General Aviation Accident Bulletin, June 12, 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

March 2, 2023, Slaughters, Ky.

Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee Arrow II

At 1305 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an off-field landing following loss of engine power. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot purchased the airplane in April 2021; it had not flown for 24 years. After an extensive annual inspection, a mechanic endorsed the airplane’s logbooks on March 1, 2023. After a 98 NM flight, the pilot filled the fuel tanks and took off for another nearby airport. About five minutes after departing and at an altitude of 1600 feet MSL, the engine started to “lose power and slow down.” He set up for an off-field landing to a field but the airplane landed hard, separating all three landing gear. The main gear struts were forced up through the wings.

March 3, 2023, Windsor Locks, Conn.

Bombardier Challenger 300

While en route at about 1600 Eastern time, the airplane experienced pitch oscillations, injuring an apparently unrestrained passenger. The flight diverted and the passenger later succumbed to her injuries. The two airline transport pilots and two other passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, while attempting a takeoff, the crew noticed the airspeed indicators disagreed and aborted. While stopped on a taxiway, the second-in-command (SIC) deplaned and removed a pitot tube cover. The second takeoff attempt was uneventful.

But prior to the second takeoff attempt, the crew observed an engine indicating and crew alerting system (EICAS) advisory regarding the rudder. Attempts to clear the annunciation were unsuccessful and, as the advisory was not flight-critical, took off and was soon cleared to FL 240. Out of 6000 feet MSL, the crew received multiple EICAS messages involving the autopilot and trim failure. The crew ran an appropriate checklist, the first item of which was to move the stabilizer trim switch from “PRI” (primary) to “OFF.”

As soon as the switch was moved, the airplane abruptly pitched up, then down as the PIC recovered. During the oscillations, the switch was repositioned back to the primary position. The PIC later reported the autopilot was engaged before the switch was turned to “OFF” and he expected the autopilot would disconnect, which it did.

Shortly after the oscillation, the crew became aware the passenger had been injured during the oscillations and chose to divert. An ambulance was waiting and paramedics transported the injured passenger to a nearby hospital. The passenger succumbed to her injuries later in the day.

March 4, 2023, Thedford, Neb.

Piper PA-46-600TP M600

At about 1437 Central time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during a runway excursion during the landing rollout. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported that the airplane began veering to the right when the nosewheel touched down. He applied left rudder and brake, but directional control became harder to maintain as the airplane slowed and then departed the right side of the runway, impacting a runway light and spinning to the left before the landing gear collapsed.

March 5, 2023, Lindenhurst, N.Y.

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II

The airplane was destroyed at 1459 Eastern time when an in-flight fire was reported shortly before landing. The flight instructor and one passenger were seriously injured, and the second passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

At the end of a local flight and on a three-mile final approach, the flight instructor reported smoke in the cockpit to ATC and requested an immediate landing. Upon reaching a two-mile final, the instructor called “Mayday.” The airplane turned left as controllers observed smoke coming from its left side, and descended rapidly before colliding with trees. It then shed sheet metal and major structure, ignited spilled fuel, impacted terrain, and rotated 180°, where it came to rest upright, engulfed in flames,” according to the NTSB. The engine sound was smooth and continuous until ground contact.

Review of the airplane’s maintenance logbooks revealed a January 16, 2023, entry stating, “Pilot reports smoke in cockpit during flight on 01/07/2023. After troubleshooting, flown and tested. Aircraft returned to service with no smoke.” Preliminary examination failed to disclose an obvious source of the fire. The “Discovery Flight” was a gift from one passenger to another.

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

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  1. I had my eye on an Arrow that hasn’t flown in 10 years. However, I have decided against it. I certainly wouldn’t want one that hadn’t flown in 24 years. Too many hidden surprises await.

  2. I am not sure a quickly annual is enough for an airplane that has been rotting for 24 years. I can’t imagine what may be growing in the fuel system.

  3. Regarding the smoke in flight: I wrote up AF fighter once for loud background noise in the UHF radio when flying through clouds. I wrote that I suspected a bad ground in the antenna wires. The maintenance guys signed it off CND-FAI.( can not duplicate, fly as is.) on the next flight the Wing commander got violated by the FAA for missing radio calls. He had the Maintenance guys impound the airplane and they fixed the bad ground in the antenna. With smoke in the airplane you keep searching till you find the culprit or so it would seem to me.

  4. The Challenger 300 accident is 100% on the crew. No walk around started the problems rolling and the abort for the airspeed mismatch was their only smart move. Due to the pitot cover being on and the erroneous readings, there were most likely many bad data points in the avionics and computer system. Leaving everything powered up and simply removing the cover did not erase these. The aircraft needed to power completely down and basically be rebooted to clear them. It’s no wonder that EICAS messages started to show up shortly after second engine restart. The Coup d’état was not having a firm grip on the controls and knowing which way the aircraft would go when the autopilot was disengaged. MTCW