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

May 1, 2019, Tyrone, Penn.

Cessna 172N Skyhawk

At about 1251 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted mountainous terrain while maneuvering. The commercial pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the flight.

According to the FAA, the pilot filed an IFR flight plan before canceling it with ATC and departing VFR. Preliminary ADS-B data depict the airplane flying the 240-degree runway heading while climbing to 2500 feet MSL. The track then turned slightly right and descended to about 2000 feet, remaining on that heading and at that altitude for about 10 NM. The airplane then turned back to 240 degrees, descended slightly, then climbed back to nearly 2000 feet over about three nm. The airplane began a right turn before the data ended at 1251:02, with the airplane at about 2050 feet MSL and about 0.11 mile southeast of the accident site. The airplane impacted heavily wooded terrain near the top of a ridgeline at about 2275 feet MSL.

May 1, 2019, Mill Creek, Calif.

Cessna T182P Turbo Skylane

The airplane experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a power line at about 1100 Pacific time, while making an emergency landing to a grassy marsh. The flight instructor and front-seated passenger sustained serious injuries; the rear-seated pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the sightseeing flight.

While maneuvering around Mount Lassen at about 11,000-11,500 feet MSL, the pilot heard a muffled “boom” from the engine compartment, followed by white vapor, a partial loss of engine power, and then black smoke entering the cockpit. The pilot trimmed the airplane for the best glide speed and the airplane began to descend at an estimated 1000 fpm. The pilot turned the airplane toward a grassy meadow, planning to flare it immediately after clearing the four-foot fence that stretched northwest-southeast across the field. The pilot suddenly spotted power lines and attempted to maneuver under them, but the airplane contacted the wires and spun from the impact, coming to rest inverted. Examination revealed the engine oil filter adapter was loose: It was required to be 65 foot-pounds, but turned when less than 20 foot-pounds were applied.

May 1, 2019, Sedona, Ariz.

Beechcraft S35 Bonanza

At about 0935 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during takeoff. The private pilot and flight instructor were not injured. Visual conditions existed.

Both pilots reported the preflight inspection, engine start, taxi out and engine run-up were normal. The pilots took off from Runway 21. Just after liftoff, both pilots sensed a significant loss of engine power, the stall warning sounded and the airplane began to roll to the right. In response, both pilots pushed the nose down. The airplane drifted right and encountered rough terrain off the right side of the runway before sliding to a stop on its belly.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane, which the previous owner had flown to the airport. A pre-buy inspection was performed and the accident flight was the new owner’s first in the airplane. He reported about 1075 hours total flight experience, with zero hours in the accident airplane make and model. The flight instructor reported about 10,309 hours total time, including about 845 hours in Beech Bonanza airplanes and about five hours in make/model. Weather observed at 0935 included winds from 160 degrees at seven knots, temperature of 18 degrees C and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.

May 3, 2019, Sonoma, Calif.

Stemme S10 Motorglider

The pilot later reported that, while on final approach to Runway 26, his groundspeed was higher than his indicated airspeed. He estimated that the motorglider had touched down in the first ¼ of the 2700-foot-long runway when it veered left. He corrected with left brake and rudder, but it overran the runway and impacted a tree, sustaining substantial damage.

Wind six NM east of the accident site was reported variable at five knots. The pilot reported that observers later told him he touched down beyond the runway’s midpoint. He subsequently recommended not landing with a tailwind.

May 5, 2019, Santa Rosa, N.M.

Beechcraft A60 Duke

At about 1600 Mountain time, the airplane impacted tree- and rock-covered hilly terrain. The commercial pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight was operated on an IFR flight plan.

While en route, the pilot reported an undisclosed fuel pump issue, and diverted to the nearest airport. Witnesses at the divert airport saw the airplane flying at between 100 and 200 feet AGL before it rolled twice to the left, then descended out of control to the terrain. A post-impact fire ensued.

This article originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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