General Aviation Accident Bulletin

Recent general aviation and air carrier accidents


AVweb’sGeneral Aviation Accident Bulletinis taken from the pages of our sister publication,Aviation Safetymagazine. 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 website Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more aboutAviation

October 13, 2018, Payson, Ariz.

Cessna TTx Model T240

At about 1845 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a house while on approach to landing. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Radar data revealed a primary target correlated with the accident airplane on a right downwind leg for Runway 24 at about 900 feet AGL and 107 knots groundspeed. About 0.75 miles from the approach end of the runway, the airplane started a right turn at about 700 feet AGL and continued the turn through the base leg. Groundspeed decreased to 60 knots as the airplane continued to turn. The primary target continued to maneuver in what appeared to be an extended downwind before starting another right turn to the base leg at about 650 feet AGL and 94 knots. The data indicate the airplane made a final 180-degree turn near the approach path for the runway at 625 feet agl and 81 knots. The final turn was in the vicinity of the accident site and is where the radar target was lost.

October 16, 2018, Canoncito, N.M.

Cessna 182P Skylane

The airplane collided with terrain at about 1622 Mountain time during a forced landing. The commercial pilot and his pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed at the accident site.

The flight was in cruise at FL190. At 1608:25, the pilot reported descending through 14,600 feet MSL to 10,000 feet. At 1612:19, ATC advised that the airplane was on a southerly track and to turn to 080 degrees to resume a direct course. After some heading deviations the pilot attributed to weather, the pilot reported “a little bit of precipitation here” while descending to 9000 feet. Shortly after, the pilot reported the engine had failed. The controller pointed out Interstate 40 at “nine to ten miles.”

At 1617:33, the pilot told ATC, “and I’ve got my power back with the carb heat sir.” At 1618:14, the pilot told ATC, “…I think we will be okay” and was cleared direct to the destination airport about 14.5 nm away. Slightly more than three minutes later, the pilot told ATC, he was “back to having my problems with the engine.” The airplane was descending through 7600 feet to the east-southeast, away from the destination airport. Shortly, the pilot advised ATC, “…I don’t know what’s going on, I’m gonna pick a dirt road down here somewhere….” Then, at 1621:34, the pilot said, “the engine just came back on.” At 1621:37, ATC told the pilot the Interstate was about 3.5 nm directly ahead. There was no response. Recovered GPS data recorded the airplane’s final position at 5922 feet MSL— about 300 feet AGL—and about 671 feet from the initial impact with terrain.

A nearby air ambulance was vectored by ATC to investigate, discovered the wreckage and landed at the accident site less than 10 minutes after it occurred. The helicopter pilot reported a ceiling at about 1800 feet AGL with surface visibility of about eight miles in light rain, and an outside air temperature of about five degrees C. The medical crew proceeded to the wreckage and confirmed there were no survivors.

The helicopter pilot observed several pieces of mixed ice on the ground below the leading edge of the accident airplane’s left wing— rectangular, 12-18 inches long, 4-5 inches high, and to 3/8 inch thick.

October 25, 2018, Atlantic Ocean

Piper PA-31T Cheyenne

At about 1119 Eastern time, radar contact with the accident airplane was lost, and it is presumed to have impacted the Atlantic Ocean. The commercial pilot and four passengers were not found and are presumed fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the IFR flight to Eleuthera, Bahamas.

After takeoff, the airplane was cleared to FL250 and established a consistent 500 fpm climb on course. When the airplane was about 95 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C., and climbing through FL243, the pilot made a garbled radio transmission indicating he was diverting to Charleston. The airplane began to descend at about 1000 fpm but didn’t turn around. After several ATC requests, the pilot replied, “We’re descending”. About 15 seconds later, at an altitude of about 23,500 feet, the airplane turned sharply left as its descent rate increased to greater than 4000 fpm. About 50 seconds later, the pilot transmitted “Emergency, emergency” and the airplane’s callsign. No further transmissions were recorded. The last radar position (32.3184N 78.0661W, or about 100 nm east-southeast of Charleston) was recorded at 1119.

A search effort was conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard; one airplane reported an oil sheen on the water near the last known coordinates, but neither the airplane nor debris were located. The search effort was cancelled on October 27, 2018.

This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue ofAviation Safetymagazine.

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