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.


August 5, 2019, Wolf Point, Mon.

Cessna 182L Skylane

At about 1445 Mountain time, the airplane departed controlled flight and collided with terrain while attempting to land on a private road. The private pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness observed the airplane fly over his location and turn to parallel the dirt road the pilot intended to land on. During the turn from downwind, the airplane descended into terrain and a post-crash fire ignited.

Examination revealed binding between the rudder and the elevator in some configurations: With the elevator in either the up or down position and the rudder near full deflection, elevator travel was hindered by the elevator contacting the bottom of the rudder surface or by the elevator contacting the rivets on the rudder control. Numerous rivets comprising the elevator and rudder assemblies exhibited shiny heads, where paint had been worn away by the binding, and paint with a color and consistency different from the surrounding skin. Additional examination revealed rudder and elevator travel limits were not within specification.


August 8, 2019, Lubbock, Texas

Canadair CL-600-2B16 (Challenger 650)

The airplane suffered no reported damage but a flight attendant and one passenger suffered minor injuries, and one passenger was seriously injured at about 1547 Central time when the business jet encountered unexpected wake turbulence. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect for the fractional NetJets trip operated under FAR Part 91.

The aircraft was climbing through FL335 for its assigned altitude of FL340. According to flight data recorder data, the wake turbulence event lasted 11 seconds. Maximum bank of 23.4 degrees right and 12.6 degrees left were encountered, with pitch excursions reaching 8.5 degrees nose up and 2.5 degrees nose down. Airspeed was stable at between 268 and 276 knots. Vertical acceleration ranged from a peak of 2.09G to -0.72G less than a second later. The negative G only lasted about a half a second before going back to 1.75G, also less than a second later.

During the event, unsecured objects were thrown about, including all passengers and the flight attendant, and cabin service items. The flight crew stabilized and assessed the aircraft, then requested a climb to FL360. After the captain assessed the cabin, the flight diverted and landed safely. A review of flight data revealed the aircraft was between eight and 10 miles in trail of a FedEx Airbus A300 level at FL340 and on the same route.


August 8, 2019, Hatboro, Penn.

Beechcraft F33A Bonanza

At about 0615 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a residential area. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

The pilot obtained an IFR clearance and took off at about 0611. He failed to check in on the ATC departure frequency, and there were no further radio transmissions received. Radar data show the airplane maintaining runway heading for about four nautical miles—about 2.5 minutes—and climbing to about 1000 feet MSL at groundspeeds between 110-140 knots. At about 0614, the airplane entered a descent, groundspeed increased and the airplane turned, with the last data point recorded at 0614:20. The airplane was about 0.15 nautical miles from the initial impact point at 500 feet MSL, heading 349 degrees while covering the ground at 178 knots.

The airplane came to rest in a residential back yard at the end of a 330-foot-long debris path, sustaining substantial damage. An odor of fuel was present. All major components were accounted for at the accident site, and flight control continuity was established from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. There was no evidence of fire. Departure airport weather, at 0554, included an overcast ceiling at 800 feet, visibility five statute miles in haze and calm winds.


August 9, 2019, Ontario, Ore.

North American T28A Trojan

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1620 Mountain time during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The commercial pilot was fatally injured while the pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The passenger reported that they departed with the intent of conducting a few low passes down the runway with the landing gear in the up and down positions. During the third pass, as the pilot initiated a climbing left turn to downwind leg for Runway 33, the engine lost power. The passenger stated that the pilot initiated a forced landing into a field. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard and came to rest upright in an open field.


August 11, 2019, New Carlisle, Ohio

Cessna 172

At about 0742 Eastern time, the airplane impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and his two passengers sustained minor injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported making a “rolling takeoff” and “aggressively” pulling aft on the pitch control after liftoff. A witness saw the airplane “pitch up very sharply” within 500 feet of the runway’s departure end and climb in a nose-high attitude before the airplane’s nose was lowered to a near-level attitude. He then saw the airplane’s tail yaw briefly left and right before its right wing dropped and the airplane descended behind a tree line.

The pilot later provided weight-and-balance data indicating the airplane weighed about 2205 lbs.—five pounds over its maximum weight—at takeoff. The pilot did not calculate the airplane’s weight-and-balance or determine the runway length required for takeoff before the flight.


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

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