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.


May 5, 2019, Anderson, Ind.

Piper PA-34-220T Seneca III/IV/V

The airplane impacted terrain at about 0845 Eastern time shortly after departing Runway 36, sustaining substantial damage. The solo commercial pilot received serious injuries. Visual conditions existed near the accident site at about the time of the accident.

A witness observed the airplane depart and, during its initial climb, observed it rock back and forth. The left wing dropped, then the airplane descended and impacted the ground facing opposite the direction of travel.


May 5, 2019, Sandy Valley, Nev.

Flight Design CTLS LSA

During a flight review, the flight instructor briefed the pilot to expect a simulated engine failure during takeoff and an engine-out approach to a perpendicular runway. The pilot departed Runway 21 and, at about 400 feet AGL, power was reduced and he turned left for Runway 12. He overshot the runway, banked to 40 degrees and felt a “strong sink.” He leveled the wings and added full power at about 150 to 200 feet AGL, but the airplane continued to descend. The airplane landed hard and its left main landing gear separated, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot reported the wind was variable at five to 15 knots, gusting to greater than 15 knots. The pilot added that there was severe windshear and airport management later reported a dust devil.


May 5, 2019, Marion, Ind.

Cessna 182Q Skylane

The airplane landed hard and bounced, and the pilot decided to go around. He added full power, and the nose pitched up sharply. He attempted to lower the nose, but the airspeed decreased and he “lost lift on [the] right side.” The airplane drifted right, impacted the ground next to a taxiway and spun around. All occupants exited the airplane, which was consumed by a post-accident fire. The pilot reported that, during the go around, he attempted to use the electric trim to trim nose-down and to lower the nose, but hesitated due to the close ground proximity. Instead, he retracted the flaps. Examination revealed the trim setting was “just short of full nose-up trim.”


May 6, 2019, Foley, Ala.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140

At 1247 Central time, the airplane was destroyed as it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor was seriously injured and the student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness heard the flight instructor announce on the radio, “My engine just quit!” He saw the accident airplane at about 300-400 feet AGL, pitched up high “like a power-on stall” and then “lean to the left to start a spin.” A flight instructor at the airport reported flying the accident airplane the day before the accident and experiencing engine roughness. Maintenance was performed and the instructor subsequently flew the airplane again and noted no issues. Another instructor flew the accident airplane on the morning of the accident and reported it “didn’t seem to climb very well.” The engine-driven fuel pump was removed and actuated by hand. Bubbles were observed around the gasket when the pump arm was actuated. Four screws on the periphery of the pump were loose.


May 8, 2019, Moose Lake, Minn.

Mooney M20J 201

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1630 Central time when it crashed into the Moose Horn River. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot obtained a weather briefing at 1548 and left his place of work at about 1600 for the airport about seven minutes away. The pilot was issued an IFR clearance and a clearance void time of 1635. When the pilot did not check in with ATC, a search was initiated. The wreckage was found in the river the next morning, about ¼ mile northwest of the airport. A weather observation just east of the accident site at 1635 included wind from 030 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 18 knots, visibility 1¼ miles with light snow, an overcast at 600 feet and both temperature and dewpoint of 0 degrees C.


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

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