The pilot of a Bonanza accompanied by three passengers was approaching the airport in Richwood, La., in IFR conditions. When he checked in with the approach controller he gave his position as south of the airport at 7,000 feet MSL.
Aircraft: Super Decathalon. Injuries: None. Location: Melbourne, Ark. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, the accident happened during a landing attempt. He intended to perform a three-point landing.
Aircraft: Beech Bonanza. Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious. Location: Correctionville, Iowa. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The commercial pilot was in cruise flight at night and receiving flight-following services. The airplane was instrument equipped and the pilot held an instrument rating.
Aircraft: Thorp T-18. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Pahokee, Fla. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: Family members notified authorities when the airplane was overdue. The wreckage was found in pieces along the route of flight the next day.
Aircraft: Piper Matrix. Injuries: 4 Fatal. Location: Greensburg, Ind. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The instrument-rated private pilot was executing a non-precision instrument approach procedure at night in deteriorating weather conditions. According to GPS track data, he executed the approach as published, but descended below the missed approach point’s minimum altitude before executing a climbing right turn.
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22. Injuries: None. Location: Eden Prairie, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: When the pilot attempted to start the engine, the starter motor turned, but the starter did not engage. He turned off the battery master switch, exited the airplane, and walked around to the front of the airplane. He reached through the door and thought the ignition key was off.
Aircraft: Beech King Air. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Amarillo, Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The accident happened during an IFR cross-country flight. The 1,650-hour pilot, who held an instrument rating, was in contact with air traffic control during the flight. The controller cleared the plane to flight level 210 and gave the pilot permission to deviate east to avoid weather and traffic.
Aircraft: Skybolt. Injuries: None. Location: Sarasota, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: About a month before the accident, the pilot added about 17 gallons of fuel to the bottom fuel tank. About 25 minutes into the accident flight, the engine experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot ditched the airplane in the Gulf of Mexico, and it sank. The wreckage was recovered.
Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Parkton, N.C. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot, 63, who had logged more than 1,000 hours, took three tries to get his instrument ticket. He failed the checkride twice because he failed the “air traffic control clearances and procedures,” “instrument approach procedures,” and “emergency operations” areas of operations, with special emphasis on partial panel. After additional training he was able to obtain the instrument rating in August 2003.
Aircraft: Piper Arrow. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Lock Haven, Pa. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, when the airplane was in cruise flight at 7,500 feet, the engine began to “surge,” then stopped producing power. The pilot selected a forced landing area in a clearing, but the plane lacked enough altitude to make it to the field and it crashed in trees before reaching the clearing.