By Jim Timm
The following are NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late January, 2017, through late February, 2018. 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.
The past reporting period has continued to look good based on the number of accidents reported, and we hope that continues. However, it was very bad in that of the three accidents that occurred, there was a Grand Canyon tour helicopter accident that resulted in five deaths and two serious injuries. The other two accidents included a low altitude mid-air collision between two powered parachutes that resulted in a serious injury and a non-injury to the participants, and the other reported accident did not contain details, but most likely resulted in no injuries. The powered parachute mid-air accident was one, like many others, that should never have happened. When you read the accident report, you may wonder about the mindset of the participants, and also conclude that the two participants were very lucky with the results of the encounter, an interesting report to read.
It’s unfortunate that there are nine reported accidents from last year and this year that the NTSB has not yet published detailed reports as of this date.
Please everyone, continue to carefully plan your flights and fly the plan, and be certain both you and your airplane are airworthy. Fly safely!
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE ACCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD
Accident Date: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Report Dated: 1/30/18 Preliminary Report
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location: Near Marana
Aircraft Types: Destiny XLC (Powered Parachutes)
Six Chuter Spirit
Injuries: 1 Serious
On January 18, 2018, about 1730 MST an unregistered experimental Six Chuter Spirit light sport aircraft and an unregistered experimental Destiny light sport aircraft were substantially damaged after a mid-air collision and subsequent impact with the ground in Marana. The non-certificated pilot of the Destiny received serious injuries and the non-certificated pilot of the Six Chuter was not injured. According to the pilot of the Six Chuter aircraft, at the time of the accident he had received a few hours of flight training, but had not received any formal training towards a private pilot certificate. After experiencing a few hours as a passenger in a powered parachute aircraft, he was invited to fly the Six Chuter while his Uncle, and owner of both aircraft, flew the Destiny. During the flight, the Six Chuter pilot, pilot A, turned to the east while cruising at approximately 100 ft above ground level. He observed his uncle, pilot B, on a northerly course and decided to maintain his altitude and heading, but his uncle then turned to the west on a direct path towards the Six Chuter. Moments later the Six Chuter collided with the parachute of the Destiny, which bound the Six Chuter's propeller. The Six Chuter spun 180° and drifted aft as the aircraft descended to the ground. The right side cabin of the Destiny impacted the ground after the aircraft entered a nose down attitude and rapid descent without a parachute. Pilot A reported no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that could have precluded normal operation prior to the loss of power.
Photographs furnished by local law enforcement showed substantial damage to the structural tubing of both aircraft.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the local flight, which originated from a dirt runway.
Accident Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Report Dated: 2/20/18 Preliminary Report
Title 14 CFR Part 136
Location: Peach Springs
Aircraft Type: Eurocopter EC130
Injuries: 2 Serious
COLLISION WITH TERRAIN
On February 10, 2018, about 1715 MST, an Airbus Helicopters EC130 B4 helicopter was destroyed when it impacted a canyon wash while on an approach to land at Quartermaster landing zone near Peach Springs, Arizona. The commercial pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries and five passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter departed Boulder City Municipal Airport, Boulder City, Nevada at 1635 and had intended to land at Quartermaster landing zone, a group of landing pads within Quartermaster canyon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan had been filed.
A review of the recorded radar data showed that the helicopter departed Boulder City and continued on the Green 4 standard helicopter route prescribed in the Grand Canyon West Special Flight Rules Area 50-2. Witnesses reported that as the helicopter neared the vicinity of Quartermaster, they observed it on a flight path consistent with the pilot aligning to make a downriver-wind landing to a pad on the west. The helicopter began to slow after it passed over the river and maintained a southern course as it entered a canyon wash adjacent to the landing pads. While maintaining the same altitude, the helicopter entered a nose-high attitude and then began a left turn toward the Quartermaster landing zone. During the turn, the helicopter transitioned into a nose-low attitude and as it began to face the landing pads it began to slightly drift aft. The helicopter then maneuvered into a nose-level configuration and continued in the left turn. Subsequently, the helicopter made at least two 360° left turn revolutions as it descended into the wash below where it impacted terrain and a post-crash fire ensued.
The helicopter came to rest upright in rocky terrain about 300 feet below the landing zone on a heading of 222° magnetic. The accident site was compact except for small main rotor blade pieces and small paint chips distributed around the main wreckage site. Most of the wreckage was consumed by the post-crash fire except for the tail boom and fenestron, which had separated from, but were collocated with the main fuselage. The engine, still attached to the engine deck, was found in the main wreckage and had also sustained fire damage. All three main rotor blades remained attached to the main rotor hub and exhibited damage consistent with high rotational energy. The tail stinger, fenestron hub cover, a toe from a skid step, and small pieces of transparent acrylic glass were found on a canyon slope east of the main wreckage. The 8-seat capacity, fixed landing gear helicopter, serial number 7091, was manufactured in 2010. The accident helicopter was powered by one Safran Helicopter Engines (formerly Turbomeca) Arriel 2B1 turboshaft engine.
Accident Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Report Dated: 2/14/18 Preliminary Report (Unpublished)
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location: Phoenix (DVT)
Aircraft Type: Piper PA16
The NTSB preliminary report is not publicly available, only the above accident notice information.