NTSB Reports July 2013: Recent General Aviation and Air Carrier Accidents


May 1, 2013, Ingalls, Ind., Beech A36 Bonanza

The pilot departed on a 1+50 cross-country flight with approximately 30 gallons of fuel in each wing tank (approximately 27 gallons usable fuel per side). The flight was uneventful until he started a descent from 8000 feet msl to 3000 feet, when the engine made “two pops” and “quit.” The pilot said there was no engine roughness, “It just stopped.” He made several attempts to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful.

The pilot declared an emergency and landed in a field. Upon landing, the nose gear dug into the dirt and separated from the airplane. The right wing rear spar also fractured during the landing. Both wing fuel bladders were undamaged. Approximately one-quart of fuel was drained from the left wing tank; the right wing tank contained approximately 30 gallons of fuel. The pilot could not recall the fuel selector’s position at the time of the power loss.

May 1, 2013, St. Louis, Mo., Cessna P210N Pressurized Centurion

At about 0740 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a gear-up landing. The pilot did not report any injuries. Day visual conditions prevailed.

During approach for landing, the pilot noticed a popped navigation/communications circuit breaker, as well as smoke in the cockpit. The pilot stated he lowered the landing gear handle, but was not sure if the landing gear down indicator light illuminated. The airplane touched down on the runway surface with the landing gear retracted, which caused substantial damage to the fuselage structure, propeller and engine.

May 2, 2013, Catskill, N.Y., Grumman G-44 Widgeon

The seaplane was substantially damaged at about 1629 Eastern time when it impacted the waters of the Hudson River. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Approximately 25 witnesses were interviewed. The preponderance of witness statements were that the airplane was observed flying southbound low above the Hudson River. Its engines were heard to be running. The airplane then made a 180-degree left turn until it had reversed direction. It then descended, leveled off, entered a left bank and struck the water with the left pontoon and nose, nosed over, caught fire and sank, coming to rest in 20 to 25 feet of water.

Sonar revealed an approximately 250-foot-long debris field containing the major components of the airplane was present on the river bottom. Preliminary examination of wreckage recovered from the debris field supported the witness statements, and revealed that the airplane had fragmented into multiple pieces during the impact sequence.

May 4, 2013, Arcadia, N.Y., Cessna 182G Skylane

The pilot was attempting to land on a 2800-foot-long turf runway. He planned a landing to the north due to obstacles along a southerly direction of landing. The pilot added that he approached with an approximate five-knot tailwind and the wind was not a factor. He further stated that on final approach, the airplane was a little high. During the flare, the airplane floated longer than the pilot expected. At that time, he did not want to perform a go-around due to power lines at the departure end of the runway.

The airplane subsequently touched down about halfway down the runway and the pilot thought that he had adequate distance to stop; however, the grass was wet and down-sloping. The airplane traveled off the end of the runway and the pilot veered left in an attempt to avoid power poles, but the right wing struck a pole and the airplane came to rest upright.

May 4, 2013, Suffolk, Va., RANS S6S Coyoye II Experimental

At about 1300 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during an uncontrolled descent. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident airplane was one of several conducting a group flight. As the accident airplane approached the runway, it entered an aerodynamic stall during the turn to final. The airplane then appeared to recover from the stall and aborted the landing, while the trailing airplane in the flight landed uneventfully. That event repeated itself on the airplane’s second landing attempt.

During the third traffic pattern circuit, and while turning from the downwind leg to the base leg, the airplane appeared to stall again, and enter a spin. Controllers lost sight of the airplane as it descended from their view behind trees.

May 4, 2013, Erwinna, Penn., Schweizer SGS 2-33A Glider

The glider, operated by the Civil Air Patrol, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight.

The tow plane pilot observed the glider yaw to the left, then right, and left again. For most of the flight, the glider appeared to be above the normal tow position with its nose pointed 45 degrees to the right. At about 400 feet agl, the glider pilot released the tow line and made a left turn. The tow plane pilot observed the glider turn about 180 degrees, where it hit trees with its right wing, pitched down, and impacted terrain. Post-accident examination revealed the rudder controls had been rigged incorrectly.

May 9, 2013, Fredericksburg, Texas, Cessna 182T Skylane

At approximately 1315 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain while executing an instrument approach. The private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. An IFR flight plan was filed; instrument conditions prevailed. The pilot and passenger were traveling to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Around 1255, ATC issued the pilot hazardous weather information for the area along his route of flight. The pilot subsequently requested the VOR/DME-A instrument approach into the airport. The controller then informed the pilot twice that he was 300 feet below his assigned altitude and reissued the local altimeter setting. The pilot corrected his altitude. The controller then cleared the pilot for the approach at 4100 feet msl until established on the approach. At 1311, the pilot canceled IFR approximately 14 miles from the airport. The airplane wreckage was located approximately one mile east-southeast of the airport. Observed weather included visibility of 1.5 miles, calm wind, heavy drizzle, a broken cloud layer at 800 feet and an overcast at 1300 feet.

May 6, 2013, Staples, Minn., Cirrus Design SR20

The airplane was substantially damaged while landing at 1140 Central time. The airline transport pilot was not injured. Day visual conditions prevailed. The pilot reported his approach was uneventful until the landing flare, when the airplane pitched down, below a normal flare attitude. The pilot reported the nose landing gear “firmly” struck the runway before the main landing gear, which resulted in a bounced landing. The airplane bounced a second time before the pilot selected takeoff power and retracted the wing flaps to 50 percent. However, the airplane did not achieve takeoff speed and subsequently departed the end of the runway. The airplane impacted a runway edge identifier light during the excursion. The fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence.

May 7, 2013, Palmer, Alaska, Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub

The pilot subsequently reported the engine began to run rough and lose power. The pilot applied carburetor heat, but was only able to maintain 1100 engine rpm. Unable to restore full engine power, he selected an area of snow-covered terrain as a forced landing site. During the forced landing, as the main wheels contacted deep snow, the airplane nosed over, and sustained substantial damage to its right wing lift strut. At the time of the accident, a weather observation about 25 miles northwest of the accident site included temperature of 45 deg. F and a dewpoint of 41 deg. When the temperature and dewpoint are entered into a carburetor icing probability chart, the result is in the “Icing-cruise or climb power” category.

May 7, 2013, Meriden, Conn., Zodiac 601XL Experimental

The pilot reported landing with a tailwind, and that the airplane touched down further down the runway than usual. When the pilot applied brakes to exit the runway onto the taxiway, the tires skidded and the airplane pivoted around to the left before coming to rest inverted. Post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to both left and right wings and the vertical stabilizer. The pilot stated that he was fatigued, had “rushed” the landing approach and had not taken time to properly evaluate the wind conditions prior to landing.

May 13, 2013, Southwick, Mass., Cessna 182E Skylane

At about 1215 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during a precautionary landing. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed, While cruising at 4500 feet msl, the engine began running rough. The pilot enriched the mixture and applied carburetor heat, but the problem persisted. The pilot switched the fuel selector from the both position to the left tank and the engine ran smoothly for a short time. Within a few moments, however, the engine started running rough again and, after switching tanks again to no avail, the pilot decided to perform a precautionary landing. The pilot landed with a tailwind halfway down the turf runway. The airplane crossed a dirt road at the end of the field, and the airplane impacted the raised edge of the road, breaking off the nose landing gear. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

May 13, 2013, McMinnville, Ore., Gates Learjet Corp. 35A

The airplane overran the runway during landing at about 1245 Pacific time. The airline transport pilot, commercial copilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the forward fuselage and the pressure vessel. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed. The airplane had just undergone a flight management system upgrade. This was both its first flight and its home base return flight following the upgrade. As the airplane touched down on Runway 22, the crew was unable to deploy the spoilers or reversers despite repeated attempts. Additionally, foot pedal braking was attempted but there was no response—the pedals felt loose and the airplane did not slow down. The pilot then engaged the steering lock switch, and attempted to steer the nose wheel, but the airplane did not respond. The airplane rolled off the runway end, through a set of instrument landing system antennas and down an embankment. Subsequent examination revealed the mounting screws for both the left and right main landing gear squat switches were loose.

May 16, 2013, Dallas, Texas, Cirrus SR22

At about 1120 Central time, the airplane’s ballistic parachute was activated by the pilot, but did not deploy and remained in its compartment. The rocket was deployed and expended. The airplane received no damage. The private pilot was uninjured. Marginal visual conditions prevailed; the airplane was on an IFR flight plan. The flight returned to its departure airport and landed without further incident.

May 16, 2013, Floriston, Calif., Cessna 421C Golden Eagle

The airplane impacted mountainous terrain at about 1325 Pacific time. The private pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

After being cleared to descend from 17,000 feet msl to 11,000 feet, the airplane appeared to ATC to veer off its assigned heading. The controller attempted to verify the pilot’s intentions when the pilot advised he was in a spin. There were no further communications with the pilot. Witnesses near the accident site observed the airplane in a descending spin until it impacted terrain.


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