General Aviation Accident Bulletin, November 28, 2022

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents.

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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.


August 13, 2022, Hanna City, Ill.

Mooney M20K 231

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1231 Central time during an engine-out landing on a highway. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

The flight departed Santa Fe, N.M., with Peoria, Ill., as its destination. The airplane’s ADS-B data show it climbing to 15,000 feet and proceeding non-stop for almost five hours. When the airplane was about 10 miles west of Peoria, the pilot informed ATC that the engine lost all power and he would not be able to make the airport. The last recorded ADS-B data showed the airplane lined up for a highway at about 675 feet MSL. Surveillance videos show the airplane striking powerlines, touching down, impacting a railing and a speed limit sign with its left wing, and then a power pole, which separated the left wing. The rest of the airplane continued until impacting a building. Examination revealed the left-wing fuel tank was breached during the impact and absent of fuel. The right-wing fuel tank remained intact, and only a small amount of fuel was present. The fuel selector was found to be on the right tank. The fuel strainer contained about three ounces of fuel; the fuel line into the fuel flow divider was absent of fuel.


August 13, 2022, Page, Ariz.

Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair 8

At about 1619 Mountain standard time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it was ditched in Lake Powell following an unspecified engine problem. The pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries. Two passengers suffered serious injuries and two other passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the Part 91 air tour flight.

While conducting a scenic air tour over Lake Powell and shortly after making a turn back toward the airport, the accident pilot made a distress call and reported an engine issue. Subsequently, the airplane ditched in the lake and submerged. The airplane was inspected by a remotely operated underwater vehicle, which found it upright at a depth of approximately 100 feet. All major structural components of the airplane were accounted for.


August 20, 2022, Wilder, Idaho

Beech F33A Bonanza

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1800 Mountain time during a forced landing after engine failure. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot and a mechanic had been attempting to resolve an engine problem where the engine would intermittently shudder. After performing various maintenance tasks, they decided to perform a test flight. Engine runup and takeoff were uneventful, and engine instruments indicated nominal values. A short time later, the engine shook violently and stopped producing power. They performed a forced landing to a field, damaging the lower forward fuselage and both wings. Examination revealed a large hole in the upper rear section of the crankcase.


August 21, 2022, Scio, Ore.

Van’s RV-8 Experimental

At 1403 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain while maneuvering. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured.

Witnesses, including relatives of the pilot, told investigators the pilot would often perform low-altitude flights and aerobatics over their home. They stated the pilot conducted three passes over their home before the accident. During the third pass, the airplane flew at about 100 feet AGL from north to south, and then rolled like a barrel roll, descending out of sight behind trees and impacting the ground. Video of the final portion of the accident pass shows the airplane in a nose-up attitude through distant trees, then descending to the ground in about a 45-degree nose-down attitude. The airplane engine was heard throughout the flight.


August 27, 2022, French Lick, Ind.

Beech B35 Bonanza

The airplane was destroyed at about 2058 Eastern time during an attempted landing. The solo airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Airport surveillance video captured the airplane touching down on and then departing the runway to the left before becoming airborne and impacting trees just outside of the perimeter fence. Witness marks on the runway showed the left main wheel touched down 1036 feet beyond the 5500-foot-long runway’s threshold. Then, 29 feet later, the nose and right main gear touched down, remaining on the runway for 165 feet until the airplane exited the runway onto the grass. Grass witness marks extended 109 feet before the airplane became airborne and subsequently impacted trees north of the perimeter fence. A post-impact fire ensued.


August 31, 2022, Houghton Lake, Mich.

Beech A36 Bonanza

At about 1640 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

The airplane’s ADS-B data show it departed a nearby airport at about 1617 and proceeded to the south-southeast, reaching about 9800 feet MSL before entering a gradual descent. At about 1633, the airplane turned to an easterly heading, and the descent continued until the end of the available data. The final ADS-B data was recorded at 1639, 1700 feet MSL.

The airplane came to rest in an open marsh area. All components forward of the firewall were separated from the fuselage. The remainder of the fuselage, including the cockpit area, appeared intact. The outboard portion of both wings and the inboard portion of the right wing were deformed.


This article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. It’s time for the GA community to have a serious conversation about attempting emergency landings on roads. The familiarity of marked pavement is certainly inviting in an emergency, and in some cases it is the only option. However, the hazards of roadway landings–signs, power lines, structures, traffic–should push them down to the bottom of the option list when other survivable surfaces exist (fields and an airport within gliding distance in the example above). Transfer of risk is a related topic. We (GA pilots) should not be transferring our risk to non-participants (drivers, pedestrians, building occupants) without careful consideration.

    • Ditto the sentiment on transferring risk to non-participants. In some cases one cannot choose the landing site, although that’s vanishingly rare. OTOH, one can always manage fuel. Apparently the Mooney operator just couldn’t do that. This is a serious conversation we need (to have again) IMO. I have 87 gallons in the mains and 30 in tips. When the mains hit 20, I transfer the tips to the mains and refuel as soon as is practicable. Agonizingly simple, right ? But forced landings due to fuel starvation are still a big thing in GA. Go figure.

    • I wondered the same, and decided it was probably because he had already initiated a descent and was within 10nm of his destination. Normal descent planning for 10NM out would put you between 3000′ and 4000′ above touchdown (depending on which runway you’re going to use). Under those conditions, you wouldn’t be able to glide to the runway unless you had a very strong tailwind: at 4000′ with a 12:1 glide ratio, you wouldn’t make the airport.

  2. The Mooney crash report was hard to read, given that there is a private grass strip less than 5 miles west of the crash site. They must have passed almost directly overhead. Two public airports about 15 miles east of the crash site and 8 miles either side of the flight path.

  3. My take on the Mooney possibility of running out of gas is the have to get there syndrome. Myself, on a long distance cross country is to get fuel and a bathroom break. 2-3 hours tops. It’s also good to get out and stretch. My seintific term for it is the bladder method. Hasn’t let me down yet.