NTSB Reports: August 2015

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


June 1, 2015, Grove Hill, Ala.
Beech A23-24 Musketeer Super III

At about 1730 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field following total loss of engine power during cruise flight. The airline transport pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

About 15 minutes after adding 30 gallons of fuel at an en-route fuel stop and while cruising at 3500 feet msl, the engine lost all power. Emergency procedures weren’t successful and the pilot selected a field for an emergency landing due to utility wires surrounding the adjacent roads. The touchdown was normal, but the field included rough terrain, which resulted in the nosegear collapsing before the airplane came to rest upright.

June 1, 2015, Livermore, Calif.
Piper PA-22-135 Tri-Pacer

The airplane collided with terrain at about 2058 Pacific time while maneuvering. The airline transport pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed during the accident sequence and post-impact fire. Night visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot took off downwind and reported a “control difficulty” to ATC, saying he would circle and troubleshoot the issue. There were no further transmissions. A witness reported seeing the airplane in a “nose-dive straight down,” and the engine sounded like it was at full throttle. Crash-site examination revealed a propeller blade had separated about six inches from the hub. The rest of the propeller was in the principal impact crater.

June 1, 2015, Dewey, Ariz.
Bell 206L-4 LongRanger IV

At about 1945 Mountain time, the helicopter was substantially damaged during an emergency landing following loss of engine power. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the ferry flight.

While in cruise at about 750 feet agl, the engine lost power. During the emergency landing sequence, the main rotor blades struck the tail boom, causing substantial damage.

June 2, 2015, Oshkosh, Wis.
Sonex SA Experimental

The experimental amateur-built airplane impacted unoccupied vehicles during takeoff, sustaining substantial damage. Both private pilots were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident site was 0.25 miles east-northeast of the departure end of Runway 9, from which the airplane took off. All major components remained attached to the airplane except for the engine, which had separated.

June 4, 2015, McCarthy, Alaska
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub

At about 1100 Alaska time, the airline transport pilot was struck by a spinning propeller and fatally injured while attempting to load the airplane. Visual conditions prevailed.

Four airplanes, flying as a group, were preparing to depart a remote airstrip. All four engines were idling while loading to ward off swarms of mosquitoes. The cockpits were unattended. While the accident pilot was loading the right side of his airplane, the airplane to the left of the accident airplane, also a Piper PA-18, began slowly moving forward. While trying to prevent a collision, the accident pilot walked in front of his airplane to its left wing. Subsequently, the pilot ran into the back of the spinning propeller.

June 5, 2015, Raton, N.M.
Cub Crafters CC18-180 Top Cub

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0628 Mountain time when it impacted terrain. The commercial pilot and his gunner were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a public-use coyote control flight. Day visual conditions prevailed.

Preliminary review of recovered GPS data reveal that, at 0628:32, the airplane had descended to about 42 feet agl and had a groundspeed of 74 mph. The airplane then entered a climbing left turn, slowing to about 62 mph groundspeed. Nine seconds later, the final GPS data point was recorded about 95 degrees into the left turn, with the airplane having climbed to about 97 feet agl. The final GPS data point was about 232 feet northeast of the accident site.

June 5, 2015, Windsor Locks, Conn.
Bombardier DHC-8-202 Dash 8

At about 1215 Eastern time, the airplane sustained an in-flight cockpit fire during approach, causing minor damage. The crew donned masks, declared an emergency and landed without incident. There were no injuries to the passengers or crew. Visual conditions prevailed for the scheduled Part 121 domestic passenger flight, which operated IFR.

June 6, 2015, Haskell, Okla.
Flight Design CTSW

The light sport airplane impacted terrain and was substantially damaged at about 1258 Central time during an off-airport forced landing. The pilot and a passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot subsequently reported a sudden partial power loss at about 500 to 600 feet agl while on initial climb. The pilot executed a forced landing to a muddy field. The airplane came to rest inverted and the impact resulted in the almost complete separation of the empennage. Both occupants exited without assistance. Examination revealed adequate fuel was aboard and quality checks were satisfactory. A post-accident test run of the engine was satisfactory. Avionics containing engine-performance data in non-volatile memory were retained and an extraction of useful data is expected.

June 6, 2015, Alpine, Texas
Zenith 601XLB Experimental

At 0820 Central time, the airplane collided with a residential carport following loss of engine power during cruise flight. The sport pilot was not injured but the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight.

The pilot/A&P/aircraft builder had been experiencing low oil pressure. He worked on the oil system the day before and taxied the airplane for about 20 minutes, during which it operated normally. The following day he took off on the post-maintenance test flight with everything operating normally. About 10 minutes after takeoff, the engine started to sputter then lost all power. The pilot selected a small open area in which to land and, during the approach, flew under a set of wires, contacting the lowest one. The airplane nosed down into alongside a residence.

June 8, 2015, Reno, Nev.
Mooney M20C

The airplane was destroyed during an off-airport landing at about 1600 Pacific time following an in-flight fire while in the airport traffic pattern. The airline transport pilot and the airline transport pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While on downwind for a fourth touch-and-go landing, the pilots noticed smoke in the cockpit. The pilot declared an emergency while the pilot-rated passenger took control and initiated a forced landing to a dirt road about a mile north of the airport. The passenger observed flames originating from the lower front cowling area near the air intake after exiting the airplane, he observed.

June 10, 2015, Pueblo, Colo.
Diamond Aircraft DA 20 C1

The airplane was substantially damaged during landing at 1538 Mountain time, but the solo student pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated under contract for the U.S. Air Force as a FAR 91 public use flight.

According to the student, the airplane bounced twice and came down roughly the third time, damaging the nose landing gear, propeller and fuselage. Observed wind was 30 knots gusting to 39.

June 10, 2015, Everett, Wash.
Beechcraft F35 Bonanza

At about 0909 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during initial climb. The private pilot receiving instruction sustained serious injuries; the flight instructor was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After acknowledging the takeoff clearance, no further radio transmissions were heard from the pilot. Witnesses located adjacent to the accident site reported observing the airplane takeoff and settle below a tree line out of their line of sight. The airplane impacted thick vegetation about 1921 feet south of the departure end of the runway. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site.

June 12, 2015, Huggins, Mo.
Beechcraft A36 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire following a loss of control at about 0700 Central time. The accident occurred during initial climb after takeoff from a private airstrip. The pilot and three passengers received fatal injuries. One passenger received serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness, the pilot’s brother, observed the airplane taxi to the north end of the 2000-foot-long grass runway, where it turned around for a takeoff to the south. The airplane lifted off and then began a right turn toward an opening in the tree line at the departure end of the runway. The airplane then pitched up abruptly, rolled left and dove into the ground, coming to rest about 100 feet west of the south end of the strip.

When taking off to the south on the runway, it features a slight uphill slope and trees about 70 feet tall at the departure end. The north end of the runway had no obstructions and the ground sloped downward into a valley beyond. The propeller’s position indicated a near-vertical impact. Based on the takeoff direction, the airplane had rolled inverted prior to impact.

June 14, 2015, Cuba, Mo.
Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six

At 0746 Central time, the airplane impacted terrain and was destroyed. The pilot and one dog were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.

Shortly before the accident, the flight was cruising at 5000 feet msl and was in radio and radar contact with ATC. At 0745, the pilot stated he observed weather on his Stormscope equipment and added that he was “getting no bumps, just [precipitation].” At 0746, ATC lost radar and radio contact. Two witnesses observed the accident airplane descend below the overcast in pieces. At 0736, a special weather observation 16 miles from the accident site included wind from 190 degrees at eight knots, 10 miles’ visibility, few clouds at 700 feet, broken clouds at 3800 feet, overcast clouds at 4800 feet, temperature and dewpoint both 70 deg. F, and distant lightning.

June 14, 2015, Fredericksburg, Texas
Grumman American AA-5 Traveler

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain at about 1119 Central time, shortly after takeoff. The private pilot sustained serious injuries; his passenger was fatally injured. Day visual conditions prevailed.

At about 1115, the pilot called his spouse to advise the airplane’s annual inspection was complete, and he and the mechanic/passenger were going on a local flight. There were no witnesses to the accident. The wreckage was located in an open pasture about mile from the departure threshold on the runway’s extended centerline.

A first responder reported the cockpit fuel selector was initially found in the RIGHT position and that, during rescue efforts, he turned it to OFF. There was fluid present in both supply lines to the fuel selector assembly. Liquid collected from the right tank supply line was consistent in color and odor to 100LL aviation fuel and a sample displayed no water or particulate contamination. Liquid collected from the left tank supply line contained a mixture of fuel and water contamination, as did the electric fuel pump, the lowest point in the fuel system. The fuel pump filter screen was corroded and partially obstructed by particulate contaminates. The carburetor fuel bowl contained trace amounts of a brown/tan liquid with an odor consistent with aviation fuel and tested positive for water contamination. Post-accident engine examination revealed no evidence of mechanical failure that would have precluded normal operation.

June 14, 2015, Palmyra, Pa.
Cessna T210M Turbo Centurion

At about 1645 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following an aborted landing attempt and subsequent go-around maneuver. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During the landing attempt, the pilot felt as though “braking had little effect,” then applied “full power” to begin a go-around. During the initial climb, the airplane impacted a muddy cornfield with its right wing and then nosed into the ground. The pilot reported there were no mechanical problems or abnormalities with the airplane.

June 18, 2015, Laconia, N.H.
Piper PA-22-150 Tri-Pacer

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0845 Eastern time when it made a forced landing shortly after taking off from a private airstrip. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness saw the airplane just starting to climb toward the south and the engine was “spitting and sputtering.” The airplane started a right turn toward her but then he banked to the left. The pilot then pulled up to avoid hitting a house, entered a right turn and descended into a field. The witness said that as the airplane climbed over the house, there was a quick surge in engine power before it made a “pop, pop” sound followed by a total loss of power. She said the pilot was flying the airplane the entire time, but was “in trouble” from the time he took off up until the impact.

June 19, 2015, Clearwater, Fla.
Beechcraft B55 Baron

At about 1115 Eastern time, the airplane experienced a nose and right main landing gear collapse while landing. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight was normal, as were the pre-landing checks, including landing gear and flap extension. The airplane touched down about 100 feet past the runway lights and subsequently made an uncontrollable right turn. The right wing dropped to the ground, and the nose and right main landing gear collapsed. The airplane came to rest on the paved portion of the runway. After the airplane was recovered, its landing gear was manually lowered but the nose landing gear down lock switch would not activate. Examination revealed the airframe structure and lower portion of the forward bulkhead, in the vicinity of the nose landing gear, was substantially damaged.

June 19, 2015, Shreveport, La.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1715 Central time when it impacted terrain during takeoff following a touch-and-go landing. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During the accident takeoff, the airplane was observed in a nose-high attitude. The airplane subsequently rolled to the left, nosed over and impacted the ground with its left wing. The airplane cartwheeled on its nose and came to rest pointing back toward the departure runway.

Continuity from the cockpit to each flight control surface was established. The left and right wing tanks were defueled; the removed fuel totaled about 10 gallons. The carburetor accelerator pump ejected a fluid consistent with aviation gasoline when it was depressed.

The airplane’s logbook showed its last annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2014, at 1501.14 tach hours. The tachometer displayed 1529.01 at the accident site.


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