General Aviation Accident Bulletin

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 and is published twice a month. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause in the NTSB’s web site at Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at

March 1, 2017, Live Oak, Calif.

Maule MX-7-180A

While on the base leg for his private grass airstrip, the pilot noticed he was high, so he added flaps to increase his descent rate. On final, the airspeed was a little fast and during the landing, he flared the airplane “a little high.” After touchdown, the pilot applied the brakes, but the airplane did not respond, so he applied “a little more brake.” The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted, sustaining substantial damage to both wings and the empennage. The pilot reported he should have performed a go-around instead of attempting to “salvage the landing.”

March 2, 2017, Ft Lauderdale, Fla.

Cessna 340

At about 1034 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when the landing gear collapsed during landing. The solo airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, on approach, he observed a “three-green landing gear down indication.” During the landing roll, the left main landing gear collapsed, the left propeller struck the runway, and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway and came to rest in the grass. The pilot stated the airplane had previously experienced a landing gear collapse, had undergone repairs and this was the first flight since those repairs.

March 2, 2017, Roxbury, Kan.

Maule M-5

The pilot reported that while landing on a road in gusty crosswind conditions, the right wing lifted to about a 60-degree angle. He immediately initiated a go-around and added full power, full right aileron and lowered the nose. The airplane had drifted off the center of the road to the left, heading toward powerlines, and he elected to go under them. After the airplane cleared the powerlines, the left wingtip struck the ground and the airplane cartwheeled. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage and the empennage.

March 2, 2017, Alpine, Texas

Cessna 182 Skylane

During final approach in gusting wind conditions at night, the pilot reduced power and initiated a flare when he then heard the stall warning horn. He added that a “gust of wind caught [the] left wing,” which he attempted to recover with left aileron inputs. The nose landing gear bounced during touchdown, and he applied full power to go around when another wind gust forced the airplane onto the runway. The airplane bounced, impacted a fence and came to rest inverted on the right side of the runway.

March 3, 2017, Metlakatla, Alaska

Beechcraft G18S Twin Beech

At about 0815 Alaska time, the airplane was ditched into ocean waters following right engine failure. The airline transport pilot and pilot-rated passenger received minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; the aircraft operated on an instrument clearance.

After an ILS approach, the pilot performed the missed approach procedure due to no visual contact with the runway environment. During the climbout at about 2000 feet msl, the right engine seized. The pilot attempted to feather the engine but was unsuccessful. He was not able to maintain altitude. The pilot maneuvered toward open water and as the airplane descended through 50 feet msl, initiated a forced water landing near the coastline. Both occupants swam about 200 yards to shore. The airplane sank in about 84 feet of water.

March 3, 2017, Conway, Ark.

Cessna 162 Skycatcher

The airplane became stuck in mud at about 1830 Central time after landing. The pilot exited the airplane in an attempt to dislodge it and was struck by the rotating propeller, sustaining serious injuries. The passenger was not injured. The airplane was not damaged.

After landing, the pilot failed to negotiate a turn onto a taxiway and the airplane became stuck. The pilot closed the throttle to idle, exited the airplane and tried to push the airplane with the left strut. “Without thinking,” the pilot walked toward the nose wheel to inspect the airplane and walked into the rotating propeller. The pilot suffered abdominal and leg injuries.

March 4, 2017, Canton, Ga.

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle

At about 0023 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged after a collision with a powerline and terrain. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot purchased the airplane on March 2, 2017. A flight instructor who flew with the pilot said the pilot told him that he had owned two Cessna 421s in the past but hadn’t flown one since 1984. Witnesses observed the airplane flying extremely low, before noticing a “ball of fire” erupt near the airport. Surveillance video reportedly shows the airplane banking to the right side of the runway before descending into a ravine. Powerlines were entangled on the right main landing gear strut and right wing of the airplane.

March 4, 2017, Duette, Fla.

Beechcraft B60 Duke

The airplane was destroyed by impact and a post-crash fire, which followed an uncontrolled descent and collision with terrain at about 1330 Eastern time. The private pilot/owner and the flight instructor were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and was obtaining ground and flight training to meet insurance requirements. Radar data depicts the airplane engaged in airwork for about 30 minutes. Witnesses observed the airplane in straight-and-level flight, and slowing, as the nose gradually pitched up. The airplane then suddenly banked to one side and entered a near-vertical, spiraling descent to the ground. The engine sound was smooth and continuous throughout, increasing just before impact.

March 5, 2017, Nome, Alaska

Cessna R172K Hawk XP

At about 2223 Alaska time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during impact with sea ice. The solo private pilot received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed along the route of flight; instrument conditions prevailed at the destination.

The airplane arrived in the Nome area at about 2141 after a cross-country flight. At 2214, after several attempts to land, the pilot texted a friend at the destination, “not happening” and departed the area. A witness who lives near the destination airport saw the airplane make multiple approaches and then depart to the east. The pilot’s fiance reported the airplane overdue at about 0530 the next day. At about 0959, SAR assets located the airplane wreckage on sea ice, “in a vertical nose down attitude.” The intended destination has no lighting and is not plowed in winter. Another airport about one mile to the west does have a runway and approach lighting and is fully maintained. The pilot’s medical certificate included the restriction, “Not valid for night flying or by color signal control.”

March 8, 2017, Abbeville, Ala.

Grob Aircraft G120TP-A

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1340 Central time during a forced landing while maneuvering. The flight instructor and pilot receiving instruction sustained serious injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

After upset recovery training, the flight instructor attempted to demonstrate a practice power-off approach terminating with a low pass. While at the low key position, abeam the landing threshold and 1200 feet agl, the pilot receiving instruction smelled fuel. They both then noted a vapor from the right side of the engine, followed by a puff of white smoke, and the flight instructor noted a total loss of engine power. The pilot receiving instruction attempted to restart the engine, but it did not respond. The flight instructor maintained controlled flight until the airplane collided with trees, then the ground.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue ofAviation Safetymagazine.

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