NTSB Reports: July 2016

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.


Beechcraft Model 65-A90-1 King Air
April 19, 2016, Slidell, Louisiana

At about 2115 Central time, the airplane collided with high-power transmission line towers while attempting to land. Both pilots were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was operated as a local government public-use flight, performing mosquito abatement. Night visual conditions prevailed.

After completing a planned aerial application flight, the accident pilots radioed they were on a left base and were number one to land. Seconds later, the company pilots of another airplane saw an arc of electricity followed by a plume of fire on the ground.

The airplane came to rest about 0.6 nm north-northwest of the approach end of Runway 18. The initial points of impact were between 70-80 feet tall and 200 yards north of the main wreckage. A local weather observation included calm winds, 10 miles’ visibility and clear skies.

Cessna Model 162 Skycatcher
April 21, 2016, Zionsville, Indiana

The airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted a field at about 1645 Eastern time. The flight instructor and student pilot received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed when the airplane departed on a local flight about 1640.

The flight instructor later said he planned to stay in the traffic pattern due to weather observed to the northwest. As they were flying on the downwind, heavy rain moved in much more quickly than expected. The flight instructor noted the airplane was indicating a 1500-fpm rate of descent. He took control, added full power, set a climb attitude and turned away from the storm to the southeast at full power with carburetor heat on. He estimated altitude at 200 feet agl when they encountered heavy rain, reducing visibility to “virtually 0.” He heard the student pilot say, “Pull up,” about the time that the airplane impacted the plowed field. The flight instructor reported there was heavy rain and hail at the time of the accident.

aircraft accidents stats

Mooney M20C Ranger
April 21, 2016, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

At about 1148 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain during initial climb. The pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot reported the engine coughed immediately after takeoff to the north, and he had a complete loss of engine power. The airplane came to rest inverted, resulting in substantial damage.

Mooney M20K 231/252
April 21, 2016, Woodland, Washington

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1445 Pacific time, shortly after takeoff. The rear-seat passenger was fatally injured; the commercial pilot and front seat passenger received serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

A video recording depicts the airplane in its takeoff roll and entering a nose-high attitude as the left main landing gear lifted from the runway surface. It maintained a steep angle of attack and settled into the grass about 75 feet from the airport perimeter fence, then collided with a fence and a berm. According to a witness, the airplane reached an altitude of approximately four feet during the attempted departure.

Cessna Model 172B Skyhawk
April 23, 2016, Brimfield, Illinois

At about 1310 Central time, the airplane impacted terrain during a forced landing. The private pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot subsequently reported the engine experienced a reduction in power, then a total loss during cruise. While the pilot was performing a forced landing to a field, the airplane came to rest inverted and sustained substantial damage.

Cessna Model 182L Skylane
April 24, 2016, Carrollton, Ohio

The airplane was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with trees and terrain at about 1815 Eastern time. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The flight originated about 1800.

The accident airplane was missing for several days before a review of ATC radar and the pilot’s cellular phone data resulted in a ground search that located the accident airplane on April 29, about 5.5 miles northeast of the departure airport. The airplane came to rest upright on an approximate 200-deg. heading. Both wings exhibited leading edge crushing. All flight control surfaces remained attached to the airframe. Aileron control cable separations appeared consistent with overstress; elevator and rudder control continuity was confirmed.

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six
April 25, 2016, Boone, North Carolina

At about 1300 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed after colliding with trees and terrain, and a post-crash fire. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were seriously injured; the rear-seat passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During an apparent aborted landing, witnesses reported watching the airplane climb out, and stated it was “bobbling” up and down before hitting the top of a stand of pine trees. The airplane nosed down onto a golf course before bursting into flames. Weather observed five minutes earlier about mile from the accident site included wind from 330 degrees at four knots and visibility of 10 sm.

Beechcraft Model 76 Duchess
April 25, 2016, Pompano Beach, Florida

The airplane was destroyed at 1456 Eastern time shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor, the private pilot receiving instruction and the pilot-rated passenger were seriously injured. Visual conditions were reported.

An air traffic controller who witnessed the accident reported that, when the airplane was at about 400-500 feet agl, it made a sharp right turn followed by a sharp left turn. It then entered a steep nose-down descent before disappearing behind a tree line. An explosion followed. The controller recalled the airplane’s landing gear was retracted.

Cessna Model 421 Golden Eagle
April 26, 2016, Foley, Alabama

At 1424 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the FAA, the airplane left the ground during takeoff at the runway end, just clearing the airport’s perimeter fence. The airplane was unable to gain sufficient altitude to clear trees less than -mile from the runway. The airplane began hitting tree tops, and impacted a large oak tree with its left wing, then spun into two other large oak trees 30 feet to the southwest. The airplane then flipped over, hit the ground, exploded and was consumed by fire. The pilot jumped from the rear entry door and landed on his back. The pilot refused medical attention and sustained burns and a cut to his left hand.

Boeing A75N1 (PT17) Stearman
April 28, 2016, Osage City, Kansas

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1510 Central time when it impacted terrain during initial climb. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the local sport parachuting flight.

The airplane took off with the pilot in the rear cockpit and two parachutists standing outside on the lower wing, holding onto the front cockpit. The airplane climbed to about 200 feet agl, then began descending. The pilot executed an off-airport forced landing to a flat, open field in a residential area about 1600 feet north of the departure airport. The airplane cleared 32-foot-high electric power lines and came to rest upright after complete separation of both main landing gear legs and substantial damage to the lower wing, and the fuselage. The two parachutists were not ejected; they were restrained by a safety strap. Post-accident examination revealed there was adequate fuel aboard; there was no fuel spill and no fire.

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II
April 29, 2016, San Carlos, California

At about 1530 Pacific time, the airplane was landed without damage following a power control interruption and a precautionary landing. The flight instructor (CFI) and pilot receiving instruction were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The CFI subsequently reported he was only able to reduce power slightly after takeoff; no further power reduction was possible. The pilot flew a traffic pattern back to the runway and, on final approach over the runway threshold, fully retarded the mixture control to stop the engine. After landing, the airplane rolled out with enough momentum to exit the runway at an intersecting taxiway. Inspection revealed a power control cable had failed.

Champion 7BCM/L-16A
April 30, 2016, Tyrone, Georgia

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1057 Eastern time following partial loss of engine power and a forced landing. The airline transport pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated by the Commemorative Air Force as a revenue sightseeing flight. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was level at 3000 feet msl when the engine began to lose power. The pilot applied carburetor and checked the magnetos but no improvement was observed; engine speed remained at 2000 rpm. The airplane would not maintain altitude, so the pilot configured it for a forced landing to a hay field. After touchdown, the airplane bogged down in high vegetation and nosed down, collapsing the main landing gear. Examination revealed the airplane came to rest upright, with damage to the firewall and forward fuselage. The fuselage-mounted fuel tank contained fuel.

Stinson 108
April 30, 2016, Calverton, New York

At 1000 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a runway excursion while landing. The private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported that, during climbout at an altitude of about 1200 feet msl, the engine began to “miss” as though it had a “partially fouled spark plug.” He decided to perform a precautionary landing at a nearby airport. During the rollout after landing, a wind gust lifted the right wing and the airplane groundlooped, coming to rest in the grass on the left side of the runway.

The pilot indicated the engine had performed similarly on previous occasions, and he was able to correct it by performing a run-up. The airplane was fueled with automotive gasoline, for which it was approved. However, the approval did not permit automotive fuel containing ethanol. The FAA reported the pilot had been purchasing automotive fuel containing ethanol and using an unapproved method to attempt extracting it.

Champion 7AC Champ
April 30, 2016, Keene, New Hampshire

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1615 Eastern time while landing. The sport pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The sport pilot reported that he had completed one touch-and-go landing and was planning a second landing to a full stop. He performed a three-point touchdown on the runway, holding the control stick completely aft. The tailwheel began to shimmy and the airplane departed the left side of the runway. The airplane traveled over grass and impacted an approach light indicator, before coming to rest upright. The sport pilot further stated that the tailwheel on that particular model was supposed to remain locked during landing, but had unlocked at touchdown. Examination revealed the tailwheel locking mechanism appeared worn.

Velocity SE-FG Experimental
April 30, 2016, Worcester, Massachusetts

At about 1556 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during landing. The airline transport pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated that immediately after nosewheel contact upon landing, the nose strut collapsed and the airplane skidded on its nose. There were no preflight anomalies noted before the local area flight, and no mechanical or performance deficiencies before the final landing. Examination revealed the airplane resting on the nose landing gear strut with the nose wheel and its mounting trunion separated. The nose gear casting was fractured at the gear mount attach point. The propeller tips were damaged, and parallel slash marks consistent with a propeller strike were visible on the runway surface prior to where the airplane came to rest.

Extra EA-300L
April 30, 2016, Henderson, Nevada

The airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted mountainous terrain at about 1630 Pacific time. The airline transport pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to company representatives, the accident airplane departed and rendezvoused with two other company airplanes to conduct a simulated air-to-air combat mission. Two airplanes at a time would maneuver against each other, while the other airplane observed from a safe distance. Following completion of their air-combat profile, all three airplanes turned toward their base. The first two airplanes landed and realized that the accident airplane had not returned. The company launched an airplane to conduct a search, which discovered the wreckage near a hilltop.

Cessna Model 150F
May 1, 2016, Ponca City, Oklahoma

At 1135, the airplane experienced a hard landing and impacted the runway. The pilot was seriously injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. Visual conditions prevailed. Post-accident examination found a left elevator bolt had separated.

Cessna Model 180
May 3, 2016, Naknek, Alaska

The airplane sustained substantial damage following a separation of the left main wheel and axle from the landing gear strut during the landing rollout at about 1230 Alaska time. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated the left wheel axle fractured and separated from the airplane with the wheel attached during the landing rollout. The left landing gear leg dug into the runway surface, and the left wing and left horizontal stabilizer struck the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and left horizontal stabilizer.

Beechcraft Model V35B Bonanza
May 3, 2016, Syosset, New York

At 1542 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed during an in-flight breakup and collision with terrain. The airline transport pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

At about 1530, with the airplane level in cruise at 7000 feet msl, the pilot reported to ATC he had experienced a vacuum system failure and had lost the gyroscopic flight instruments. The pilot added that the flight was VFR on top of clouds and he planned to continue to his destination airport. Subsequently, the airplane re-entered IMC and the pilot reported losing control of the airplane in addition to losing more instrument functionality. Radio and radar contact was lost with the airplane at 1542.

A debris path extended approximately 0.4 miles on a magnetic course of about 010 degrees. The outboard section of the right ruddervator and remaining portions of the right ruddervator were located at the beginning of the debris path. The fuselage, outboard section of the left wing, left ruddervator and right wing were located about 400 feet further along. The inboard left wing was located another 400 feet beyond, with the engine and instrument panel at the end.


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