By Jim Timm
In the past we have been able to review the preliminary NTSB accident reports for aviation accidents that had occurred in Arizona and use the information to develop safety programs and briefings that would help pilots learn from the mistakes being made by others and take the necessary action to prevent similar accidents from happening. Because of budget cutbacks, the NTSB has, in many cases, stopped issuing preliminary findings reports on accidents. Unless an alternate source of information can be found, I do not believe it will be possible for us to be able to develop effective safety programs to reduce accidents.
Since the first of the year there have been nine aircraft accidents and of these, only two have had a preliminary report filed, and these were relatively high profile type accidents. Perhaps an alternate source of information may be the Scottsdale FSDO. An effort will have to be made to determine if this is possible.
Since the last reporting period, there were three accidents, one with injuries, one with a fatality and one with no information. Based on what information is available, the reported accidents are as follows.
Accident Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Reported 2/21/2014
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Aircraft Type: Piper PA280181
Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 Minor
On February 4, 2014, at about 1150 MST, a Piper PA-28-181, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a reported loss of engine power during takeoff initial climb from the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT). The student pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) were seriously injured. A passenger, who was also a CFI, sustained minor injuries.
In a written statement, the CFI reported that the engine lost power about 200 feet above ground level, during climb out from runway 07L, after performing a touch and go landing. The CFI further stated that the engine's revolutions per minute (RPM) was decreasing and he decided to turn back towards the airport; however, he could not make it to the runway and initiated a forced landing to a field in vicinity of the airport. During the landing sequence, the airplane struck the airport's perimeter fence and nosed over where a post accident fire ensued.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane's fuselage and left wing were mostly consumed by fire.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight. The local flight departed DVT about 1105.
After the above accident, a Beechcraft Bonanza made a gear up landing on the same runway that the previous accident airplane was using. Because the extent of aircraft damage did not reach a level requiring an NTSB investigation, no report was filed, as can be the case with a gear up landing. This is unfortunate as I suspect there are several lessons that could have been learned from the incident.
Accident Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Aircraft Type: Cessna 172
No accident information is available.
Accident Date: Sunday February 23, 2014 Reported 3/1/2014
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Location; Maricopa (A39)
Aircraft; Sabrena Dragonfly
Injuries; 1 Fatal
On February 23, 2014, about 1800 MST, a Sabrena Dragonfly impacted terrain about one mile from Ak-Chin Regional Airport (A39). The pilot (sole occupant) was fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage.
Witnesses reported that while the airplane was on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern they saw the airplane pitch up abruptly. The nose of the airplane temporarily leveled off before it pitched up a second time. Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to stall before it descended into the terrain below.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and it is unknown if a flight plan was filed. The flight originated from A39 at an unknown time.