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 www.ntsb.gov. Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at www.aviationsafetymagazine.com.
December 1, 2019, Union City, Tenn.
The pilot later reported the airplane encountered a crosswind gust and drifted left while landing. At touchdown, a second gust lifted the right wing, the airplane drifted off the runway centerline and the left wing dragged in the grass. The airplane left the runway, collapsing the landing gear and resulting in substantial damage to both wing spars.
Automated winds were from 260 degrees at 20 knots, gusting to 28, as the pilot landed on Runway 19 for a crosswind component of 19 knots, gusting to 26. The manufacturer’s documentation stated, “The maximum allowable crosswind velocity is dependent upon pilot capability as well as aircraft limitations. Operation in direct crosswinds of 20 knots has been demonstrated.”
December 1, 2019, San Antonio, Texas
Piper PA-24-250 Comanche 250
At about 1825 Central time, the airplane impacted a parking lot while attempting an emergency landing at the San Antonio (Texas) International Airport (SAT). The private pilot, the flight instructor, and a passenger aboard were fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.
While en route, the pilot reported to ATC an engine failure and declared an emergency. The airplane was cleared to land at SAT but, during the approach to landing, it rapidly descended and impacted terrain. Several eyewitnesses reported seeing the airplane in a near-90-degree bank before spiraling to the ground. Video footage depicted the airplane impacting terrain in a near-vertical attitude.
December 2, 2019, Vero Beach, Fla.
Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II/III
The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field at about 1240 Eastern time. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the operator, the pilot departed on a solo, cross-country flight with full fuel tanks (48 usable gallons) and landed uneventfully at his destination. He intended to switch fuel tanks one hour into the flight, contrary to the flight school’s policy of every 30 minutes, but forgot. He did not switch tanks on the ground prior to departure, nor during the return flight.
In the traffic pattern at the airplane’s home base, its engine lost all power and quit. Unable to glide to a runway, the pilot performed a forced landing in a field, colliding with a tree and separating the left wing from the fuselage. Examination revealed the left wing fuel tank was not breached but contained no fuel. The right wing fuel tank was completely full of fuel. The cockpit fuel selector handle was found in the left tank position.
December 3, 2019, Detroit, Mich.
BAe 125-800A Hawker 800A
At about 0833 Eastern time, the airplane impacted terrain during an ILS approach. The airline transport pilot and copilot were uninjured but the airplane’s right wing sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 91 positioning flight; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.
Earlier, ATC advised the crew a previous flight had reported icing conditions on the approach. According to the pilot in command, the airplane broke out of the clouds about 1500 feet AGL and had picked up rime icing during the flight. Spots where the airplane’s TKS anti-icing system’s wing panels joined had an ice buildup. The pilot reported that the right wing “dropped” and a stall occurred. A witness observed the accident airplane exit the runway, roll across an adjacent grassy area and over a taxiway before coming to rest.
December 3, 2019, Nephi, Utah
Experimental Super Cub Replica
The pilot stated he was planning to perform an off-airport landing on the shore of a reservoir where he had successfully landed many times before. During touchdown, the rear-seat passenger inadvertently applied the brakes, causing the airplane to immediately nose over and come to rest inverted. The airplane sustained damage to a wing strut.