By Jim Timm JimTimm

June 2018 

 

The following are NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late April through late May. The Arizona Pilots Association uses this detailed accident information to develop safety programs and briefings that will help pilots learn from the mistakes being made by others, and then hopefully they will take the action necessary to prevent similar accidents from happening to them.

This reporting period has taken a turn from being bad to even worse from a flight safety standpoint given the number of accidents. There were eleven accidents reported by the NTSB in the past reporting period. The only good thing was that there were no reported fatalities this time, but what is happening with all these accidents? We need to stop this madness and think about what we are doing. We must be more diligent in thinking ahead and be more cautious about what we are doing. Please don’t push your airplane’s operational envelope, and more importantly, don’t push your own personal ability envelope, and don’t hurt any more airplanes or yourself.

Of the eleven reported accidents in this reporting period, it’s very unfortunate that the NTSB only provided detailed information on one, the Grumman TBM accident at Fort Apache. There is usually something we can learn from each of these accidents, but there is much that we can take from this particular accident. They were carrying a lot of safety gear, Satellite phone, personal locater beacon, and lots of other survival gear, but it was all secured in the airplane, and they departed the airplane with only a partially charged cell phone. We should all carry a few of the essential safety/survival items on us. If you are forced to make an unscheduled landing that goes awry and there is a fire, you need to have these items on you so they won’t be left in the airplane and consumed. Is there a safer route that can be flown, providing potential emergency landing sites along the way? Something to think about.

This report starts with the details of five accidents that occurred in earlier reporting periods and the details were just released in the past reporting period.

We all need to step back and take a look at how we are flying and see how we can do it more safely. We need to do all we can to make sure these accident numbers go down.

 

THE FOLLOWING FIVE ACCIDENTS OCCURRED IN EARLIER REPORTING PERIODS:

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 4/18/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Scottsdale

Aircraft Type: Beech 60

Injuries: 2 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL ON LANDNG

The pilot reported that, during approach, he flew the airplane about 10 knots faster than normal due to other traffic's wake turbulence. He added that, while decelerating during the landing roll, the airplane veered to the left. He applied right rudder, but to no avail. The airplane veered off the runway to the left, struck a taxiway sign, and the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the pressure vessel.

During a post accident examination, the pilot observed that the left tire had blown out. The tire exhibited a flat, bald spot about the width of the tire. The tire fabric threads were visible around a hole in the tire, consistent with a skid.

In a follow up conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator- In-Charge (IIC), the pilot reported that, during approach, he verified brake hydraulic pressure. He added that he checked that his heels were on the floor and that he was the sole manipulator of the controls during landing.

The airport Operations Manager reported that, during the recovery process there were no observed fluids around the main landing gear. He added that the airport surveillance video captured the landing sequence. He observed, from the video, that there was "quite a bit of smoke" from the left tire during touchdown.

The airplane's logbooks indicated that the most recent maintenance work was done a month prior to the accident. The mechanic who worked on the airplane reported that the pilot requested work on the oleo struts, but not to the brake system. He added that, during the oleo strut maintenance, the brakes were unbolted and set aside until reassembly. After the oleo strut work was completed, the mechanic ran up the airplane, taxied around, and tested the brake with no observed abnormalities.

An NTSB investigator and Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage and the NTSB investigator reported that the left brake rotor was normal in color and had minimal wear; the right main landing gear was unremarkable. He added that the brake pedals were actuated, and pressure was heard at both main landing gear brake assemblies. The brake pedal foot pressure was also unremarkable.       

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 5/21/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Cave Creek

Aircraft Type: Ultramagic SA N300

Injuries: 13 Uninjured

BALLOON ENVELOPE CAUGHT FIRE AFTER LANDNG

The pilot reported that, during landing, the balloon came to rest pressing against a small tree. He added that when he applied heat to the envelope to reposition the balloon for deflation, a small hole appeared in the fabric and a small tree branch protruded into the envelope. Upon adding the heat, the tree branch inside the envelope caught fire causing the envelope fabric to catch fire. The passengers exited the basket, two fire extinguishers were deployed in an attempt to extinguish the fire, but the basket and envelope were consumed by the fire.

The pilot reported that there were no pre accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the balloon that would have precluded normal operation.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, March 30, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 5/21/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Gila Bend

Aircraft Type: Diamond DA 40

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

STRUCK OBSTRUCTION DURING PARKING

The pilot reported that, after taxiing to the ramp, he set the parking brake. He added that he released the foot brake, the airplane rolled forward, impacted a pole, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

The Flight Safety Officer reported that there were no pre accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He added that, after the accident, he verified proper operation of the parking brake.

 

 

Accident Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 5/22/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Prescott

Aircraft Type: Cub Crafters CC18-180

Injuries: 2 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL LANDING

The flight instructor reported that, during a training flight, upon landing, the tailwheel-equipped airplane bounced slightly. Subsequently, when the airplane touched back down it veered to the left. He added that, the student did not react immediately, so he added power and right rudder to correct. The airplane exited the left side of the runway, he added full right brake to avoid a visual approach slope indicator (VASI) light, and the airplane ground looped to the right. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and aileron.

The flight instructor added that the student had apparently touched down after the first bounce with the left brake engaged.

The flight instructor reported that there were no pre accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, April 1, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 5/22/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Phoenix

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: 2 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL INFLIGHT

The flight instructor reported that he was conducting a lesson in takeoffs and landings, and go-around procedures with the student pilot at the controls. During one particular go-around, the student retracted the flaps too far and the instructor stressed the importance of using the proper flap settings. On the subsequent downwind, the tower advised a crosswind from the south gusting to 18 knots. During the approach, the airplane drifted left of the runway centerline, so he called for the student to execute a go around. The student pilot applied full power and reduced flaps from 40° to 10° (25º prescribed in the go-around procedure). When the flight instructor noticed that the airplane was not climbing, and the student was not correcting the course, the flight instructor took the flight controls. The flight instructor attempted to recover, but the airplane was in a nose-high attitude and struck the ground. The airplane then lifted off the ground, flying slowly toward a sign, the instructor "pulled up to avoid the sign'" but the airplane struck the sign, aerodynamically stalled, and impacted the ground to the right of the runway, and sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The automated weather observation station located on the accident airport reported that, at the time of the accident, the wind was from 110° at 8 knots. The airplane was landing on runway 7L.

Federal Aviation Administration's Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3B, contains a section titled "Go-Arounds (Rejected Landings)" which states:

After establishing the proper climb attitude and power settings, be concerned first with flaps and secondly with the landing gear (if retractable). When the decision is made to perform a go-around, takeoff power is applied immediately and the pitch attitude changed so as to slow or stop the descent. After the descent has been stopped, the landing flaps are partially retracted or placed in the takeoff position as recommended by the manufacturer. Caution must be used in retracting the flaps. Depending on the airplane's altitude and airspeed, it is wise to retract the flaps intermittently in small increments to allow time for the airplane to accelerate progressively as they are being raised. A sudden and complete retraction of the flaps could cause a loss of lift resulting in the airplane settling into the ground. 

 

 

THE FOLLOWING ACCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED IN THE PAST REPORTING PERIOD 

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Report Dated: 4/30/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Wickenburg

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018

Report Dated: 5/7/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Page

Aircraft Type: Cessna 182

Injuries: UNK

LOSS OF CONTROL ON TAKEOFF

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, May 4, 2018

Report Dated: 5/7/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Glendale

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018

Report Dated: 5/7/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Chandler

Aircraft Type: Cessna A185F

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information. 

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018

Report Dated: 5/16/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Fort Apache

Aircraft Type: Grumman TBM-3E

Injuries: 2 Serious

INFLIGHT ENGINE FAILURE

On May 6, 2018, about 1338 MST, a Grumman TBM-3E airplane is presumed to have impacted terrain following the bailout of the pilot and passenger due to a partial loss of engine power about 8 miles southwest of Mount Baldy, on the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane is presumed to be destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions existed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed the Ak-Chin Regional Airport (A39), Maricopa, at 1251 destined for the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ), Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to relocate the newly purchased airplane from a maintenance facility in Stockton, California, to an airport near the pilot's home in Illinois. The airplane had undergone refurbishment as well as condition inspections during the previous 6 months. Prior to the repositioning flights, the airplane was loaded with substantial emergency and survival gear. Also, in preparation for the trip, the pilot and passenger watched the parachute manufacturer's safety video and the pilot provided an emergency brief and had the passenger practice opening the canopy and prepare for egress. 

On the morning of the accident, the airplane flew from the Zamperini Field Airport (TOA) in Torrance, California, to A39. After the pilot refueled the airplane, it departed A39 to the east and climbed to an altitude between 11,500 ft and 12,000 ft. About 45 minutes into the flight, as the airplane approached the route over the highest elevation of the trip, the pilot and passenger heard a loud bang with vibrations and witnessed thick smoke entering the cockpit. The pilot stated that following the event, the engine was operating but not producing enough power to maintain altitude. The passenger stated that he observed sheets of oil exiting the right side of the engine cowling. As the airplane descended, the pilot determined there were no safe landing areas due to trees and terrain, so he decided to bailout about 2,500 ft above ground level (AGL). 

The passenger bailed out first followed by the pilot; both parachutes deployed successfully, however the pilot and passenger received serious injuries after landing in trees and falling to the ground. They were unable to call for rescue due to the lack of cell phone coverage in the area, however on the following morning about 1100, a Fort Apache fire service truck that was passing through the area, found the survivors and they were subsequently transported to a nearby medical facility via ambulance. 

A review of Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control radar data revealed that after the bailout the airplane continued eastbound on a stable descending flight path. The last radar return was at 10,000 ft mean sea level (msl), or about 1,900 ft agl. The airplane has not been located and is presumed to have impacted terrain in the area.

 

 

Accident Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018

Report Dated: 5/14/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Mesa

Aircraft Type: Cub Crafters CC

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018

Report Dated: 5/17/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Wickenburg

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, May 11, 2018

Report Dated: 5/15/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Chandler

Aircraft Type: AEROPRO CZ A240

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, May 11, 2018

Report Dated: 5/15/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Chandler

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28-161

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, May 18, 2018

Report Dated: 5/23/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Wickenburg

Aircraft Type: Cessna 182

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Report Dated: 5/24/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: St. Johns

Aircraft Type: Baby Ace D

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information. 

 

For a brief look at what has happened in 2017 based on the NTSB reports made available:

 

Please login to add a comment.

Back to Top