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

November 4, 2021, Decatur, GA

Cessna 172A

At about 0947 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was landed off-airport following engine failure. The solo student pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Shortly after takeoff and while flying at 1500 feet MSL, the student noted the engine began running rough, followed by a total loss of engine power. The student pilot pitched the airplane for best glide airspeed and declared an emergency with ATC, and subsequently executed a forced landing to a four-lane road. The airplane stuck powerlines, however, and came to rest inverted. Examination revealed a hole in the engine crankcase above the #6 cylinder.

November 5, 2021, Harrison, Mich.

Van’s RV-6 Experimental

The airplane was destroyed at about 0937 Eastern time when it collided with terrain under unknown circumstances. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to ADS-B data, the airplane departed Pontiac, Mich., at 0846 and climbed to 3000 feet MSL. It then proceeded on a northwesterly heading until data was lost at about 0930. The last ADS-B position was about 8.4 miles and 260 degrees from the accident site, itself located about one mile south of the approach end of Runway 36 at a second airport. The airplane struck the ground in about a 45-degree, nose-low attitude, with all major airframe components still connected. One propeller blade was broken off near the hub. Neither blade was splintered and both were predominately intact.

November 5, 2021, Rock Hill, S.C.

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche

At about 1926 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain as its pilot attempted to manually extended the landing gear. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane, and his first flight in the type was earlier that day. Before that flight, he spoke with a mechanic to discuss the airplane’s “fuel tanks,” according to the NTSB. He purchased 35.78 gallons of fuel at 1620.

At 1838, he called the mechanic again to report he was attempting to land at his destination but the landing gear circuit breaker kept popping. The pilot began to circle south of the destination airport as the mechanic provided guidance on the manual gear extension process. Several calls were dropped, but the final call began at 1913. While on that call, and at 1926, the pilot stated, “I gotta add some power” before that call was dropped. The airplane impacted a wooded area about four NM south of the destination airport and came to rest upright. All major components were located at the accident site.

November 7, 2021, Kodiak, Alaska

Wag-Aero Sportsman 2+2 Experimental

The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1405 Alaska time when its pilot apparently lost control and impacted terrain. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot was transporting hunting gear to a remote off-airport landing area near Saltery Cove. Numerous witnesses observed the airplane’s takeoff and reported it made a steep right turn, the nose dropped and the airplane entered a spiraling descent until impact. None of the witnesses reported any unusual sounds from the engine. Surveillance video showed the airplane impacted terrain in a right-wing low, near-vertical attitude, and came to rest about 25 feet from the initial impact point.

November 8, 2021, Villa Rica, GA

Mooney M20F Executive 21

At 1257 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The solo airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The flight’s purpose was to “warm up the oil” for an oil change and compression check as part of an annual inspection. The airplane took off at 1253:49. Preliminary ADS-B data show the airplane departed the traffic pattern area and flew about two miles north. Then it flew west for about a mile before entering a spiraling left descent and impacting a wooded area about 3.3 miles from the airport at 1257:23.

In the final 10 seconds of the accident flight, the airplane’s groundspeed decreased from 62 knots to 45 knots, and then back to 62 knots before decreasing to 43 knots. Groundspeed then increased to 84 knots before the data ended about 80 feet from the accident site. There were multiple trees near the main wreckage that did not exhibit any impact damage. There was no odor of fuel at the accident site.

This article originally appeared in the February 2022 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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