By Jim Timm
The following are the NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late September thru late October, 2016. We use this detailed accident information to develop safety programs and briefings to help pilots learn from the mistakes being made by others and hopefully then take the action necessary to prevent similar accidents from happening to them. We are getting close to the end of the year and I hope the number and severity of the accidents will remain low.
From a flight safety standpoint, this reporting period has been relatively good. While there were only two accidents reported by the NTSB, one of the accidents did involve two serious injuries, and it was fortunate as the accident could have easily had a very tragic ending. Fortunately the other accident did not involve any injuries. The end, this summary also contains the recently released details of an accident that had occurred in August.
BASED ON INFORMATION AVAILABLE WHEN THIS SUMMARY WAS PREPARED, THE REPORTED ACCIDENTS THIS PERIOD ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Accident Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Report Dated: 10/17/2016
Title 14 CFR Part 137 (Agricultural)
Location: Gila Bend
Aircraft Type: Bell UH 1H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured
On October 5, 2016, about 0915 MST, a Bell UH-1H rolled over during a precautionary landing near Gila Bend. The commercial pilot was not injured, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The local flight departed a private airstrip about two hours prior.
The pilot reported that he had just completed a series of passes over a cotton field, and was maneuvering the helicopter for the cleanup pass, when during the final right turn he heard a loud bang. He was then unable to maintain lateral control with the foot pedals, so he immediately initiated an autorotation. During the landing flare, the left skid made contact with the ground, and the helicopter rolled onto its left side.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.
Accident Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Report Dated: 10/24/2016
Title 14 CFR Part 91
Aircraft Type: Rockwell International 112A
Injuries: 2 serious
On October 12, 2016, about 1011 MST, the pilot of a Rockwell International 112A reported to air traffic control that the airplane had an engine problem, and was unable to maintain altitude. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a train yard about 3 miles west of the Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Falcon Field Airport (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona, at an unknown time, with an intended destination of Lake Havasu City Airport (HII), Lake Havasu City.
According to tower personnel from DVT, the pilot requested to return to FFZ due to high engine oil temperature, and the airplane was losing altitude.
An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and a representative from Lycoming Engines, responded to the accident site. A visual examination of the engine revealed a hole in the crankcase at the number 4 cylinder.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
THE FOLLOWING DATA IS FROM THE NTSB PRELIMINARY REPORT THAT WAS NOT AVAILABLE WHEN THE OCTOBER SUMMARY WAS PREPARED.
Accident Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Report Dated: 10/7/2016
Title 14 CFR Part 135
Location: Peach Springs
Aircraft Type: AIRBUS AS350
Injuries: 1 Uninjured
TERRAIN CONTACT DURING HOVER
The pilot reported that as the helicopter was in a hover and backed off of the landing pad, the vertical stabilizer impacted rising terrain. The pilot further reported that he was able to land back on the landing pad 30 feet away with no further incident.
A post examination of the helicopter revealed that the rear vertical stabilizer had received substantial damage.
The pilot reported that there were no pre impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.