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 Piper PA-46-310P Malibu in Roanoke: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 30, 2010 at 1310 LT
Registration:
N6913Z
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Roanoke – Charlottesville
MSN:
46-8508073
YOM:
1985
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
3000
Aircraft flight hours:
956
Circumstances:
About one minute after takeoff, the pilot reported to the air traffic controller that the airplane's control wheels were locked. The controller subsequently cleared the pilot to land on any runway. No further transmissions were received from the pilot and the airplane continued straight ahead. Witnesses observed the airplane in a slow, level descent, until it impacted wires and then the ground. During a postaccident examination of the airplane, flight control continuity was confirmed to all the flight controls. Due to the impact and post-crash fire damage, a cause for the flight control anomaly, as reported by the pilot, could not be determined; however, several unsecured cannon plugs and numerous unsecured heat damaged wire bundles were found lying across the control columns forward of the firewall. Examination of the airplane logbooks revealed the most recent maintenance to the flight controls was performed about four months prior to the accident. The airplane had flown 91 hours since then.
Probable cause:
A malfunction of the flight controls for undetermined reasons.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna T303 Crusader in Louisa: 1 killed

Date & Time: Mar 4, 2010 at 1245 LT
Type of aircraft:
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-12/45 in Raphine: 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 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
Copilot / Total flying hours:
819
Copilot / Total hours on type:
141
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.
Final Report:

Crash of a Saab 340A in Washington DC

Date & Time: Jun 8, 2005 at 2137 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N40SZ
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
White Plains – Washington DC
MSN:
40
YOM:
1985
Flight number:
UA7564
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
27
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
4673
Captain / Total hours on type:
3476.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2050
Copilot / Total hours on type:
620
Aircraft flight hours:
41441
Circumstances:
During the approach, the flightcrew was unable to get the right main landing gear extended and locked. After several attempts, while conferring with the checklist and company personnel, the flightcrew performed an emergency landing with the unsafe landing gear indication. During the landing, the right main landing gear slowly collapsed, and the airplane came to rest off the right side of the runway. Examination of the right main landing gear revealed that the retract actuator fitting was secured with two fasteners, a smaller bolt, and a larger bolt. The nut and cotter key were not recovered with the smaller bolt, and 8 of the 12 threads on the smaller bolt were stripped consistent with an overstress pulling of the nut away from the bolt. The larger bolt was bent and separated near the head, consistent with a tension and overstress separation as a result of the smaller bolt failure. The overstress failures were consistent with the right main landing gear not being locked in the extended position when aircraft weight was applied; however, examination of the right main landing gear down lock system could not determine any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions. Further, the right main landing gear retract actuator was tomography scanned, and no anomalies were noted. The unit was then functionally tested at the manufacturer's facility, under the supervision of an FAA inspector. The unit tested successfully, with no anomalies noted.
Probable cause:
Failure of the right main landing gear to extend and lock for undetermined reasons, which resulted in the right main landing gear collapsing during touchdown.
Final Report:

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
YOM:
1972
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
Copilot / Total flying hours:
5600
Circumstances:
The purpose of the flight was to "check out" the airplane before delivering it to its new owner, and to provide the copilot with an indoctrination ride in the Cessna 414. During the approach, the pilot provided guidance and corrections to the copilot. The copilot flew the airplane to within 200 feet of the ground when the nose of the airplane yawed abruptly to the right. The pilot took control of the airplane, and pushed the engine and propeller controls to the full forward position. He placed the fuel pump switches to the "high" position, retracted the flaps, and attempted to retract the landing gear. With full left rudder and full left aileron applied, he could neither maintain directional control nor stop a roll to the right. The airplane struck the ground and continued into the parking area where it struck an airplane and a waste-oil tank. Examination of the airplane following the accident revealed that the landing gear was down and locked, and the propeller on the right engine was not feathered. The emergency procedure for an engine inoperative go-around required landing gear retraction and a feathered propeller on the inoperative engine. The pilot's handbook further stated, "Climb or continued level flight is improbable with the landing gear extended and the propeller windmilling." After the accident, both pilots stated that they didn't notice a power loss on the right engine until the copilot surrendered the flight controls. The right engine was removed and placed in a test cell. The engine started immediately on the first attempt and ran continuously without interruption.
Probable cause:
The partial loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed (Vmc).
Final Report: