NTSB Reports: Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


July 2, 2013, Bridgeport, Texas Beech P35 Bonanza
The pilot and flight instructor had been flying for over two hours, doing air work and making touch-and-go landings at area airports. Returning to the airplane’s base, they were making a final touch-and-go landing when the engine lost power. Unable to glide back to the runway, the flight instructor made a forced landing in a plowed field north of the airport. The airplane touched down hard, shearing off the landing gear and sliding 60 feet before coming to a stop. The firewall was buckled. The flight instructor and pilot sustained minor injuries. Examination revealed the fuel selector was positioned on the left fuel tank. One quart of fuel was drained from the left fuel tank. The right fuel tank had not been compromised and contained fuel.

July 5, 2013, Blairstown, N.J. Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140
The airplane was departing an airport near a ridge. During climbout shortly after departure, the airplane descended as if it was in a strong downdraft and could not maintain altitude.

Witnesses stated the airplane rotated nose-up about one-third to one-half down the 3088-foot-long runway. The airplane remained in that attitude down the entire runway, at about 20 feet agl. The airplane pitched up further, just cleared trees off the departure end of the runway, then appeared to stall and descend behind the treeline. The airplane subsequently impacted the front yard of a residence off the departure end of the runway and came to rest upright.

Examination revealed all three landing gear had separated, and the firewall and lower fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane. Recorded wind at an airport approximately 10 miles from the accident site, about 25 minutes after the accident, was variable at five knots. The recorded temperature at that time was 84 degrees F.

July 8, 2013 in Hesperia, Calif. Cessna 182H Skylane
At about 2320 Pacific time, the airplane landed on a road following a loss of engine power. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Night visual conditions prevailed.

After levelling at 7500 feet msl, the pilot set cruise power. As he began to lean the fuel mixture, the engine lost all power. Troubleshooting resulted in no change to engine power, but the pilot discovered cycling the throttle forward and aft would produce intermittent bursts of partial power. 

During the descent, the right main landing gear struck the chimney of a house. The airplane landed in the center of a road, and rotated to the right as soon as the damaged right main landing gear made contact with the ground. The airplane subsequently slid along the shoulder and down an embankment, where it came to rest against a power distribution pole. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and lower cabin structure during the accident sequence.

July 9, 2013, Blackfoot, Idaho Stinson 108-3
The airplane experienced a total loss of power at about 2000 Mountain time and landed in a field. The airplane was registered to and operated by the solo non-certificated pilot, who was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated that he departed for a short practice flight with about eight or nine gallons of fuel on board. After about 15 minutes airborne, with the airplane at about 1000 feet agl, he heard a knocking sound from the engine compartment. Shortly thereafter, the engine power reduced about 50 percent and the airplane began to lose altitude. He switched the fuel selector to the other fuel tank and selected a wheat field where he could make a forced landing. During the landing roll, the airplane flipped over and came to rest inverted.

July 9, 2013, Albany, Ore. Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee 235
At 1330 Pacific time, the airplane overran the runway while landing. The pilot and passenger were not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage to its wings. Visual conditions prevailed. 

According to the pilot, during the landing rollout, he applied the brakes, but the airplane did not stop. The airplane continued down the runway, departing the runway surface, and impacted a chain link fence. Examination revealed the brake fluid reservoir was empty. A broken elbow fitting was found on the right landing gear brake assembly.

July 10, 2013 in Houston, Texas Cirrus Design SR22
The airplane experienced a brake fire while taxiing at about 1500 Central time. The airline transport rated pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

After landing, the pilot taxied toward an FBO when he reported the airplane had hot brakes. The FBO’s employees reported to controllers that the airplane appeared to be on fire. The pilot exited the airplane, and the fire consumed portions of the fuselage and cockpit.

July 10, 2013, Taos, N.M. Flight Design CTSW
At 1108 Mountain time, the airplane, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain during landing. The flight instructor was fatally injured; the pilot sustained serious injuries. Day visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was on final approach to landing with the engine at idle power and the flaps set at 30 degrees. The pilot reported that airspeed was 12 to 15 knots above stalling speed and he was in a stabilized approach to touch down on the runway about 1000 feet from the approach threshold. A witness estimated the airplane was flying about 80 feet agl when he saw it suddenly roll right and impact terrain in a near-vertical attitude. The airplane came to rest inverted about 300 feet short of the runway.

July 16, 2013, Mapleton, Minn. Piper PA-22-125 Tri-Pacer
At about 1700 Central time, the pilot made a forced landing in a cornfield after the engine lost power. The pilot and a passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

Before takeoff, the pilot performed a preflight inspection of the airplane, including draining all three fuel sumps, and noted there was no water or sediment in the tanks. No fuel was added. While in cruise at 2500 feet msl, the engine “sputtered.” The pilot applied carburetor heat and adjusted the fuel mixture to full rich. The engine continued to sputter. The pilot then switched to the right tank. The engine then “quit.” The pilot made a forced landing in a corn field and nosed over. FAA inspectors took fuel samples from both the left and right wing fuel tanks, and from the gascolator fuel line. A substantial amount of water was recovered. According to an inspector, the airplane had been parked outside and there had been recent heavy rainfalls in the area.

July 17, 2013, Palm Coast, Fla. Piper PA-34-200 Seneca
At about 1300 Eastern time, the airplane experienced in-flight tail vibrations. The airplane subsequently landed without structural damage. The flight instructor and the private pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was at about 5000 feet msl in a “clean” configuration. There were then two “kicks” in the rudder system, which the pilots confirmed did not come from either of them. The pilot under instruction then heard a “snap” and the rudder pedals began to “pump” full deflection both right and left. The flight instructor took control and found that neither the application of full rudder nor the use of both feet to neutralize the deflections had any effect. Even with both pilots trying to neutralize the rudders, they could not overcome the deflections.
The two diverted and subsequently landed without further incident, even with the rudder pedals still pumping back and forth throughout the landing. Once on the ground, full rudder control was again available.

Examination revealed the rudder trim tab control rod was found to be fractured near the trim tab end. The control rod was replaced, and subsequent flights revealed no further rudder anomalies. Remnants of the control rod end were forwarded to the NTSB for further examination.

July 17, 2013, Broomfield, Colo. Cessna 162 Skycatcher
While maneuvering to land, the pilot slipped the airplane to increase its descent rate. At about 50 feet above the runway, the pilot transitioned from the slip to the landing attitude. The airplane bounced, and the pilot made a small power increase and lowered the nose. The airplane bounced a second time and began a porpoise-type oscillation. The pilot initiated a go-around. During the go-around, the airplane pitched up rolled left. The airplane impacted a field next to the runway and substantial damage was sustained to the fuselage and both wings.

July 18, 2013, Laurel, Md. Beech 23 Musketeer
The airplane was substantially damaged after a loss of power when it struck a tree and terrain shortly after takeoff. The private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight’s purpose was to deliver the airplane to its new owner, who had purchased the airplane from him in September of 2012. During takeoff, everything was normal until the airplane was at approximately 250 feet, when the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot switched tanks and turned on the boost pump in an attempt to get the engine to run, but without result. Examination revealed a cowling plug was blocking the engine air intake. The engine compartment also contained the remains of bird nests and bird droppings. Examination of the carburetor revealed its venturi contained a golf ball-sized wasp’s nest that was partially blocking the carburetor air inlet.

The pilot’s most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate was dated July 19, 2006. The airplane’s most recent annual inspection was completed on January 5, 1998.

July 20, 2013, Tappahannock, Va. Cirrus Design SR22
At about 2010 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged after its pilot deployed the airframe parachute and it impacted trees and terrain. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed.

The airplane was in cruise flight at 6000 feet msl when the pilot heard a loud bang, followed by vibrations and an immediate loss of engine power. He declared an emergency and turned toward a nearby airport. Four miles from the divert field, he heard another loud bang and the windscreen became covered with oil. Subsequently, the pilot deployed the parachute and the airplane subsequently descended into trees and terrain.

July 22, 2013, Fredericksburg, Va. Cessna 172M Skyhawk
The airplane was destroyed at about 1830 Eastern time when it collided with terrain while maneuvering. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Before the accident flight, a flight instructor who had previously flown with the pilot had a brief conversation with the accident pilot. The flight instructor reported he seemed to be in good spirits and was not behaving abnormally. The flight instructor saw the accident airplane as it performed a low pass down the runway and then began maneuvering erratically. The airplane then climbed to an estimated 3000 feet msl before it pitched down and descended in a near-vertical attitude. During the descent, the engine sounded as if it were producing full power. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground about 200 feet northwest of the runway.

July 29, 2013, Knox, Ind. RV-6A Experimental
At 1446 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain during a landing approach. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane was in a group of four other airplanes. The pilot and passenger in one airplane in the group heard the accident pilot’s CTAF transmissions, in which he seemed to be fumbling for words. They said that this was not common for him. Data downloaded from a handheld GPS aboard the accident airplane showed it about 0.36 nm southwest of the approach end of Runway 36 when it began a descending left turn back toward the runway. The left turn continued until the end of the data.


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