General Aviation Accident Bulletin

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.


AVweb’s General Aviation Accident Bulletin is taken from the pages of our sister publication, Aviation Safety magazine. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause on the NTSB’s website at Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at

October 4, 2019, Harrisburg, Penn.

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu

The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing to the Susquehanna River at 1713 Eastern time following a total loss of engine power while on approach. The private pilot and a passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

In a written statement, the pilot stated he conducted a “thorough” preflight inspection and estimated the 122-gallon system contained 77 gallons of fuel at departure. According to the pilot, “I had the ILS loaded and was tracking the final approach course and glide slope as I dropped the gear. I added the first notch of flaps and the engine cut out. I pitched for best glide speed as I tried to restart the engine, advanced the power, and switched fuel tanks, none of which worked. We were losing altitude quickly. I retracted the gear and prepared for a water landing. I advised the tower that we were not going to make the runway. I would estimate that we touched down 1-2 miles from the runway.” During recovery from the river, each wing was drained of fuel and water. The left wing contained 12.5 gallons of fuel and 10 gallons of water. The right wing contained 17 gallons of fuel and 15 gallons of water.

October 5, 2019, Kokomo, Ind.

Piper (PA-60) Aerostar 602P Sequoia

Shortly after taking off at about 1637 Eastern time, the airplane impacted a field about 3.6 miles south of the departure airport. The airplane was destroyed and the airline transport pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

On arrival at the departure airport, an airport employee asked the pilot if he wanted jet fuel, and the pilot said “yes.” The employee pulled the Jet A fuel truck out and parked it in front of the airplane while the pilot was still inside the airplane. The employee again asked the pilot if he wanted jet fuel, and the pilot said “yes.” The employee fueled the airplane with about 163 gallons of Jet A from the truck and avoided the airplane’s misfueling prevention feature by positioning the fuel nozzle over the wing and fuselage filler necks, spilling more than a gallon in the process. The Jet A fuel truck had “JET A” on its left, right and rear sides. Later in the day, when the accident airplane departed, the pilot was observed to visually check its fuel tanks and gave a “thumbs-up” to an acquaintance.

Post-accident examination revealed the airplane wreckage path was about 328 feet long on a dry and hard fallow bean field. The wreckage and the wreckage path displayed features consistent with an accelerated stall. A clear liquid consistent in color and odor with that of Jet A was found in a fuselage tank and in the fuel lines leading to the fuel manifolds of both engines. Several of the engine spark plugs exhibited damage consistent with detonation.

October 7, 2019, Charleston, S.C.

Honda Aircraft HA-420 HondaJet

At about 0830 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an emergency landing. The airline transport pilot and four passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, when he moved the landing gear handle to the down position, the main landing gear indicated green but the nose landing gear stayed yellow, followed by an audible alarm indicating the landing gear was unsafe. The pilot discontinued the approach and attempted to cycle the landing gear twice with no positive effect. The pilot declared an emergency and executed the emergency landing gear down checklist, resulting in system showing green for the two mains and red for the nose landing gear. He landed and the airplane slid to a complete stop on the runway. The pilot and all passengers deplaned on the runway and waited for emergency services.

Examination revealed the underside of the forward portion of the fuselage was scraped completely through the hull and the pressure vessel was also damaged.

October 7, 2019, Fort Myers, Fla.

Raytheon Hawker 800XP

The airplane landed with the nose landing gear retracted at about 2305 Eastern time. The two airline transport pilots and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated by Delta Private Jets as a Part 135 on-demand charter flight. Night visual conditions prevailed.

After a normal takeoff roll and rotation from Naples, Fla., the crew observed a warning indication that the nose landing gear was not fully retracted. They later reported a vibration and a “thud” were felt from the nose section, and the system indicated the main landing gear were retracted. The crew attempted to extend the nose landing gear via the checklist but were unable to get either a down-and-locked or retracted indication. The flight crew then diverted to nearby Ft. Myers, Fla., for its 12,000-foot-long runway. During the ensuing landing, the nose gear failed to extend, the airplane skidded to a stop on the runway, and the flight crew and passengers evacuated via the main cabin door. The fuselage sustained substantial damage.

Examination revealed the nose landing gear actuator push rod linkage was found disconnected from its attach point—the nut, bolt and pin assembly was missing, and deformation in the area where the nut, bolt and pin assembly should be installed was observed. When the NLG was manually extended by hand, it locked into place.

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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  1. RE: the October 4 accident is apparently ‘pilot error due to improper pre flight’, specifically, fuel quantities checked. The other two are probably maintenance and mechanical issues.