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The following are NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from August thru late September. 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 hopefully they will take the action necessary to prevent similar accidents from happening to them.

This reporting period has not been good given the number of accidents and the number of fatalities that have occurred. In this past month there have been seven accidents reported by the NTSB, and of these accidents, three of them were fatal accidents resulting in five fatalities. The flight safety record for this year is not looking good. With three more months left of the year, let’s do whatever we can to be more careful, and make sure both we, and our airplanes, are in proper condition for flight, and please be more aware and cautious in your flying. 

Details of the seven accidents reported in this period are detailed below along with one that has not yet been reported by the NTSB. Also, the last portion of this report contains the details of four accidents that had occurred much earlier, and the accident details were made available in this past reporting period.

THE FOLLOWING ACCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED IN THIS PAST REPORTING PERIOD

 

Accident Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018

Report Dated: 9/11/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Camp Verde

Aircraft Type: Pietenpol Aircamper

Injuries: 2 Fatal

FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN

On August 18, 2018, at an unknown time, an experimental Pietenpol Aircamper airplane impacted mountainous desert terrain about 2 miles east of the Montezuma Airport (19AZ), Camp Verde. The commercial pilot and a pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from 19AZ, about 1400, with a stop at Cottonwood Airport (P52), Cottonwood, Arizona, then a return flight to 19AZ. 

According to the pilot's wife, the purpose of the flight was to increase the pilot's confidence in a conventional-gear airplane (tailwheel). The wife added that the passenger was a non-current tailwheel airplane flight instructor. 

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators responded to the accident site. The first identified point of impact (FIPC) was a 12-inch by 4-inch depression, adjacent to the tail wheel. The debris field was contained within about a ten-foot radius of the main wreckage. The main wreckage was comprised of all major airframe components, oriented on a magnetic heading of 78º. Both wood propeller blade roots remained attached to the propeller hub, which remained attached to the engine. The engine remained attached to the airframe.

 

 

Accident Date: Monday, August 20, 2018

Report Dated:  8/30/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Phoenix

Aircraft Type: Acroduster II

Injuries: 2 Fatal

INFLIGHT LOSS OF CONTROL

On August 20, 2018, about 0645 MST, an Acroduster II experimental amateur-built airplane was substantially damaged following a loss of control, and impact with terrain about 650 ft east-southeast of the southeast boundary of Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix. Both the front and rear seat certified private pilots sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual; however, it was reported that two days prior to the accident the rear seat pilot had purchased the airplane. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed DVT about 0625. 

It was reported that prior to the accident the pilot had performed 4 takeoffs and landings uneventfully. However, while in the traffic pattern for the fifth landing, and while turning from left downwind to left base leg for runway 25L, the airplane's left wing stalled, followed by a spin prior to impact with terrain. An initial onsite inspection of the wreckage revealed that all components necessary for flight were accounted for.

 

 

Accident Date: Thursday August 27, 2018

Report Dated:  9/20 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location:  Yuma

Aircraft Type:  Glasair Super II

Injuries:  1 Uninjured

IN FLIGHT LOSS OF POWER

On August 27, 2018, at 1036 MST, an experimental amateur-built Glasair Super II lost engine power and landed in a parking lot just short of Yuma Marine Corps Air Station/Yuma International Airport (NYL). The private pilot was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the aft fuselage during the forced landing. The cross-country flight departed Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport, San Diego, California, at 0942 Pacific daylight time with a planned destination of Marana Regional Airport, Marana, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The pilot stated that he completed a preflight inspection prior to departure, and the airplane performed appropriately during the run up. The departure and climb were uneventful, and after reaching 9,500 ft mean sea level, he configured the airplane for cruise. About 35 minutes later the airplane's multifunction display indicated an "electrical problem, check voltage" alert. He noticed that the airplanes main battery was not charging, and that the alternator field toggle switch/circuit breaker had tripped off, but the alternator circuit breaker was still in. He reset the toggle switch, and the battery began to charge again, and all systems appeared normal. About 5 minutes later, the display indicated the same warning, and the toggle switch again tripped. He cycled the switch and the battery started to charge again. 

About 2 minutes later he noticed that the engine manifold pressure was beginning to drop along with the airplane's airspeed. He stated that the fuel flow, fuel pressure, and oil pressure appeared normal, and he could not discern an appreciable reduction in cylinder head or exhaust gas temperatures. He selected an alternate fuel tank, turned on the auxiliary electrical fuel pump, and adjusted the throttle, with no change, and by now the multifunction displayed indicated the engine was producing 30% of its rated power. 

He declared an emergency with Yuma Radar Approach Control and was provided a local control frequency for NYL. The pilot stated that the engine was still producing partial power when the local tower controller cleared him for an emergency landing on runway 17, and then changed the clearance to runway 21L, which was longer. The pilot stated that he was too high to land, so performed a 360° turn at the north end of the runway, but during the turn the engine lost all power, and the airplane landed short.

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Report Dated:  9/11/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Casa Grande

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: 2 Uninjured

INFLIGHT LOSS OF POWER

On August 29, 2018, about 1840 MST, a Piper PA-28-181 airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Casa Grande. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal cross-country flight. The flight originated from Nogales International Airport (OLS), Nogales, Arizona about 1710 and was destined for Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, California. 

According to the pilot, they departed OLS with full fuel after completing an engine run-up that did not indicate any anomalies. Approximately 25 minutes into the flight, and about 100 nm northwest of OLS, the engine started shaking violently and sputtering. Neither pilot observed an illumination of any annunciator lights. The pilot turned the ignition to the OFF position and retarded the mixture control to the idle setting, but was unable to disengage the fuel using the shut-off valve for the remainder of the flight. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger selected a road and the airplane touched down uneventfully. During the landing roll, the right wing impacted a barbed wire fence before the airplane departed the right side of the road and came to rest. 

Post accident photos furnished by local law enforcement revealed an approximately 3 ft long depression in the outboard right wing. Additionally, the top of the engine cowl was breached and displayed a streak of oil that terminated at the windshield.

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Report Dated:  9/20/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Prescott

Aircraft Type: Cessna 210

Injuries: 1 Fatal

INFLIGHT LOSS OF POWER

On August 29, 2018, about 2035 MST, a Cessna P210 impacted terrain short of the runway in Prescott, Arizona. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal local flight departed from Ernest A. Love Field Airport, Prescott, about five minutes prior to the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The purpose of the flight was for the pilot to acquire night currency by performing three practice touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. He initially attempted to have air traffic controllers (ATC) clear him to perform the landings on runway 21L, but a controller relayed to the pilot that the traffic pattern was full. Thereafter, he accepted to stay in the traffic pattern for 21R. 

A review of the preliminary radar track data indicated that after departure, the airplane adjoined a right traffic pattern for runway 21R. On the downwind leg, the track continued toward the runway and it appeared the airplane was close to being above the approach end. The track then progressed into a long teardrop-shaped 180° turn by first heading northeast. At 2.8 nautical miles (nm) from the approach end of runway 21R, the airplane's heading turned right toward the runway. The track continued toward to the southwest making a few shifts consistent with the pilot correcting the airplane to become aligned with 21R. The last recorded plot was at 2034:17 and located 740 feet northeast of the accident site. At that time, the airplane was about 5,050 ft mean sea level (msl), equating to about 145 ft above ground level (agl), at a ground speed of 99 kts. 

The accident site was located in the desert terrain about 1,890 ft from the approach end of runway 21R. In character, the terrain was composed of dry, soft dirt and prairie grass. The wreckage was found distributed over a 240 ft distance on a median magnetic bearing of about 222°. 

The main wreckage consisted of a majority of the airframe and engine and was consumed by fire. The main wreckage came to rest on a heading of about 270°. The remaining wreckage was found in the debris field and adjacent to the main wreckage and principally consisted of the outboard left wing, the nose landing gear doors, a propeller blade, and nose cowling pieces. From the start of the debris field about 80 ft toward the main wreckage an approximate 2 ft high soft, dirt berm stretched in a southwest-northeast orientation.

The first identified points of contact consisted of disrupted dirt and grass on the flat desert terrain making up the far northeastern end of the debris field. The markings started as two nearly parallel indentations in the vegetation and dirt spaced about 110 inches apart. The craters were in the same location in the debris path and continued southwest toward the main wreckage. A center indentation appeared about 96 inches down the debris field and was spaced equally between the right and left craters. The craters were consistent in size and orientation to that of the landing gear wheels. 

 

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Report Dated:  9/19/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: Page

Aircraft Type: Cessna 182

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB did not release any details other than the above information.

 

 

Accident Date: Saturday, September 15, 2018

Report Dated:  9/20/18 Preliminary Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91 

Location: St Johns

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: 3 Serious

INFLIGHT LOSS OF CONTROL ON TAKEOFF

On September 15, 2018, about 1540 MST, a Cessna 172N was substantially damaged following a loss of control and impact with terrain during initial climb near St. Johns Industrial Airpark (SJN), St. Johns. The commercial pilot and two passengers were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident, with a reported destination as the Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR). 

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the owner of the airplane, who was a rated pilot and seated in the right front cockpit seat, reported that during the initial climb out from runway 14, and at a low altitude, the stall warning horn sounded. At this time the left seat pilot-in-command said to the pilot/owner, "You better take it." This was followed almost immediately by the airplane colliding with a stand of cottonwood trees. The airplane subsequently came to rest inverted, with substantial damage to both wings, the forward fuselage, and empennage. The owner stated that they had just "topped off" both fuel tanks prior to departing, and that there were no anomalies with the airplane or engine prior to or during the takeoff that would have precluded normal operation. 

At 1554, the automated weather observation system located at SLN reported wind 180° at 5 knots, sky clear, visibility 10 miles, temperature 31° Celsius (C), dew point 3° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury. The SJN airport elevation is 5,733. Calculated density altitude was about 8,600 ft at the time of the accident.

 

 

Accident Date: Monday, September 17, 2018

Location: Cottonwood

Aircraft Type: Beech F33A

Injuries: 1 Fatality

No NTSB report, media information only.

 

 

THE FOLLOWING ACCIDENTS HAD OCCURRED AT AN EARLIER DATE WITHOUT DETAILED INFORMATION.

 

Accident Date: May 10, 2018

Report Dated: 9/17/2018 Factual Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Mesa

Aircraft Type: Cub Crafters CC19

Injuries: 2 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL ON GROUND 

According to the pilot, he was seated in the front seat of the tandem seat, tailwheel equipped airplane, and made a three-point landing and applied full aft stick pressure once the tailwheel was on the ground. He could not recall the airspeed, but the airplane abruptly veered to the left. The right main landing gear collapsed and subsequently the right wing struck the ground.

The pilot asserted that the loss of control was the result of a mechanical failure of the right main landing gear wheel race and bearings.

The pilot-rated passenger, who was a flight instructor, reported that the purpose of the flight was to perform a pre-buy inspection for the pilot. He reported that there was a slight crosswind from the left about 3 knots during the three-point landing, and the stall warning horn activated. He described the landing as "perfect," but during the landing roll, the airplane veered hard to the left and ground looped.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector who examined the airplane after the accident determined that the right main landing gear wheel assembly "folded under the end of the gear leg and then separated."

The airplane manufacture examined the wheel assembly, and reported that, "an extreme sideload on the right tire caused the subsequent cascading failure of the right wheel and brake assembly."

The METAR at the accident airport reported that about the time of the accident, the wind was from 180° at 7 knots. The pilot landed on runway 22L.

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday May 23, 2018

Report Dated:  9/4/2018 Factual Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: St Johns

Aircraft Type: Baby Ace D

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL LANDING 

The pilot reported that, immediately after landing, the tailwheel-equipped airplane veered left and then right. Subsequently, he applied "heavy" brakes, the airplane exited the right side of the runway, and came to rest nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing lift strut.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The automated weather observation system located at the accident airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 280° at 10 knots, gusting to 19 knots. The pilot landed on runway 3.

 

 

Accident Date: Wednesday May 30, 2018

Report Dated:  9/4/2018 Factual Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Payson

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172

Injuries: 3 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT

The pilot reported that, during a short field takeoff, around 100 ft above ground, he saw the primary flight display (PFD) airspeed indicator show 0. He added, the engine appeared to be functioning normal, but he decided to level the airplane and attempt to land on the remaining runway. The airplane then began to turn left and he added right rudder. Subsequently, the airplane touched down on an adjacent taxiway left of the runway and the nose landing gear collapsed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left horizontal stabilizer.

Post accident examination videos were provided by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector. The videos showed both the PFD and backup airspeed indicators moving in sync with air applied to the pitot tube.

The automated weather observation system at the accident airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 190° at 10 knots, gusting to 18 knots, and the calculated density altitude was 7883 ft. The pilot was departing on runway 24.

 

 

Accident Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Report Dated:  8/27/2018 Factual Report

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Phoenix

Aircraft Type: Luscombe 8A

Injuries: 1 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL LANDING

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during landing, the airplane ballooned, he added power, and "lost control on the second touchdown". The airplane landed, exited the runway to the left, and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 190° at 3 knots. The airplane landed on runway 25R.

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