General Aviation Accident Bulletin, August 21, 2023

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.


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 Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at

May 3, 2023, Barnhart, Texas

Aero Vodochody L-39ZA Albatros

The airplane was substantially damaged at 1610 Central time during an off-airport landing following engine failure. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. During initial climb, the engine lost all power. The pilot was unable to obtain a restart and performed a forced landing to a dirt path in a field.

May 3, 2023, Pasco, Wash.

Cessna 210M Centurion

At about 1835 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an off-airport landing following engine failure. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While on the base leg for the intended runway, and at about 800 feet AGL and about 85 mph, the engine lost power. During the forced landing, the wings and right horizontal stabilizer were damaged. The pilot reported the airplane had just undergone an annual inspection and had about 66 gallons of fuel aboard.

May 5, 2023, Fort Mill, S.C.

Aeronca 7DC-CONV

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0745 Eastern time when it was intentionally ditched following engine failure. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After an en route descent, the engine would not respond to throttle movement. Remedial actions had no effect, but the engine ran at 1000 rpm. Unable to reach the desired open area, the pilot landed the airplane in shallow water. It nosed over and came to rest inverted. The pilot and passenger egressed the airplane without injury.

After drying the engine’s spark plug and magnetos, and bypassing a damaged fuel line, the engine started, idled and accelerated smoothly, with a satisfactory magneto check at 1700 rpm. “According to the FAA’s Carburetor Icing Probability Chart, the atmospheric conditions reported by the pilot” were conducive to icing at glide and cruise power, the NTSB said. The pilot stated he applied carburetor heat only after detecting the loss of engine power.

May 7, 2023, Reliance, Tenn.

Cessna 182Q Skylane

At about 1848 Eastern time, the airplane impacted terrain following catastrophic airframe failure. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.

At 1845:05, the pilot reported getting “bounced around a little bit.” At 1847:29, the airplane was on a southeast heading at 8700 feet MSL and a groundspeed of 132 knots. At 1848:23, ATC asked the pilot, “It looks like you are in a little bit of a descent in a turn—is everything all right?” The pilot did not reply, and there were no further communications received. The airplane was declared missing at 1852.

The main wreckage was located the following morning. The separated right wing came to rest about 4200 feet south-southwest from the main wreckage; the left wing was recovered by local law enforcement; its location was not specified. The separated aft empennage was located about 415 feet south-southwest from the main wreckage. It was missing nearly its full span of right horizontal stabilizer, rudder counterweight and left elevator counterweight. The airplane was equipped with a whole airframe parachute system installed under a supplemental type certificate. The rocket was discharged, but the parachute was not located.

May 11, 2023, South Bethlehem, N.Y.

Cessna 172N Skyhawk

The airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted tailwind takeoff at about 1420 Eastern time. The private pilot and one passenger suffered serious injuries; a second passenger incurred minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

A pilot-rated witness reported the airplane was attempting to take off from a 2853-foot-long asphalt runway. About 15 minutes prior to the accident takeoff, another Cessna 172 took off from the same runway but used its full length. The accident airplane began its takeoff roll from an intersection, with about 2293 feet of runway remaining, in an approximate nine-knot tailwind, with gusts to 13 or 14 knots. The accident airplane subsequently impacted a field near the departure end of the runway. An FAA inspector later noted the wing flaps were retracted.

This article originally appeared in the August 2023 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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