Preliminary Reports

General aviation and air carrier accidents currently under investigation


The following briefs were selected from the 223 preliminary reports filed with the NTSB in August 2001. Statements in quotes were taken directly from the NTSB documents. The information is subject to change as the investigations are completed.

Aug. 01, Sugar Grove, Ill.
Beech Bonanza

At 11:31 central time, a Beech A36 lost engine power and was damaged in the ensuing forced landing. The pilot was not injured. The flight was a post-maintenance test flight and the airplane had just come from its annual inspection. A ground run showed no anomalies, but during a post-accident inspection it appeared a fuel line had loosened enough to leak but not enough to come off its fitting. There was evidence of an engine compartment fire.

Aug. 02, Mobile, Ala.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 11:30 central time, a Cessna 172 landed hard on its nosewheel at Mobile Regional Airport. The pilot and rated safety pilot were not injured. The pilot was flying the aircraft from the right seat to practice the ILS Runway 14 approach. The pilot had executed one practice approach and was three miles from the airport on the second approach when the tower requested the airplane keep its speed up. The pilot reported he maintained 120 mph and requested a touch and go from the approach, which was granted. He performed the maneuver without flaps. As he attempted to slow the airplane and land it, the airplane porpoised and landed hard on the nosewheel, damaging the nosewheel and firewall.

Aug. 03, Morrilton, Ark.
Curtis Travel Air

At 08:30 central time, a Curtis Travel Air 4000 vintage biplane was damaged during its takeoff roll from a private grass airstrip. The three people aboard were not injured. The pilot raised the tail at about 50 to 60 knots, the right main landing gear hit a bump, and the airplane became airborne and banked left. The pilot over-corrected to the right and the right wingtip hit the ground. The airplane then went through several fences.

Aug. 04, Rensselaer, Ind.
Beech Baron

At 15:35 central time, a Beech E55 crashed into a barn and burned during a low-altitude pass. The pilot and passenger survived the crash, but the passenger later died. The airplane had departed Jasper County Airport at 15:30 and made a low pass over a farm before hitting the barn. The airplane traveled through the air another 700 feet, then skidded 100 feet along the ground. VMC prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

Aug. 05, Washington, D.C.
de Havilland Dash 8

A US Airways Express/Piedmont employee was struck and killed by the right propeller blades during taxi at Reagan Washington National Airport. The marshaller had signaled for the aircraft to stop because the nose wheel chocks had not cleared the right main landing gear. A baggage handler tried to remove the chocks from the front of the airplane and was struck by the propellers.

Aug. 05, Weaverville, Calif.
Beech Bonanza

At about 14:15 Pacific time, a Beech B36TC struck trees and rising terrain after taking off from Lonnie Pool Field. One passenger was killed. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot departed on runway 36 into rising terrain, despite warnings at the airport and in the Airport/Facility Directory to take off from runway 18 because of the runways steep slope and rising terrain to the north. The airport is unattended.

Aug. 06, Cooper Landing, Ark.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 12:00 Alaska time, a Cessna 172S was damaged during an emergency landing at Quartz Creek Airport. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, the other two passengers were not injured. The airplane was in cruise flight when it began an uncommanded pitch up. The pilot was unable to keep the airplane from climbing and shut off the engine during his attempt to land. The airplane touched down on runway 21 and bounced several times before continuing off the departure end and crashing into trees. The airplane was equipped with a two-axis autopilot, which is being examined.

Aug. 07, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Mooney M20C

At about 15:46 eastern time, a Mooney M20C lost engine power after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and struck a car and bus as it landed on a city street. The CFI and private-rated student pilot suffered minor injuries. As the airplane took off and the pilot turned off the electric boost pump, the engine lost power. The pilot turned the pump back on but power was not restored. The engine was reportedly running smoothly but at reduced power. Post-accident examination showed one side of the bail wire that secures the gascolator bowl was found improperly positioned. The throttle lever with throttle cable attached was found separated from the carburetor, and there was no evidence of safety wire in the hole of the securing screw of the throttle lever or on the lever.

Aug. 07, Odenton, Md.
Piper Cherokee 140

At 10:00 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-140 was damaged during an aborted takeoff from Tipton Airport. The pilot was not injured. The pilot told investigators he was having problems with his airspeed indicator and asked a mechanic to inspect the pitot/static system. The mechanic inspected the system and the pilot planned to perform high speed taxis to test the system. The pilot reported the pre-flight runup was normal. The pilot made one pass down the runway without seeing an acceptable airspeed indication. On the second attempt, the airplane began lifting off with about 1,000 feet remaining, so he decided to take off. At 300 to 400 feet agl, the engine RPM dropped to about 1,500. He then put the airplane down on pavement to the north of the runway, damaging all three landing gear, the propeller and the firewall. Examination revealed the fuel system contaminated with debris. An overhauled engine had been installed a month earlier.

Aug. 08, Rock Springs, Wyo.
Piper Aerostar

At approximately 13:30 mountain time, a Piper PA-60-602P crashed while landing after aborting its flight. The pilot was not injured. The pilot had just taken off from Rock Springs and was climbing out on the downwind leg and getting his IFR clearance when he heard a loud explosion from the vicinity of the right wing. He returned and landed on runway 9. As soon as the airplane touched down, it began veering left and right and finally departed the right side of the runway, collapsing the landing gear. Half of the tire and most of the tube were found at the point of touch down. Evidence was found indicating the tire came off the rim.

Aug. 09, Key West, Fla.
Piper Cherokee Six

At about 12:15 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-260 ditched in the Florida Straits about 30 miles southeast from Key West. The pilot escaped but two reported passengers were presumed to have drowned. The flight was operated by a business offering customers a chance to join the mile-high club. The pilot said an older Hispanic couple who spoke little English, paid cash and only provided their first names hired the flight. Once the flight was airborne, the male passenger produced a small knife and demanded to be flown to Cuba. The pilot maneuvered aggressively to disorient the man and reversed course toward Key West, but a struggle in the cockpit ensued in which the throttle handle snapped off. The three donned life vests, but the couple inflated theirs before exiting the airplane, and the airplane sank before they could get out.

Aug. 10, Meadview, Ariz.
Eurocopter AS350

At 14:20 mountain time, an American Eurocopters AS350-B2 crashed into mountainous terrain during a sightseeing flight. The pilot and five passengers were killed and one passenger suffered serious injuries. The flight had toured the Grand Canyon and was en route to its base in Las Vegas when the accident occurred. The surviving passenger said the helicopter got quiet and fell from the sky. The wreckage indicated the helicopter had descended approximately straight down to impact.

Aug. 11, Rohrersville, Md.
Piper Turbo Arrow

At about 19:20 eastern time, a Piper PA-28RT-201 struck a ridge while in cruise flight, killing the pilot and two passengers. Witnesses said the airplane was flying in and out of the clouds in drizzly weather with low ceilings. The ridge was obscured by fog and mist. The pilot apparently attempted to pull up to get over the ridge, but crashed about 400 feet lower than the 1,800 feet msl peak. The pilot did not hold an instrument rating but reported 2,000 hours on his last medical certificate application.

Aug. 11, Fort Smith, Ark
Cessna Centurion

At 20:52 central time, a Cessna 210 was damaged during a gear-up landing. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The pilot was flying from Batesville to Fayetteville but, on approach to Fayetteville, the pilot noticed the right main gear did not appear down and locked when viewed from the wing mirror. The pilot determined the hydraulic reservoir was empty. The passenger put engine oil into the reservoir, but the gear would still not extend. The pilot elected to divert to Fort Smith, where the emergency equipment was better. The airplane landed with the nose gear extended and the main gear retracted. A mechanic who later examined the airplane said the left landing gear actuator was busted.

Aug. 11, Byron, N.Y.

At about 14:45 eastern time, a homebuilt Kitfox crashed while maneuvering over a residential area, killing both aboard. Witnesses said the airplane was circling at 15 to 20 feet above the trees and power lines with bank angles approaching 90 degrees. The owner of the airplane said the pilot had approximately 450 hours of total time, with 30 hours in make and model, including 22 in the accident airplane in the last 30 days.

Aug. 12, Brockport, N.Y.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 22:55 eastern time, a Cessna 172L was damaged during an off-runway landing at Ledgedale Airpark. The pilot received minor injuries and the passenger was seriously injured. Dark night VMC prevailed. The flight was en route Akron, Ohio, to Brockport, the pilots home base. The runway lights were Notamd out of service. The airplane landed to the right of the taxiway that paralleled runway 28. The left wing struck the ground, the nose wheel collapsed, and the lower part of the cabin was crushed.

Aug. 12, Boulder City, Nev.
Piper Archer

At 00:03 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-180 struck power lines and poles one mile east of runway 27 at Boulder City Municipal Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. A witness in a helicopter saw the accident aircraft approach the airport and enter a wide arcing left-hand approach to runway 27. The helicopter landed and the witness saw the accident aircraft very low on final approach. The aircraft struck power lines 66 feet above ground level that were marked by red obstruction lights.

Aug. 13, Bluefield, W.Va.
Cessna Centurion

At about 12:00 eastern time, a Cessna 210L suffered a catastrophic engine failure while in cruise flight near Bluefield. The pilot made a successful forced landing at Mercer County Airport. The pilot was in cruise flight at 8,000 feet when the engine began to vibrate, the propeller oversped and the oil pressure dropped to zero. The pilot then saw flames coming from the engine cowling and the cockpit filled with smoke. The engine showed a three-inch hole in the engine case. The airplane had been operated for about 4 hours since an annual inspection, at which time the Nos. 1 and 2 cylinder and piston assemblies were replaced and all of the intake and exhaust valve lifters were replaced.

Aug. 15, Sikeston, Mo.
Cessna Cardinal RG

At 21:06 central time, a Cessna 177RG struck trees and crashed a half-mile from Sikeston Airport. The intended cross-country flight was on initial climb after takeoff when it experienced partial loss of power. The pilot and passenger were not injured in the forced landing. The fuel selector was positioned to the left tank, which contained about three gallons of fuel and some water. The right wing contained an unreported amount of fuel.

Aug. 16, Summerfield, Fla.
Cessna 152

At about 10:30 eastern time, a Cessna 152 struck a fence during a precautionary landing in the cow pasture. The student pilot was not injured. The pilot was on the second leg of a solo cross country when the ceiling began dropping. A thunderstorm moved in behind him, so he elected to enter IMC. He momentarily lost control of the airplane, so he descended to just above the treetops. Finally he elected to make a precautionary landing in a field.

Aug. 17, Wilgrove, N.C.
Piper Cherokee 140

At about 13:00 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-140 crashed on a go-around at Wilgrove Airpark, but the pilot was not injured. The pilot said he departed runway 17 and planned to stay in the pattern. As he approached for landing, he found he could not reduce power, so he elected to go around. The engine did not respond to increased throttle either, and he overflew the runway at 150 to 200 feet agl and 1,900 rpm. He concluded he could not get over trees at the departure end of the runway, so he performed a full stall landing into the tree canopy.

Aug. 18, Rock Springs, Wyo.
Piper Turbo Lance

At 07:30 mountain time, a Piper PA-32RT-300 made an emergency landing on a dirt road approximately 30 miles northeast of Rock Springs after losing engine power. The pilot and his three passengers were not injured. The cross-country flight had been in the air for one hour and 15 minutes when the engine failed catastrophically, coating the windshield with oil. Because of reduced vision and the unknown condition of the roadway, the pilot elected to land with the gear retracted.

Aug. 19, Gibson, Ga.
Cirrus SR-22

At about 08:30 eastern time, a Cirrus SR-22 lost engine power and crashed into a farm field. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The pilot said he was using the airplanes stormscope to avoid thunderstorms when he inadvertently entered a convective buildup. The engine quit and the pilot could not get it restarted.

Aug. 20, Sugarland, Texas
Beech Bonanza

At 19:39 central time, a Beech F33C crashed while maneuvering during final approach. The pilot and passenger suffered serious injuries. On initial climb the pilot reported the door was open and he wanted to return for landing. The airplane was about 500 feet agl on downwind. When turning base to final the airplane overshot the runway centerline and the controller said the airplane appeared to stall as the pilot maneuvered back to the extended runway centerline.

Aug. 21, Shirley, N.Y.
Pitts S-2B

At about 12:45 eastern time, a Pitts S-2B crashed while maneuvering to land at Brookhaven Airport, killing the flight instructor and leaving the commercial pilot/student seriously injured. The student pilot broadcast a simulated engine-out landing and turned toward the runway. However, a witness said the airplane appeared very slow and very, very low. He then saw the right wing drop and the airplane struck the ground in the clear area just short of runway 24. The instructor had more than 3,000 hours, and the second pilot had about 350 hours. No pre-accident anomalies were found.

Aug. 21, Davidsville, Pa.
Cessna Cardinal

At about 15:50 eastern time, a Cessna 177 struck trees while taking off from a field in Davidsville. The pilot received minor injuries. The airplane had suffered a loss of engine power and made a forced landing in the field several days earlier. Fuel was off-loaded to make the airplane lighter and the pilot was issued a ferry permit to depart the field. The grass was reported as six to 12 inches tall. The pilot was able to get the airplane airborne in 1,150 feet, but then struck a low dirt embankment, went through a fence and struck trees near a house. Water was found in the main sump drain and the carburetor.

Aug. 22, Weatherford, Texas
Cessna 152

At approximately 09:10 central time, a Cessna 152 overran runway 35 and collided with a tractor/trailer on Interstate 20, killing the student pilot. The pilot was on a solo cross country when he reported to air traffic controllers that he was lost and low on fuel. The controller gave him vectors to Weatherford , where he tried to land into a 20-knot wind. The airplane bounced a few times and the pilot executed a go-around. He then made a 270-degree turn and tried to land with a tailwind on the 2,850-foot runway 35. The airplane didnt touch down until more than halfway down the runway and went off the end of the runway while still doing an estimated 45 mph.

Aug. 23, Odom, Ark.
Cessna Skyhawk

At 10:30 central time, a Cessna 172 was damaged shortly after engine start when it started unexpectedly and struck trees. The pilot was not injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries. The pilot said he could not start the airplane, so he exited while the passenger stayed in the airplane. The pilot turned the propeller and the engine started and the airplane began moving across the pavement. The passenger saw the trees ahead and jumped from the airplane.

Aug. 24, Piqua, Ohio
Beech King Air

At about 06:40 eastern time, a Beech BE-200 crashed on approach to Piqua Airport, killing the pilot. The airplane had been based at a nearby airport and had been chartered for a 06:30 flight by Hartzell Propeller. The chief pilot for Hartzell Propeller, who resides near the airport, said he awoke at 04:30 and discovered fog outside. He drove to the airport to prepare a company airplane to make the flight in case the King Air could not make it in. The accident pilot telephoned and asked about the fog, and the chief pilot said he would be at the airport with a handheld radio. The airplane appeared over the airport at 06:20, but the fog had thickened. The accident pilot said he would circle for a little while to see if the fog improved, and at 6:40 said he would fly an approach. The airplane crashed while on final approach about 2,000 feet from the approach end of runway 26.

Aug. 25, Amherst, N.H.
Socata Trinidad

At about 07:37 eastern time, a Socata TB-20 crashed into the pilots residence, killing the pilot. An IFR flight plan was filed from Nashua to Atlantic City, N.J., but was not activated. Witnesses said the pilot appeared in a hurry before takeoff, taking off about 10 minutes after arriving at the airport. Radar data and witness accounts show the airplane made four circles over the pilots house before the pilot pulled the power and crashed into his house. A restraining order had been issued the day before and police escorted him off the property at that time. The medical examiner declared the accident a suicide.

Aug. 25, Marsh Harbour, Bahamas
Cessna 402B

At about 18:45 eastern time, a Cessna 402B crashed shortly after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport. The pilot and eight passengers were killed. Witnesses said the airplane lifted off and then nosed down, striking a marsh on the south side of the departure end of runway 27. The baggage from the airplane was removed and weighed. The total weight of the luggage, fuel and passengers showed that the total gross weight of the airplane was substantially exceeded. Preliminary center of gravity calculations showed that the center of gravity was significantly outside the flight envelope past the aft center of gravity. Preliminary information indicated that the pilot was not approved to act as pilot-in-command in the accident aircraft under Part 135. The owner of the charter company has only communicated to investigators through his attorney, and has not produced the aircraft or engine logbooks. The complete maintenance history of the airplane is unknown.

Aug. 26, Matawan, N.J.
Cessna Skyhawk

At about 20:30 eastern time, a Cessna 172SP struck wires and crashed after a touch-and-go at Marlboro Airport, killing the pilot and passenger. Witnesses said the airplane had been flying locally for about 15 minutes when it returned and appeared to approach runway 9 for landing. The airplane did not touchdown until it was well beyond the approach end of runway 9, almost to the number 27 at the opposite end of the 2,156-foot runway. After touchdown, the engine revved and the airplane climbed, but it veered left and struck utility wires and crashed. The flaps were found extended, but no evidence of pre-impact malfunction was found on the aircraft. The wind at a nearby airport was recorded as 210 degrees at 8 knots. The pilot had been issued his private certificate four days earlier.

Aug. 29, Marietta, Pa.
Grumman American Tiger

At 16:15 eastern time, a Grumman American AA-5B was damaged during taxi at the Donegal Springs Airpark. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he preflighted the airplane and found no anomalies. Then he taxied the airplane to runway 27 for departure but, as he attempted to turn onto runway 27, the right brake failed and the airplane traveled off the end of the runway and down a 10-foot embankment. Inspection of the airplane revealed the right brake lining was worn, and there was a hole in the right brake cylinder which was leaking hydraulic fluid.

Aug. 31, Pagosa Springs, Colo.

At approximately 13:30 mountain time, a homebuilt RV-6A departed the runway during takeoff from Stevens Field. The pilot was not injured. The pilot said he was departing on runway 19 and had used 7,500 of the available 8,500 feet when the airplane departed the runway. The airplane traveled another 250 feet and struck a fence. The airports elevation was 7,700 feet and the density altitude at the time was nearly 10,500 feet.

Also With This Article
Click here to view “Accident Totals, August.”


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