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.
January 16, 2023, Kingfisher, Okla.
Piper PA-32-301T Turbo Saratoga
At about 1242 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain in a near-vertical attitude for unknown reasons. The pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight.
Cellphone video shows the airplane trailing back smoke before it rolled over and dove into terrain, followed by a post-impact explosion. According to the NTSB, “The accident flight was the first flight after the airplane had undergone maintenance including the installation of a new autopilot system and an annual inspection.” All tail surfaces were intact except for impact damage to the right stabilator tip. Except for breaks consistent with impact damage, control-cable continuity from the cockpit to all control surfaces was confirmed.
January 17, 2023, Yoakum, Texas
Piper PA-46-350P JetProp DLX
The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1039 Central time when it collided with terrain short of the runway while performing the RNAV (GPS) Runway 31 instrument approach. The pilot and copilot, plus two passengers were fatally injured. One passenger sustained serious injuries. Information on weather conditions was contradictory.
Preliminary ADS-B data indicate the airplane was on about a one-mile final to the destination airport after flying the approach when it turned to the right, descended and impacted terrain, coming to rest upright about 1.5 miles southeast of the destination airport.
January 18, 2023, Middlefield, Ohio
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain
At 0903 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was landed long during a one-engine-inoperative landing. The airline transport pilot and five passengers were uninjured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 non-scheduled passenger flight. An IFR flight plan had been filed.
As the airplane climbed through about 6000 feet MSL in IMC, the pilot observed oil leaking from the right engine nacelle. When the airplane had climbed to roughly 7400 feet MSL, the pilot noted a loss of right engine power. He secured the engine, declared an emergency and requested to divert to the closest airport. The pilot successfully completed an approach to the divert airport, touching down in the landing runway’s “first one-third” at “about 120 knots with zero flaps.” The airplane overran the departure end of the runway, coming to rest upright about 600 feet beyond the runway.
January 19, 2023, North Castle, N.Y.
Beechcraft A36 Bonanza
The airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during an engine-out emergency landing. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. Low instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
The flight departed John F. Kennedy International Airport (KJFK) for Cleveland, Ohio, and was in initial climb at 1718:31 when the pilot informed ATC he had a “dead cylinder” and requested to divert. The controller vectored the airplane toward While Plains, N.Y. (KHPN). At 1725:13, while northeast of KHPN at 4500 feet MSL, the pilot broadcast, “mayday mayday mayday mayday.” The controller informed the pilot that KHPN was behind the airplane and to turn left or right as necessary. The flight turned southwest at 1725:54, descending to 3600 feet. The pilot was cleared to land at 1727:49, with ATC providing the direction and distance to KHPN, which the pilot acknowledged during his last transmission at 1728:23. The airplane at that time was about 1.6 miles from KHPN at 800 feet. At 1728:43, the controller transmitted that radar contact was lost. Examination revealed fresh oil on the bottom of the fuselage and a hole in the crankcase at the #6 cylinder. A deformed connecting rod cap with two fractured and entrapped connecting rod bolts was found inside the engine.
January 23, 2023, Provo, Utah
Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300
At about 1135 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted takeoff. The pilot sustained fatal injuries, two passengers were seriously injured and one passenger sustained minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed.
A witness reported the accident airplane was hangared until 1055, when it was pulled outside and fueled. He estimated its pilot started engines around 1110 or 1115, about the same time light snow began to fall.
The fueler later reported observing unfrozen water droplets on the wings. After parking the fuel truck, the fueler noticed the accident airplane start its takeoff roll appearing to “pull up steep” and roll to the left before the left wing impacted the ground. Additional witnesses observed the accident airplane take off, climb to about 20 to 30 feet AGL and then both wings wobbled “back and forth.” The airplane banked right and then “hard left” as the left wing struck the ground.