NTSB Reports: June 2015

April 18, 2015, Titusville, Fla. Cessna LC41-550FG CorvalisApril 18, 2015, Burneyville, Okla. Pitts Model 12 ExperimentalApril 17, 2015, Diboll, Texas Cessna 421B Golden EagleApril 16, 2015, Orlando, Fla. Dassault-Breguet Falcon 900April 16, 2015, Rifle, Colo. Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III April 15, 2015, Lancaster, N.Y. Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140April 15, 2015, Dunlap, Ill. Robinson R44 Raven IIApril 13, 2015, Shelter Island, N.Y. Cessna 162 SkycatcherApril 12, 2015, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Piper PA-31T-1 Cheyenne IApril 10, 2015, Challis, Idaho Cessna T210M Turbo CenturionApril 10, 2015, Victorville, Calif. Boeing 707-338CApril 7, 2015, Bloomington, Ill. Cessna 414A ChancellorApril 6, 2015, Allentown, Penn. Mooney M20J 201April 5, 2015, Reno, Nev. Schleicher ASW 27 SailplaneApril 3, 2015, Petaluma, Calif. Quicksilver MXL II Experimental April 1, 2015, Fort Pierce, Fla. Bedecorp BD-22 Prototype



At about 1300 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged by a fire that began in flight. The private pilot, pilot-rated passenger and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

About an hour into the flight, the pilot noticed oil pressure dropping “into the red,” though other engine instruments remained “in the green.” The pilot reported the loss of oil pressure to ATC, identified the nearest airport and started an emergency descent. Descending through 3000 feet, the engine quit and smoke entered the cabin through the fresh air vents. The pilot executed a forced landing and egressed with the passengers. The fire consumed most of the airplane.

The engine cowling was destroyed by fire and portions of the airframe and cabin area were substantially damaged. The #3 cylinder exhaust rocker box cover was completely missing and another hung from two screws. The cylinder #2 exhaust box rocker cover was loose and missing multiple screws. The missing rocker cover was not located. There was a small hole on the top of the right crankcase half near the cylinder #5 base; a similar hole was observed on the left crankcase half near the cylinder #4 base. The through-bolt nut to the top rear crankcase section was missing; its washer was on top of the adjacent oil cooler tank. The through-bolt head had backed off from its inserted position by about one half-inch.

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1810 Central time during a forced landing. The solo commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

While on the downwind leg, the pilot reduced engine power to initiate a descent to the runway. On the base leg, he determined the airplane would need additional power and advanced the throttle. However, the engine did not respond. He then fully advanced both the throttle and propeller controls with no noticeable increase in engine power. Believing the airplane did not have enough altitude to safely glide to the runway, the pilot turned toward a nearby open grass field for a forced landing. The main landing gear collapsed after encountering soft turf during the landing.

At 0745 Central time, the airplane made a forced landing onto a highway and was substantially damaged. The pilot sustained serious injuries; the two passengers sustained minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

According to FAA, the airplane experienced a dual engine failure after departure and the pilot made a forced landing onto the highway. The airplane came to rest in the grassy median; the right fuel tank ruptured during the accident sequence. The smell of Jet A fuel was prominent at the accident scene. Fuel records obtained from the departure airport revealed the airplane was fueled with 53 gallons of Jet A the previous day.

The airplane sustained minor damage from an inflight electrical fire at about 1910 Eastern time. The two flight crew members, flight attendant and 12 passengers were not injured.

According to the cabin attendant, she noticed “a weird smell” in the galley area. She opened a galley storage area and noticed “a glow behind it.” The pilot came back to assist and expended a fire extinguisher, then asked for another one, which extinguished the fire.

At the time the fire was discovered, the flight was descending through FL200 on a published arrival procedure. All galley equipment was verified “off” but the smell continued. Then smoke appeared. The crew declared an emergency and decided to divert to a nearby airport but then continued to the original destination for a normal landing.

Examination of the area behind the galley storage area revealed sooting and the remains of a burnt wiring bundle. The wiring bundle contained 28vdc supply and ground wires for the cabin overhead lighting; the associated circuit breaker had tripped. The wires had been routed over insulation bags and not directly next to the airplane’s structure, and they had been in contact with, or in close proximity to, a soft oxygen line which had been completely burned through.

At about 2245 Mountain time the airplane was substantially damaged after an uncontained engine failure during climb. The pilot was not injured. Dark night instrument conditions prevailed. The scheduled Part 135 cargo operation operated IFR as Key Lime Flight 168.

During climb, when still well below the tops of nearby mountains, the pilot heard a “bang” followed by engine fire indications and complete loss of power from the right engine. After completing appropriate checklist items, the pilot declared an emergency and diverted to a nearby airport for an instrument approach and an otherwise uneventful landing. Examination revealed the right engine’s second-stage turbine rotor had separated. One portion of the rotor exited through the left side of the engine and nacelle structure, penetrated the right side of the fuselage and came to rest inside the fuselage wall.

The airplane experienced a total loss of engine power during takeoff at about 1530 Eastern time. The solo private pilot was not injured during the forced landing on airport property; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot performed an “extremely thorough preflight inspection” in the hangar because the airplane had not been flown since January 2015. Total fuel on board was 39 gallons. During the takeoff, the pilot applied full power and reported the tachometer indicated full redline rpm. She rotated at 60 mph and, over the end of the runway at an estimated 200 feet agl, the engine coughed and the airplane began losing altitude. The engine power was restored, but the engine quit again. The pilot attempted landing straight ahead, and touched down first on the main landing gear in an abandoned field of high grass. The nose landing gear hit rising terrain causing it to collapse. The airplane came to rest in a nose-low/tail-high attitude; the pilot could hear the electric fuel pump.

At 1630 Central time, the helicopter rolled over during an off-airport precautionary landing. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured; the helicopter was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated they had been counting geese at 300 feet agl and 60 knots just prior to the accident. As he increased the collective to transition to another area, he noticed an increase in engine rpm and a decrease in rotor rpm, along with a main rotor warning light. The pilot initiated a downwind autorotation to a plowed field. Due to the tailwind and forward speed, the helicopter tipped forward on its skids, the main rotor contacted the ground and the helicopter rolled over.

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1800 Eastern time when it impacted terrain immediately after takeoff. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to eyewitness reports and photographs, the airplane departed to the south on the turf runway, became airborne about midfield, banked to the right and impacted the ground. None of the eyewitnesses reported hearing or seeing any abnormalities prior to the impact. The airplane came to rest in a sparsely wooded area adjacent to the runway on its main landing gear. Examination revealed continuity to all flight control surfaces from the cockpit and the gust locks were found stowed in the baggage compartment. An odor of aviation fuel was noted at the scene. The propeller blades exhibited minimal trailing edge delamination, and no chordwise gouges were noted.

At about 1625 Eastern time, the airplane collided with terrain on final approach. The private pilot and three passengers were 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 checking in with ATC, the airplane was cleared to land. A short time later, the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit. Controllers cleared the airplane to land on any runway. The pilot, who had completed a PA-31 initial training course one week prior to the accident, responded he would use Runway 13, then called “mayday” several times before the airplane crashed approximately mile from the approach end of Runway 13.

The wreckage was within the airport boundary; the debris field was about 167 feet in length and about 50 ft wide, oriented on a heading of about 112 degrees. All major structural components of the aircraft were found within the debris field. Both engines were separated from the airframe and both propeller assemblies were separated from the engines during the accident sequence.

The airplane collided with trees shortly after departing a remote airstrip. The private pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot and three passengers arrived at the remote strip after a 170-nm cross-country flight. Before the inbound flight, the airplane wing tanks were filled with fuel. There were no witnesses to the takeoff or the accident, nor did anyone at a nearby ranch hear the airplane depart.

The main wreckage, which consisted of a majority of the airframe and engine, was located about 600 feet from a fence at the end of Runway 04, on a heading of 060 degrees. The airplane came to rest inverted; a debris path was oriented on a 080-degree magnetic heading. The fuselage along with a majority of the wing skin was consumed by fire.

At about 1500 Pacific time, the airplane experienced an uncontained failure of its No. 1 engine during en route climb. A heavy vibration was felt in the engine as the airplane climbed through 17,000 feet. The engine was shut down at FL210. The pilots reported parts could be seen exiting the turbine section of the engine. The airplane landed without further incident. Examination revealed damage to the turbine blades and several holes in the turbine exhaust case. Additionally, there was hole in the engine cowling and a small puncture in the underside of the left outboard aileron trim tab. There were no injuries to the five persons on board the airplane.

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0006 Central time when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach. The airline transport pilot and the six passengers were fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

At 0000:39, ATC gave the pilot the flight’s location, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 approach, issued an intercept vector and told the pilot to maintain 2500 feet until established. The pilot correctly read back the clearance. Radar data indicates the flight crossed through the final approach course at 0001:26 while on the assigned 230 degree, turned to a southerly heading, and made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound.

At 0003:12, the flight crossed over the outer marker at 2100 feet msl and continued descending. At 0003:46, it descended below available radar coverage at 1500 feet msl. At 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1400 feet msl. Between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1400 feet msl to 2000 feet and maintained a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. A series of climbs, descents and turns were observed on radar until the final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1600 feet msl about two nm east-northeast of the Runway 20 threshold. Reported weather included wind from 060 degrees at six knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet agl, -mile visibility in light rain and fog, and a temperature/dewpoint of 13 deg. C.

At 1256 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing after a total loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after the airplane’s fourth takeoff, about 30 minutes into the flight, when the airplane was about 400 to 500 feet above the runway, the engine quit. The pilot described the loss of power as “instantaneous.” He made a forced landing straight ahead; the airplane struck a wire-mesh fence supported with steel poles.

Post-accident examination of the airplane was conducted about 30 minutes after the accident. The left and right wings sustained substantial damage and the nose gear had collapsed. Further examination revealed between four and five gallons of fuel in the right tank and between eight to 12 gallons in the left tank.

At about 1424 Pacific time, the sailplane broke up in flight after entering clouds. The solo pilot sustained serious injuries, and the glider sustained substantial damage throughout. Visual conditions prevailed for the flight’s departure.

While maneuvering at 14,000 feet, the pilot flew between two large clouds. The gap between them filled in quickly and he entered IMC. The flight became very turbulent; the pilot felt the glider stall and start to descend rapidly. The airspeed increased very quickly and he heard two “pops.” At about 9000 feet, the glider exited the clouds and was in a spin. The pilot attempted to recover, but realized the glider’s left wing had separated. He egressed from the glider and, conveniently, parachuted to the roof of a hospital. The glider’s fuselage came to rest on top of a parking garage. Its left wing was found in a park; the right wing has not been located.

The airplane was destroyed at about 1230 Pacific time when it impacted terrain. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Multiple witnesses observed the accident airplane maneuvering at about 1000 feet agl. Witnesses heard a loud “pop” and observed “the wings fold upward” as the airplane descended vertically below a tree line.

At about 1100 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted the ground soon after takeoff. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the manufacturer, this was the pilot’s first time operating the airplane. In addition, he was only to perform high-speed taxi tests. Instead, the airplane performed two high-speed taxi tests then took off. It appeared to have “issues” because it was flying “unstable and…fast.” According to another witness, when the airplane turned on to the final leg of the traffic pattern, it “violently pitch[ed] up and down,” and then began a nose-down descent. Subsequently, the airplane impacted terrain approximately one mile from the runway’s approach end.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here