Sunday, September 27, 2020

North American TB-25N Mitchell, N7946C: Accident occurred September 19, 2020 near Stockton Metropolitan Airport (KSCK), San Joaquin County, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California

Location: Stockton, CA
Accident Number: WPR20LA311
Date & Time: September 19, 2020, 19:25 Local
Registration: N7946C
Aircraft: North American B25N
Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On September 19, 2020, about 1925 Pacific daylight time, a North American B25N, N7946C, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Stockton, California. One pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries, and one pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that while enroute to their destination, fuel pressure for the left engine fluctuated, and the left engine briefly lost power before regaining power. The pilot stated that he was concerned that they may have had a fuel pump failure or something similar and decided to turn the cross-feed valve on. A short time later, about 5 miles from their intended destination, fuel pressure fluctuations were observed in both engines, with both engines intermittently losing and then regaining power. Due to multiple residential areas between their location and the airport, the pilot conducted a 180° turn and initiated an off-airport landing. The pilot stated that during the landing roll, he observed a ditch in front of them and was able to get the airplane airborne briefly to avoid it, however, he was not able to avoid a second large ditch. Subsequently, the airplane struck the second ditch, became airborne, and impacted the ground in a nose low attitude, and all three landing gear collapsed.

Both the left and right engines were separated from their respective attach points, and the fuselage sustained substantial damage. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: North American 
Registration: N7946C
Model/Series: B25N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSCK,33 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 4.4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Vacaville, CA (VCB)
Destination: Stockton, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 37.909216,-121.34045 (est)


  1. The company (museum) owner has stated complete mechanical failure, and excellent CRM/Airmanship/decision making by the PIC. The plane did fly a long ways before landing at Nut Tree, but declined fuel for the short flight up next on the agenda.
    This drone video flies the approach path and shows the intended landing field, which was just beyond the ditch. Sure looks like the PIC elected gear down and did not make it to the intended field. Both gear and engines were ripped loose while sliding across the ditch.

  2. ^^A video commenter on that YT link states they did a gear up landing but I see at least one torn main gear, so clearly they had gear down.

  3. Flightaware:

    News says the crash happened near Roberts and Muller roads:

    Both engines quit while flying 1000' AGL. Hand pumping the gear down takes a while if they did that.

    B-25 Gear hand pump demo:

  4. I have seen no information on the quantity of fuel left in this aircraft when it landed. There was no fire. Were are the tanks empty?