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.
November 15, 2022, Oak Hill, Fla.
Davis DA-2 Experimental
At 1530 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed during an attempted takeoff. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
On the morning of the accident, a witness sold the airplane to the accident pilot, suggesting he should taxi the airplane up and down the runway a couple of times to get familiar with it before departing. Other witnesses saw the airplane taxi up and down the runway several times, followed by a takeoff attempt at full power. The airplane never became airborne. Instead, it veered left, departed the runway and struck a tree 150 feet to the left side of the runway.
The 74-year-old pilot held a student pilot certificate and reported 70 total hours of flight experience in 2018. His logbook was not recovered and no determination could be make about any recent or total flight experience.
November 18, 2022, Snohomish, Wash.
Cessna 208B EX Caravan
The airplane was destroyed at 1019 Pacific time when it broke up in flight. All four occupants were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the data-collection test flight.
The flight testing was being conducted in support of Raisbeck Engineering’s bid to expand an existing supplemental type certificate to the accident aircraft’s model. The accident flight’s purpose was to complete baseline testing of the unmodified airplane’s aft CG stall characteristics. Witnesses observed the airplane break up in flight and watched pieces float down. The airplane descended to the ground in a nose-low, near-vertical corkscrew pattern. Radar tracking shows the airplane’s descent rate exceeded 14,000 fpm and gradually lessened to 8700 fpm at the last data point, recorded at 1019:18 local time. The main wreckage was about 2145 feet east of that point. The wreckage was distributed over an approximately 1830-foot distance.
November 18, 2022, Las Vegas, Nev.
Cessna 172M/Robinson R44
At about 1027 Pacific time, the two aircraft collided over Runway 30R at the North Las Vegas (Nev.) Airport. The flight instructor and student pilot aboard the Cessna and the Robinson helicopter’s student pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The helicopter’s student pilot later reported that ATC had instructed him to make his landing approach to taxiway Papa. However, he made the approach to Runway 30R and terminated in a hover over the runway, facing the takeoff direction. He was unaware the Cessna was on approach to Runway 30R.
The Cessna’s flight instructor reported she and her student pilot were cleared by ATC to land on Runway 30R. During the landing flare, she observed the helicopter hovering over 30R and took the flight controls. It was too late to abort the landing, so she elected to touch down and roll out underneath the hovering Robinson. The Cessna’s left wing collided with the skids of the hovering helicopter. The Cessna pivoted left and its right wing struck the runway surface before coming to a stop. The Robinson’s pilot was able to maintain control and landed upright on Runway 30R.
November 22, 2022, Banning, Calif.
Velocity XL-RG Experimental
The airplane was destroyed at about 1824 Pacific time when it caught fire while airborne before impacting terrain. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
A motorist observed a trail of smoke and fire from the rear of the airplane, which was confirmed by video footage. The airplane appeared to be in a stable flight condition as it crossed an Interstate highway, but then the fire progressively got worse. Shortly after, the airplane entered a right bank and impacted terrain about 1.5 miles from a suitable airport.
November 25, 2022, Mount Comfort, Indd.
Cirrus Design SF50 VisionJet
At about 0800 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a retention pond after deployment of its airframe parachute system. The solo pilot was not injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
According to the pilot, preflight and pretakeoff checks were normal. After takeoff, he retracted the landing gear and flaps, and engaged the autopilot. A short time later, he received audible and visual gear unsafe warnings. The airplane pitched up and he noticed a reduction in engine power; neither the pitch up nor power reduction were commanded by the pilot.
The pilot first attempted to disconnect the autopilot using a press and release of the yoke-mounted autopilot disconnect, followed by pressing and holding the button. He also attempted to disconnect the autothrottle system with the center console-mounted button. He did not believe that the autopilot or autothrottle systems had disconnected and the airplane continued to pitch up and slow down until the airplane was close to an aerodynamic stall. The left wing dropped and the pilot activated the Cirrus Airplane Parachute System. The parachute deployed and the airplane descended under canopy, landing in a retention pond.
This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
For more great content like this, subscribe to Aviation Safety!