NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB ISSUES UPDATE ON INVESTIGATIONS OF RECENT REGIONAL AVIATION ACCIDENTS

January 05, 2007

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker said today that, during the recent 12-day holiday period between December 22, 2006 and January 2, 2007, he dispatched regional air safety investigators to 12 fatal general aviation accidents. These accidents resulted in a total of 31 fatalities. The status of three of the investigations are described below.

Lawrenceville, Georgia

On December 25, 2006, at 2030 eastern standard time, a Cessna 414A (N62950) registered to ATA of Broward Corporation and operated by a private pilot as a Part 91 personal flight, collided with trees during an instrument approach into Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (LZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces, and the private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight originated from Palm Beach County Glades Airport, Pahokee, Florida, on December 25, 2006, at 1800.

According to Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center personnel, the pilot was given the current weather information before attempting his first instrument approach into LZU: winds calm, visibility « mile in fog, and ceilings 100 feet. The pilot contacted the LZU tower controller and reported that he was inbound on the ILS 25 approach with the current weather information. The tower controller updated the pilot with the current weather conditions and cleared the pilot for landing. During the first landing attempt, the pilot reported that he was going to execute a missed approach and that he saw the airport below and wanted to attempt another landing. The tower controller acknowledged the pilot's request and handed the pilot over the center personnel for missed approach instructions. The center controller provided the pilot radar vectors back to the ILS 25 approach and updated the pilot on current weather conditions. The pilot again contacted the LZU tower controller, and during the second ILS approach while the airplane was on short final, the tower controller notified the pilot that the airplane was left of the runway centerline, and the pilot acknowledged. Shortly afterwards, the tower controller saw a bright "orange glow" off of the left side of the approach end of runway 25.

The wreckage was located 1,100 feet left of the runway 25 centerline. Examination of the crash site revealed that the airplane collided with trees and impacted an asphalt conveyor machine. The crash debris extended 426 feet along on a 290-degree magnetic heading.

The investigator-in-charge is Eric Alleyne from the Safety Board's Southeastern Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia. The case number is ATL07FA030.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

On December 26, 2006, at 1555 eastern standard time, a Cessna 414 (N400CS) operated by Flight Source LLC, was destroyed when it impacted terrain at John Murtha Johnstown- Cambria County Airport (JST), Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The certificated commercial pilot and the flight nurse were fatally injured. The flight was operating on an instrument flight rules flight plan between Morgantown Municipal-Walter L. Bill Hart Field (MGW), Morgantown, West Virginia, and Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey. The positioning flight was being conducted under Part 91.

According to preliminary air traffic control information, the airplane was en route at 7,000 feet when the pilot advised the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center that she had encountered icing, and wanted to divert to Johnstown. The pilot subsequently flew the Instrument Landing System approach to Runway 33. After descending below a 500-foot overcast cloud layer, the pilot attempted to land on runway 33, but then aborted the landing. The airplane was then observed to climb to an estimated 300 feet, bank to the right, and nose over into the ground near the center of the airport.

The investigator-in-charge is Paul Cox from the Safety Board's Northeastern Regional Office in Ashburn, Virginia. The case number is NYC07FA051.

Mt. Gilead, Ohio

On December 27, 2006, at 1426 eastern standard time, a Mooney M-20F airplane(N9596M) collided with terrain following a loss of control during a local flight over Mt. Gilead, Ohio. The airline transport rated pilot-in-command and the certified flight instructor on board were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The Part 91 familiarization/training flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Knox County Airport, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, about 1245.

The pilot-in-command purchased the airplane on December 11, 2006, and was obtaining instruction in the airplane for insurance purposes. The accident occurred during his first flight in the airplane. Witnesses reported seeing and hearing the airplane flying from east to west before the accident. They reported seeing the airplane in a nose-up attitude before the nose dropped and the airplane descended to impact with terrain in a heavily wooded area. One witness reported seeing the airplane "twist" before its descent.

The investigator-in-charge of this investigation is Pam Sullivan from the Safety Board's North Central Regional Office in West Chicago, Illinois. The NTSB's case number is CHI07FA048.

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The other nine accidents that occurred during this 12-day period are listed below. Additional information can be found on the Board's website at http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/

December 22, 2006 - Charleston, South Carolina: A twin- engine Cessna 340A (N808RA) airplane crashed on IFR flight. All four people on board were killed. The investigator-in- charge is Eric Alleyne from the Safety Board's Southeastern Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia. The case number is ATL07FA029.

December 22, 2006 - Greenhead, Florida. A twin-engine Cessna 421 airplane (N70BC) impacted terrain after encountering severe weather. All five people on board were killed. The investigator-in-charge is John Lovell from the Safety Board's Southeastern Regional Office in Miami, Florida. The case number is MIA07FA029.

December 22, 2006 -- Chattanooga, Tennessee. A Beech A36 Bonanza airplane (N3704B) impacted trees and terrain while being vectored on a missed approach north of the Lovell Field Airport near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The CFR Part 91 personal flight was conducted under night visual meteorological conditions. The pilot and three passengers were killed. The investigator-in-charge of this investigation is Ed Malinowski from the Safety Board's North Central Regional Office in West Chicago, Illinois. The case number is CHI07FA045.

December 23,2006 - Payson, Arizona. A Cirrus SR-22 airplane (N457S), missing since December 18, 2006, was discovered in mountainous terrain. Evidence indicates a high-speed impact into a cliff. The pilot and sole occupant was killed. The investigator-in-charge is Tealeye Cornejo from the Safety Board's Southwestern Regional Office in Gardena, California. The case number is LAX07FA062.

December 23, 2006 - Bridgeport, California. A Piper PA 28- 140 airplane (N8001H) impacted mountainous terrain during a VFR flight from Yerington, Nevada to Santa Monica, California. Both people on board were killed. The investigator-in-charge is Howard Plagens from the Safety Board's Southwestern Regional Office in Gardena, California. The case number is LAX07FA061.

December 26, 2006 - Jasper, Tennessee. A Rockwell 114 airplane (N55MB) crashed near the Marion County airport. Of the four people on board, 2 were killed and 2 were seriously injured. The investigator-in-charge is Tim Sorenson from the Safety Board's North Central Regional Office in West Chicago, Illinois. The case number is CHI07FA046.

December 31, 2006 -- Charlotte, North Carolina. A Cessna 182 (N7090S) impacted a residential area about one mile north of the Charlotte International Airport while performing an instrument approach in instrument conditions. All four people on board were killed. The investigator-in-charge is Jill Andrews from the Safety Board's Northeastern Regional Office in Ashburn, Virginia. The case number is NYC07FA052.

January 2, 2007 -- Washington, Indiana. A twin-engine Beech BE-58 Baron (N678DC) crashed under unknown circumstances in clear weather. The pilot and sole occupant was killed. The investigator-in-charge is Tim Sorenson from the Safety Board's North Central Regional Office in West Chicago, Illinois. The case number is CHI07FA052.

January 2, 2007 -- Armstrong, Texas. A Cessna 172 airplane (N394OR) crashed while descending to a lower altitude after the pilot reported encountering instrument conditions during a night cross country flight. All three persons on board were killed. The investigator-in-charge is Bill Gamble from the Safety Board's South Central Regional Office in Arlington, Texas. The case number is DFW07FA049.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.