NTSB Reports

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


November 2, 2017, Las Vegas, Nev.
Beechcraft Model B95 Travel Air

At about 1735 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing after a reported loss of engine power. The flight instructor and commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, on final approach, one of the airplane’s two engines began to surge and lost power. Unable to make the airport, he decided to land on a nearby field located on a golf course. During the landing, the airplane’s right wing struck an obstacle, resulting in substantial damage to the wing. The airplane came to rest in a pond, submerged in water.

November 2, 2017, Redding, Calif.
Cessna Model 172R Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0930 Pacific time during an off-airport landing after losing engine power shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor and two students were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight departed to the southeast and about three miles from the airport, the pilot reported an engine failure with sparks coming from the engine. The controller cleared the flight to land on Runway 34 but the airplane was too high, and the pilot elected to go around. The pilot turned back toward Runway 16, crossed it and landed in a field.

November 3, 2017, Erwinna, Penn.
SA-900 V-Star Experimental

At about 1400 Eastern time, the airplane collided with terrain during landing. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness observed the accident airplane depart. About 30 minutes later, he saw it approach the airport from the east. Initially, it was in a normal flight attitude over the runway. It disappeared briefly behind rolling terrain, He next saw the left wing, then the right wing, followed by the tail, in what he described as a “cartwheeling” motion. He did not report any strange sounds, smoke or objects falling from the airplane.

November 3, 2017, Murphy, Idaho
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub

The airplane impacted mountainous terrain at about 0900 Mountain time. The pilot/owner was fatally injured, and the passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

After a 1.5-hour flight, the airplane landed at the dirt strip due to the passenger getting airsick. The airplane was on the ground for about 20 minutes, and was departing at the time of the accident. A witness watched the accident airplane take off and establish a positive rate of climb. When the accident airplane was about 150 feet agl, he saw the right wing drop with the pilot simultaneously keying the mike and saying “Whoa.” The airplane’s nose continued to drop, and the airplane impacted the ground in a nose-low, near-vertical attitude.

November 4, 2017, Alva, Okla.
Beechcraft Model V35B Bonanza

At 1728 Central time, the airplane impacted terrain while conducting a visual approach. The airplane was destroyed; the flight instructor and pilot were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to a state trooper who spoke with the pilot in an emergency room, he and the flight instructor noticed the left engine cowling pop up during flight. According to the pilot, the flight instructor assumed control of the airplane. The airplane continued its descent until striking trees and a power line, which were about 40 feet higher than the airport’s elevation and 3000 feet north of the Runway 18 threshold. The airplane came to rest on its left side and a post-crash fire ensued.

November 4, 2017, Hatch, N.M.
Cessna Model 172N Skyhawk

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1630 Mountain time when it impacted terrain. The pilot and three passengers received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

After lunch, the pilot and passengers were driven back to the local airport for their flight home around 1600 local time. Their exact departure time is unknown and there were no witnesses to the accident. The airplane impacted rugged desert terrain located about 0.56 nm west of the departure end of Runway 29 and was not located until 1700 the next day.

November 5, 2017, Las Vegas, N.M.
Daher/Socata TBM 850

The pilot later reported that, while landing in a gusting crosswind, it was “obvious” the wind had changed directions. He performed a go-around, but “the wind slammed [the airplane] to the ground extremely hard.” Subsequently, the airplane veered to the right off the runway and then back to the left before coming to rest. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage.

The pilot reported there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane precluding normal operation. The automated weather observation at the accident airport reported the wind was from 270 degrees at 19 knots, gusting to 25 knots, at the time of the accident. The pilot was landing on Runway 20.

November 5, 2017, Batavia, Ohio
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

The pilot reported that shortly before flying over the airport perimeter fence, “either wind shear or [a] sudden downdraft dropped the plane.” The nose landing gear struck the fence and the airplane impacted the ground short of the intended runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage and horizontal stabilator.

According to the pilot, the engine was running the entire time without issues. He added that once he encountered the downdraft, he applied full power, but the airplane continued descending with “no appreciable response.” He reported that he did not use carburetor heat during the approach.

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located included temperature of 68 degrees F and a dew point of 63 degrees F. The FAA’s Carburetor Icing Chart indicates conditions were conducive to “serious icing (glide power).”

November 7, 2017, Clearwater, Fla.
Icon Aircraft A5

At about 1204 Eastern time, the airplane impacted open water in the Gulf of Mexico while maneuvering at low level. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

Data recorded by various on-board systems included GPS altitude, groundspeed and heading. The airplane departed from a private lake about 1147. It climbed to 1909 feet on a northerly heading before turning west toward the coast, then descended to 36 feet and turned south. It flew on a southerly track past at 11 feet GPS altitude and 92 knots. The airplane then performed a right 360-degree turn while climbing to about 100 feet. The airplane continued on a southerly track, flying as close as 75 feet to beachfront homes. The last data point recovered showed the airplane at 200 feet, 87 knots and tracking 196 degrees.

A witness saw the airplane perform a climb to between 300 and 500 feet on a southerly heading before it turned and descended on an easterly heading in about a 45-degree nose-down attitude. He then saw the airplane impact the water and nose over.

The airplane came to rest in 4.5 feet of saltwater oriented to the south with the fuselage and wings inverted. The front fuselage and cockpit were highly fragmented. The empennage section separated from the airframe and came to rest forward of the wings in an inverted position. Numerous fragments were recovered within a 300-foot radius from the wreckage. All the flight controls and major components were located at the main wreckage site.

The pilot accepted delivery of the airplane on October 10, 2017. His logbook indicated a total of 703.9 flight hours, of which 51.8 hours were in an Icon A5 airplane, and 14.5 hours were in the accident airplane. Weather about 19 miles southeast of the accident site at 1153 included calm winds, visibility of 10 sm and clear skies.

November 7, 2017, Sulphur, La.
Hughes 369D

The helicopter was not damaged when its external cargo long line severed after contacting a shield wire suspended between power transmission towers at 0934 Central time. The two linemen who were being hoisted on the long line were fatally injured when they fell about 100 feet to the ground. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight’s purpose was to install guard ropes between the deenergized power transmission lines. After a preflight safety briefing and discussion of the expected work tasks, the pilot brought the helicopter into a hover above the linemen to allow them to hook onto the external cargo long line. He then repositioned the helicopter to allow the linemen to work on the conductor bundles.

The pilot reported that he saw one of the linemen grab a conductor. At the same time he also observed the long line in contact with the shield wire. The pilot stated that the long line severed as he turned the helicopter into the wind and attempted to coax the linemen away from the northern conductors. After the accident, it was determined the 60 foot-long unsheathed long line separated about midspan while it was in contact with the braided steel shield wire suspended between power transmission towers. The pilot did not report any malfunction or failures with the helicopter that would have prevented normal operation.

November 7, 2017, Morrison, Tenn.
Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six

At about 1845 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain. The flight instructor and a private pilot were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the flight, which originated in Monroeville, Ala.

After missing an approach to the Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville, Tenn., the flight requested a clearance to Sparta, Tenn. After ATC issued a climb to 5000 feet msl and a clearance to Sparta, the flight’s radar target was observed to level at 5000 feet and turn toward the divert airport. Shortly thereafter, one of the pilots declared a “Mayday” and the radar target was observed in a rapid descent before radar contact was lost.

According to witnesses, the engine was “loud” and they reported hearing it “throttle up” before they heard the impact. The airplane came to rest in a soybean field at an elevation of 1030 feet msl. All major components of the airplane were located in the vicinity of the main wreckage. The wreckage came to rest upright and was partially consumed by a post-impact fire. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the flight controls in the cockpit through cuts made to facilitate recovery. All three propeller blades exhibited leading edge damage.

November 10, 2017, Annapolis, Md.
Socata TB-200 Tobago XL GT

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1520 Eastern time during a forced landing. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

About 45 minutes into a sightseeing flight and at 1500 feet msl, the pilot felt a very light and subtle vibration from the engine. Shortly thereafter, propeller rpm increased to the 2700 rpm redline. The pilot reduced engine power, but it had little effect. Soon, engine vibration increased and the cockpit began filling with smoke. The pilot diverted to a nearby airport right before the engine lost all power. The airplane touched down normally on an interstate highway access ramp, but struck a light pole and a guardrail before coming to rest on the grassy shoulder.

November 12, 2017, Fountain Run, Ky.
Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six

At 1410 Central time, the airplane was destroyed during an in-flight break-up and collision with trees and terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering. The private pilot/owner and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed.

The airplane was in cruise flight, eastbound at about 5500 feet msl, when it executed a slight turn to a northeasterly heading. At 1356, it climbed as high as 7500 feet and began a series of left and right turns while maintaining a generally northeast track. Shortly thereafter, it began an erratic series of left, right and 180-degree turns before a sharp right turn and descent to 2800 feet over a 30-second span before radar contact was lost. A witness described the airplane “in a nosedive” before losing sight of it behind trees.

The 1415 weather observation 15 miles north of the accident site included a broken ceiling at 500 feet and an overcast ceiling at 1300 feet. High-resolution weather data suggested a solid cloud layer up to 8000 feet msl in the area surrounding the accident site. The pilot did not file a flight plan nor obtain a weather briefing prior to departure. The pilot also did not possess an instrument rating.

November 15, 2017, Opa Locka, Fla.
Cessna Model 172RG Cutlass RG

The airplane sustained substantial damage during landing at about 2007 Eastern time. The commercial pilot and safety pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While conducting a practice instrument approach, the pilot moved the landing gear selector to the down position just prior to intercepting a glideslope, then verified that the gear down-and-locked light was illuminated and completed the before-landing checklist. At about 500 feet agl, the GPS blinked, and radio communications were lost. At about 150 feet agl, the lights on the instrument panel blinked. The pilot then selected flaps to 30 degrees and configured the airplane for landing. The pilot stated that she then moved the landing light switch to the on position and immediately lost all electrical power.

After receiving a green light gun signal from the tower, she continued the approach and visually verified that the main landing gear was extended. Upon touchdown the right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane departed the runway, sustaining substantial damage to the right horizontal stabilizer. The pilot stated that no electrical or landing gear warning lights were illuminated for the duration of the flight.

November 23, 2017, Starke, Fla.
Mooney M20C

At about 1515 Eastern time, the airplane impacted terrain and was destroyed. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed. The flight originated about 1500 Eastern time from Ocala, Fla.

According to a friend of the pilot who was a passenger on the flight to Ocala, the weather became “very turbulent” before landing and was “very windy and raining very hard” after landing. While the pilot waited for the weather to improve, the airplane’s fuel tanks were topped off. According to a witness, the pilot waited about 45 minutes before departing, mentioning that he had to get to his daughter’s birthday and a Thanksgiving gathering.

Subsequently, when the accident aircraft was on approach to its destination, the radar controller advised the local controller that the pilot was making erratic turns. Shortly afterward, the pilot executed a missed approach while on a five-mile final. The controller cleared the pilot to 3000 feet and asked if he would like to go to a different nearby airport where the weather was better. The pilot agreed but radar contact was lost shortly after that communication. Examination of the accident site revealed all three propeller blades were damaged. One was bent aft, one was relatively straight and one exhibited “S” bending and scoring.


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