General Aviation Accident Bulletin, June 26, 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 17, 2023, Lubbock, Texas

Beech 58P Pressurized Baron

The airplane was destroyed at about 1136 Central time when it crashed shortly after takeoff following an apparent engine failure. The solo pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

A witness stated the airplane’s takeoff “seemed like a normal takeoff” and that the airplane lifted off about 2200 feet down the runway. He looked away momentarily and then heard an “audible change” in its engine sound. The witness then saw it in a left bank. Surveillance video recorded the airplane in a nose-down left bank prior to entering a left roll to inverted before it impacted terrain. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Examination revealed the left propeller had separated from the engine. All three of the left propeller’s blade roots were at an estimated angle-of-attack greater than 20 degrees. The right propeller blades were at a shallower angle and exhibited twisting and/or S-shaped bending, and chordwise scratching.

March 18, 2023, Gordonville, Texas

Aero Commander 100-180

At about 1035 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a hard landing. The pilot was not injured and the passenger received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, he was landing to the east with a quartering tailwind, approaching at about 80 KIAS. He observed that the wind had died down as the airplane descended below trees bordering the airport. When the main landing gear touched down, the airplane bounced. As the main landing gear contacted the runway again, the pilot and passenger heard an unusual, loud noise. The noise later was determined to be the nose landing gear colliding with the right main landing gear strut. The airplane slid about 30 feet before it nosed over and came to rest inverted.

March 23, 2023, Travelers Rest, S.C.

Cessna 177B Cardinal

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1830 Eastern time during an off-field landing following engine failure. The flight instructor and private pilot were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After conducting airwork for a flight review and adding fuel at a nearby airport, they departed for home base. About 15 minutes into the flight, while in a “gentle cruise climb,” the engine backfired a couple of times without warning and “shuddered,” and then lost all power. The instructor assumed control of the airplane, established a glide and performed remedial actions, but the efforts were unsuccessful. During the landing roll in the “recently plowed” field while at a low groundspeed, the nosewheel settled into the mud and the airplane nosed over.

March 25, 2023, Johns Island, S.C.

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II

At 1252 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain after its pilot encountered instrument conditions. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. A mix of visual and instrument conditions prevailed.

The pilot was receiving ATC flight following services. At 1251, a controller noticed the airplane started to turn right and descend. The controller queried the pilot about the maneuver, to which the pilot responded, “Mayday, Mayday…in the clouds…I’m going down.” A witness heard a high-pitched whining noise and looked up just after the airplane impacted the marsh across from where he was launching his boat. The witness said the airplane sounded similar to a World War II divebomber, with the engine whining at a high pitch. He said the weather was overcast “almost as if it was going to rain.”

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

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