By Jim Timm JimTimm

October 2017 

 

 

The following are the NTSB reports of the aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late
August through late September, 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 hopefully take the action necessary to prevent similar accidents from happening to them.

This past reporting period has significantly improved, as only two accidents had been reported, and neither of them involved serious injuries or fatalities. One of this month’s two accidents resulted in a minor injury, while the other one did not have any reported injuries. I can only hope this trend will continue through the end of the year and into the next. This month’s summary will cover four accident reports. The first two are accidents that had occurred in earlier reporting periods, but the NTSB did not have accident details available at the time. Details have since been released and are now being made available in this reporting period. 

THE FOLLOWING ARE THE TWO ACCIDENTS THAT WERE REPORTED EARLIER WITHOUT DETAILS.

Accident Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Accident Report Dated: 8/29/17 Factual Report
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location: Gila Bend
Aircraft Type: Piper PA 28
Injuries: 3 Uninjured

COLLISION WITH GROUND OBJECT DURING TOUCH AND GO

The flight instructor reported that he and two student pilots were on a night, visual flight rules, instructional flight. The instructor tried to activate the pilot controlled lighting at the destination airport, but he believed that it was inoperative. He reported that he could see the wind sock on the airfield but he did not see the "X" near the runway numbers and performed a touch and go. During rotation the instructor reported that, "I heard a red cone make impact with the nose gear section." He had to apply continuous forward pressure to the yoke because the nose continued to pitch up with the trim set to the full down position. He asserted that the flight characteristics were "acceptable" and continued the flight about 47 nautical miles to their home airport. Upon arrival, the instructor alerted the tower that he had a stabilator malfunction and landed the airplane with zero flaps. The instructor reported that he did not check the Notices to Airman. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the stabilator. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM 03/058, the airport runways were closed at the time of the accident.


Accident Date: Monday, June 26, 2017
Accident Report Dated: 8/29/17 Factual Report
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location: Cottonwood
Aircraft Type: Aero-Ace CE-1 (Experimental)
Injuries: 1 Minor

LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT (FLIGHT TEST)

The pilot reported that, immediately after takeoff, the airplane drifted hard to the right. He applied left aileron and left rudder with no avail. Subsequently, the right wing and landing gear impacted the ground, and the airplane came to rest nose down. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. 

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

The automated weather observation system about 14 nautical miles from the accident site reported, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 200° at 15 knots, gusting to 22 knots. The pilot was departing on runway 32. 

As a recommendation, the pilot reported that a higher takeoff speed would have helped him better control the airplane.

 

THE FOLLOWING ARE THE TWO ACCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD

Accident Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Accident Report Dated: 9/11/17 Preliminary Report
Title 14 CFR Part 91 
Location: Lake Havasu
Aircraft Type: Beechcraft M35
Injuries: 1 Minor

POWER LOSS ON APPROACH TO LANDING

On August 29, 2017, about 0639 MST, a Beechcraft M35, on a personal flight, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Lake Havasu City Airport (HII). The private pilot/owner received minor injuries. 

According to the pilot, he based the airplane in a hangar at Hemet-Ryan Airport (HMT) Hemet, California, and he makes the trip between HMT and HII regularly. The airplane was equipped with six fuel tanks (two each, main, auxiliary, and tip). The pilot did not recall his exact departure fuel from HMT, but he conducted the takeoff and climb out, as he always did, on the left main tank. Once at his cruise altitude of 7,500', he switched to the auxiliary tanks, and later, to the right main tank. While in cruise, he also turned on the two pumps to transfer fuel out of the tip tanks. He began his letdown for HII about 30 miles out, and when he had the airport in sight, as was his habit, he switched the fuel selector to the left main tank for the landing. The engine stopped producing power but continued to windmill. The pilot selected the landing gear down, advanced the mixture and propeller controls, and verified that the ignition switch was set to the 'BOTH' position. The engine continued to windmill, but did not start. 

The pilot determined that he would not make the runway, and selected an open desert area as his landing location. He switched to the right main fuel tank, but there was no change in the engine; it continued to windmill only. A short time later, the pilot switched back to the left main tank, again to no avail. While on short final to his selected off-airport site, the pilot recognized that the airplane would strike a "gully" that was approximately perpendicular to his direction of travel; he intentionally pulled up/back to overfly the gully, with the knowledge that the airplane would likely stall as a result. The airplane overflew the gully, and came down hard on the nose landing gear. The nose landing gear collapsed, but the airplane slid to an upright stop. The pilot shut down the airplane and exited on his own. First responders arrived on scene shortly thereafter, and the airplane was recovered to a secure facility later that day. The recovery personnel reported that none of the fuel tanks were breached, and that the airplane had about 43 gallons of fuel on board, all of which was contained in the two main tanks.

 

Accident Date: Saturday, September 2, 2017
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location: Goodyear
Aircraft Type: Diamond DA 40
Injuries: UNK, Nonfatal

Preliminary report is not publicly available, only the above NTSB notice.

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