By Jim Timm
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 three accidents that had occurred within the state of Arizona. An accident that had occurred on October 12, and mentioned in my November report, was reported by the NTSB without a preliminary report. A final report with probable cause has been issued and is included in this reporting.
The number of accidents reported this past period is down from the previous report, however there may 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 two serious injuries and a minor injury and the other accidents did not result in any injuries. The serious injury accident was the result of an airplane making a go around after a failed landing attempt and ran off the end of the runway and traveled down a steep embankment.
The other three accidents which resulted in no injuries, in one case, the aircraft made an off airport landing in the desert after encountering loss of power with severe engine/propeller vibration. In the other case the airplane experienced a brake failure on one side during landing and departed the runway. The previously reported accident that had occurred on October 12, the NTSB findings stated, “The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll on a rough and rutted surface.”
The number of reported accidents was down this reporting period from the previous report and this month two appear to have been mechanically related and two possibly 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; Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Preliminary and Final report issued 12/12/2013
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Aircraft; Mooney M20J
Injuries; 2 Serious, 1 Minor
The pilot reported that while on approach for landing, he noted wind direction changes and turbulence. After touchdown, the airplane bounced a couple of times and he decided to go around. The pilot stated that the airplane initially had a positive rate of climb but suddenly it lost altitude near the end of the runway. The airplane touched down, ran off the runway surface and travelled down a steep embankment. The airframe and wings were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
There were no pilot details available and the NTSB did not issue any findings or probable cause as part of the final report.
Accident Date; Saturday, October 12, 2013 Final report and Probable
Title 14 CFR Part 91 Cause issued 12/2/2013
Location; Rio Verde
Aircraft; AVIAT Aircraft Inc. A-1C-180
Injuries; 2 Uninjured
The pilot reported that during the takeoff roll on a dirt airstrip that was rutted and rough, the airplane veered to the left of centerline. The pilot tried to correct back to the right, however the left wing contacted brush on the side of the narrow airstrip. The airplane was subsequently pulled around and the left wing contacted the surface. Both wings and the fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll on a rough and rutted surface.
No Pilot information was made available.
Accident Date; Saturday, November 2, 2013 Reported 11/20/13
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Aircraft; ROVEY JASON H RV-8
Injuries; 1 Uninjured
On November 11, about 1140 MST, an experimental Rovey Vans RV-8 airplane made a forced landing following a engine vibration and partial loss of engine power near Wickenburg. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane sustained structural damage to the left wing, and firewall. The flight originated from the Wickenburg Municipal Airport (E25), Wickenburg, about 1100 the day of the accident.
According to the pilot, he was a participant in a Sport Air Race League cross-country, in which participants raced against the clock. It was a 130-mile course, which departed from, and concluded at, Wickenburg Municipal Airport. The pilot stated that he was about 13 miles west of E25 at 1,200 feet agl, at maximum power and rpm, when he felt an immediate and sustained vibration, which he thought was from the engine or propeller. He radioed a mayday and stated that the airplane started to slow down. He was not able to land on United States (US) highway 60, in either direction, due to traffic. The pilot stated that he then turned for Forepaugh Peak Road to make the forced landing. About 150 feet agl, he realized the airplane would not glide far enough to reach the road, and landed the airplane on the desert floor. After traveling through desert vegetation/brush, the airplane came to a stop in a nose down attitude.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed.
Accident Date; Thursday, November 7, 2013 Reported 11/21/13
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Aircraft; Piper PA46 350P
Injuries; 2 Uninjured
On November 7, about 1240 MST, a Piper PA 46-350P airplane sustained substantial damage when the nose gear collapsed during landing at Sky Ranch at Carefree (18AZ). The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a instrument flight rules (IFR), personal cross-country flight. The pilot and sole passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the destination/accident airport, and an instrument flight plan was filed and opened. The flight departed Eagle, Colorado, about 1020.
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on November 18, the pilot stated that during the landing roll, he applied the brakes, and the left peddle went to the floor. He attempted to control the airplane with right brake and left rudder. As the airplane slowed, the rudder became ineffective, and the airplane departed the right side of the runway. The airplane struck a berm, and the nose landing gear collapsed. During the accident, the engine firewall received substantial damage. The pilot said there were no pre-accident mechanical anomalies with the airplane. The airplane was 3 days out of an annual inspection, and the brake master cylinders had recently been rebuilt.