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.
April 9, 2022, Counselor, N.M.
At about 1200 Mountain time, a Taylorcraft BL-65, N24345, was substantially damaged under unknown circumstances. The pilot/owner was fatally injured; the instructor pilot sustained serious injuries. Unknown conditions existed at the accident site.
The pair departed Wyoming the previous day on a multi-day cross-country flight, with Kerrville, Texas, as the ultimate destination. The accident occurred about 45 minutes after departing Farmington, N.M. The wreckage was located in a dirt field surrounded by sage brush at an elevation of about 7100 feet MSL. The airplane came to rest inverted on a heading of about 360 degrees. Pieces of the wood propeller were scattered around the accident site.
April 10, 2022, Leicester, Mass.
Lancair IV-P Experimental
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1108 Eastern time when its right front cabin window departed the airplane. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, while in cruise at 16,500 feet MSL, there was a “sudden explosion and the right window was gone.” He performed an emergency descent and landed uneventfully. Examination revealed the right front window and portions of the roof fractured and separated from the fuselage.
April 13, 2022, Twin Lakes, Colo.
Cirrus Design SR22
At 0704 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its pilot deployed the airframe parachute after reporting engine failure. The solo pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
The airplane departed Grand Junction, Colo., at 0621. The flight proceeded southeast and then turned east-northeast, climbing to FL210. At 0658, the pilot informed ATC the engine had lost power. The pilot’s efforts to restore power were unsuccessful, and he deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System at 0702. The airplane came to rest upright in a mountain valley with rocky terrain and brush. The fuselage and wing spar were damaged.
April 13, 2022, Heyburn, Idaho
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0832 Mountain time when it collided with a building’s smokestack and fell to its roof. The solo pilot was fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the Part 135 on-demand cargo flight.
The pilot’s first attempt at the RNAV Rwy 20 instrument procedure ended in a missed approach. She flew the published missed-approach procedure and was subsequently cleared for a second attempt. Security video footage from a nearby building revealed snow was falling. At about 0832:25, the airplane came into view in a wings-level, nose-high descent. A witness observed the airplane descend out of the clouds, and then enter a steam cloud produced by six smokestacks on the same roof. The witness heard the engine increase in sound and saw the nose lift shortly before the airplane struck the smokestack and descended to the rooftop.
Weather reported at about the time of the accident included one mile of visibility in light snow and mist, a broken layer at 2300 feet AGL, an overcast at 2800 feet AGL and a temperature/dewpoint spread of two degrees C.
April 13, 2022, Selma, Ala.
At about 1515 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged shortly after takeoff when its pilot discovered it was mis-rigged. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Immediately after takeoff, the pilot needed significant left rudder to maintain directional control. After verifying both engines were producing power, he held full left aileron and rudder input to maintain level flight and instructed the pilot-rated passenger to adjust the thrust levers to turn the airplane back to the airport for a precautionary landing.
The airplane was maneuvered back to airport property, landing hard in the grass at an opposite-direction 45-degree angle to the runway used for takeoff, during which the nose landing gear fractured. The accident occurred on the first flight after the airplane was painted, during which the flight controls had been removed and reinstalled.
This article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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Too bad the painters didn’t put the controls surfaces back on correctly, too bad the pilots didn’t preflight them, good job getting it back to the airport in one piece.