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.
July 8, 2019, Bethel, Alaska
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
The airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire after impacting terrain at about 1505 Alaska time during a go-around maneuver. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the scheduled FAR Part 135 commuter flight.
While about four miles southwest of the airport, the tower controller cleared the pilot to land on Runway 12 and to “square off” his approach. Deliberately starting out higher than normal to avoid terrain, he conducted a visual approach but the airplane floated down the runway. With insufficient runway remaining, the pilot executed a go-around and partially retracted the flaps. As the airplane climbed, a tower controller urgently instructed him twice to “turn left immediately.” He later stated that, as he initiated the left turn, the airplane suddenly stalled, rolled right and descended, impacting the ground in a right-wing-low attitude. Runway 12 is 1858 feet long and constructed of asphalt and gravel.
July 9, 2019, Sidney, Neb.
Beechcraft 65 Queen Air
At about 0813 Mountain time, the airplane’s left wing exploded during the takeoff roll. The airline transport pilot was not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage to its left wing. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
According to the pilot, the outboard fuel tanks were filled prior to departure. During the takeoff roll, the pilot heard a loud bang and observed significant damage to the outboard left wing. While taxiing back to the ramp, the pilot noted a small amount of smoke coming from the top of the left wing. The pilot taxied the airplane to the corner of the ramp, performed an abbreviated shutdown of the airplane, grabbed a fire extinguisher and evacuated. The pilot did not observe any additional smoke or fire and did not discharge the fire extinguisher.
(The NTSB’s records report a Beechcraft 65 Queen Air with the same registration sustained damage to its left wing and left aileron during a precautionary landing on February 22, 2019.)
July 10, Ypsilanti, Mich.
Piper PA-34-200 Seneca
The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1527 Eastern time while landing. The commercial pilot and flight instructor aboard sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
After several instrument approaches, the pair performed about four touch-and-go landings on Runway 23R. The fifth takeoff and flight around the traffic pattern was normal. On the downwind leg, the landing gear was extended, with three green lights illuminating. As the airplane crossed the runway numbers, engine power was reduced to idle at about 90 mph and the airplane touched down smoothly. The airplane decelerated while rolling about 1000 feet down the runway. Then wing flaps were retracted and full power was applied to initiate another takeoff.
According to the flight instructor, as weight was removed from the landing gear, it appeared to retract. The right wing and propeller made contact with the runway, stopping the right engine. The pilot applied back pressure and the airplane began gaining altitude, entering a right bank. Instead, the flight instructor retarded the throttles, pushed the nose down and leveled the wings. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground and slid to a stop. After they egressed the airplane, the flight instructor re-entered it to retrieve belongings and noticed the landing gear handle in the “down” position. Later, on jacks, the airplane’s landing gear functioned normally.
July 19, 2019, The Dalles, Ore.
Cessna 210-5 (205)
At 0700 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a nose landing gear collapse during an aborted takeoff. The solo private pilot was not injured; the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot later reported his preflight inspection and engine run-up were performed with no discrepancies noted. During the takeoff roll, there was no airspeed indication, however. He decided to abort the takeoff and pulled the throttle back. As he pulled back on the yoke, the airplane lifted off the runway. He reduced back pressure and the airplane started to porpoise down the runway; he recalled three or four bounces that increased in height until the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane slid down the runway before coming to a stop. The pilot exited the airplane and saw flames near the pilot-side door. The airplane was subsequently consumed by the post-crash fire.
July 19, 2019, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Piper PA-46-310P Malibu
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1440 Eastern time during a forced landing while on approach. The private pilot and two passengers were seriously injured; one passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
At 1428:21, while in cruise flight at FL190, the pilot requested a diversion from his filed destination to POU, which ATC approved. By 1433:38, the airplane was two miles west of POU at about 12,000 feet MSL when the pilot stated, “… we are getting a ah fuel emergency light at this time so ah just want to expedite our approach in there.” At 1435:37, the airplane was about five miles east of POU at 8100 feet, when the pilot requested a turn back to the airport and was cleared for a visual approach.
At 1437:46, the flight was about five miles northeast of POU at 3550 feet. At 1438:44 and two miles northeast of the airport at about 1500 feet MSL, the airplane turned toward POU as it intercepted the inbound course to the landing runway. At 1439:32, the tower controller advised the airplane that its landing gear appeared to be retracted. The pilot responded, “We are too low we are not going to make it.” The airplane came to rest upright among trees and brush. The was no evidence of fuel, no fuel spillage and no odor of fuel present at the accident site.