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 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.
February 1, 2017, Cameron Park, Calif.
Beechcraft 95-B55 (T42A) Baron
At about 1410 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a landing gear failure shortly after takeoff. The solo pilot was not injured while the airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported that when he raised the landing gear shortly after takeoff, he heard a loud crunch as the gear entered the wells. The pilot climbed the airplane to about 3000 feet and observed the landing gear circuit breaker was popped and the alternator was off. The pilot attempted to extend the landing gear normally several times, however, the circuit breaker popped each time and the gear remained retracted. The pilot also attempted to use the emergency gear extension, to no avail. The airplane was landed with the landing gear retracted.
February 5, 2017, Loveland, Colo.
Cessna T210 Turbo Centurion
The pilot later reported the airplane was low and he felt “rushed” during final approach. During the landing roll, the airplane “started to veer off the runway,” so he applied power to abort the landing. During the aborted landing, the pilot reported that he “pulled back” on the yoke and the airplane aerodynamically stalled, impacting a grassy area to the left of the runway and nosing over.
February 6, 2017, Friendly, Md.
Piper PA-32R-301 Saratoga
At about 1145 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing during initial climb. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
After preflighting the airplane and topping off the fuel tanks, the pilot sampled the fuel and confirmed it was blue color and free of contaminates. Shortly after takeoff, at about 1000 feet agl, the pilot reported the engine suddenly lost power. His attempts to restart the engine failed, and he subsequently performed a forced landing.
February 8, 2017, Sterling, Alaska
Piper PA-18-125 Super Cub
The ski-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1456 Alaska time after a loss of control while maneuvering. The solo private pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot later stated the airplane became uncontrollable when its aileron control system locked in place as she turned the airplane to the right. Unable to roll the wings level, the airplane subsequently descended nose low and struck the surface of a frozen river.
February 11, 2017, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Aerotek Pitts S2A
After maneuvering in the local area for about 45 minutes, the pilot returned to his home airport for landing. During the final approach, the airplane sank below the proper glidepath. The pilot increased engine power three separate times, but the airplane continued to sink. Subsequently, the airplane struck a seawall about 380 feet from the runway threshold, resulting in propeller separation and landing gear collapse.
February 12, 2017, Ramona, Calif.
Cessna 172S Skyhawk
At about 1430 Pacific time, the airplane impacted terrain while maneuvering. The flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot had minor injuries; the rear-seat passenger was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight.
After approaching the practice area and conducting training near a dirt strip, two consecutive simulated engine failure procedures were accomplished. While climbing out on the last simulated engine failure, the CFI instructed the student pilot to turn left in the direction of east. While in the turn with full power, the student pilot recognized rising terrain and the CFI took over control of the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane impacted a large tree in steep terrain. The tree penetrated through the main cabin floor and roof.
February 12, 2017, Cedar Key, Fla.
The airplane was destroyed at about 1106 Eastern time when it impacted the Gulf of Mexico. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed in the area of the accident site.
According to preliminary radar data provided by the FAA, the airplane flew a northwesterly track over the Florida peninsula, its western coastal key islands and the Gulf of Mexico. The radar data ended over the water at an altitude of about 1100 feet msl.
The 1055 weather observed about 36 miles north of the accident site included an overcast ceiling at 400 feet agl with 10 statute miles of visibility. An Airmet warning of ceilings lower than 500 feet agl and/or visibility less than one statute mile had been issued for the accident area. The pilot did not have an instrument rating.
February 14, 2017, Rattan, Okla.
Beechcraft C90A King Air
At about 1145 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following loss of engine power during cruise flight. The pilot and two medical crew members aboard were uninjured. Instrument conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 aeromedical flight, which operated on an IFR clearance.
While in cruise flight at 7000 feet msl, the airplane experienced two electrical power fluctuations and subsequently lost all electrical power. Due to the associated loss of navigation capability while operating in instrument meteorological conditions, the pilot set a general course for better weather conditions as noted in the preflight weather briefing. During the effort to find a suitable hole in the clouds to descend through, the left engine lost power. The pilot ultimately located a field through the cloud cover and executed a single-engine precautionary landing.
February 14, 2017, Columbus, Ohio
Beechcraft D55 Baron
The airplane impacted the runway at about 1326 Eastern time following a loss of left engine power during takeoff. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were uninjured, but the airplane sustained substantial fuselage and wing damage when the left main landing gear collapsed. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the FAA, the left-seated pilot wanted to get current on his takeoffs and landings. He performed the taxi and takeoff procedure. At about 50 feet agl, the left engine began losing power, dropping to around 1700 rpm. The pilot flying then told the non-flying pilot he was giving him control of the airplane. As the right-seated pilot tried to land on the remaining runway, the left main landing gear struck hard and collapsed, but the airplane came to a stop on the prepared runway surface.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.