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

September 2, 2021, Enterprise, Ore.

Cessna 172E Skyhawk

At about 1130 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its nosewheel assembly failed and it departed the runway before nosing over onto its back. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Just prior to lifting off from a grass strip, the pilot and his passenger heard a noise and felt a bump that was different from the normal sounds made when taking off from that surface. After takeoff, they visually checked the main landing gear, which appeared normal. The flight to the destination airport was uneventful. The landing was normal until the nosewheel touched down, when the airplane immediately veered left and nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to its fuselage, vertical stabilizer and rudder. Examination revealed the upper torque link for the nosewheel was fractured.

September 2, 2021, Farmington, Conn.

Cessna 560XL Citation Excel

The airplane was destroyed at 0951 Eastern time when it failed to gain altitude after takeoff and collided with a power pole and a building. The two pilots and two passengers were fatally injured. One person on the ground sustained serious injuries and three people sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

Two witnesses observed the takeoff roll. One witness noted a puff of blue smoke from the back side of the airplane when it was about two-thirds of the way down the runway. The other witness stated that the nose gear was still on the ground as the airplane passed the midpoint of the 3665-foot-long runway. A third witness saw the airplane’s nose pitch up, but the airplane was not climbing. The airplane then impacted the power pole and began to oscillate about its pitch and roll axes before the witness lost sight. It came to rest with all but its empennage in the building.

Examination revealed skid marks from the right main landing gear tire beginning about 2360 feet from the approach end of the runway. A mark from the left main landing gear tire began about 2480 feet from the approach end of the runway. Both marks were continuous from where first observed to the end of the runway and onto grass adjacent to the departure end of the runway. The parking brake handle in the cockpit, and the respective valve it controlled, were both found in the brake-set position.

September 3, 2021, Wadsworth, Ohio

KR-2S Experimental

At about 1016 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with terrain during an apparent attempt to return to the departure airport shortly after takeoff. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After taking off at 1011, ADS-B data show the airplane proceeded about 2.5 miles to the southwest before a 180-degree left turn was executed back toward the airport traffic pattern. The airplane made a gentle left turn and paralleled the runway, consistent with the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for Runway 20. When the airplane was approximately abeam the approach end of Runway 20, it made a rapid descent to terrain.

September 3, 2021, Delta, Colo.

Cessna 182D Skylane

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1200 Mountain time during a forced landing. The solo pilot was not injured, nor were the parachutists who had jumped from the airplane earlier. Visual conditions prevailed.

The skydivers aboard had already egressed the airplane and the pilot was returning to land. At about 8000 feet MSL (about 3000 feet AGL), the engine stopped producing power. Troubleshooting the engine did not resolve the power loss, so the pilot performed a forced landing to a flat, open hay field. During the landing roll, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

September 3, 2021, Naples, Fla.

Raytheon 390/Beech Premier I

At about 1244 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a runway excursion while landing. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

During landing, the pilot applied normal braking and the airplane began slowing down. Then the brakes “faded away,” and he was unable to stop the airplane. According to the pilot, every few feet during the rollout, the brakes, would grab, lock up for a few feet and then release, but were not slowing the airplane. As the airplane overran the end of the runway, the pilot steered it into the grass and away from a jet-blast fence.

September 4, 2021, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Luscombe 8A Master

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1430 Eastern time during an emergency landing, when its engine lost power shortly after takeoff. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff, at about 200 to 300 feet AGL, the engine began operating rough, which included some surging, and then it lost power. The pilot attempted to land on Runway 5, which featured a 9- to 12-knot tailwind. The airplane touched down near the end of the runway and, realizing it would not stop before the end of the runway, the pilot turned to the right and exited the runway surface. The airplane entered a soybean field and nosed over, with substantial damage to the fuselage and vertical stabilizer.

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

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  1. The Sept 2 Cessna 172E accident caught my eye because of the paradox it represents. It nosed over subsequent to a nosewheel assembly failure whereas last week the original tailwheel spring on my 1946 Cessna 120 resulted in no noseover and flew out after a simple main leaf replacement.