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.
May 3, 2022, Altha, Fla.
At about 1700 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it was unable to gain altitude after takeoff. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured; two other passengers were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the airport manager, the flight departed with full fuel tanks. The pilot was in the left front seat and was local to the area. The non-pilot airplane owner was in the right front seat. According to surveillance video and witnesses, the airplane lifted off and immediately pitched to a high angle of attack at slow speed. It then proceeded past the departure end of Runway 36 and began a left 270-degree turn. The airplane proceeded eastbound without an appreciable climb rate and crossed the departure end of Runway 36, and then descended out of sight behind a hangar, impacting the ground. A post-crash fire ensued.
May 6, 2022, Tybee Island, GA
Cirrus Design SR22
The airplane descended into the Atlantic Ocean at 0844 Eastern time, presumably after its solo private pilot became incapacitated and suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Visual conditions prevailed.
The airplane departed Lexington, S.C., at about 0738. It turned south, climbed to about 4000 feet MSL and was cleared for the RNAV GPS approach to Runway 17 at Barnwell Regional Airport (BNL), Barnwell, S.C., with ATC asking the pilot to report the “FATSU” waypoint. The pilot acknowledged the request but did not subsequently report passing the waypoint. The airplane overflew Runway 17 at BNL at about 2200 feet MSL and continued to fly another 113 miles on a 170-degree heading. Fifteen miles out over the Atlantic Ocean, it began to slow and descend briefly. Then, when passing through about 1500 feet MSL, the airplane entered a left-arcing descending turn with a corresponding increase in groundspeed. The last target was observed at 0844 as the airplane descended through 75 feet MSL.
May 6, 2022, Sausalito, Calif.
Van’s RV-10 Experimental
At about 1210 Pacific time, the airplane collided with terrain while maneuvering. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Although visual conditions were widespread, witnesses report fog and restricted visibility near the accident site.
The airplane departed Sacramento, Calif., at about 1129 and climbed to about 5500 feet MSL on a southwesterly heading. It then entered a descent over San Pablo Bay as it flew toward San Francisco Bay. Beginning at 1152, the pilot made numerous requests of ATC, including for a “Bay Tour” while en route to his destination of Half Moon Bay, Calif. Each time, the pilot was instructed to remain clear of Class B airspace.
The airplane approached the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge at about 1205. During the next five minutes, the airplane made a series of turns at various altitudes below 2100 feet MSL near the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. The track ceased at 1209:41, about 1700 feet south of the accident site at approximately 850 feet MSL.
Two witnesses about 0.6 NM east of the accident site around the time of the accident reported low visibility and a thick fog layer; one witness stated she could not see the top of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, which extends 746 feet above the water and was about 0.8 NM southeast of the accident site. The accident site was discovered at an elevation of about 800 feet MSL.
May 8, 2022, Grasmere, Idaho
Comp Air 8 SS52 Experimental
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1419 Mountain time when it collided with terrain under unknown circumstances. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Preliminary data show the airplane departed Boulder City, Nev., at 1122. The airplane tracked north-northeast at between 11,000 feet and 13,000 feet MSL. At about 1339, the airplane began a descent and at about 1357, turned east. At about 1410, the last radar return showed the airplane’s altitude was about 6200 feet MSL at a groundspeed of 121 knots. Subsequently, the airplane impacted hilly terrain at an elevation of about 5780 feet MSL. The FAA issued an Alert Notification for the missing airplane after the pilot made a distress call.
This article originally appeared in the August 2022 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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