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.
October 3, 2021, Minot, N.D.
Sonerai II Experimental
At about 1620 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an attempted go-around. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
The accident flight was the pilot’s first in the recently acquired airplane. On initial climb from Runway 31, the pilot noticed the engine temperature was just under its redline. After reducing engine power, the temperature dropped to normal and the pilot turned downwind and prepared to land. Subsequently, the pilot determined his approach was unstable and decided to execute a go-around. During the attempted go-around, engine output seemed low and what appeared to be engine oil on the windscreen obscured his visibility. Engine temperature had risen to over 500 degrees, with normal oil pressure.
The pilot decided to land the airplane instead. On final approach, a few feet from touchdown, the airplane stalled, dropped to the runway and bounced a few times. The pilot tried to recover by adding power, but the engine did not seem to respond. The airplane veered off the runway to the right, damaging the forward fuselage and empennage. Records provided by the pilot showed the airplane’s last flight was conducted in January of 1995. The most recent condition inspection was completed in September 2021.
October 3, 2021, Andrews, N.C.
Beechcraft S35 Bonanza
The airplane was destroyed at about 1948 Eastern time when it apparently flew into terrain under control. The private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Although the departure airport was VFR in rain, it’s likely the accident site was experiencing night instrument conditions.
The pilot purchased the airplane in June 2021. He departed Liberty, Texas, with a likely ultimate destination of Lancaster, Penn. The pilot’s arrival at a presumed fuel stop in North Carolina included a go-around and making left traffic to a runway with a published right-hand pattern. The pilot added 60 gallons of fuel, received a preflight briefing from Leidos and filed an IFR flight plan.
Weather at the departure airport included scattered clouds at 1400 feet, broken clouds at 3200 feet and seven miles of visibility in rain. Preliminary ADS-B data indicate the flight departed Runway 8 and made a slight left turn toward the northeast. The last recorded data point showed the airplane at about 3750 feet MSL in a 656-fpm climb at 98 knots, on a course of 042 degrees. The last ADS-B data point was about 500 feet laterally from the initial impact with pine trees at an approximate elevation of 3950 feet. Examination revealed the wing flaps were retracted; the landing gear was extended.
Takeoff minimums and procedures for the departure airport requires remaining within three nm while climbing in visual conditions to cross the airport westbound at or above 4900 feet MSL, then a climb to 7000 feet on a westerly heading to a VORTAC radial, and then to the VORTAC, before proceeding on course. The procedure is not authorized at night.
According to a witness, the pilot had recently transitioned from a Piper Warrior equipped with fixed landing gear. Sunset was about 1917 and the end of civil twilight was 1941.
October 4, 2021, Garberville, Calif.
Piper J3C-65 Cub
At about 1200 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it veered off the runway while landing and impacted a parked airplane. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot later reported that, as the tailwheel touched down, the airplane veered to the right. He applied power to abort the landing; however, the airplane exited the right side of the runway and impacted the unoccupied airplane. Examination revealed the airplane’s tailwheel would only pivot in one direction.