General Aviation Accident Bulletin

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.

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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.


February 4, 2021, Chitina, Alaska

Cessna 185 Skywagon

The airplane was substantially damage when it collided with terrain at about 1051 Alaska time. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed at the accident site. The airplane operated as a FAR Part 135 scheduled passenger flight.

A GPS data log revealed the ski-equipped airplane climbed to about 7500 feet MSL after takeoff and flew southeast with a groundspeed between 120 and 130 knots for some 10 minutes. About two minutes before the accident, the airplane began a gradual right turn to the south. A descent began, which averaged about 859 fpm. The last data point was at 1050:52, with the airplane at about 5715 feet MSL and a groundspeed of 154 knots on a track of 282 degrees.

The accident site was in mountainous tree-covered terrain at an estimated elevation of 2300 feet. The debris field was about 642 feet long by about 430 feet wide. Two pilots who responded to the accident site shortly after it occurred reported a stratus cloud layer in the vicinity, with good visibility above and below, and tops estimated at 4000 to 5000 feet MSL. Neither pilot reported turbulence in the area.


February 5, 2021, Larned, Kan.

Columbia Aircraft LC42-550FG 350

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1200 Central time when its brakes apparently caught fire after aborted takeoff attempts. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, the pilot attempted a takeoff from Runway 35 but the airplane did not become airborne, so he stopped. The pilot later reported the engine was operating normally, and normal takeoff acceleration was achieved. Winds reportedly were from 270 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 19 knots. After 10 minutes, he attempted a takeoff on the reciprocal Runway 17. Again, the airplane did not become airborne. The pilot stopped the airplane and noticed smoke coming from the underside of the airplane. Both he and his passenger exited the airplane, and he went to get a fire extinguisher from a nearby FBO, but it did not function. By the time a second extinguisher was obtained, fire had damaged the wheel assemblies and progressed to the left wing, resulting in substantial damage to the underside and spar of the wing. Examination revealed both brake and wheel assemblies did not show anomalies other than fire damage. The parking brake was found not engaged.


February 7, 2021, Belvidere, Tenn.

Cessna 441 Conquest II

At about 1648 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain during an instrument approach. The airline transport pilot and a commercial pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight operated on an IFR clearance.

The flight was cleared for the RNAV Runway 36 approach and, as it descended through 2300 feet MSL, the radar target disappeared, which was normal due to the radar coverage in the area. When the controller attempted to contact the flight, there was no response and no further communication with the pilot. The accident site was about six miles south of the destination airport, with a wreckage path about 500 feet long, oriented on a northerly heading. A large portion of the fuselage and both wings were consumed by a post-impact fire.


February 7, 2021, Saratoga, Wyo.

Lancair Evolution Experimental

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1844 Mountain time when its windshield departed while in cruise at FL270. The pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot initiated an emergency descent and subsequently landed at a nearby airport without further incident.


This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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