NTSB Reports February 2014: Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


December 1, 2013, Yellow Pine, Idaho Beech B36TC Turbocharged Bonanza
At 1303 Mountain time, radar and radio communication with the aircraft were lost. The instrument-rated private pilot and his four passengers are missing at this writing; the airplane has not been located. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was in effect.

While cruising at 13,000 feet, the pilot reported he was picking up significant icing and requested a descent, then a diversion. The controller observed the airplane descend below 11,900 feet, the minimum safe altitude, and alerted the pilot. The pilot informed the controller he was having engine problems and was unable to maintain altitude. Subsequently, radar and radio contact was lost.

December 2, 2013, Walton, Ind. Cessna 560 Citation Encore
The airplane was substantially damaged when an engine cowling departed the airplane in flight at about 1610 Eastern time. The two flight crewmembers and one passenger aboard were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Part 135 on-demand air taxi. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect.

The airplane was descending through 17,000 feet msl when the crew heard a “bang” and experienced a slight yawing of the airplane, and reported the event to ATC. The airplane landed at its destination without incident. Post-flight inspection revealed the right engine cowling had departed the airplane and impacted the right horizontal stabilizer.

December 2, 2013, Dawsonville, Ga. Piper PA 46-310P Malibu
At about 1915 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed following an in-flight break up and impact with terrain. Night IMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was in effect. The solo private pilot was fatally injured.

Preliminary radar data indicates the airplane reversed direction and made several turns prior to losing radar contact and contact with ATC. The accident debris path was approximately 700 feet wide by 2000 feet long. All components of the airplane were located and control continuity was confirmed to all flight control surfaces. An odor similar to fuel was noted throughout the debris field.

December 2, 2013, La Alianza, P.R. Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III
The airplane was destroyed during a rapid descent at 2010 Atlantic time. The captain and first officer were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed for the Part 135 international cargo flight, which operated on an IFR flight plan.

Preliminary radar data revealed the airplane maintained 11,000 feet msl until 2007, and had descended to 8300 feet by 2010:08. It then made a 20-degree turn to the left, and by 2010:13, had descended to 7300 feet. It subsequently made a 45-degree turn to the right, and had descended to 5500 feet by 2010:18. Calculations between 2010:08 and 2010:13 indicated a rate of descent of about 12,000 fpm, and between 2010:13 and 2010:18, over 21,000 fpm. Preliminary groundspeed calculations indicated about 290 knots. There were no additional verifiable altitude positions.

Investigation of the wreckage failed to identify evidence of an in-flight fire or explosion, but did indicate the landing gear had been extended. There was evidence of fuel in both wings.

December 5, 2013, Fair Oaks, Calif. Piper PA 24-250 Comanche 250
At about 1440 Pacific time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an off-airport forced landing. The solo pilot received minor injuries; visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot subsequently stated the flight was normal until he began a descent, throttling back to 2100 rpm and applying full carburetor heat. Upon reaching the desired altitude, he turned off the carburetor heat and the engine quit. He alerted ATC, obtained a vector to the nearest airport and continued attempts to restart the engine. When it became apparent he was not going to reach an airport, he attempted to land in a soccer field. During the landing, the airplane collided with a car in a parking lot, and trees and terrain.

December 8, 2013, Jacksonville, Fla. Cessna 310R
The airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with a retaining pond at about 1821 Eastern time while executing a missed approach. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night IMC prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect.

The pilot attempted an ILS but subsequently reported a missed approach. No further communications were received from the accident airplane. During the missed approach, the airplane climbed from approximately 325 feet msl to 425 feet before radar contact was lost. The airplane came to rest in the retaining pond. The leading edges of both wings and the nosecone exhibited impact damage while the empennage was undamaged. The wing flaps were extended approximately 15 degrees and the landing gear was retracted.

Weather observed at the destination airport at 1833 included wind from 060 degrees at four knots, visibility 2.5 miles in mist and an overcast ceiling at 200 feet.

December 9, 2013, Chandler, Ariz. Aviat Aircraft S-2C Pitts Special
At about 1500 Mountain time, the airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing after control was lost while landing. The flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight instructor reported he and the private pilot were practicing aerobatic maneuvers and had returned to the airport to practice touch-and-go landings. On the third touch-and-go landing, the airplane drifted to the right side of the runway just prior to touching down. The flight instructor took over the controls and executed a go-around, then landed uneventfully. The airplane’s right wing had struck a runway identifier sign on the touch-and-go landing, which resulted in substantial damage.

December 10, 2013, Hammond, La. Rockwell International 112
The airplane was substantially damaged at 1002 Central time, during a forced landing. The pilot receiving instruction and his flight instructor were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While at 3000 feet msl, the pilot receiving instruction noticed a lack of oil pressure after smelling an odor in the cockpit. The engine gradually lost complete power over the next 90 seconds. A forced landing to a field was executed, during which the left wing was substantially damaged when it collided with a fence post.
Post-accident examination revealed engine oil on the lower fuselage, firewall and lower right side of the engine. The engine had accumulated 3.68 hours since an oil change.

December 11, 2013, Eau Claire, Wis. Beech E90 King Air
At 1008 Central time, the solo pilot made a precautionary landing after the copilot’s windshield cracked in flight. The airplane sustained minor damage; the pilot was uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was cruising at FL190 when the copilot’s windshield inner layer cracked, impairing visibility. At the time, the windshield heat was not on. Pressurization was not compromised. The pilot requested and was cleared to 10,000 feet. He put on his oxygen mask and descended. The precautionary landing was made without further incident.

December 11, 2013, Kalaupapa, Hawaii Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
The airplane was substantially damaged following a loss of engine power and ditching into the Pacific Ocean. The airline transport pilot and two passengers were seriously injured; one passenger was fatally injured; five passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Part 135 passenger flight.

The pilot stated that shortly after takeoff, a loud bang was heard and there was a total loss of power. After a short glide, he performed an open-ocean ditching. The airplane floated for approximately 25 minutes and then sank. U.S. Coast Guard and Maui Fire and Rescue personnel recovered the pilot and passengers approximately 80 minutes later.

December 17, 2013, Atlanta, Ga. Raytheon Model 390 (Premiere I)
The airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain at about 1924 Eastern time, and was consumed by a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

According to statements by line personnel, the accident pilot contacted the FBO at about 1740 and requested fueling. The pilot and passenger arrived at the airplane at about 1900, loaded their baggage inside the airplane cabin, and departed the ramp area about 15 minutes later. Immediately after takeoff, the pilot requested to return to the airport, was given instructions to enter the right downwind for Runway 26 and was told to follow landing traffic; no further transmissions were recorded from the flight. According to an eyewitness, the airplane struck a tree, veered to the right and impacted the ground in a nose-down, inverted attitude.

December 18, 2013, Panama City, Fla. Beech G36 Bonanza
At about 0723 Central time, the airplane impacted trees and terrain during a forced landing attempt. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect.

The flight was about 60 miles from its destination when the pilot reported he had lost all engine power and began diverting to a nearby airport. Shortly, radio and radar contact was lost. The wreckage was located in a heavily wooded area about one mile from the divert airport.

The airplane’s fuel selector valve was found in the left position. The left and right wing tip tanks were empty.

The right wing main tank was compromised due to leading edge wing damage. A small amount of residual fuel was noted inside it. The left wing main tank was not compromised; it contained about one pint of fuel.

December 18, 2013, Charlottesville, Va. Beech A36TC Turbocharged Bonanza
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1110 Eastern time when it impacted terrain. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect.

At 1104, the pilot reported to the control tower he was 13 miles from the airport at 4300 feet msl. At 1108, the pilot declared an emergency, reporting his engine was dying. The pilot’s last transmission to ATC was at 1110 when he stated he was not going to make the airport. The accident site was about three miles from the airport, and included a wreckage path about 200 feet in length. All three propeller blades exhibited post-crash impact damage with minimal leading edge and rotational signature damage.

December 18, 2013, Los Angeles, Calif. Piper PA 32-301 Saratoga
At about 1515 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power and was involved in an off-airport landing. The private pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

This was the first flight since the airplane’s annual inspection. Before takeoff, the fuel gauges indicated each tank contained about 12 gallons of fuel. Following a full-stop landing, the pilot took off again. The airplane experienced a total loss of power while on the traffic pattern’s crosswind leg. The pilot switched tanks to no avail. The airplane’s landing gear dug into soft terrain and the nose landing gear collapsed, damaging the firewall.

December 28, 2013, Gladewater, Texas Cessna 150L
The airplane impacted terrain at about 1330 Central time after experiencing a loss of engine power. The commercial pilot and passenger received minor injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported he had flown for about 30 minutes. As he approached the airport, engine rpm started to decrease. He was unable to restore power and was too low to make it to the airport. The airplane impacted trees and terrain, resulting in substantial damage to the left and right wings. A visual inspection of the engine did not reveal a reason for the loss of power, a fuel smell was present on-site and fuel was available in the airplane’s fuel tanks.


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