By Jim Timm JimTimm

May 2018 

 

 

The following are NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late March thru late April. 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 really taken a turn for the worst from a flight safety standpoint, given the number of accidents and number of fatalities. There were eight accidents reported by the NTSB with one of them resulting in six fatalities. This fatal accident should be carefully examined, and we emphasize that every pilot must be aware of our aircraft’s limitations regarding takeoff gross weight and center of gravity limits and to not exceed them, as the results could possibly be fatal. 

The other seven of the reported accidents did not have detailed reports available for publication. They apparently may have been relatively minor in nature and may not have incurred serious injuries, if any at all. Based on personal information, two of the seven accidents were the result of pilots not using proper care while taxing and striking ground obstructions with a wing. Remember, always maintain situational awareness not only in the air, but on the ground also!

So far this year, the NTSB has reported that there have been fifteen accidents in Arizona, and unfortunately, nine of these accidents still do not have detailed accident reports released for examination. This makes it a bit tough to develop safety programs if we don’t have information on what is happening out there.

This report includes the details of two accidents that occurred in the February reporting period. The details were just released in this past reporting period.

I hope everyone will please fly a bit more safely and keep the number of accidents down and don’t get hurt.

 

THE FOLLOWING TWO ACCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED IN THE FEBRUARY REPORTING PERIOD

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 4/2/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Phoenix (DVT)

Aircraft Type: Piper PA16

Injuries:  1 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL ON GROUND

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the touchdown, a gust of wind struck the airplane from the right. Subsequently, the airplane veered to the right and the left gear collapsed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. 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 located on the accident airport reported, that about the time of the accident the wind was from 180° at 9 knots. The pilot landed on runway 7L.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, February 23, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 4/10/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Show Low

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries:  2 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL ON GROUND

The flight instructor reported that, during approach in a gusting crosswind, he took the flight controls from the student pilot at about 500-700 ft. above ground level. He added that, during the landing roll while decelerating, a wind gust lifted up the back of the airplane "from the rear right to the front left forcing the front wheel onto the ground and lifting the plane onto the left main" landing gear. He applied full left rudder and right aileron to correct, but when it did not improve the situation he "relaxed the controls slightly back towards neutral". Subsequently, the airplane exited the runway to the right and came to rest inverted. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, fuselage, and empennage. The flight instructor reported that there were no pre accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, at the time of the accident, the wind was from 210° at 26 knots, gusting 32 knots. The airplane landed on runway 06.

 

 

THE FOLLOWING ACCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED IN THE PAST REPORTING PERIOD 

 

Accident Date: Monday, February 26, 2018

Report Dated: 3/28/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type:  Starduster Too

Injuries:  UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Report Dated: 3/29/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Cave Creek

Aircraft Type:  Ultramagic SA 300     (Balloon)

Injuries:  UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, March 30, 2018

Report Dated: 4/2/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Gila Bend

Aircraft Type:  Diamond DA40

Injuries:  UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018

Report Dated: 4/2/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Prescott

Aircraft Type:  Cub Crafters 180

Injuries:  UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, April 1, 2018

Report Dated: 4/3/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Phoenix

Aircraft Type:  Piper PA28

Injuries:  UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018

Report Dated: 4/11/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type:  Piper PA28

Injuries:  UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Monday, April 9, 2018

Report Dated: 4/25/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Scottsdale

Aircraft Type:  Piper PA24-260

Injuries:  6 Fatal

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN FLIGHT AFTER LIFTOFF

On April 9, 2018, about 2048 MST, a Piper PA-24-260 airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Scottsdale Airport (SDL). The airline transport pilot, 32, student pilot, 28, and 4 passengers were fatally injured. Night time visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was destined for North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Earlier that evening, the air transport pilot flew the airplane from VGT to SDL with the intention of picking up the passengers and flying them back to VGT. The inbound flight was his first flight in the airplane. Preliminary information indicated that the flight departed from VGT at 1842, and landed at SDL at 2018. 

The airplane was equipped with 6 seats. A video surveillance camera at SDL, located on the ramp where the airplane was parked, captured the occupants begin to board the airplane about 2028. The footage revealed that two female passengers boarded the airplane first and were seated in the two aft seats. Next, a male passenger boarded the airplane and initially sat in the middle right seat but moved to the middle left seat when the third female passenger boarded; she then occupied the middle right seat. The student pilot then occupied the front left seat and the airline transport pilot occupied the front right seat. An onboard video posted to social media by the female passenger in the middle row incorrectly depicted the locations of each occupant, because the video was posted as a mirror image. 

Additional video surveillance footage located midfield on the west side of the runway, captured the airplane departing from runway 03. The footage appeared to indicate that the airplane's wings were rocking during and shortly after rotation. 

A traffic camera, located about 0.5 miles northwest of the end of the departure runway, recorded the airplane in a left bank executing a left turn. As the turn progressed, the bank angle increased, and the airplane started to descend. The wings became nearly vertical, and the view of the airplane was lost behind a berm. Seconds later, the camera caught a fireball when the airplane impacted terrain. 

 A witness located on the ramp observed the boarding process and watched as the airplane taxied towards the runway. She lost sight of it but was able to hear what sounded like a typical preflight engine run-up. She then observed the airplane accelerate down the runway, and about midway, the wings began to rock in a manner that she thought was excessive. She reported that the oscillations eventually diminished, and the airplane began to climb, reaching about level with the top of the adjacent airport buildings. It continued roughly at the same altitude, until it began a climbing left turn, which appeared similar, although lower, than most aircraft departing the traffic pattern. As the turn progressed, the airplane's attitude changed to pitch down, and the airplane disappeared out of her sight. A fireball ensued. The witness did not hear any unusual sounds, or see the airplane emitting smoke, fire, or vapors, and stated that the engine sounded typical compared to the airplanes she regularly observes. 

The airplane came to rest in a golf course about ¼ mile north of the end of the departure runway. The main cabin was mostly consumed by fire. The outboard section of the right wing was separated, and in addition to thermal damage, exhibited substantial impact crush damage. The inboard section of the right wing remained attached to the fuselage, and the majority of the left wing was found separated from the fuselage. 

SDL is equipped with a single paved runway, designated 03/21. The runway is 8,249 ft long, and the airport elevation is 1,510 ft. At 1953 hrs. the SDL automated weather observation included winds from 160° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 28° C, dew point -5° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury.

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, April 21, 2018

Report Dated: 4/25/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type:  Rutan Long EZ

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:

 

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