Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Cessna A185F Skywagon, N1199Q: Accident occurred July 03, 2021 at Hoonah Airport (PAOH), Alaska

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; Juneau, Alaska


Location: Hoonah, AK
Accident Number: ANC21LA051
Date & Time: July 3, 2021, 15:00 Local
Registration: N1199Q
Aircraft: Cessna A185F
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N1199Q
Model/Series: A185F 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
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: PAOH,0 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C /9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 260°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3200 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hoonah, AK
Destination: Hoonah, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 58.09604,-135.40963 (est)

Champion 7GCBC, N5213X: Accident occurred July 04, 2021 in Palmer, Alaska

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; Anchorage, Alaska

Accident Number: ANC21LA052
Date & Time: July 4, 2021, 12:30 Local
Registration: N5213X
Aircraft: Champion 7GCBC 
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion 
Registration: N5213X
Model/Series: 7GCBC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAAQ,230 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3500 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 200°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Palmer , AK
Destination: Palmer , AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.501454,-149.09937

Experimental Mike 1, N6930D: Incident occurred July 04, 2021 in Palmer, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aircraft made precautionary landing on a road, trouble shot the engine, and then departed. 


Date: 04-JUL-21
Time: 20:28:00Z
Regis#: N6930D
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: MIKE 1
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: PALMER
State: ALASKA

Cessna A185F Skywagon 185, N8216J: Accident occurred June 27, 2021 in Nushagak, Alaska

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; Anchorage, Alaska Location: Dillingham, AK
Accident Number: ANC21LA050
Date & Time: June 27, 2021, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N8216J
Aircraft: Cessna A185F 
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Business

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N8216J
Model/Series: A185F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s)
Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAJZ,270 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3700 ft AGL
Visibility: 6 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 59.88313,-157.76075

IAI 1126 Galaxy, N143CB: Incident occurred July 03, 2021 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (KASE), Colorado

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aircraft landed with all tires blown and skidded down runway on rims. 

GP Cam Aviation Partners I LLC


Date: 03-JUL-21
Time: 20:49:00Z
Regis#: N143CB
Aircraft Make: ISRAEL AIRCRAFT
Aircraft Model: GALAXY
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: ASPEN
State: COLORADO

Beech 58P Pressurized Baron, N181JR: Incident occurred July 02, 2021 in New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aircraft struck taxiway lights while taxiing for departure.  

Woodstock Air LLC


Date: 02-JUL-21
Time: 14:26:00Z
Regis#: N181JR
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 58
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: CORPORATE
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91
City: NEW SMYRNA BEACH
State: FLORIDA

Cessna 402A, N4550Q: Accident occurred July 02, 2021 at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE), Broward County, Florida

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; Miramar, Florida

Island Wings Inc


Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Accident Number: ERA21LA281
Date & Time: July 2, 2021, 16:16 Local 
Registration: N4550Q
Aircraft: Cessna 402A 
Injuries: 7 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Scheduled

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4550Q
Model/Series: 402A NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFXE,14 ft msl
Observation Time: 06:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C /23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FXE) 
Destination: Treasure Cay, OF (MYAT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 6 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 7 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 26.198194,-80.174617

Cessna 172, N7160A: Incident occurred July 06, 2021 in Ocala National Forest, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aircraft made a forced landing in the Ocala National Forest due to engine failure. 


Date: 06-JUL-21
Time: 03:58:00Z
Regis#: N7160A
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: OCALA NATIONAL FOREST
State: FLORIDA

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N733XE: Incident occurred July 04, 2021 at Gwinnett County Airport (KLZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aircraft landed and veered off runway into the grass.

AeroVentures Flying Club Inc


Date: 04-JUL-21
Time: 21:39:00Z
Regis#: N733XE
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: LAWRENCEVILLE
State: GEORGIA

Boeing 737-275C, N810TA: Accident occurred July 02, 2021 near Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (PHNL), Honolulu, Hawaii

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 travelled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii
The Boeing Co; Washington 
Pratt and Whitney
Transair; Hawaii
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Federal Aviation Administration 

Transair


Location: Honolulu, HI
Accident Number: DCA21FA174
Date & Time: July 2, 2021, Local 
Registration: N810TA
Aircraft: Boeing 737-275C 
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air carrier - Non-scheduled

On July 2, 2021, at about 0145 local, Rhoades Aviation Inc, dba TransAir, flight 810, a B737-200, N810TA, reported engine anomalies in both engines and subsequently ditched into Mamala Bay shortlyafter takeoff from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Honolulu, Hawaii. The two flight crew members were rescued, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a cargo flight from HNL to Kahului International Airport (OGG), Kahului, Hawaii.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Boeing 
Registration: N810TA
Model/Series: 737-275C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Flag carrier (121), Supplemental
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: PHNL
Observation Time: 00:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Honolulu, HI (PHNL) 
Destination: Kahului, HI (PHOG)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 21.1639,158.013132 




A cargo airline whose plane ditched into the ocean off Hawaiʻi has been grounded after investigators looked into the company's safety practices before the accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that it will bar Rhoades Aviation of Honolulu from flying or doing maintenance inspections until it meets FAA regulations.

The agency did not detail Rhoades' alleged shortcomings. The company did not immediately respond to phone and email messages for comment.

The decision to ground the carrier, which operates as Transair, is separate from the investigation into the July 2 ditching of a Boeing 737, the FAA said. Two pilots were rescued by the Coast Guard after the nighttime crash.

Both pilots, the only people on board, were seriously injured and were clinging to packages and the tail of the plane when they were rescued, authorities said.

The company had one plane still in operation this week, a Boeing 737-200 like the one that crashed.

The FAA said it began investigating Rhoades Aviation's maintenance and safety practices last fall and told the company about two weeks before the crash that it planned to revoke its authority to do maintenance inspections.

The company did not appeal the FAA's decision within the 30 days as required if it wanted the case reconsidered, the FAA said.

The pilots attempted to turn back to Honolulu after telling an air traffic controller that they had lost power in one engine and feared that the other engine on the 46-year-old plane would also fail.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board found the wreckage of the plane but have not yet recovered the data recorders that could hold clues about what caused the plane to go down.

Airbus A320-232, N703JB: Incident occurred July 03, 2021 at Boston Logan International Airport (KBOS), Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

Aircraft was being marshalled into gate when the left engine made contact with the jet bridge.  

JetBlue Airways Corporation 


Date: 03-JUL-21
Time: 21:06:00Z
Regis#: N703JB
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A320
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: MANEUVERING (MNV)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: JET BLUE
Flight Number: JBU1194
City: BOSTON
State: MASSACHUSETTS

Cessna 150L, N19271: Incident occurred July 02, 2021 at Tupelo Regional Airport (KTUP), Lee County, Mississippi

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi

Aircraft declared an emergency and returned to airport and post flight inspection revealed damage to nose cone.  


Date: 02-JUL-21
Time: 22:53:00Z
Regis#: N19271
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: TUPELO
State: MISSISSIPPI

Seawind 3000, N8UU: July 03, 2021, July 02, 2021, June 27, 2021 and June 26, 2021

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; Grand Rapids, Michigan 
Location: Charlevoix, MI
Accident Number: CEN21LA321
Date & Time: July 3, 2021, 19:30 Local 
Registration: N8UU
Aircraft: SWANN LYNN J SEAWIND 3000 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SWANN LYNN J 
Registration: N8UU
Model/Series: SEAWIND 3000 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility:
Altimeter Setting: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.388545,-85.320435 (est)
 
Captain Dennis Collier

Seawind 3000, N8UU
July 3, 2021


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

July 02, 2021:  Aircraft landed hard and veered off runway at The O'Neill Municipal Airport (KONL),  Holt County, Nebraska.  

BoltAir Ltd


Date: 02-JUL-21
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N8UU
Aircraft Make: SEAWIND
Aircraft Model: 3000
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: O'NEILL
State: NEBRASKA

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

June 27, 2021:  Aircraft veered off runway due to electrical issue and lost use of landing lights at Four Corners Regional Airport (KFMN), San Juan County, New Mexico.

BoltAir Ltd


Date: 27-JUN-21
Time: 03:22:00Z
Regis#: N8UU
Aircraft Make: SEAWIND
Aircraft Model: 3000
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: FARMINGTON
State: NEW MEXICO

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

June 26, 2021:  Aircraft  landed gear up at Brackett Field Airport (KPOC), La Verne, California.  

BoltAir Ltd


Date: 26-JUN-21
Time: 16:33:00Z
Regis#: N8UU
Aircraft Make: SEAWIND
Aircraft Model: 3000
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: LA VERNE
State: CALIFORNIA 

Pilot Captain Dennis Collier
Seawind 3000, N8UU, flying over New Mexico earlier this month.


Seawind 3000, N8UU, in New Mexico earlier this month.


United States Coast Guard boat responding to a distress signal by pilot Captain Dennis Collier, who crashed his Seawind 3000, N8UU into Lake Michigan near Beaver Island on July 3, 2021.


United States Coast Guard boat responding to a distress signal by pilot Captain Dennis Collier, who crashed his Seawind 3000, N8UU into Lake Michigan near Beaver Island on July 3, 2021.

    
CHARLEVOIX — A small amphibious airplane is on the bottom of Lake Michigan after crashing during the Fourth of July weekend — but fasten your seatbelts because the pilot says how it got there is one barnstormer of a story.

Dennis Collier, a licensed Traverse City pilot, paid $110,000 for the 2010 Seawind on a Saturday, ended up in the drink a week later, and on the way crashed — by his own account — seven times, in seven days in four states.

“Oh yeah, it’s a hell of a story,” Collier said, of his plan to fly solo from the west coast to Boyne City. “From California to the U.P., everyone kept telling me I was lucky to be alive.”

Collier wanted to capture the experience while it was fresh in his mind so he wrote a first-person account, in case it had any motion picture potential.

The Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Michigan State Police all performed various response and investigative functions at his crashes, too, so their information adds to the narrative.

Then there’s the 88-year-old pilot who built the airplane and sold it to Collier, the inhospitable sage grasses of New Mexico, the airport manager who once worked for Virgin Galactic and the Michigan State Police troopers who helped with hydraulics.

With that baggage packed, let’s prepare for departure.

On June 25, Collier flew commercial, landing at Los Angeles’ LAX where Lynn Swann, the retired pilot, airplane builder and self-described “grumpy old man” who’d advertised the Seawind 3000 for sale, was there to meet him.

The two aviators drove east from Los Angeles to the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and Bracket Field Airport — coincidentally, the filming location of “Airport ’74,” where Charlton Heston saved the passengers. It's also the filming location for the sequel to “Airport.”

It was here where Collier got his first gander at his new-used Seawind.

At the time he was just excited about the purchase, though later said he didn't think the condition of the plane had been properly conveyed to him.  

Collier said in his diary he did notice instrument and other repairs were needed, and surmised Swann used Collier’s $4,000 deposit to make some, but not all, of these.

Swann says that while the plane hadn’t been flown for two years, a pilot friend had taken it for a test flight and the aircraft was ship-shape, with only 20 hours of flying time on the engine.

“I went to get some supplies and told him he could wait for me or take off,” Swann said. “I came back and he was already lined up to take off. And I figured, OK, cool.”

Collier said nope, it wasn’t. Not for him, not cool at all.

Crash #1

“I radioed to the tower for a test flight over the airport,” Collier wrote. “Climbing to 500 feet above pattern altitude doing left hand turns staying within the airport's landing pattern. After the first turn I noticed the nose up without inputs ... I set up for landing after the third time around.”

FAA records show Collier landed “gear up” and while he escaped injury, the Seawind got pretty banged up.

Swann said it would have been worse if he hadn’t installed a block of wood under the front of the plane, and that two inches of solid oak took the brunt of the impact. Collier said Swann and his “hanger buddies” helped make repairs after which, Collier said, he felt abandoned.

“Having a sinking feeling that this was it, I had to go,” Collier said.

Next stop — a layover in New Mexico and Collier’s first night landing in 20 years.

It was 3:22 a.m. and the descent did not go well.

Crashes #2 and #3

“The airplane stalled and came down hard and to the left of the runway and into the weeds and bumpy sage grasses,” Collier said.

Dawn broke the next morning on an ugly view.

Collier, who had again escaped injury, learned he’d wiped out a sign and some runway lights and did a number on the Seawind’s tail. Plus, staff with Four Corners Airport in San Juan County had called the FAA.

A test flight ended in another runway incident, said Mike Lewis, airport manager.

“We’re square,” Lewis said. “We called the FAA and filed a report. From what I understand, the damage wasn’t anything that would make the airplane unflyable.”

FAA spokesperson Tony Molinaro said the agency does not comment on ongoing investigations, though Collier said he did talk with an investigator.

“After a lengthy explanation of landing in the dark without a landing light the FAA was satisfied with my explanation,” Collier said. The investigator said at least he hadn’t been “busting any airspace parameters,” Collier added.

FAA records show there is restricted airspace between California and New Mexico, including over Disneyland, the White Sands Missile range and the Nevada Test and Training Range at Edwards Air Force Base — more popularly known as “Area 51.”

Collier said he didn’t see any UFOs but did spend a few days in New Mexico.

Which, come to think of it, sounds like a movie title, though if Hollywood comes calling Collier said he prefers, “7 Days, 7 Crashes” and has his heart set on Tom Hanks in the lead role.

Collier recorded in his diary how a local airplane mechanic found him an empty hanger where he could park the Seawind, then loaned him some tools and gave him a ride to a hardware store to fetch supplies.

Collier, who said he'd flown regularly years ago, previously built his own plane.

"I'm a mechanic" he told himself, "I can do this." 

On July 2, Collier was airborne again.

Crashes #4 and #5

“My plan was to go north along the western slope of the Rockies to avoid the approaching front from Taos, New Mexico to Chicago and east was not the way to get over the mountains,” Collier said.

He ran into a rain squall but the plane performed well enough for Collier to engage the auto pilot, using rivers and highways as navigational aids, turning east after about two hours in the air.

Slicing through the sky over America’s breadbasket, however, Collier again encountered trouble.

The left wing’s servo (hinged tab) was stuck, he said, and the nose of the plane kept pitching up. When it got worse, Collier put a rag between his knee and the yoke (steering wheel) and pushed as hard as he could toward Nebraska.

There was stalling, there was skipping through the rough and there was crisscrossing the runway but after four attempts, Collier said he landed at O’Neill Municipal Airport in Holt County.

“I forced it to the ground and off into the grasses and eventually back onto the runway and taxied to an awaiting golf cart, and an airport manager and wife team that got me to calm down from shaking,” Collier said.

That team was Al and Natalie Sibi — who both said they suggested Collier to separate himself from his purchase — he on a commercial flight, the Seawind on a flatbed but both bound for Michigan. 

When that idea didn’t fly, the Sibis put Collier up, fed him, found a hanger for him to use and loaned him a jack and some tools.

A test flight ended in another crash, Collier said, but he went back to work on the plane and found and fixed some crossed wires. 

By July 3 at 7 a.m., Collier was more than ready to put Nebraska below and behind him.

“I opened the hanger door and attempted to push the Seawind out,” Collier said. “Getting a few feet, I decided to just fire it up and get going. Taxied out to the runway and with full power lifted eastward into the morning sun.”

Sibi said he's known many pilots with "get-home-itus" and Collier was one of those.  

Takeoff, the climb and the autopilot cruise over South Dakota and Minnesota at 7500 feet went fine. Five hours out of Nebraska, he passed Escanaba and saw Schoolcraft County Airport in Manistique, about 5 miles off.

Then, something went “clunk.”

Crash #6

The hydraulic pressure gauge was registering zero, Collier said, and the fuel gauge showed an uneven supply.

He radioed the airport to ask whether there was a spotter on the ground who could look up as he passed and let him know if the landing gear was down — no response.

The engine sputtered, the gauge showed less than four gallons of fuel and Collier said he was pretty sure the landing gear under the nose wasn’t down.

“I landed it with both mains and held it off as long as I could and then the nose hit and the plane skidded down the runway a few hundred yards to a stop at the edge of the pavement but well before the end of the runway,” Collier said.

No injuries, the damage was repairable and while Collier didn’t see anyone around — no golf cart reception this time — the terminal was within walking distance and the doors were unlocked. Collier said he went in, sat down and considered his lot.

His plane was dinged and out of fuel, his cellphone was shut off and he hadn’t seen a soul.

Cue the angel choir — because there, across the street and gleaming in the sunshine, was a welcoming log-themed motel.

Holiday Motel Manistique co-owner, Pat Mead, let Collier use his phone, knew a store that sold hydraulic oil and drove Collier there.

“A lot of pilots stay here,” said Kara Mead, who, in March, bought the motel with her husband. “He did take him to get the hydraulic oil. Owning a motel, you get requests sometimes that don’t have to do with booking a room.”

Collier arrived back at Schoolcraft Municipal about the same time as the Michigan State Police. He on foot, MSP in a cruiser with lights and sirens.

Lt. Mark Giannunzio, an assistant MSP post commander, said troopers were dispatched to the airport to check out a report that someone’s landing gear wasn’t working properly. At the scene, MSP turned the incident over to the FAA, Giannunzio said.

Collier writes in his diary that troopers interviewed him and loaned him a phone to call the FAA — “once again I was on the phone talking to them explaining what had occurred.”

FAA spokesperson Molinaro said the agency couldn’t comment on this investigation, either.

The troopers drove Collier out to the Seawind and held up the nose so he could add a quart of hydraulic oil.

Later, when reflecting on his journey, the faces of the two troopers would be added to those of all the people who'd helped him along the way. 

"Everyone cares," Collier said, of the general aviation community. "They take you under their wing and into their hanger."

After a week of bumps, clunks and official inquiries from air and land authorities, Collier was finally near his goal — landing his plane in Boyne City.

He checked the fuel gauge and looked inside the tanks and realized the gauge was flipped. The tank that read empty was full, the tank that read full was nearly empty. Perhaps the pump failed, Collier thought, maybe that was the source of the "clunk."

He called a relative who offered the use of a credit card, Collier refueled and taxied to the runway.

Crash #7

The plan was to head south, over Lake Michigan, Beaver Island, Charlevoix and land at the Boyne City Municipal Airport. Per his promise to the FAA, Collier wrote in his diary he’d leave the landing gear down for the 25-minute flight.

It was July 3.

As luck would have it, President Joe Biden was visiting and Collier had to wait for the TFR, or temporary flight restriction, to be lifted before he could depart.

Back in Nebraska, Al Sibi said he was still thinking about what aircraft accident investigators call the "Swiss Cheese Model": Every airplane mishap puts a hole in the slice until the plane is more holes than cheese. 

At 7:22 p.m., Flight Aware, an air travel database, shows the Seawind over Manistique. At 7:49 p.m. the plane disappears from radar.

That was about the time Collier said the engine sputtered and he smelled something burning.

He’d just passed Beaver Island, was out over open water and turned back, hoping to land at the island’s airport.

But the wing flaps weren’t responding and the hydraulic pressure gauge read nil. Collier said he had no choice but to attempt his first water landing.

“I glanced back over the water and realized I could judge my altitude with the glittering of the sun over the small ripple of the water,” Collier said. “Time seemed to slow and I was transfixed on the beauty of the sun over the water ... I could see it coming and it was really close.”

But, per his promise to the FAA, the landing gear was still down. 

“The gear caught the water and the plane went forward and with a big splash went nose down vertically and into the water.”

For a few seconds, Collier said he was staring straight down into the deep. Then the plane popped up, Collier sent out a distress call, checked himself for injuries — again, none —and tried to focus.

The plane was built like boat. It would float, right? He’d wait for rescue, get the plane towed to shore and fix it again.

Grounded

Collier isn’t sure how much time passed before he saw a U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat headed his way. By then, the cockpit was full of water, the plane was sinking, his shoes, hat, landing light and new headset were floating away reminiscent of a scene from "Titanic."

"I was holding on, all alone, thinking about my family," Collier said. "It was terrifying. It was a time of realizing I might not make it."

A Coast Guard helicopter circled overhead. Collier by now was perilously perched on the tail. He lifted his head from his hands and gave them a wave. Minutes, later he was aboard a rescue boat.

When news the plane had crashed and sunk reached New Mexico, Lewis shared a theory: the hull of the plane had likely been breached during one of the crashes.

Collier gave a statement to MSP, was checked by a Charlevoix Hospital emergency room physician and released in the wee hours of the Fourth of July.

He said he was happy to be alive.

From the front desk of the motel, Kara Mead said she was happy for him. 

“We didn’t know about Nebraska, but he told us the rest and I’m just glad he’s okay,” she said.

If this were a movie, a director might be tempted to employ poetic license and have Collier somehow, some way, fly off into the wild blue yonder as the credits roll.

But Collier said the Seawind wasn't insured. And the experience was so traumatic, he doesn't see himself piloting an airplane again.

John Masson, U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson, said they’ve seen no evidence of pollution in Lake Michigan and the fuel was low so the plane, which is in about 300 feet of water, is unlikely to ever be raised.

Whether Collier incurs fines or faces legal action is up to the FAA, Masson said.

The FAA’s investigation is ongoing and is expected to take several weeks to complete, Molinaro said. 

Collier recorded his version of an ending in his diary. He's standing outside the hospital in Charlevoix, and the final lines read like this:

"I wondered about the day. Flying all the way from a disaster in O'Neill NB and a nose landing at Schoolcraft and almost dying. Let alone the episodes in NM and CA. It was over. I'm alive. And I'm home."


Pilot Captain Dennis Collier and Pax
Seawind 3000, N8UU, earlier this month.

Columbia LC41-550FG, N1604C: Incident occurred July 04, 2021 at North Las Vegas Airport (KVGT), Clark County, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Aircraft landed, bounced and slid off runway hitting taxiway signs. 


Date: 04-JUL-21
Time: 00:50:00Z
Regis#: N1604C
Aircraft Make: COLUMBIA
Aircraft Model: LC41
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: LAS VEGAS
State: NEVADA

Airbus A320-232, N637NK: Incident occurred July 02, 2021 at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), New Jersey

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey

Aircraft shifted at the gate damaging the door.  

Spirit Airlines Inc


Date: 02-JUL-21
Time: 15:45:00Z
Regis#: N637NK
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A320
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: SPIRIT AIRLINES
Flight Number: NKS61
City: NEWARK
State: NEW JERSEY

Cessna 210D, N210E: Incident occurred July 05, 2021 at Grant County Airport (KSVC), Silver City, New Mexico

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aircraft landed gear up. 


Date: 05-JUL-21
Time: 19:44:00Z
Regis#: N210E
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 210
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: SILVER CITY
State: NEW MEXICO

Mooney M20K, N222DK: Accident occurred July 05, 2021 at Mount Airy/Surry County Airport (KMWK), North Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Aircraft landed and gear collapsed. 


Date: 05-JUL-21
Time: 18:20:00Z
Regis#: N222DK
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20K
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: MOUNT AIRY
State: NORTH CAROLINA

Aeronca 11AC, N9149E: Incident occurred July 05, 2021 at Neil Armstrong Airport (KAXV), Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbus, Ohio

Aircraft was being hard-started in a hangar and began to roll away and spin crashing into the hangar door.  


Date: 05-JUL-21
Time: 18:30:00Z
Regis#: N9149E
Aircraft Make: AERONCA
Aircraft Model: 11AC
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 91
City: WAPAKONETA
State: OHIO

Robinson R44 Raven II, N4945F: Incident occurred July 05, 2021 at Troutdale Airport (KTTD), Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon

Rotorcraft struck a large bird on takeoff damaging door frame.  

Emerald City Aircraft Leasing Inc


Date: 05-JUL-21
Time: 22:00:00Z
Regis#: N4945F
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R44
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: SIGHT SEEING
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: PORTLAND
State: OREGON

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N5185U: Accident occurred June 25, 2021 at Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport (KMPO), Tobyhanna, Monroe County, Pennsylvania

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; Allentown, Pennsylvania 

Location: Mount Pocono, PA 
Accident Number: ERA21LA282
Date & Time: June 25, 2021, 16:00 Local
Registration: N5185U
Aircraft: Cessna 172S
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N5185U
Model/Series: 172S Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator:
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: KMPO,1915 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:00 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / 16 knots, 180°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.137694,-75.380055 (est)

Van's RV-7A, N654C: Accident occurred July 01, 2021 at Heritage Field Airport (KPTW), Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania




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; Allentown, Pennsylvania


Location: Pottstown, PA
Accident Number: ERA21LA277
Date & Time: July 1, 2021, 13:00 Local 
Registration: N654C
Aircraft: Vans RV7 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 1, 2021, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Vans RV-7A, N654C, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, who was also the owner/builder of the experimental amateur-built airplane, a preflight inspection and engine run-up prior to takeoff were normal. During the initial climb after takeoff at 800 ft above ground level, the engine lost power and the pilot attempted to return to the airport; however, the airplane impacted terrain before the runway and a postcrash fire ensued. The pilot further reported that at the time of the accident the airplane had accrued about 3.9 total flight hours.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident site, only the outer portions of both wings and a portion of the tail were undamaged by the fire. The engine and cockpit sustained extensive fire damage. The electric ignition system, wiring harness, and fuel pumps were all fractured and melted. The airplane was equipped with a Subaru engine. The automotive fuel that the pilot used to fuel the airplane was stored in a bucket in the pilot’s hangar. It did not contain any water or other visible contaminates.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans 
Registration: N654C
Model/Series: RV7 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file 
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: PTW,288 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Pottstown, PA
Destination: Pottstown, PA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.239687,-75.556144