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.


June 1, 2021, Pinnacle, N.C.

Beech A23 Musketeer

At about 1720 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged in an off-field landing. The student pilot was fatally injured, and the flight instructor sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane took off at about 1641, and began maneuvers consistent with training. At about 1718, the airplane was on an easterly track when it entered a right descending 270-degree turn from about 2100 feet MSL. The last ADS-B target was observed at 1719, descending through 1075 feet MSL at a groundspeed of 64 knots. The accident site’s elevation was about 1000 feet.

Examination revealed the fuel boost pump switch lever was fractured but the remaining portion was in the “ON” position. The left fuel tank was breached; the right fuel tank remained intact and contained about a pint of aviation fuel. Grass blighting was evident along the wreckage path. One propeller blade was “unremarkable,” while the other was bent aft around the engine. Neither blade exhibited leading edge gouging or polishing. The fuel selector valve’s position was not reported.


June 2, 2021, San Angelo, Texas

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II/III

The airplane suffered an apparent landing-gear failure and subsequent wing damage when landing at about 2050 Central time.

The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. The flight instructor later stated that, during the landing rollout, the left wing was lower than normal, as if the tire was flat. The airplane subsequently veered left and scraped the left wing. Initial examination revealed the left landing gear strut was fractured.


June 2, 2021, Nevada City, Calif.

Cessna 172G Skyhawk

At about 1000 Pacific daylight time, the airplane was substantially damaged in an off-airport landing following partial engine failure. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While climbing out and at around 6500 feet MSL, the engine oil temperature was in the red. The pilot reduced power, which brought the engine oil temperature below its red line, and then continued the climb. Climbing through 8500 feet, the pilot heard a change in engine noise and watched rpm gradually decrease. Remedial actions failed to restore full power, so the pilot declared an emergency and initiated an approach to a clear area in the mountainous terrain. During the approach, the airplane’s right wing struck trees and the airplane yawed to the right, touching down in a “side-loaded attitude” and collapsing the left main landing gear. The airplane came to rest heading 180 degrees opposite the landing direction.


June 2, 2021, Denver, Colo.

Beech 1900C

The airplane landed gear-up at 2000 Mountain time, sustaining substantial damage. The solo airline transport pilot was uninjured. The airplane was operated by Alpine Air Express as a Part 135 on-demand cargo flight. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated that he lowered the landing gear, placed the propeller controls forward, confirmed the landing gear indicator lights were green and completed the before-landing checklist. When over the runway threshold, another aircraft’s crew made a comment to check gear down. He said he looked at the landing gear control handle and confirmed three green while the airplane was touching down. The airplane settled onto the runway, but he was able to steer it onto the second high-speed taxiway where it came to a stop.

Airport surveillance video showed the airplane approaching with all landing gear fully retracted just prior to touchdown. Post-accident photos of the airplane on the runway showed the wing flaps were fully retracted. Examination of the landing gear and landing gear indicating/warning system revealed no anomalies precluding normal operation.


June 4, 2021, Aspen, Colo.

Cessna 560XL Citation Excel

At 0954 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an apparent landing gear collapse after landing. The pilot, co-pilot and the three passengers were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot stated that the approach was stabilized and normal, and that the landing gear indications were normal with three green lights. After touchdown and deployment of the speed brakes and thrust reversers, an aural landing gear warning was received. The right wing then began to drop, and the airplane veered to the right and came to rest on the right side of the runway.

Examination revealed the right main landing gear was retracted while the left main landing gear and nose gear were extended. The landing gear handle was found in the UP position. The crew could not recall manipulating the landing gear handle after the initial gear extension in flight.


June 4, 2021, Atlanta, GA

Honda Aircraft HA-420

The airplane was substantially damaged when its right main landing gear collapsed shortly after landing and it departed the runway at about 1550 Eastern time. Both airline transport pilots were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot in command, the flight and approach to the airport were normal. After touchdown, he attempted to apply the brakes but there was no braking action and no compression of the brake pedals. When the pilot pulled the emergency brake, the airplane began to skid. He released the emergency brake, noting the airplane was about 45 degrees off the runway centerline and continuing to turn left. The airplane entered a grassy area to the left of the runway, completed a 180-degree turn and came to rest.

Examination revealed the right main landing gear had collapsed, causing substantial damage to the right wing. The left main landing gear tire was located about 225 feet from the main wreckage. The left main tire had been replaced the morning of the accident.


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

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1 COMMENT

  1. Re: The Honda Jet report, where the left main tire had been replaced in the morning, and was found 225 ft from the wreckage: As someone who did all the maintenance on their own (homebuilt) airplane for 24 years, I have come to the conclusion that “The most dangerous flight is a Return to Service Flight.”

    Any bets that someone forgot to insert (or twist) a cotter pin?