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 11, 2019, Kooskia, Idaho
Lancair IV Experimental
The airplane impacted sloping terrain at about 1040 Pacific time. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Radar data show the accident airplane in cruise at between 10,500 and 10,800 feet MSL, on a southwesterly heading. At 1019, while about 26 miles from the accident site, the airplane turned to the south for about four minutes, then turned back to the southwest. At 1026, the airplane climbed to 13,250 feet before making a left turn followed by a rapidly descending left turn to the area of the accident site. Witnesses in the area remembered the weather being “nasty,” with heavy rain and lightning. One witness heard an airplane’s engine revving up and down, as if it were straining. An area of light-to-extreme precipitation was observed moving northeast over the accident area around the time of the accident. One-half-inch hail was detected about 15 minutes prior to the accident.
August 15, 2019, Elizabethton, Tenn.
Textron 680A (Citation Latitude)
At about 1537 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed during a runway excursion on landing. The airline transport-rated pilot and copilot were not injured. The three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
Airport surveillance video captured the initial touchdown, which occurred near the runway touchdown zone, and portions of the accident sequence. The airplane bounced twice, then continued airborne down the runway until it touched down a third time with about 1000 feet of paved surface remaining. At this point, the right main landing gear collapsed and the outboard right wing contacted the runway. The airplane departed the paved surface beyond the runway’s departure end, through an open area of grass, down an embankment, through a chain-link fence and up another embankment, coming to rest at the edge of a highway.
The pilots later reported a go-around was attempted after the second bounce, but the airplane did not respond as expected, so they landed straight ahead but could not stop the airplane before it departed the runway surface.
August 17, 2019, Lagrangeville, N.Y.
Cessna T303 Crusader
The airplane was destroyed at about 1613 Eastern time when it impacted a house shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and one person in the house were fatally injured. Two passengers and one person in the house sustained serious injuries; one person in the house sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
A witness described the airplane’s rotation as “very abrupt” as compared to the other light twin airplanes that he has observed. Its nose was “high” and it appeared to yaw slightly left and descend before disappearing behind some trees. According to the passenger in the right front seat, both engines lost partial power shortly after liftoff, at less than 50-100 feet. They sounded like they were “not getting full RPM” and began “studdering,” which continued until impact. As the airplane continued beyond the end of the runway, it was not climbing, and the pilot pitched the nose up to clear obstacles. The airplane banked left as it reached the house, and the left wing struck the ground as the right wing struck a tree and the house.
Most of the fuselage forward of the aft bulkhead was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane had been refueled before the accident flight; a fuel sample from the fueling station at the departure airport was blue in color and with no water present.
August 18, 2019, New Castle, Del.
Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron
The airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees and terrain at 0851 Eastern time, shortly after takeoff. The commercial pilot and flight instructor received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot aborted a takeoff roll, reporting that a door had popped open. After taxiing back to the runway’s departure end, the second takeoff was successful. Shortly after, however, the pilot advised ATC they needed to return; he did not specify a reason and did not declare an emergency. The controller then cleared the flight to land on any runway but received no response. The airplane impacted trees and then terrain in a nose-low and inverted attitude. The right fuel selector was in the “main/right tank” position. The left fuel selector was found between the main and crossfeed detent. Both sets of engine controls were in their full-power positions.
August 19, 2019, Tappahannock, VA
At about 0343 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain following an airframe parachute deployment. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.
The airplane was in cruise flight at 3500 feet MSL when the pilot reported to ATC that he was diverting to a nearby airport due to an electrical smell in the cabin. At 0336, the pilot reported the divert airport in sight and acknowledged ATC’s advisory that he could switch to the common traffic advisory frequency. No further radio communications were received from the accident airplane. At 0343, the pilot entered an emergency transponder code. At that time, the airplane was at 600 feet MSL, with decreasing groundspeed, consistent with parachute deployment.
This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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