NTSB Reports: August 2014

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


June 1, 2014, Galena, Alaska Cessna 182K Skylane
At about 1315 Alaska time, the wheel-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a total loss of power. Of the four persons aboard, the pilot and one passenger sustained minor injuries; two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight departed Fairbanks, then made stops in Anvik and Kaltag, Alaska. The accident flight departed from the Kaltag Airport about 1300, en route to Galena. While flying level at 1500 feet msl, the engine began to run rough and lose power, which was immediately followed by loss of all power. The pilot was unable to restart the engine, and selected a marshy area next to a small lake as a forced landing area. During the forced landing, the airplane’s wheels contacted an area of soft, tundra-covered terrain, and the airplane nosed over, sustaining damage to the fuselage and wings. The airplane came to rest inverted and partially submerged. The pilot planned to purchase fuel at Galena, before continuing back to Fairbanks.

June 1, 2014, Stevens Point, Wis. Yakovlev YAK-55M
The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain at about 1222 Central time during an aerobatic flight. The solo airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the local airshow flight.

After performing several aerobatic maneuvers, the airplane entered a near-vertical climb. At the apex of the climb/loop, the airplane entered an inverted flat spin. Ground-based video footage showed the airplane completing 3½ rotations in the inverted flat spin before it entered a near-vertical dive. The video footage then showed a momentary increase in airplane pitch, achieving a positive deck angle of about 20 degrees, before the airplane entered a rapid left roll. The airplane then entered a nose-down left descending spiral into terrain.

June 2, 2014, Sebastian, Fla. Velocity Twin Experimental
The airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with the runway and terrain following a loss of control while landing at about 1700 Eastern time. The solo private pilot/owner was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The initial test flight after installing a propeller on the left engine was successful, and the pilot was conducting touch-and-go landings. On the third takeoff, the pilot later said the airplane “pulled” to the left and required “hard” right rudder to maintain runway alignment. At pattern altitude, the pilot noted 1400 rpm on the left engine and 2600 rpm on the right. Throughout the remainder of the traffic pattern, the pilot attempted to troubleshoot and match the rpm on the two engines until he was on final approach. A witness later described an “unstable” approach before the airplane contacted the runway and “launched” back into the air. He described the right wing and the landing gear striking the ground twice before the airplane bounced back into the air. He said, “At this point he had a 40-45 degree nose-up attitude. He went to full power, but he was already stalled.” The airplane struck the ground out of control and the landing gear and both propellers separated from the airplane.

June 4, 2014, Fort Worth, Texas SA300 Starduster Too Experimental
At about 1908 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of engine power during takeoff. The non-certificated pilot and passenger received serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

June 4, 2014, Buckley, Wash. North American AT-6C
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1530 Pacific time when it impacted trees and terrain following a loss of engine power. The airline transport-rated pilot, seated in the front seat, and airline transport-rated passenger seated in the aft seat were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses heard the airplane’s engine sputter about 15 to 30 seconds after it cleared the departure end of the runway. They observed the airplane initiate a right turn, followed by a left 270-degree turn while ascending and descending erratically. Witnesses stated that throughout the turn, the engine sounds seemed erratic. As the airplane completed the turn to a southerly heading, the airplane seemed to have lost complete engine power and descended into trees.

June 5, 2014, Laytonville, Calif.

Cessna 172M Skyhawk
At about 1923 Pacific time, the airplane collided with trees while maneuvering at low altitude. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the airframe and wings during the accident sequence. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses reported the airplane was at low level, and made several passes over an open field. During another pass, they observed the right wing make contact with a tree and separate from the airplane.

June 6, 2014, Ronan, Mon. Cessna 150F
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1315 Mountain time during an off-airport landing. Both the private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
After takeoff, when the airplane was about 300-400 feet agl, the engine began to “slow down,” despite the controls being set to full throttle, full rich mixture and no carburetor heat. The pilot turned left slightly to gauge whether the airplane could make it back to the runway. As the airplane entered the left turn, the climb performance decreased “substantially,” and the airplane began to lose altitude quickly. When the airplane was about 50 feet agl, the engine lost all “performance.” The airplane struck the field and bounced, and then struck a three-foot berm at about 35 knots, coming to rest inverted. The pilot reported two hours total time in the accident airplane make and model.

June 7, 2014, Duluth, Minn. Lancair IV Experimental
At about 1123 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted Lake Superior. The solo pilot received fatal injuries. Marginal VFR conditions prevailed; the flight was operating on an IFR flight plan.
After takeoff, the airplane climbed to about 6600 feet msl and appeared to be turning to right, away from its destination. The airplane descended and radar contact was lost about seven nm east of KDLH at 2500 feet msl. Despite multiple attempts by ATC to contact the flight, there were no radio transmissions from the pilot. The airplane impacted Lake Superior about one nm from shore. A nearby weather observation included wind 140 at nine knots, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 300 feet, a broken ceiling at 1000 feet and an overcast at 2700 feet.

June 7, 2014, Newport, Vt. Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140
The airplane was substantially damaged at approximately 1700 Eastern time during an attempted go around. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, the airplane floated in ground effect and touched down approximately 3000 feet down the 3999-foot-long runway. The pilot applied full power to initiate a go-around but, according to a witness, the airplane pitched up abruptly, climbed to about 100 feet agl, began a left turn and settled back toward the ground. The airplane impacted terrain just off the runway’s departure end. The pilot held a private certificate but did not possess a medical certificate.

June 7, 2014, Paso Robles, Calif. Piper J-3C-65 Cub
At about 1005 Pacific time, the airplane collided with terrain, shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot and private pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses observed the airplane lift off and bank to the right as it climbed. The bank angle continued to steepen until the airplane pitched down toward the ground. Terrain prevented them from seeing ground impact.

June 7, 2014 in Polson, Mon. Northwing Apache Sport E-LSA
The weight-shift-control aircraft collided with terrain at about 0700 Mountain time. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident flight was the first after installing a smaller-than-standard wing on the aircraft. The aircraft climbed uneventfully to about 600-800 feet above ground level, and then began to circle back toward the runway. The aircraft then suddenly rolled into a steep bank. The bank continued through 360 degrees, progressing into a “corkscrew” descent. After six to eight revolutions, the aircraft descended out of view. The ballistic recovery parachute was not deployed.

June 9, 2014, Merritt Island, Fla. Liberty Aerospace XL-2
At about 2036 Eastern time, the airplane crashed in a residential area. The private-rated passenger in the left seat and commercial-rated pilot/owner in the right one were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed. The takeoff time has not been determined.

The owner was checking out the left seat occupant, who intended on renting the airplane. A witness observed the airplane flying about 200 feet agl, enter a bankand then the nose pitched down. During the nose-low descent, the witness reported hearing a popping sound from the engine which became quiet and then popped again. A homeowner adjacent to the accident site reported he did not hear an engine sound prior to the impact.

June 9, 2014, Daytona Beach, Fla. Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP
The airplane impacted terrain at about 2158 Eastern time when control was lost shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor and private-rated student were fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. Night visual conditions prevailed for the flight.

Preliminary information from ATC indicates the airplane had completed its second touch-and-go landing and was in initial climb. An airport employee heard what sounded like a “backfire” coming from the direction of the airplane during its climb. He then saw the airplane descend below the tree line. All components of the airplane, including flight control surfaces, were accounted for at the crash site.

June 9, 2014, El Mirage, Calif. American Aviation AA-1A Trainer
At about 1115 Pacific time, the airplane collided with the dry surface of El Mirage Lake. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot had been requested to make a low pass over a group of which he was a member. According to witnesses, the airplane flew over the group about 100 feet agl, then initiated a climbing right crosswind turn to the south. As it turned from crosswind to downwind, the bank angle became “excessive.” The airplane did not level after the bank. The nose then pitched down, and the airplane descended into the ground at a 45-degree nose-down angle. All major components of airplane were accounted for at the accident site. There were no indications of a bird strike.

June 13, 2014, White Plains, N.Y. Piper PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian
The airplane was destroyed when it collided with trees and terrain at 0808 Eastern time, shortly after takeoff. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was in effect.
Recorded radar data included five radar targets identified as the accident airplane. The first three targets began about midpoint of the 6500-foot runway; each were at 500 feet msl. The airport elevation was 439 feet msl. The final two targets depicted a shallow right turn and were at 600 and 700 feet msl, respectively. The final radar target was observed about ½ mile from the accident site. At 0815, observed weather at the departure airport included an overcast ceiling at 200 feet, ¼-mile visibility in fog and wind at six knots.

June 15, 2014, Florence, Ore. Grumman American AA-5B Tiger
At about 0945 Pacific time, the airplane impacted the ocean. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Marginal VFR conditions prevailed.

Witnesses reported observing the airplane descend from the low clouds. After exiting the clouds, they heard an increase in engine noise and the airplane started to level off. The airplane then appeared to stall and start to spin before it impacted the water below.

June 16, 2014, Pennsboro, W.V. Cub Crafters CC18-180 Top Cub
The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing at about 2000 Eastern time following loss of engine power during initial climb. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff and at about 100 feet agl, the engine either lost all power or went to idle without warning. The pilot banked the airplane left in an attempt to land on an adjacent property, but the airplane stalled and impacted a ravine. Examination revealed each 25-gallon wing tank was approximately one-quarter full. Additionally, during the impact, a glass fuel bowl ruptured and the pilot captured about five gallons of leaking fuel. All fuel was bright, clear, consistent with 100LL and contained no visible contamination. The propeller was rotated through 360 degrees and no mechanical binding was observed.

June 18, 2014, Lehman, Texas Piper PA-46-310P Malibu
At about 1635 Central time, the airplane crashed in an open field. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight was operating on an IFR flight plan.

While en route at FL270, the airplane deviated to the east due to weather. The airplane then climbed to FL293 before descending The airplane was last recorded on radar at an altitude of 12,500 feet. The empennage and the outboard portion of the right wing were separated but came to rest immediately adjacent to the main wreckage. There were no ground scars nor was there a debris field. A witness reported a severe thunderstorm in the immediate vicinity, including high winds, heavy rain and low visibility.

June 18, 2014, Moab, Utah Cessna 175 Skylark
The airplane collided with mountainous terrain at about 0800 Mountain time. The solo airline transport pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed in a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.
The accident airplane was about two to three miles in trail behind a second airplane, flying at 9500 feet msl. The lead airplane lost communications with the accident airplane after exiting the La Sal Pass and, after an extensive search, reported the accident airplane missing. The airplane wreckage was located the next day in the La Sal Pass at an elevation of 9804 feet mean sea level (msl). A post-accident fire consumed a majority of the airplane and its contents.

June 19, 2014, Alturas, Calif. Cessna 172RG Cutlass RG
At about 0820 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage as a result of a runway overrun and subsequent impact with terrain and object after an aborted takeoff. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. During takeoff, increased back pressure was used to keep the nose landing gear from shimmying but lengthened the landing roll. While attempting to abort, the airplane struck a fence.


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