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 20, 2019, Battleground, Wash.
Beechcraft F33A Bonanza
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1620 Pacific time during a runway excursion. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the commercial pilot, he touched down close to the runway threshold at an approximate approach speed of 70 KIAS. During the landing roll, the pilot noticed the airplane did not decelerate as it had after previous flights. Additionally, engine rpm was higher than normal and could not be reduced. Nearing the runway edge, the pilot pulled the mixture control to idle/cutoff, but the airplane left the runway pavement, crossed an adjacent road and impacted a metal pole with its left wing before coming to rest.
July 21, 2019, Oshkosh, Wis.
Mooney M20J/Mooney M20U
The two airplanes collided in flight while joining formation for a mass arrival at the 2019 EAA AirVenture Fly-In. Both airplanes sustained minor damage. Neither pilot nor their passengers were injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilots of the two airplanes, they were flying in formation and were encountering turbulence related to wake vortices. The two airplanes were maneuvering to join the formation of another two-ship flight when the M20J’s right wingtip collided with the M20U’s rudder. Both pilots were unaware of the collision until after they landed.
July 27, 2019, Lake, Mich.
ICON A5 LSA
At about 1220 Eastern time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during an impact with trees shortly after departure from a lake. The airline transport pilot suffered minor injuries while the pilot-rated passenger was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
During the attempted takeoff, the pilot estimated the wind to be between 12 and 15 knots. He later said the takeoff was normal and “there was nothing wrong with the [air]plane at all.” Crossing the shoreline, he estimated the airplane was 50-60 feet above the treetops. Before starting a right turn, he looked at the angle of attack indicator, noting it showed one needle width below the top of the green, and he estimated his speed as between 55-60 knots. He had initiated a 10-degree-bank right turn when it suddenly sounded like they “hit a wall.”
A video of the accident flight shows the airplane in a nose-high attitude with flaps extended as it approached the trees after takeoff. As the airplane reached about the midpoint of a stand of trees, the angle of attack appears to increase and the nose drops. The right wing then lowered and impacted one of the trees. The airplane subsequently descended rapidly into the water. A post-accident weight-and-balance calculation revealed that the airplane was about 70 lbs. over its maximum gross weight and outside its center of gravity envelope.
July 30, 2019, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Cessna 210E Centurion
The airplane sustained substantial damage at 1600 Eastern time while landing. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, upon retracting the landing gear after takeoff, the amber gear-in-transit light would not extinguish. The pilot cycled the landing gear with the same result. He then placed the landing gear handle in the neutral position and continued the flight. On arriving at the planned destination, the pilot was unable to extend the landing gear. He declared an emergency and attempted to extend the landing gear with the emergency pump, but the gear did not respond and he observed hydraulic fluid on the floorboards. The pilot diverted to CHA and landed on Runway 20 with the nose gear down and locked and the two main landing gear partially extended. As the airplane decelerated it veered to the right, impacted a taxiway sign and slid to a stop in the grass.
July 30, 2019, Fairhope, Ala.
Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee 140
At about 1530 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The flight instructor later reported he was preparing the student pilot for his private pilot check ride. They had performed several touch-and-go landings. However, shortly after the last takeoff, the engine began vibrating severely, then lost power. The instructor performed a forced landing to a cornfield, about two miles from the airport, damaging the airplane’s left wing and engine mount. Examination of the engine’s #3 cylinder revealed a failed exhaust valve.
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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