By Jim Timm JimTimm

July 2018 

 

The following are NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late May through late June. 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 finally turned the corner, I hope, because the number of accidents reported by the NTSB has significantly gone down from last month. There were only five accidents reported by the NTSB this past reporting period, and fortunately, none of them resulted in fatalities. The unfortunate news is that only two of the five had details of the accident available. There were a couple of accidents that had occurred in the reporting period that were on the local news, but not yet reported by the NTSB. These will be covered in our next report. 

The first part of this report contains the details of three accidents that occurred in earlier reporting periods and the details were just released in the past reporting period.

The previous two reporting periods were really poor with the large number of accidents that occurred, and I hope it was a wakeup call for everyone to be more careful, and they now have been. However, I suspect this may be a bit of wishful thinking on my part. We shall see. 

 

THE FOLLOWING THREE ACCIDENTS OCCURRED IN EARLIER REPORTING PERIODS 

 

Accident Date: Monday, March 12, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 6/21/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Green Valley

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL ON LANDNG

The pilot reported that during the landing roll he felt as though the airplane was being pushed to the left side of the runway and he applied full right rudder and left aileron. The airplane exited the left side of the runway, and he added power to prevent the airplane's nose from colliding with a drainage culvert, but the airplane accelerated and impacted a tree. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the leading edge of the left wing.

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

The pilot reported that the wind at the destination airport was 090 at 10 knots gusting to 15. The nearest weather reporting station, located 14 miles to the north at the departure airport, reported about the time of the accident the wind was from 040 at 3 knots. The airplane landed runway 24.

The pilot landed on runway 24 because of the 2.9 percent uphill gradient.

 

 

Accident Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018

Factual Report Dated: 6/11/2018

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

STRUCK OBSTRUCTION WHILE TAXIING

The student pilot reported that, while taxiing to park, he aligned the airplane with the parking spot, added power to make the turn, and then heard a "boom." He added that he shut the engine down, checked what happened, and realized that the left wing had hit a pole.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing rear spar.

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

The safety officer further reported that the company policy was to shut down the airplane on the yellow taxiway centerline before pushing the airplane back into the parking spot. He added that, after interviewing other flight crews, he learned that flight instructors had been demonstrating incorrect parking methods to students, including the student who taxied into the pole.

 

 

Accident Date: Friday, May 11, 2018

Report Dated: 5/31/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 137

Location: Yuma

Aircraft Type: Bell OH 58C

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

IN FLIGHT LOSS OF POWER AND HARD LANDING

On May 11, 2018, about 2030 MST, a Bell OH-58C helicopter was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Yuma. The commercial pilot was not injured. The helicopter was operating as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from a private airstrip in Somerton at 1945. 

According to the pilot, he picked up his first load of the evening, and then departed to the north to distribute chemical insecticide to three separate fields. He distributed the insecticide over the first field by flying east to west. After he completed the first pass, he climbed momentarily and started a turn, but immediately felt a vibration that he perceived was coming from the main rotor system. Seconds later, the low rotor rpm light indication illuminated, which was accompanied by multiple other warning lights that the pilot was unable to observe due to his workload at the time. He further added that the low rotor rpm light was engaged for the remainder of the flight. The helicopter began to descend on its own, and as it approached the ground, the pilot flared the helicopter to reduce its vertical speed. After the helicopter landed flat in a bed of sudangrass, the main rotor blades severed the tail boom, the left skid dug into the ground and the helicopter rolled over on its nose and then came to rest on its right side. 

 

 

THE FOLLOWING ACCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED IN THE PAST REPORTING PERIOD 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2018

Report Dated: 6/14/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: San Manuel

Aircraft Type: Autogyro MTO Sport

Injuries: 2 Uninjured

LOSS OF POWER FORCED LANDING

On May 21, 2018, about 0845 MST, a Rhoads Autogyro MTO Sport experienced severe vibrations and a total loss of engine power during the initial climb from the San Manuel Airport (E77). The certified flight instructor and student pilot were not injured; the gyroplane sustained substantial damage to the main rotor system. The gyroplane was on a local familiarization flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. 

The flight instructor reported that after an uneventful takeoff, the gyroplane was about 400 ft above the ground when she heard a loud bang followed by severe vibrations and a total loss of engine power. With no suitable landing space ahead, she executed a 180 degree right turn back towards the runway and landed the gyroplane uneventfully. During the landing roll, she observed that the gyroplane was on fire, which was extinguished after the gyroplane came to a stop. Further examination of the gyroplane revealed that one of the propeller blades and part of the propeller hub was missing.

 

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Report Dated: 6/7/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Prescott

Aircraft Type: Piper PA46

Injuries: UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Report Dated: 6/6/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 133  (Rotorcraft External Load)

Location: Wikieup

Aircraft Type: MD369FF

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

HARD FORCED LANDING

On May 29, 2018, at 1050 MST an MD Helicopter 369FF was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Wikieup, Arizona. The commercial pilot was not injured. The helicopter was operated as an external load flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. 

The purpose of the flight was to assist power line construction. The pilot reported that during hover, the helicopter started to vibrate. He decided to execute a forced landing as vibrations became more prominent. The helicopter contacted the ground and the tail boom separated in two pieces.

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Report Dated: 5/23/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Payson

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: UNK

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

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2018

Report Dated: 6/22/2018 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Phoenix

Aircraft Type: Luscombe 8A

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: