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.
July 3, 2022, Mount Pleasant, Texas
Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six
The airplane was destroyed at 2244 Central time when it landed short of the intended runway. The pilot and two passengers were seriously injured. A pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.
According to ADS-B data, the flight took off from Arkansas about 2145 and flew direct to its planned destination, entering the traffic pattern on a left base leg for Runway 17 and turning final about 1.5 miles from the runway. The final ADS-B data point was at 2243:45, when the airplane was about 0.42 miles from the runway threshold. The airplane impacted trees and terrain, leaving the outboard four-foot-long section of the right wing suspended in a tree at about 50 feet AGL. The right wingtip was resting on the ground near the tree.
July 4, 2022, Akron, Ohio
Cessna 172M Skyhawk
At about 1901 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged in an off-airport landing after its fuel apparently was exhausted. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured.
After a fuel stop in Pennsylvania, the airplane took off at 1627 and climbed to about 4500 feet MSL and flew westerly for about two hours and 15 minutes before starting a gradual descent 40 miles east of its destination. According to the passenger, the flight was uneventful until “all of a sudden, everything got quiet.” The pilot told her, “We’re out of fuel,” and informed ATC. The airplane came to rest in a parking lot 0.9 NM short of a runway. The airport manager at the fuel stop observed the refueling and believed the pilot “topped off both tanks.” The airplane had about 3.9 hours of endurance with 38 gallons of usable fuel.
July 10, 2022, Rapid City, S.D.
Piper PA-24-260 Comanche 260
The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1810 Mountain time when it was landed off-airport following a complete loss of engine power. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported he had planned for a 30-minute flight, and there were 60 gallons of fuel aboard. While in cruise at about 6000 feet MSL, the engine lost all power. The pilot declared an emergency with ATC and turned back to the departure airport. He switched fuel tanks and attempted multiple engine restarts, but power could not be restored. Unable to reach a runway, he executed a forced landing to a field, during which the airplane bounced and the right main landing gear collapsed before coming to rest upright. The pilot stated that the airplane had undergone an annual inspection about two days before the accident flight.
July 13, 2022, Salt Lake City, Utah
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
At about 1852 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a windshear encounter. The pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 cargo flight, which operated on an IFR flight plan.
The pilot later said he encountered windshear during the landing flare and was unable to maintain directional control. He executed a go-around. After the airplane climbed to about 30 feet AGL, it encountered a downdraft that pushed the airplane down toward the runway. It subsequently impacted terrain off the right side of the runway, in a left-wing-low attitude. Two minutes after the accident, peak wind gusts of 48 knots were reported at the airport. Convective activity was being observed on radar.
This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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The NTSB takes quite a while to assign Probable Causes on their accident reports. With the advent of airport surveillance cameras, and even doorbell security cameras and dashboard models, we can fairly assess much of the causal and contributing factors from those now high resolution images. I’ve studied aircraft accidents for decades, and I’ve witnessed very bad mishaps in person (Including the Corsair crash at the Phoenix 500 Air Race.) This field is not for the faint of heart.