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.
December 2, 2022, Falmouth, Mass.
Mooney M20J 201
At about 1504 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it contacted terrain short of the intended runway. The private pilot was fatally injured; the commercial pilot in the right seat was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the NTSB, the commercial pilot “was not the pilot-in-command but was double checking everything during the flight. On short final, she asked if the sun was in the flying pilot’s eyes, and he said ‘Yes.’ She adjusted the sun visor, looked down for a GUMPS check, and when she looked up, she knew they were going to hit the trees. She believed the pilot couldn’t see because of the bright sunlight at the time of the approach. She stated that the engine was running fine, and they had no flight control anomalies at the time of the accident.”
December 3, 2022, Venice, Fla.
Piper PA-28-151 Warrior
The airplane was substantially damaged at 1938 Eastern time when it struck the Gulf of Mexico shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.
Recorded ADS-B data show the airplane lifted off Runway 23 at 1937:44, with an 88-knot groundspeed. The airplane accelerated to 90 knots and climbed to about 50 feet AGL/MSL. The airplane climbed as high as 75 feet and accelerated to 94 knots before descending. The final ADS-B data point showed the airplane at zero feet and 109 knots about 1800 feet beyond the departure end of Runway 23.
December 4, 2022, Cleburne, Texas
Cessna 210-5 205
At about 2056 Central time, the airplane was destroyed when it struck terrain shortly after takeoff. The instrument flight instructor and the airline transport pilot aboard were fatally injured. Night instrument conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed.
The flight’s initial ATC clearance was to fly a 090-degree heading and climb to 3000 feet MSL. After takeoff from Runway 15 at about 2055, ADS-B data show the airplane turning right and climbing as high as 1775 feet MSL. After 90 degrees of heading change, a rapid descent began as the airplane continued turning. The last ADS-B data point showed the airplane at about 1275 feet MSL (505 feet AGL). The airplane impacted terrain on a 340-degree ground track in a right-wing-low attitude. A witness later stated the airplane’s engine sounded as if it was operating at a high power setting.
December 5, 2022, Corning, Iowa
The airplane was destroyed at about 1238 when it collided with a tree and electrical wires before impacting terrain. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Earlier in the day, an annual inspection of the airplane was completed before the pilot took off to return to the airplane’s home base. A witness observed the airplane approach the destination’s Runway 36 at low altitude and high speed. There were no witnesses to the accident; evidence revealed the airplane struck a 50-foot-tall tree and electrical wires about 600 feet beyond the departure end of Runway 36 before the main wreckage came to rest about 300 feet beyond the tree and wires.
The pilot’s student pilot certificate was issued April 5, 2018. The airplane’s maintenance records showed it had flown about 35 hours since the pilot purchased it in 2018. According to the maintenance facility at the departure airport, when the pilot delivered the airplane for its annual inspection, a flight instructor was flying with the pilot.
This article originally appeared in the March 2023 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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