By Jim Timm JimTimm

August 2017 

 

The following are the NTSB reports of the aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late June 2017 through late July 2017. We will use this detailed accident information to develop safety programs and briefings that will help pilots learn from the mistakes being made by others and then take the action necessary to prevent similar accidents from happening to them.

The past reporting period has not been good in that eight accidents have occurred in the reporting period, seven were reported by the NTSB and one of them we are aware of by way of TV/newspaper reporting. Two of the accidents have resulted in four fatalities, and there were no injuries reported yet in any of the other accidents. Another downside to everything is that the NTSB is still not making public the preliminary accident reports in a very timely manner. This month there are three accidents where the preliminary reports have not been released, only the accident notification was published. While at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, I had the opportunity to meet with the head of the NTSB and some of the data managers from Washington DC, and it appears that the problem is a lack of sufficient manpower to cover all the aviation accidents in a more timely manner. Plans are in process to attempt to streamline the system to help ease the problem.

The following is the information available to date. The first item in this report is an accident that happened in the previous reporting period. The NTSB recently released the following information: 

 

Accident Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017

Report Dated: 7/11/2017      

Factual Report   Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Casa Grande      

Aircraft Type: AIRTIME AIRCRAFT INC. Cygnet  

Injuries: 2 Minor

LOSS OF CONTROL ON TAKEOFF

The flight instructor in the amphibious float-equipped weight-shift controlled trike reported that he was demonstrating multiple touch-and-go landings for the student pilot, who was in the front seat of the tandem seat trike. He added that during the final approach, wind was "light and variable" and the landing was "smooth and stable." He further added that as power was applied to takeoff, a "gust of wind and dust came in from our left and got under the wing." Subsequently, the trike veered off the runway to the right and rolled over.

The wing and fuselage sustained substantial damage.

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

An automated weather observation station, at the accident airport, about the time of the accident, recorded wind 330° at 9 knots. The flight instructor reported the takeoff was on runway 5.

 

The following six accidents reported occurred in this past reporting period are as follows:

 

Date: Friday, June 23, 2017

Report Dated: 7/12/17 Preliminary Report    Title 14 CFR Part 135

Location: Page

Aircraft Type: CESSNA U206F

Injuries: 6 Uninjured

UNSCHEDULED OFF AIRPORT LANDING DUE TO LOSS OF POWER

On June 23, 2017, about 1600 MST, a Cessna U206F airplane sustained substantial damage after the pilot executed a precautionary landing about 28 miles southeast of Page, Arizona. The two commercial pilots and four passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a company VFR flight plan had been filed. The Part 135 scenic flight originated from Page, Arizona.

The pilot in command (PIC) reported that while returning to the airport at 7,500 feet the airplane would no longer climb; it then slowly started to descend at about 350 feet per minute. Unable to stop the descent, the pilots attempted to troubleshoot the problem, but to no avail. The PIC initiated a precautionary landing onto a dirt road. About 125 feet above the ground, the co-pilot took control of the airplane and landed softly onto the road. During the landing roll, the airplane's left wing impacted juniper bushes before it came to rest. As the pilots retarded the throttle to idle, the throttle handle came out of the control panel along with about two feet of throttle cable.

 

Accident Date: Monday, June 26, 2017

Report Dated: 6/27/17  Preliminary Report (Unpublished)    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Cottonwood

Aircraft Type: AERO-ACE CE 1

Injuries: UNKNOWN

No Information Is Available

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Report Dated: 7/10 Preliminary Report    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Arlington

Aircraft Type: RV7

Injuries: 2 Fatal

LOSS OF CONTROL

On June 27, 2017 about 0850 MST, a Vans RV-7 was destroyed when it impacted mountainous terrain near Arlington, Arizona. The pilot who was the registered owner of the airplane and a pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries. The local personal flight originated from Buckeye Municipal Airport about 0835.

On June 27, 2017, at 1316, an Alert Notice (ALNOT) was issued for the airplane after family members of the pilot became concerned when he did not arrive at his intended destination. At 1810, the airplane wreckage was found by the sheriff's department in the Gila Mountains. 

There were no reported witnesses to the accident.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed.

 

Accident Date: Saturday, July 1, 2017

Report Dated: 7/6/17  Preliminary Report (Unpublished)    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: St. Johns

Aircraft Type: Cessna 414

Injuries: UNKNOWN

No Information Is Available

 

Accident Date: Sunday, July 2, 2017

Report Dated: 7/10/17  Preliminary Report (Unpublished)    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: UNKNOWN

No Information Is Available

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Report Dated: 7/24 Preliminary Report    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Marana

Aircraft Type: Vickers Supermarine Spitfire

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL LANDING

On July 4, 2017, about 0900 MST, a Vickers Supermarine Spitfire was substantially damaged following a loss of control and runway excursion during landing at Marana Regional Airport (AVQ). The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The personal cross-country flight departed Las Cruces International Airport (LRU), Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 0900 mountain daylight time.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that after landing on runway 12 the airplane veered to the left, at which time he corrected back to the right. As the airplane continued to the right the pilot attempted to correct back to the left. However, the left brake was ineffective, which resulted in an excursion off the right side of the runway and into some soft dirt. The airplane subsequently came to rest on its nose, having incurred damage to the landing gear, fuselage and propeller. The reported wind about 5 minutes prior to the accident was from 230 degrees at 3 knots.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed.

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, July 10 27, 2017

Report Dated: 7/19 Preliminary Report    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: New River

Aircraft Type: Arion Lightning

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

LOSS OF POWER INFLIGHT, OFF FIELD LANDING

On July 10, 2017, about 0745 MST, an experimental light sport Arion Lightning airplane was substantially damaged in a forced off-airport landing near New River. The private pilot was uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight.

The pilot was also the builder and owner of the airplane, which was based at Glendale Municipal Airport (GEU). The pilot had changed the propeller pitch and right wing incidence on July 7, and the purpose of the flight was to assess those changes. The pilot fueled the airplane to a total quantity of about 30 gallons. The engine started normally, and after the engine temperatures reached appropriate values, the pilot conducted an engine runup before beginning his taxi out. That runup was normal. The pilot then taxied to runway 1, where he conducted a second runup, which again was normal. While awaiting takeoff clearance, the pilot noticed that the cylinder head temperature (CHT) on the No. 3 cylinder was higher than both normal and the other five cylinders, but still well below its maximum limit. When the airplane began its takeoff roll, the No. 3 cylinder CHT began decreasing, and aligned with the other CHT values during the climbout.

The pilot conducted the climbout at 2,660 rpm, and leveled off temporarily at 2,500 feet. Shortly thereafter, the pilot increased the rpm to 2,800 for a climb to a higher altitude. He noticed that the engine "did not feel as if it were operating smoothly," and switched the fuel selector from the left tank to the right tank. As the airplane was passing through 5,980 feet, the pilot felt a loss of power, and the rpm decreased to 1,450. An instrument scan indicated to the pilot that the engine was still running, but manipulation of the throttle did not result in any rpm changes. The pilot leveled off and began a right turn back to the southwest, towards Deer Valley Airport (DVT). He unsuccessfully attempted to contact DVT air traffic control tower, changed his transponder code to 7700, and began searching for a suitable landing site. He also slowed to best glide speed, and verified that the ignition switch was set to the 'BOTH' position. The pilot initially set up for a landing on a plateau, and during his turn from base to final, the rpm decreased to about 1,000.

The airplane was going too fast to land on the plateau, so the pilot selected a new landing site just beyond the plateau. He added full flaps, turned off the fuel, and landed on the undulating desert terrain. The landing gear collapsed, the propeller struck the ground, and the airplane slid to a stop. The pilot shut off all the switches, except for the emergency locator transmitter (ELT), which had activated. He exited the airplane, called his wife and then the owner of the local facility that he used to build the airplane, in order to begin the airplane recovery process. A local resident drove up to provide assistance. He and the pilot collected some debris, and then the pilot called the DVT manager to notify him of the accident, who then contacted the FAA and NTSB. Several first responder vehicles and then a Phoenix Police helicopter arrived, and during the discussions, the pilot was asked to shut off the ELT, which he did. About 25 gallons of fuel were obtained from the airplane fuel tanks during the recovery process.

According to pilot, he had purchased the airframe as a kit, along with a brand new, pre- assembled Jabiru 3300 series engine. He completed construction of the airplane at a dedicated build center near Phoenix in 2016. The pilot reported that the airplane and engine had accumulated about 63 hours total time (TT) in service at the time of the accident. The pilot reported that he had about 60 hours TT in the airplane. He also reported that in January 2017, when the airplane had a TT of about 33 hours, due to a rough-running engine, he replaced the engine-driven fuel pump that was found to be internally damaged.

accident2017-08-1

accident2017-08-2

 

The following accident was reported by Newspaper and TV reporting. No accurate details were available.

 

accident2017-08-3

Accident Date: Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Accident reported by TV and Newspaper reports.    Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Mesa

Aircraft Type: Lancair Evolution

Injuries: 2 Fatal

No Detailed Information Is Available

accident2017-08-4

 

I

hope a low accident and serious injury rate can continue for 2016, and I also hope we have met our quota for fatal accidents for 2016. Please fly carefully out there! Based on information available when this summary was prepared, the three accidents in this period are as follows:

 

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