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.
June 8, 2017, Bennett, Colo.
Bellanca 17-30 Viking 300
At about 1340 Mountain time, the airplane was forced-landed in a field. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.
The airplane was flying in the traffic pattern when the pilot reported a loss of engine power. Another pilot in the traffic pattern observed the accident airplane in the field. Examination revealed the fuel selector was positioned to the left main fuel tank, which contained less than two gallons of fuel. During recovery, the airplane’s other three fuel tanks were drained and about 45 gallons of fuel was recovered.
June 10, 2017, Carpinteria, Calif.
Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II/III
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1430 Pacific time when it impacted terrain while maneuvering. The solo private pilot was seriously injured.
While en route, the pilot encountered a cloud-covered coastline and began to descend to get the ground in sight. At 2100 feet agl, he was still in a thick cloud and could not see outside. The pilot later wrote that after he failed to make a decision to climb or contact ATC for assistance, he crashed into a mountain ridge. The airplane came to rest upright on a westerly heading with its left wing bent back at mid-span. The pilot was able to contact emergency responders by cell phone. Search and rescue personnel subsequently located the downed airplane and rescued the pilot. A strong presence of fuel was detected at the accident site. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.
June 11, 2017, Gordonville, Fla.
At about 1200 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a power pole, trees and terrain while on approach to land. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot was interviewed and stated he was “high” on downwind and that during the final approach, the airplane was descending “rapidly.” The pilot added power to complete the landing, but “nothing happened” as he “hadn’t reset [the] mixture.” According to the pilot, he lacked the time and the altitude to “remedy the problem.” The airplane came to rest in a church yard about ½ mile from the runway threshold. Examination revealed evidence of fuel, and continuity was established from the cockpit to the flight control surfaces. Initial visual examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies.
June 12, 2017, West Creek, N.J.
Cessna Model P206A Stationair
At about 2255 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The solo commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight.
The maintenance included installation of new cylinders. Earlier that day, the pilot flew an uneventful hour. At the destination, the pilot performed a go-around, climbed to between 1000 and 1200 feet msl, then flew traffic pattern. While on downwind at between 1200 and 1500 feet msl with the auxiliary fuel pump on, the engine sputtered and quit, and the propeller stopped. The pilot was unable to restart the engine. He turned toward the runway while maintaining best glide speed but the airplane impacted trees then the ground about ¼ nm before the runway and came to rest inverted.
June 12, 2017, Suffolk, N.Y.
Cessna Model 172M Skyhawk
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0615 Eastern time during a forced landing to a golf course. The solo private pilot incurred minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
While en route, the pilot heard a “loud pop” and the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot checked the fuel selector and mixture, and then searched for a place to perform a forced landing. He declared an emergency, unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine and turned toward a golf course. During the landing, the airplane struck a tree, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing. When the engine’s left and right magnetos were removed, and when the propeller was rotated by hand, neither magneto drive gear would rotate.
June 13, 2017, Ruidoso, N.M.
Beech Model E90 King Air
The airplane impacted terrain at about 2210 Mountain time, some 2400 feet southeast of the departure runway during initial climb. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire. The commercial pilot and a passenger sustained fatal injuries. Night visual conditions prevailed.
The airplane wreckage path was distributed along an approximate heading of 138 degrees and was about 168 feet in length. Both propellers were separated from the engines and were resting along the debris path. Both propellers exhibited S-shaped bending, leading edge damage and chordwise scratching consistent with being under power.
June 18, 2017, Ketchikan, Alaska
de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver
The float-equipped airplane impacted water and subsequently sank during an attempted takeoff. Of the seven occupants on board, the commercial pilot and four passengers sustained minor injuries, and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the FAR Part 135 on-demand sightseeing tour flight.
According to the pilot, the takeoff was unremarkable but the airplane “wasn’t climbing efficiently.” The pilot realized the airplane wasn’t going to be able to successfully clear a heavily wooded area in the intended direction of departure. He lowered the nose and initiated a 180-degree turn to the left, but the airplane impacted water after about 130 degrees of turn. The two floats separated, and the airplane began to sink. The pilot and six passengers successfully egressed the sinking airplane and swam to shore. The airplane subsequently sank. Another floatplane subsequently extracted the accident pilot and passengers from the shore.
June 22, 2017, Carlsbad, Calif.
Cessna Model 421B Golden Eagle
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1325 Pacific time when its right main landing gear collapsed. The commercial pilot receiving instruction and flight instructor were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight.
After verifying everything was working properly, a second landing was performed, after which the pilot let the airplane roll out the length of the runway with minimal braking. As the airplane slowed to about 10 knots, the pilot noticed a “severe wobble as something may have been out of balance.” Subsequently, the right main landing gear collapsed and the right wing and elevator struck the ground.
June 24, 2017, Fort Myers, Fla.
Piper PA-28-181 Archer II/III
At about 0748 Eastern time, the airplane impacted a building and terrain during takeoff. The pilot incurred serious injuries; the pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, preflight, start and ground operations were normal, with no water or debris in the fuel. On the takeoff roll, he verified engine rpm at 2450. He lifted off at 65 KIAS and pitched the airplane to accelerate to 80 KIAS. At 75 KIAS, he felt a loss of power and noted engine rpm was decreasing. He switched fuel tanks and applied carb heat, but the engine continued to lose power.
The pilot decided to make an emergency landing on a nearby street. The airplane came to rest against a building across the street from the airport. All major components were accounted for at the scene. The engine compartment, cockpit, cabin area, empennage and the majority of both wings were consumed by post-crash fire. One propeller blade exhibited “S” bending; the other blade was fractured in several pieces.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.