By Jim TimmJimTimm

DECEMBER 2013

In this regular reporting of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona, we must continue to help pilots learn from the mistakes being made and take the necessary action to prevent similar accidents from occurring.

During this last reporting period, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records reported six accidents that occurred within the state of Arizona. The number of accidents reported this past period is up from the previous report, however there have been some accidents in this past period that have not yet had the reports prepared and published. Hopefully, these can be covered in a future report.

One of the accidents reported had a serious injury and one of the accidents resulted in multiple minor injuries. The serious injury accident was the result of a light twin aircraft impacting terrain after having a single engine failure shortly after takeoff. The minor injury accident occurred when the helicopter encountered a wind gust while preparing to make a landing at a high density altitude which resulted in an unplanned hard landing. The other accidents which resulted in no injuries to the pilot, in one case, it was the result of the aircraft colliding with terrain when the pilot’s attention was diverted to issues within the cockpit and the other non injury accident was the result of a loss of power during an approach to landing and having to make an off airport landing.There were two accident reports issued that did not contain any data other than when and where the accident occurred.

I suspect that the two accidents reported this period that did not contain any detailed information in the notification was because of the government sequestration efforts and the brief government shutdown. The only information provided was that an accident occurred, when and where and the aircraft ID. Last month we also had a similar report. Until the FAA and NTSB is properly funded again, I fear there will be a significant problem in getting accident information in a very timely manor. I only hope they get caught up by the end of the year. It is going to be difficult to develop effective air safety programs if we are unable to find out what is happening.

As mentioned earlier, additional aircraft accidents have occurred in the reporting period that had not yet been recorded and reported by the NTSB, however, as they become available, we will cover them in future reports. The number of reported accidents was up this reporting period from previous reports, and this month they appear to have possibly been more pilot related. We must do what we can to examine what is happening and attempt to keep the accident numbers down.

The following information was taken from the preliminary reports issued by the NTSB and may contain only the initial information available which is subject to change and may contain errors. Any errors in the preliminary NTSB reports will be corrected when the more detailed final report is completed, which in some cases may be a year or more later.

Accident Date; Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Reported 11/6/2013
Title 14 CFR Part 135 Air Taxi Operation
Location; Flagstaff
Aircraft; Robinson R44-ll
Injuries; 3 Minor Injuries, 1 Uninjured Preliminary and Final Report

The pilot reported that he was landing the helicopter in a bowl-shaped meadow surrounded by mountains and trees. While circling the landing zone to determine the surface winds and descending, about 20 feet above ground level, the helicopter encountered a wind gust. The low rotor horn sounded and the pilot regained rpm, but another wind gust from behind again resulted in a loss of rotor rpm. The pilot said he was too low to recover, so he performed a run-on landing. The helicopter struck an earthen berm and rolled onto its left side, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and tail boom. The elevation at the accident site was 8,411 feet; the density altitude was calculated to have been 10,059 feet. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

No pilot information was available.


Accident Date; Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Reported 10/31/2013
Title 14 CFR Part 137 Agricultural Operation
Location; Wellton
Aircraft; Air Tractor Inc. AT 402B
Injuries; 1 Uninjured Preliminary and Final Report

The pilot reported that he was reading a map in an effort to identify the correct field to spray while maneuvering at low altitude in dark night conditions. While maneuvering in a turn the pilot did not realize the airplane was descending and subsequently collided with terrain. The wings and fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

No pilot information was available.


Accident Date; Saturday, October 12, 2013 Reported 11/15/2013
Location; Rio Verde
Aircraft; Aviat Aircraft Inc. A-1C-180

No other information was provided regarding details of the accident or pilot information.


Accident Date; Saturday, October 19, 2013 Reported mid November
Location; Tucson
Aircraft; PA28-160

No other information was provided regarding details of the accident or pilot information.


Accident Date; Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Reported 11/13/2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location; Tucson
Aircraft; Piper PA23-150
Injuries; 1 Serious

On October 23, at approximately 1040 MST, a Piper Apache was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following a loss of aircraft control at Tucson International Airport, (TIA). The private pilot, the sole occupant onboard, was seriously injured. The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, he experienced a loss of power from the left engine. The twin-engine airplane veered left and impacted terrain. The pilot did not have a multi-engine rating.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight.


Accident Date; Sunday, November 3, 2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location; St. Johns
Aircraft; Cessna 180
Injuries; 1 Uninjured

On November 3, about 1315 (MST), a Cessna 180 experienced a loss of engine power while on approach to land near St. Johns, Arizona. The airline transport pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The cross-country personal flight departed Dalhart, Texas, about 1100, with a planned destination of St. Johns. The pilot reported that during approach to land following a 3.4-hour cross-country flight, the engine lost power about 1 mile east of the runway. The wind was out of the west at 20 knots, gusting to 30 knots. The pilot determined he would not make the runway and made an emergency landing in a dirt field. The pilot had refueled the airplane to capacity at the self-service fuel pit prior to departing Dalhart.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

 

 

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