By Jim Timm JimTimm

September 2017 


The following are the NTSB reports of the aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late July, 2017, through late August, 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 really improved, as four accidents had been reported. One of this month’s four accidents resulted in serious injuries, while the other three did not have any reported injuries. This report will cover seven accident reports. The first three are accidents that 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. 



Accident Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017

Accident Report Dated: 8/3/17

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Peach Springs

Aircraft Type: Eurocopter EC130

Injuries: 1 Uninjured


The pilot of the helicopter reported that, after fueling the helicopter, with the engine running, the ground crewman opened the front passenger door on the opposite side from the pilot. Upon unlatching the door, the ground crewman released the door, and it was blown open. The door separated from the door strut, and struck the main rotor damaging the blades. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor blades. The pilot reported that there were no pre accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings: 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The ground crewman's failure to hold onto the passenger door while the main rotor was still rotating, which resulted in the door separating from the helicopter and damaging the main rotor. 


Aircraft; Passenger/crew doors - Capability exceeded 

Personnel issues; Lack of action - Ground crew (Cause)



Accident Date: Sunday, July 2, 2017

Accident Report Dated:8/15/17

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: 1 Uninjured


The pilot reported that, during the landing roll, the airplane pitched up and yawed to the right because of a "dust devil." He added that he applied full power, but was unable to maintain level flight, and the right wing then the left wing struck the runway. The airplane touched down, collapsing the nose landing gear, and the airplane slid about 60 to 70 ft. 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. 

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station, located on the airport, reported that about 40 minutes before the accident the wind was from 300° at 9 knots, gusting 16 knots. The same automated weather observation station reported that about 15 minutes after the accident the wind was from 220° at 9 knots. The airplane landed on runway 24R.




Accident Date: Monday, July 17, 2017

Accident Report Dated: 7/27

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Mesa

Aircraft Type: Lancair Evolution

Injuries: 2 Fatal


On July 17, 2017, at about 1650 MST, a single-engine experimental Lancair Evolution impacted terrain following a loss of control while on approach to Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The cross-country business flight departed from Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, Arizona, about 1555 with a planned destination of John Wayne-Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed and activated. 

Phoenix Approach and Falcon Field Air Traffic Control (ATC) controllers were in contact with the pilot. The pilot transmitted that he needed to divert to Falcon Field airport about 1617 "just in case, my system is not charging," explaining that he had an incident "the other day" where his primary and multifunction displays "just died on me and I don't think it’s going to happen before we get to Falcon, but if you could keep me on a direct heading to Falcon that would be great." The pilot was cleared to land runway 22L and he transmitted to the controllers that "an electrical failure is probably imminent here," and then requested to cross mid-field to enter the downwind. He then explained that he was "still having an electrical issue," and that he "had one on Friday" and his electrical system was about to go dead. 

Numerous witnesses that were located in the vicinity of the accident site reported seeing the airplane maneuvering very low and making a steep left turn. They stated that the airplane then went into a nose-low, near-vertical decent. The airplane impacted a golf course and erupted in flames.






Accident Date: Monday, July 31, 2017

Accident Report Dated: 8/8/17

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Chandler

Aircraft Type: Columbia LC41 550FG

Injuries: 4 Uninjured


On July 31, 2017, about 1745 MST, a Columbia LC41-550FG experienced a total loss of engine power during flight, 6 miles south of the Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD). The pilot subsequently made an off-airport forced landing in a field. The private pilot and three passengers were uninjured, and the airplane sustained minor damage. The aircraft was operated by the pilot as a business flight, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from Yuma Marine Corps Air Station/Yuma International Airport (NYL) about 1700 and was destined for Pegasus Airpark (5AZ3), Queen Creek, Arizona.

The pilot reported that during the descent from 9,500 ft mean sea level, the oil pressure indication dropped rapidly, followed by a drop in manifold pressure. He subsequently made contact with the CHD tower declaring an emergency and requested landing clearance. Smoke was seen coming from the engine, and shortly after the engine began to run extremely rough and then quit. The pilot activated the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) and performed a forced landing to a cropped field. 

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector conducted a post-accident examination of the airplane. The lower side of the airplane was covered in oil. The upper engine cowling was removed and a hole was visible on the top side of the engine crankcase.




Accident Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Accident Report Dated: 8/8/17

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Phoenix

Aircraft Type: Grumman AA1B

Injuries: 2 Serious Injuries


On August 1, 2017, about 1300 MST, a Grumman AA-1B was substantially damaged following impact with terrain shortly after takeoff at the Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as an instructional flight. Both the flight instructor and student pilot sustained serious injuries. 

According to a Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector who responded to the accident site, several witnesses reported that after the airplane lifted off and was in its initial climb to the west, the wings started to rock back and forth. The airplane subsequently began to descend, struck the airport's western perimeter fence, and collided with terrain before coming to rest on a road that borders the airport on the west. Both wings and the engine had separated from the airplane due to impact forces.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight. No flight plan was filed.



Accident Date: Monday, August 14, 2017

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Chandler

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: UNK, Nonfatal

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



Accident Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Mohave

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: UNK, Nonfatal

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



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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