Terrain impact below MVA.
PIC: ATP, Part 135.
Río Grande, Puerto Rico.
Rockwell Commander 690B.
Prelim report (3 killed).

On Dec 3, 2008, a Rockwell Commander 690 was destroyed when it hit a mountainside in Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest while descending below MVA on a VFR flightplan. IMC prevailed in the area at the time. The Part 135 flight had departed EIS (Tortola, British VI) enroute SJU (Intl, San Juan PR).

According to voice and radar data from FAA, the pilot was descending from 8800 ft when the controller noticed the aircraft heading toward mountainous terrain and asked the pilot his intentions about his altitude. The pilot said he was descending to 3200 ft. The controller asked if he was VFR and advised him that the MVA for the area was 5500 ft. The pilot stated they were "in and out of the clouds right now." The controller advised the pilot to maintain VFR and reminded him of the MVA. The pilot and 2 passengers were killed in the crash.

Engine failure after takeoff.
PIC: ATP, Part 91.
NQA (Muni, Millington TN).
Mitsubishi MU2B-60.
Prelim report (1 injured).

A Mitsubishi MU2 sustained substantial damage on returning to NQA (Muni, Millington TN) on Dec 9, 2008 after experiencing an engine failure shortly after takeoff. Heavy rain and thunderstorms were present throughout the event. The pilot said he noticed a loss of power on the right engine some 2.5 miles from the airport, causing him to feather the propeller. When the controller asked the pilot if he wanted to continue to 2M8 (Baker, Millington TN) or return to NQA, the pilot chose to return.

He reported he was only able to maintain an altitude between 1000 and 1400 ft due to turbulence but felt the aircraft was "conforming to standards." Attempting a landing on Runway 22, the pilot flew the approach at 105 kts, not the normal 100-kt approach speed. He was too close to the surface, landing 6200 ft down the 8000-ft runway and exiting off the left side.

Helicopter crash after takeoff.
PIC: Unreported, Part 135.
Near Morgan City LA.
Sikorsky S76C++.
Prelim report (8 killed).

A Sikorsky S76 crashed on Jan 4, 2009 shortly after takeoff from PHI's operating base at Amelia LA. The helicopter was enroute to an offshore oil platform when it crashed around 10 miles south of Morgan City LA. According to NTSB the helicopter was equipped with flight data and voice recorders. No distress call was heard. Both pilots and 6 passengers were killed in the crash, with the remaining passenger receiving serious injuries.

Loss at sea.
PIC: Comm, Part 135.
Gulf of Mexico.
Bell 206L4.
Prelim report (4 killed).

While enroute to an oil platform on Dec 11, 2008 a Bell 206L4 LongRanger was destroyed when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. Witnesses saw the pilot preflight and prepare the helicopter for flight. The pilot then picked up his 4 passengers and departed. The company started search-and-rescue efforts after the pilot failed to radio in a 15-min position report and no contact with the pilot could be established. The body of the 4th passenger was not found.

Takeoff with pedalblock.
PIC: Unreported, Part 91.
Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Hughes 369A.
Prelim report (1 killed).

A Hughes 369A was destroyed on impact with the water on Dec 27, 2008 after taking off with the tail rotor pedal block still installed in the flight controls. The helicopter lifted off from a fishing vessel in the Pacific Ocean and began immediately to spin. The helicopter mechanic witnessed the event and stated he saw the pilot trying vainly to remove the block. The aircraft hit the water and sank with the pilot, who is presumed dead. The sole passenger received serious injuries but was recovered.

Uncommanded engine shutdown.
PIC: Comm, Part 91.
Bow NH.
Bell 407.
Prelim report (1 injured).

On Dec 22, 2008 a Bell 407 was substantially damaged after the pilot experienced an uncommanded engine shutdown and executed a forced landing in a tree-lined street in Bow NH. The aircraft was being flown VFR on a positioning flight from LZD (Danielson CT) to NH33 (Brigham Heliport, Pembroke NH) when the engine failure occurred. The pilot stated that prior to the shutdown there were no warning lights and everything was functioning normally with 439 lbs of fuel on board.

Crash in lake.
PIC: Unreported.
Tlaxcala, Mexico.
Learjet 23.
Prelim report (2 killed).

At around 1815 on Dec 7, 2008, a Mexican-registered Learjet 23 was destroyed on impact when it crashed into a lake during final approach to an unlit day VFR airport near Tlaxcala, Mexico. Both crewmembers were killed. Witnesses reported that the aircraft had a high rate of descent on short final.

Landing overrun.
PIC: Unreported, Part 91.
MO09 (Lewistown MO).
Raytheon Premier I.
Prelim report (no injuries).

No injuries were reported after a Premier I landed and departed the runway at MO09 (Sharpe Farms, Lewistown MO) on Dec 23, 2008. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The crew of 2 had been on a Part 91 IFR flight from MKC (Wheeler, Kansas City MO).

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports constitute the primary source materials for Professional Pilot Accident Reports.