grumman American AA-5 Traveler

The airplane impacted a corn crop during landing rollout at about 1200 Eastern time. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured, but the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot-rated passenger reported that a section of the adjoining corn crop extended about six feet into the runway area. Otherwise, the grass runway was “perfect” and appeared to have been recently mowed. The pilot conducted a “high pass” before landing in order to assess the runway condition, but neither pilot observed the intervening corn crop. The left wing subsequently impacted the corn during the landing rollout while the airplane was moving at about 45 mph.

September 5, 2015, Miami, Fla.

Cessna Model 152

At about 1330 Eastern time, the airplane was force-landed following a total loss of engine power. The private pilot and a pilot-rated passenger were not injured, but the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

Before takeoff, the pilot checked the aircraft’s fuel state by looking at the cockpit quantity indicators and by looking into the tanks. While established on radar vectors for a fourth practice instrument approach and at 1500 feet msl, he observed engine “roughness” followed by loss of power. He landed in a muddy area within the Everglades National Park. Examination revealed one wing tank contained about gallon of fuel and the other tank was dry. There was no evidence of fuel leakage at the accident site. The operator reported that the flight departed with about 12 gallons of fuel on board. The fuel capacity of the airplane was 26 gallons.

September 7, 2015, Kernersville, N.C.

Beech Model A36 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed at about 1203 Eastern time when it impacted terrain. The private pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight was operating on an IFR flight plan.

The airplane was being radar vectored by ATC for an ILS approach following a previous unsuccessful attempt. A witness stated the airplane was in a “severe” bank to the right, heading toward the southeast. She said the airplane made a sharp right turn and “spiraled downward making three to four rotations” before it disappeared from view behind trees. Observed weather at the destination airport included wind from 090 degrees at six knots, visibility 10 miles and an overcast ceiling at 1100 feet.

September 10, 2015, Gary, Ind.

Beech Model 58 Baron

At about 2035 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage while landing. The solo pilot was not injured. Night visual conditions prevailed. An IFR flight plan had been filed for the Part 135 positioning flight.

The pilot reported deploying approach flaps about 5.5 miles from the airport and then lowering the landing gear five miles out. As he was turning off the positioning lights so the landing gear indicator lights would brighten, the propellers struck the runway.

September 12, 2015, Atco, N.J.

Cessna Model 150F

The airplane collided with trees and terrain following in-flight loss of control at about 1119 Eastern time. Visual conditions prevailed The airplane was destroyed and the solo student pilot was fatally injured.

Witnesses near the accident site, who were friends with the pilot, observed the airplane flying over their property between 100 and 150 feet above the tops of trees estimated to be 70 feet tall. The airplane was in a left bank, and one witness waved to the pilot who waved back using his hand. The witness reported the left bank angle then became steeper, followed by the nose pitching down. While descending, the engine was heard to rev up. The airplane contacted trees then the ground adjacent to a house.

September 15, 2015, Iliamna, Alaska

de Havilland DHC-3T Turbine Otter

The float-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage at about 0600 Alaska time when it impacted tree and tundra-covered terrain, just after takeoff. Of the 10 people aboard, three passengers died at the scene, the airline transport pilot and four passengers sustained serious injuries and two passengers sustained minor injuries. Night visual conditions prevailed

According to an employee of the fishing lodge operating the airplane, after it began its initial climb after takeoff from the lake, it descended and its floats struck the surface of the water. The airplane then became airborne again, but he lost sight of it as it descended behind an area of rising, tree-covered terrain. At 0553 a weather reporting station about a mile south of the accident site reported wind from 270 degrees at seven knots, visibility 10, scattered clouds at 700 feet and an overcast at 4400 feet. Civil twilight began at 0706, and sunrise was at 0748.

September 15, 2015, East Falmouth, Mass.

Rans S-19 Venterra Experimental

At 1350 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged while landing. The sport pilot was uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the airplane “ballooned” during the landing flare. The pilot relaxed back pressure on the control stick to correct, but the airplane then struck the runway hard and departed the left side. The airplane subsequently nosed over in soft grass and came to rest inverted. Examination revealed stabilator trim tab push-pull tube threaded end (p/n KPTR0061) had separated from its female connection (p/n KPTR0062) with the associated nut remaining loose on the threads. There was observed thread damage.

September 16, 2015, Alma, Ga.

Van’s RV-10 Experimental

The four-seat airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain at about 0342 Eastern time, following an uncontrolled descent. The pilot/owner/builder and four passengers were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

The crash site was located approximately six miles east of the departure airport. A witness stated the airplane’s engine sound was increasing and decreasing, and it was going up and down and flying a pattern in the shape of an “M.” She said the airplane flew “not much above the treeline” and continued flying in this pattern until it descended from view and the engine could no longer be heard. Preliminary FAA radar data depict a VFR radar target maneuvering in the vicinity of the accident site between 03:29:52 and 03:31:59, at altitudes ranging between 2200 feet msl and 2900 feet. The targets depicted an S-shaped ground track when plotted. The last few targets showed a climb from 2400 feet to 2900 feet in seven seconds, and then a descent down to 2500 feet 12 seconds later. This correlates to a climb rate greater than 3000 fpm, and a descent rate of 2500 fpm.

The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate in 2011, when he reported 25 total hours of flight experience on that date. A student pilot certificate was not issued at that time, due to an “administrative oversight,” but a student pilot certificate issued on that date would have been expired at the time of the accident. The pilot/owner/builder did not hold a pilot certificate and his total flight experience could not be determined.

September 18, 2015, Spring Hill, Fla.

Cessna Model U206E Stationair

At about 0855 Eastern time, the float-equipped airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot was attempting to land at a seaplane base, and reported it in sight, cancelling IFR. However, the pilot then requested a clearance to a nearby airport. Radar data revealed the airplane was established on the approach until reaching the final approach fix, when it then descended below the glideslope and radar contact was lost about a mile from the airport.

One witness heard the airplane’s engine “cut out.” When he looked up, he saw the airplane come out of the clouds and it “started to spiral down” over his house. The airplane then veered to the north before the sound of impact was heard. A second witness heard the airplane approaching and the engine “got extremely loud, almost at full throttle” just before it came into his view. The witness said the airplane was at an “extremely angled” nose-down pitch and a high rate of speed. He did not see the impact due to trees. On-scene examination of the airplane revealed all major components were accounted for.


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