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


April 2, 2014, Venus, Fla.
Zenith CH 750 Experimental
At about 2055 Eastern time, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power while in cruise flight. The pilot subsequently made an off-airport forced landing to a pasture and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward portion of the fuselage, both wings and the rudder. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported the fuel gauges indicated approximately three-fourths full for both the left and right fuel tanks before takeoff. However, he did not visually inspect the fuel quantity. He further reported that after the airplane came to rest the fuel selector valve was selected from the “ON” position to the “OFF” position. Post-accident examination revealed the left fuel tank was empty. The right fuel tank had approximately six gallons of fuel. The fuel line to the carburetor was removed, the fuel selector valve was placed in the “ON” position and fuel flowed freely with no debris or restriction noted.

April 3, 2014, Clayton, Ala.
Cessna T210L Turbo Centurion
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1530 Central time during a forced landing to a road following a total loss of engine power. The flight instructor (CFI) was not injured; the pilot receiving instruction sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed for the instructional flight.

About an hour into the flight, the engine “clunked and shuddered.” Both pilots reported the engine oil pressure and propeller rpm both indicated zero, and manifold pressure was about 17 psi. After determining the airplane was not going to make an airport, the CFI selected a grass field and then switched to a road after discovering powerlines spanning the field. Initial examination revealed the engine firewall was crushed aft and both wings were substantially damaged.

April 4, 2014, Ocala, Fla.
Tango 2 Experimental
At about 1620 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed during collision with terrain and a post-crash fire shortly after takeoff. The private pilot/owner/builder was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
After takeoff, the airplane climbed about 20 feet above the runway when the left canopy opened “suddenly” and began “flapping up and down.” The airplane began “porpoising” before it entered a steep left bank and subsequently impacted the ground in a left-wing-low attitude. A post-crash fire ensued. The pilot’s fiancé did not witness the accident, but responded immediately to the accident site and found the pilot some distance from the airplane. He reported the pilot stated the canopy opened unexpectedly.

April 4, 2014, Astoria, Ore.
AgustaWestland AW109SP
A ship pilot was seriously injured when he was being transferred via external sling from the helicopter to a container ship. Neither the helicopter nor the ship was damaged, and none of the three helicopter crewmembers were injured. Light rain and night conditions prevailed.

The mission was to deliver the ship pilot onto the cargo vessel while it was underway and making 17 knots. Just as the ship pilot touched down on the deck of the ship, the helicopter pilot lost visual reference and the helicopter began “drifting” aft relative to the ship. The hoist operator could not pay out cable fast enough to prevent pulling the ship pilot off the deck and then aft. In response, he sheared the hoist cable. The ship pilot fell a few feet to the deck. He recovered from the fall and successfully piloted the ship thorough the Columbia River mouth to its destination. Upon disembarking from the ship, he went directly to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured scapula.

April 5, 2014, Albany, Ohio
Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking
At about 1830 Eastern time, the airplane impacted trees and terrain while on approach. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial wing and fuselage damage. Daytime visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was returning to the airplane’s base and reported to ATC he had the field in sight while 12 miles from the destination. A witness then heard and saw the airplane at the end of her driveway. The airplane’s left wing was low and the right wing was high. The engine was running normally and had a constant sound. The airplane was described as flying up and down sideways. Other witnesses saw the airplane “nose dive” on a quarry’s property. The airplane’s altitude was “low” and the back of the airplane hit a tree. The airplane subsequently flew downward at an angle and hit the ground. The airplane came to rest inverted and about 2300 feet northwest of the intended runway’s displaced threshold. Fuel smell was present at the accident site, and fuel was observed exiting from the covers over the filler neck caps. Residual fuel was tested; no water was detected.

April 6, 2014, Summerfield, Fla.
Vans RV-7 Experimental
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1937 Eastern time, when it impacted terrain while maneuvering. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot had been assisting film producers throughout the afternoon; the flight’s purpose was to take video footage from the air. The airplane had completed three left-turning circuits of the departure airport’s grass runway when it entered a rapid descent as engine power increased. During the descent, the wings rolled nearly level before the airplane impacted the ground in a nose low, slight-left-bank attitude.

April 8, 2014, Kwethluk, Alaska
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
At 1556 Alaska time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain during a training flight. The two crew members were fatally injured. Daytime visual conditions prevailed. From the initial point of impact, the airplane traveled approximately 180 feet before coming to rest in an upright position. The majority of the fuselage was consumed by a post-impact fire.

The accident airplane was equipped with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment, recorded data from which depicted cruise flight at approximately 3400 feet msl. A fluctuation in altitude was recorded, followed by an initial upset occurred. The airplane continued a rapid and steep descent until ground impact. A detailed analysis of the ADS-B data is pending.

April 8, 2014, Leesburg, Va.
Cessna 205A Super Skylane
There was a six-knot wind when the pilot took off from his based airport for one some 21 miles away, which did not report winds. Expecting similar conditions, the pilot entered the traffic pattern on the downwind leg. On final approach, he observed about a 12-knot indication from the windsock. Once over the runway, the pilot flared the airplane. However, a strong wind gust pushed it right. He applied full power to initiate a go-around, but the wind continued to carry the airplane to the right. The left main landing gear touched down in “soggy” grass terrain and the nose landing gear subsequently impacted the ground. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

Post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the engine firewall, fuselage and left wing. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

April 8, 2014, Frostproof, Fla.
Zenith STOL CH701 Experimental
The pilot reported obtaining weather information before departing and monitoring automated reports via radio while en route. When the airplane was 17 miles from the destination airport, the wind increased to 25 knots and rain began. The pilot performed a 180-degree turn; however, the rain and turbulence increased while visibility and ceiling height dropped. The pilot then performed a precautionary landing on a road.

About 200 feet into the landing roll, the airplane veered left off the road and struck an orange tree, which separated the right wing. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane and that he should have reversed course 20 minutes sooner.

April 10, 2014, Colebrook, N.H.
Cessna 140
According to the private pilot, after landing, a 180-degree turn was required to back-taxi on the runway. During the turn, the main landing gear encountered soft snow at the edge of the runway and began to sink into the snow. The pilot increased engine power to return the airplane to the center of the runway; however, the tail of the airplane began to rise and the strong quartering tailwind continued to nose the airplane over. There was substantial damage to the right wing strut and vertical stabilizer.

The pilot reported wind at the time of the accident was approximately 220 degrees at 15 knots with gusts up to 20 knots. He further reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation.

April 11, 2014, Cedar Grove, W.V.
Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II
At approximately 1653 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect.

At about 1612, the pilot requested and was cleared to make a 30-degree deviation around precipitation. At about 1625, the pilot initiated a left turn and began to descend. When queried by ATC, he stated he was deviating around weather. The airplane then made a 270-degree right turn and began tracking south, then southwest, before radio and radar contact was lost. Witnesses observed the airplane in a nose-down, right-bank attitude as it descended into trees. The witnesses reported the weather was overcast and that about 10 minutes after the accident, it began raining.

April 11, 2014, Louisa, Va.
Cessna U206G Stationair
The airplane was force-landed at about 1930 Eastern time following a total loss of engine power. The commercial pilot and passenger received minor injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Daytime visual conditions prevailed.

According to personnel at a nearby airport, the pilot requested that a mechanic diagnose an anomaly with the airplane’s oil pressure gauge. The pilot requested an engine oil and filter change, which was completed. The pilot opened the oil filter and metallic debris was observed inside the filter. The airport personnel expressed their concern about the metallic debris, and the pilot stated that he would contact his personal mechanic and obtain his opinion and advice.

The pilot completed the oil change and prepared to depart the airport. After topping off the fuel tanks, the pilot and passenger departed. Shortly after takeoff, the engine lost all power and the airplane was force-landed about six nm northwest of the airport. The fuselage sustained structural damage. There was no post-crash fire.

April 12, 2014, Cookson, Okla.
Ercoupe 415 C
At about 1050 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage when it was force-landed to wooded terrain after a partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to a witness, the airplane experienced engine trouble on the first takeoff attempt and landed back on the runway. The airplane then back to the departure end of the runway and took off again. The witness said the airplane began to climb and when it was 100 feet above the ground, the wings dipped back and forth. The airplane then pitched up and descended into trees.

April 19, 2014, Bloomington, Ind.
Flight Design CTSW
The pilot stated winds were gusting to 19 knots when he was cleared to land. As he reduced airspeed, the airplane “lost lift and began to drop rapidly.” The pilot added full power but the airplane landed hard, bounced and porpoised. The nosewheel landing gear bent aft resulting in substantial damage to the firewall. The pilot reported no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or failures.

April 19, 2014, Flushing, Mich.
Nanchang CJ6

At about 1410 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The two pilots aboard were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness reported hearing the engine sputter and saw the propeller slow as the airplane descended toward an open field with its landing gear extended. Another witness was watching the airplane flying at low altitude when it suddenly dropped and impacted terrain in a nose-down attitude of about 45 degrees. The airplane came to rest upright about 19 feet from the initial ground scar. There was no fuel spill and no post-impact fire.

April 21, 2014, Bullhead City, Ariz.
Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche
The airplane sustained substantial damage following a forced landing and impact with terrain after a reported loss of engine power during a go-around. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported being high and fast for an approach to a nearby runway. Immediately after advancing the throttles to go around, both engines quit. The pilot performed a forced landing beyond the runway, coming to rest upright about a mile from its departure end. The pilot further reported he had experienced a dual engine failure while on short final to a different airport. After landing uneventfully, maintenance was performed. The accident flight was the first one since the maintenance was completed.

April 26, 2014, Young, Ariz.
Glasair III Experimental
At about 1030 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed by impact with terrain and a post-crash fire. Instrument conditions were reported in the area of the accident. The solo non-instrument-rated private pilot received fatal injuries.

Prior to the accident, the pilot had been in contact with the Albuquerque ARTCC and declared an emergency, stating he was trapped underneath a cloud layer in mountainous terrain, and that the visibility was deteriorating. Controllers attempted to direct the pilot to a nearby airport but contact was lost. The wreckage was located later that day.

April 27, 2014, Highmore, S.D.
Piper PA-32R-300 Lance
The airplane was destroyed at 2116 Central time when it impacted the blade of a wind turbine. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan or clearance. The wreckage was located the next morning.

The closest official weather observation was 37 miles west of the accident location. An observation taken at 2124 reported wind 010 degrees at 19 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 1000 feet and an overcast at 1600 feet, with ceiling variable between 800 and 1200 feet. The airplane had departed an airport in Texas more than four hours earlier.

April 27, 2014, Apex, N.C.
Alon A2 Ercoupe
At about 1900 Eastern time, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The private pilot subsequently made an off-airport forced landing into a forest, sustaining minor injuries. The passenger was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported the takeoff was “normal” but when the airplane was about 100 feet above the trees bordering the airport, the engine experienced a total loss of power. First responders reported a strong odor of fuel at the accident site.


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