By Jim TimmJimTimm

OCTOBER 2013

In reviewing these aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona, we all need to learn from the mistakes being made and take the necessary action to prevent similar accidents from occurring.

During this last reporting period, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records reported seven accidents that occurred within the state of Arizona. The number of accidents reported this past period, unfortunately, was up from the last report.

Fortunately, only one of the accidents resulted in a serious injury. The serious injury was sustained by the pilot of a helicopter that lost power while in level cruise flight and made an off airport hard landing. Fortunately, the five passengers on board were uninjured. The non injury accidents ranged from forgetting to lower the landing gear when landing, to making a very hard landing, loss of control during landing and loss of power immediately after taking off. This month’s reporting period contained a varied and in some cases interesting collection of reported accidents, as you will see in the following detailed reports. I’m not sure if it’s because of the government sequestration efforts or what, but the last reported accident that occurred in September did not contain any information in the notification of the accident. Only that an accident occurred, where and when it happened and the aircraft ID.

Additional aircraft accidents may have occurred in the reporting period that had not yet been recorded and reported by the NTSB, however, as they become available they will be covered in future reports. While the number of reported accidents was up this reporting period, it was fortunate that there were no fatalities and only one serious injury. We need to do what we can to learn from what has happened and keep the accident and injury numbers down.

The following information was taken from the preliminary reports issued by the NTSB and contain only the initial information available and is subject to change and may contain errors. Any errors in the preliminary NTSB report will be corrected when the more detailed final report is completed, which possibly may be a year or more later.

Accident Date; Saturday June 1, 2013 Reported September 5, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation
Location; Payson
Aircraft; Cub Crafters CC11-100
Injuries; 2 Uninjured

Preliminary and Final Report

The pilot reported that he was flying the tail-wheel equipped airplane and was conducting his second landing at a back country airstrip. During the landing flare, the airplane floated longer than expected and was starting to drift to the left side of the runway. The pilot added full power to go around when the left main landing gear struck a bush and the airplane turned sideways. The right landing gear collapsed and the right wing was substantially damaged when it struck the ground. The pilot reported that after exiting the airplane he noticed that the wind was a gusting right quartering tailwind. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operations.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the probable cause of the accident to be the pilots failure to maintain aircraft control during the landing flare with a quartering tail wind.

No pilot information was available.


Accident Date; Friday July 5, 2013 Reported September 5, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation
Location; Casa Grande
Aircraft; Piper PA44-180
Injuries; 2 Uninjured

Preliminary and Final Report

The pilot reported that during a multi-engine check ride, the check pilot (examiner) simulated an engine failure. When the throttle was retarded, the landing gear unsafe warning horn came on and it sounded throughout the remainder of the flight. The pilot performed a simulated single engine approach and decided to delay extending the landing gear until the airplane was on the base leg of the traffic pattern. While turning to the base leg, he was distracted by calls from other traffic and failed to extend the landing gear. The examiner also reported concentrating her attention on the other traffic. The airplane touched down with the gear up and it slid about 1,400 feet before coming to a stop. The airplane's fuselage sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The NTSB determined the probable cause(s) of this accident to be the pilot's failure to extend the landing gear before landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's and the flight examiner's distracted attention.

No pilot information was available.


Accident Date; Friday, July 26, 2013 Reported September 10, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation
Location; Phoenix
Aircraft; Cessna 172S
Injuries; Unavailable

Preliminary and Final Report

During a preflight inspection, a flight instructor discovered that the airplane’s firewall was substantially damaged. The operator reported that the damage occurred during an unknown flight operation. The airplane's last maintenance inspection occurred about a month prior to the discovery, equating to about 52 flight hours. Numerous pilots flew the airplane during that duration, none of which reported an event that would result in damage to the airplane.

A determination as to the cause of the accident could not be made.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of this accident to be: A substantially damaged firewall that occurred during an unknown phase of flight for reasons that could not be determined. Therefore, a determination as to the cause of the accident could not be made.


Accident Date; Saturday, August 10, 2013 Reported September 10, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation
Location; Prescott
Aircraft; Cessna 172S
Injuries; 1 Uninjured

Preliminary and Final Report

The pilot reported that following a series of practice takeoff and landings, she noticed that the wind was increasing and decided to land. During the landing she did not flare enough, and the airplane touched down just prior to when she thought it would. The hard landing resulted in structural damage to the engine firewall. The pilot reported no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

No NTSB accident determination was made.
No pilot information was provided.


Accident Date; Saturday August 10, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation
Location; Overgaard
Aircraft; Piper PA28-180
Injuries; 1 Uninjured

On August 10, 2013 at about 0700 MST, a Piper PA28-180, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power during takeoff from the Mogollon Airpark, Overgaard. The airline transport rated pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The pilot reported that during takeoff from runway 21, the airplane became airborne and did not accelerate as expected and he felt that the engine was not producing full power. The pilot adjusted the mixture to full rich and switched fuel tanks with no change in performance. Subsequently, the pilot initiated a forced landing to an open area beyond the departure end of the runway. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a ravine and came to rest upright. Examination of the airplane by the pilot revealed that the left wing was structurally damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned personal cross-country flight which had an intended destination of Scottsdale.


Accident Date; Wednesday August 28, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 135 Operation
Location; Payson
Aircraft; Bell Helicopter Textron 206L-1
Injuries; 1 Serious, 5 Uninjured

On August 28, 2013 at about 1030 MST, a Bell 206L-1 Helicopter sustained substantial damage during an emergency landing, about 12 miles west of the Payson Airport (PAN). The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries and none of the 5 passengers were injured. The flight departed Scottsdale Airport (SDL), at 0910, with a planned destination of Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG). The pilot reported a loss of engine power while in cruise flight at about 1,500 feet, above ground level, and performed an autorotation emergency landing. The helicopter landed hard and the tail boom separated. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company visual flight rules, flight plan was filed for the local flight.


Accident Date; Sunday September 1, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation
Location; Deer Valley
Aircraft; Cessna 172S
Injuries; Unknown
NTSB Identification: WPR13CA397

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

No accident information was provided for a preliminary report. Only this notification information was provided when we went to press.