code

VA

Crash of a Grumman E-2C Hawkeye in Wallops Island

Date & Time: Aug 31, 2020 at 1550 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
166503
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Norfolk-Chambers Field - Norfolk-Chambers Field
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The aircraft, assigned to Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 Fleet Replacement Squadron, departed Norfolk-Chambers Field NAS on a training flight. In the afternoon, the crew encountered an unexpected situation, abandoned the aircraft and bailed out. Out of control, the aircraft entered a dive and crashed in a field located near Wallops Island. All four occupants parachuted to safety while the aircraft was totally destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire.

Crash of a Cessna 525 CJ1 in Crozet: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 15, 2018 at 2054 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N525P
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Rchmond - Weyers Cave
MSN:
525-0165
YOM:
1996
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
737
Captain / Total hours on type:
165.00
Aircraft flight hours:
3311
Circumstances:
The instrument rated private pilot was drinking alcohol before he arrived at the airport. Before the flight, he did not obtain a weather briefing or file an instrument flight rules flight plan for the flight that was conducted in instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot performed a 3-minute preflight inspection of the airplane and departed with a tailwind (even though he had initially taxied the airplane to the runway that favored the wind) and without communicating on the airport Unicom frequency. After departure, the airplane climbed to a maximum altitude of 11,500 feet mean sea level (msl), and then the airplane descended to 4,300 ft msl (which was 1,400 ft below the minimum safe altitude for the destination airport) and remained at that altitude for 9 minutes. Afterward, the airplane began a descending left turn, and radar contact was lost at 2054. The pilot did not talk to air traffic control during the flight and while operating in night instrument meteorological conditions. During the flight, the airplane flew through a line of severe thunderstorms with heavy rain, tornados, hail, and multiple lightning strikes. Before the airplane's descending left turn began, it encountered moderate-to-heavy rain. The airplane's high descent rate of at least 6,000 ft per minute and impact with a mountain that was about 450 ft from the last radar return, the damage to the airplane, and the distribution of the wreckage were consistent with a loss of control and a high-velocity impact. Examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomalies. Based on the reported weather conditions at the time the flight, the pilot likely completed the entire flight in night instrument meteorological conditions. His decision to operate at night in an area with widespread thunderstorms and reduced visibility were conducive to the development of spatial disorientation. The airplane's descending left turn and its high-energy impact were consistent with the known effects of spatial disorientation. The pilot was not aware of the conditions near and at the destination airport because he failed to obtain a weather briefing and was not communicating with air traffic control. Also, the pilot's decision to operate an airplane within 8 hours of consuming alcohol was inconsistent with the Federal Aviation Administration's regulation prohibiting such operations, and the level of ethanol in the pilot's toxicology exceeded the level allowed by the regulation. Overall, the pilot's intoxication, combined with the impairing effects of cetirizine, affected his judgment; contributed to his unsafe decision-making; and increased his susceptibility to spatial disorientation, which resulted in the loss of control of the airplane.
Probable cause:
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of control while operating in night instrument meteorological conditions as a result of spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to operate
an airplane after consuming alcohol and his resulting intoxication, which degraded the pilot's judgment and decision-making.
Final Report:

Crash of a Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain in Richmond

Date & Time: Apr 11, 2011 at 2127 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N3547C
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Richmond - Charlotte
MSN:
31-8052018
YOM:
1980
Flight number:
SKQ601
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1948
Captain / Total hours on type:
31.00
Aircraft flight hours:
17265
Circumstances:
The twin-engine airplane was scheduled for a routine night cargo flight. Witnesses and radar data described the airplane accelerating down the runway to a maximum ground speed of 97 knots, then entering an aggressive climb before leveling and pitching down. The airplane subsequently impacted a parallel taxiway with its landing gear retracted. Slash marks observed on the taxiway pavement, as well as rotation signatures observed on the remaining propeller blades, indicated that both engines were operating at impact. Additionally, postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airframe or either engine. The as-found position of the cargo placed the airplane within the normal weight and balance envelope, with no evidence of a cargo-shift having occurred, and the as-found position of the elevator trim jackscrew was consistent with a neutral pitch trim setting. According to the airframe manufacturer's prescribed takeoff procedure, the pilot was to accelerate the airplane to an airspeed of 85 knots, increase the pitch to a climb angle that would allow the airplane to accelerate past 96 knots, and retract the landing gear before accelerating past 128 knots. Given the loading and environmental conditions that existed on the night of the accident, the airplane's calculated climb performance should have been 1,800 feet per minute. Applying the prevailing wind conditions about time of the accident to the airplane's radar-observed ground speed during the takeoff revealed a maximum estimated airspeed of 111 knots, and the airplane's maximum calculated climb rate briefly exceeded 3,000 feet per minute. The airplane then leveled for a brief time, decelerated, and began descending, a profile that suggested that the airplane likely entered an aerodynamic stall during the initial climb.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent impact with the ground.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 303 Crusader in Louisa: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 4, 2010 at 1245 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N9305T
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Manassas - Louisa - Danville
MSN:
303-00001
YOM:
1981
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2255
Aircraft flight hours:
1374
Circumstances:
During takeoff, one witness noted that at least one engine seemed to be running rough and not making power. Several other witnesses, located about 1/2 mile northwest of the airport, observed the accident airplane pass overhead in a right turn. They reported that the engine noise did not sound normal. Two of the witnesses noted grayish black smoke emanating from the airplane. The airplane then rolled left and descended nose down into the front yard of a residence. Review of maintenance records revealed the airplane underwent an annual inspection and extensive maintenance about 3 months prior to the accident. One of the maintenance issues was to troubleshoot the right engine that was reportedly running rough at cruise. During the maintenance, the right engine fuel pump, metering valve, and fuel manifold were removed and replaced with overhauled units. Additionally, the right engine fuel flow was reset contrary to procedures contained in an engine manufacturer service information directive; however, the fuel pump could not be tested due to thermal damage and the investigation could not determine if the fuel flow setting procedure contributed to the loss of power on the right engine. On-scene examination of the wreckage and teardown examination of both engines did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. Teardown examination of the right propeller revealed that the blades were not at or near the feather position, which was contrary to the emergency procedure published by the manufacturer, to secure the engine and feather the propeller in the event of an engine power loss. The right propeller exhibited signatures consistent with low or no power at impact, while the left propeller exhibited signatures consistent of being operated with power at impact.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and secure the right engine during a loss of engine power after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the loss of engine power on the right engine for undetermined reasons.
Final Report:

Crash of a Pilatus PC-12 in Lynchburg: 4 killed

Date & Time: Jul 5, 2009 at 1002 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N578DC
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Teterboro - Tampa
MSN:
570
YOM:
2004
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Captain / Total flying hours:
1873
Captain / Total hours on type:
715.00
Aircraft flight hours:
723
Circumstances:
While in instrument meteorological conditions flying 800 feet above the airplane’s service ceiling (30,000 feet), with no icing conditions reported, the pilot reported to the air traffic controller that he, “...lost [his] panel.” With the autopilot most likely engaged, the airplane began a right roll about 36 seconds later. The airplane continued in a right roll that increased to 105 degrees, then rolled back to about 70 degrees, before the airplane entered a right descending turn. The airplane continued its descending turn until being lost from radar in the vicinity of the accident site. The airplane impacted in a nose-down attitude in an open field and was significantly fragmented. Postaccident inspection of the flight control system, engine, and propeller revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The flaps and landing gear were retracted and all trim settings were within the normal operating range. Additionally, the airplane was within weight and balance limitations for the flight. The cause of the pilot-reported panel failure could not be determined; however, the possibility of a total electrical failure was eliminated since the pilot maintained radio contact with the air traffic controller. Although the source of the instrumentation failure could not be determined, proper pilot corrective actions, identified in the pilot operating handbook, following the failure most likely would have restored flight information to the pilot’s electronic flight display. Additionally, a standby attitude gyro, compass, and the co-pilot’s electronic flight display units would be available for attitude reference information assuming they were operational.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while in instrument meteorological conditions following a reported instrumentation failure for undetermined reasons.
Final Report:

Crash of a Grumman E-2C Hawkeye at Chambers Field NAS

Date & Time: Mar 19, 2009
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
165818
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
A189
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
After touchdown at Norfolk-Chambers Field NAS, a tyre burst. The crew lost control of the airplane that veered off runway and collided with an arrestor gear engine. There were no casualties.
Probable cause:
Loss of control upon landing after a tyre burst.

Crash of a Raytheon 390 Premier I in Leesburg

Date & Time: Feb 12, 2008 at 2055 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N16DK
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wichita - Leesburg
MSN:
RB-19
YOM:
2001
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6000
Aircraft flight hours:
1584
Circumstances:
The business jet touched down near the threshold of the 5,500-foot-long, asphalt runway, at an airspeed of 100 knots. The pilot reported the braking effectiveness as "adequate" initially, and as the airplane approached the mid-field position of the runway, the braking effectiveness decreased until it was "near nil," and the airplane was no longer decelerating. The pilot maneuvered the airplane off the left side of the runway to gain traction from the adjacent grass area, during which it impacted a drainage ditch, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane. The area off the end of the runway was an open field with no obstructions. Examination of the runway revealed it was covered in black ice, with a thin layer of water. The weather reported at the time of the accident included 5 miles visibility with light snow. An employee of the fixed base operator (FBO) at the airport reported that at the time of the accident the main ramp and taxiways were coated with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice from earlier precipitation. The airport manager reported that, about 1.5 hours prior to the accident, when he was leaving for the day, the forecast was for little or no precipitation and the temperature was expected to increase. However, the temperature decreased instead, resulting in the formation of ice on the runway. The airport manager reported at the time of the accident the north end of runway 17 was dry; however, the south end of runway 17 had "some ice on it." The normal procedure for the airport to treat ice on the runway was to issue a NOTAM to close the runway and deploy their ice melt product. Then, they would cancel the NOTAM and issue another one stating that ice is present on the runway. Because the temperature was forecast to rise and not fall, the airport did not use any ice melt product on the runway. Additionally the airport personnel did not have the equipment or training to issue braking action reports, nor was it required. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical deficiencies with the airplane.
Probable cause:
The airplane's runway excursion during landing roll following an encounter with ice. Contributing to the accident was the ice-covered runway, and the airport personnel's lack of knowledge regarding the runway condition.
Final Report:

Crash of a Dornier DO328Jet in Manassas

Date & Time: Jun 3, 2006 at 0719 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N328PD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Manassas-Myrtle Beach
MSN:
3105
YOM:
2000
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
15615
Captain / Total hours on type:
2523.00
Aircraft flight hours:
2830
Circumstances:
Prior to departure on the maintenance repositioning flight, the captain discussed with the first officer an uneven fuel balance that they could "fix" once airborne, and a 25,000 feet msl restriction because of an inoperative air conditioning/pressurization pack. The captain also commented about the right pack "misbehaving", and a bleed valve failure warning. The captain also commented about aborting below 80 knots for everything, except for the bleed shutoff valve. During the takeoff roll, a single chime was heard, and the first officer reported a bleed valve fail message. The captain responded, "ignore it." Another chime was heard, and the first officer reported "lateral mode fail, pusher fail." The captain asked about airspeed and was advised of an "indicated airspeed miscompare." The captain initiated the aborted takeoff approximately 13 seconds after the second chime was heard. The crew was unable to stop the airplane, and it went off the end of the runway, and impacted obstructions and terrain. According to the flight data recorder, peak groundspeed was 152 knots and the time the aborted takeoff was initiated, and indicated airspeed was 78.5 knots. The captain and the airplane owner's director of maintenance were aware of several mechanical discrepancies prior to the flight, and the captain had advised the first officer that the flight was for "routine maintenance," but that the airplane was airworthy. Prior to the flight the first officer found "reddish clay" in one of the pitot tubes and removed it. A mechanic and the captain examined the pitot tube, and determined the tube was not obstructed. The captain's pitot tube was later found to be partially blocked with an insect nest. A postaccident examination of the airplane and aircraft maintenance log revealed that no discrepancies were entered in the log, and no placards or "inoperative" decals were affixed in the cockpit
Probable cause:
The partially blocked pitot system, which resulted in an inaccurate airspeed indicator display, and an overrun during an aborted takeoff. A factor associated with the accident was the pilot-in-command's delayed decision to abort the takeoff.

Crash of a Cessna 414 Chancellor in Petersburg

Date & Time: Dec 2, 2004 at 1310 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N2EQ
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Petersburg-Petersburg
MSN:
414-0373
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3000
Captain / Total hours on type:
130.00
Circumstances:

With 2 technicians and 2 pilots on board, the twin engine aircraft was performing a test flight before its delivery to a new owner. On final approach to runway 05, the aircraft suddenly yawed to the right and crashed to the right of the runway before coming to rest on a parking lot and colliding with a Cessna 172. Both aircraft were destroyed but nobody was injured.

Crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 in Martinsville: 10 killed

Date & Time: Oct 24, 2004 at 1235 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N501RH
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Concord-Martinsville
MSN:
BB-0805
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
10
Captain / Total flying hours:
10733
Captain / Total hours on type:
210.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8078
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was flying from Concord to Martinsville-Blue Ridge airport. On final approach to runway 30, the crew made a missed approach and the aircraft crashed shortly later on the side of Bull mountain. Nobody survived. Crew negliged approach procedures.