NTSB Reports: June 2017

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


March 1, 2017, Live Oak, Calif.
Maule MX-7-180A

While on the base leg for his private grass airstrip, the pilot noticed he was high, so he added flaps to increase his descent rate. On final, the airspeed was a little fast and during the landing, he flared the airplane “a little high.” After touchdown, the pilot applied the brakes, but the airplane did not respond, so he applied “a little more brake.” The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted, sustaining substantial damage to both wings and the empennage. The pilot reported he should have performed a go-around instead of attempting to “salvage the landing.”

March 2, 2017, Ft Lauderdale, Fla.
Cessna 340

At about 1034 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when the landing gear collapsed during landing. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, on approach, he observed a “three-green landing gear down indication.” During the landing roll, the left main landing gear collapsed, the left propeller struck the runway, and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway and came to rest in the grass. The pilot stated the airplane had previously experienced a landing gear collapse, had undergone repairs and this was the first flight since those repairs.

March 2, 2017, Roxbury, Kan.
Maule M-5

The pilot reported that while landing on a road in gusty crosswind conditions, the right wing lifted to about a 60-degree angle. He immediately initiated a go-around and added full power, full right aileron and lowered the nose. The airplane had drifted off the center of the road to the left, heading toward powerlines, and he elected to go under them. After the airplane cleared the powerlines, the left wingtip struck the ground and the airplane cartwheeled. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage and the empennage.

March 2, 2017, Alpine, Texas
Cessna 182 Skylane

During final approach in gusting wind conditions at night, the pilot reduced power and initiated a flare when he then heard the stall warning horn. He added that a “gust of wind caught [the] left wing,” which he attempted to recover with left aileron inputs. The nose landing gear bounced during touchdown, and he applied full power to go around when another wind gust forced the airplane onto the runway. The airplane bounced, impacted a fence and came to rest inverted on the right side of the runway.

March 3, 2017, Metlakatla, Alaska
Beechcraft G18S Twin Beech

At about 0815 Alaska time, the airplane was ditched into ocean waters following right engine failure. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated passenger received minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; the aircraft operated on an instrument clearance.

After an ILS approach, the pilot performed the missed approach procedure due to no visual contact with the runway environment. During the climbout at about 2000 feet msl, the right engine seized. The pilot attempted to feather the engine but was unsuccessful. He was not able to maintain altitude. The pilot maneuvered toward open water and as the airplane descended through 50 feet msl, initiated a forced water landing near the coastline. Both occupants swam about 200 yards to shore. The airplane sank in about 84 feet of water.

March 3, 2017, Conway, Ark.
Cessna 162 Skycatcher

The airplane became stuck in mud at about 1830 Central time after landing. The pilot exited the airplane in an attempt to dislodge it and was struck by the rotating propeller, sustaining serious injuries. The passenger was not injured. The airplane was not damaged.

After landing, the pilot failed to negotiate a turn onto a taxiway and the airplane became stuck. The pilot closed the throttle to idle, exited the airplane and tried to push the airplane with the left strut. “Without thinking,” the pilot walked toward the nose wheel to inspect the airplane and walked into the rotating propeller. The pilot suffered abdominal and leg injuries.

March 4, 2017, Canton, Ga.
Cessna 421 Golden Eagle

At about 0023 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged after a collision with a powerline and terrain. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot purchased the airplane on March 2, 2017. A flight instructor who flew with the pilot said the pilot told him that he had owned two Cessna 421s in the past but hadn’t flown one since 1984. Witnesses observed the airplane flying extremely low, before noticing a “ball of fire” erupt near the airport. Surveillance video reportedly shows the airplane banking to the right side of the runway before descending into a ravine. Powerlines were entangled on the right main landing gear strut and right wing of the airplane.

March 4, 2017, Duette, Fla.
Beechcraft B60 Duke

The airplane was destroyed by impact and a post-crash fire, which followed an uncontrolled descent and collision with terrain at about 1330 Eastern time. The private pilot/owner and the flight instructor were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and was obtaining ground and flight training to meet insurance requirements. Radar data depicts the airplane engaged in airwork for about 30 minutes. Witnesses observed the airplane in straight-and-level flight, and slowing, as the nose gradually pitched up. The airplane then suddenly banked to one side and entered a near-vertical, spiraling descent to the ground. The engine sound was smooth and continuous throughout, increasing just before impact.

March 5, 2017, Nome, Alaska
Cessna R172K Hawk XP

At about 2223 Alaska time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during impact with sea ice. The solo private pilot received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed along the route of flight; instrument conditions prevailed at the destination.

The airplane arrived in the Nome area at about 2141 after a cross-country flight. At 2214, after several attempts to land, the pilot texted a friend at the destination, “not happening” and departed the area. A witness who lives near the destination airport saw the airplane make multiple approaches and then depart to the east. The pilot’s fiance reported the airplane overdue at about 0530 the next day. At about 0959, SAR assets located the airplane wreckage on sea ice, “in a vertical nose down attitude.” The intended destination has no lighting and is not plowed in winter. Another airport about one mile to the west does have a runway and approach lighting and is fully maintained. The pilot’s medical certificate included the restriction, “Not valid for night flying or by color signal control.”

U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents

March 8, 2017, Abbeville, Ala.
Grob Aircraft G120TP-A

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1340 Central time during a forced landing while maneuvering. The flight instructor and pilot receiving instruction sustained serious injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

After upset recovery training, the flight instructor attempted to demonstrate a practice power-off approach terminating with a low pass. While at the low key position, abeam the landing threshold and 1200 feet agl, the pilot receiving instruction smelled fuel. They both then noted a vapor from the right side of the engine, followed by a puff of white smoke, and the flight instructor noted a total loss of engine power. The pilot receiving instruction attempted to restart the engine, but it did not respond. The flight instructor maintained controlled flight until the airplane collided with trees, then the ground.

March 8, 2017, Apex, N.C.
Pitts S2E Experimental

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1535 Eastern time when it impacted trees and terrain while on approach. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Witnesses saw the airplane descending on approach to land. The engine “revved up,” and “sounded like it was running perfectly.” One witness reported seeing the airplane go out of her line of sight. Then, several witnesses reported that they heard two “booms.” The airplane impacted a pine tree, then the ground, and came to rest partially inverted on its left wing about 300 feet from the runway threshold. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all the respective flight control surfaces. Both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratching. One blade displayed leading-edge gouging; the other blade exhibited tip tearing and blade curling. Weather observed about nine miles north of the accident site included wind from 300 degrees at seven knots, visibility 10 miles and few clouds at 25,000 feet agl.

March 11, 2017, Reno, Nev.
Piper Aerostar 602P

At about 1515 Pacific time, the airplane landed with a retracted left main landing gear. The solo pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight.

The pilot reported the left main landing gear did not extend as he attempted to land; the nose and right main landing gear extended, however. Upon touchdown, the left main landing gear was still retracted. The airplane slid down the runway, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing.

March 12, 2017, Tampa, Fla.
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

The airplane impacted water during a forced landing shortly after takeoff. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated that prior to takeoff, the preflight inspection was normal and no anomalies were noted. The engine run-up and magneto checks also were normal. After liftoff, at about 100 feet agl, he noticed a loss of engine power and rpm. He verified fuel and oil pressure were good and started looking for a place to land. He decided to turn back to the airport and try landing on the cross runway. During the turn, he realized he would not make it back to the airport and ditched the airplane into the surrounding water. A local boater picked him up and took him to shore.

March 13, 2017, Skiatook, Okla.
Cessna 182 Skylane

At about 1530 Central time, the airplane impacted terrain following a loss of control while taxiing for departure. The solo commercial pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to its left horizontal stabilizer. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated he was taxiing the airplane for departure when it suddenly veered to the right. He attempted to correct the right turn by applying the left brake, but the attempt was unsuccessful and the airplane entered a drainage ditch. The airplane came to rest upright off the taxiway surface in the drainage ditch.

March 16, 2017, Opal, S.D.
Cessna 210B Centurion

The airplane impacted terrain at about 1640 Mountain time. The pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed for the flight.

Following an annual inspection, the pilot was returning it to its base airport. While en route, he flew to a third airport, which was adjacent to his ranch home. The airplane impacted a hill 275 yards off the runway’s departure end and came to rest 175 feet beyond the initial impact crater. No witnesses observed the accident.

March 18, 2017, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Cessna R182 Skylane RG

The pilot reported he was performing a simulated 180-degree power-off landing, but he became fixated on his touchdown point and did not complete the landing checklist. He also did not look outside to confirm the main landing gear was down or “confirm a green [landing gear position indicator] light.” The airplane landed with the gear retracted, sustaining substantial damage. The pilot also reported he was using an active noise reduction headset during the accident flight. Although the gear warning horn was audible, “it did not translate in his brain as a landing gear retracted warning.”

March 20, 2017, Greeley, Colo.
Cessna 172RG Skyhawk RG

The airplane landed gear up at about 1646 Mountain time. The pilot was not injured; the airplane suffered minor damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported the left landing gear would not extend. Following unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problem, the pilot elected to land gear up. Examination revealed the left main landing gear actuator had failed.

March 20, 2017, Boise, Idaho
Swearingen SA226TC Merlin II

At about 0400 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when a foreign object struck its propeller during initial takeoff/climb. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 cargo flight.

About the time the airplane rotated during takeoff, the pilot experienced a vibration; he subsequently returned and landed without incident. Examination revealed a portion of the outboard section of a blade mounted to the left propeller was missing. The blade itself had fragmented into two pieces. A four-inch-square hole was observed in the left forward side of the fuselage aft of the main airstair door and a piece of the propeller blade was found in the cabin. A runway sweep for foreign objects was conducted shortly after the occurrence. A screwdriver used earlier during maintenance on the airplane and the second piece of the propeller blade tip were recovered from the departure runway approximately where the airplane would have rotated.

March 24, 2017, Marietta, Ga.
Cessna 500 Citation I

The airplane collided with terrain in a residential neighborhood at about 1925 Eastern time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured while the airplane was destroyed by impact and post-impact fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

Nearing his destination, the pilot requested direct routing because his autopilot was not working and he was having steering problems. Radio and radar contact with the flight were lost about 15 miles north of the destination. A pilot-rated witness observed the airplane flying level on a southerly heading about 1000 feet below the overcast. The witness said there was nothing unusual about the airplane until it made a complete 360-degree roll to the left before entering a steep 90-degree bank to the left. The airplane then rolled inverted and entered a slow counterclockwise nose-down spiral before it disappeared behind trees. Weather observed about three miles west of the accident site included wind from 160 degrees at eight knots, visibility 10 statute miles and an overcast 5500 feet.

March 25, 2017, Hayden, Ala.
Cessna T210L Turbo Centurion

At about 1425 Central time, the airplane was destroyed during an uncontrolled descent and subsequent in-flight breakup. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight was operating under IFR.

While the flight was en route, ATC advised it of moderate to extreme precipitation and allowed the pilot to deviate as necessary. Shortly thereafter, the airplane began to descend, with the pilot reporting to ATC he was doing the best he could to maintain altitude. The controller suggested a turn, but the pilot did not respond. A witness reported hearing an airplane flying above him making a “weird” sound. He heard a loud “boom” and saw pieces of the airplane falling out of the sky, but did not see it break apart. He then saw the fuselage of the airplane, which was spinning through the air heading toward the ground. The debris field was about one mile in length.


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