The following are the NTSB reports of aviation accidents that have occurred in Arizona from late September through late October. APA will use this detailed accident information to develop safety programs, briefings, and posters/flyers that would help pilots learn from the mistakes being made by others, and take the action necessary to prevent them from having similar accidents.

This reporting period is not the best from the standpoint that there are eight accidents covered in this report. Fortunately, only two of the accidents occurred in this reporting period, and six occurred in previous reporting periods, but the NTSB detailed reports were released in the last reporting period.

The only good news in the lot was there were no fatalities reported; however, there were some serious injuries. Apparently the summer doldrums are over, more people are out flying, and some bad things were happening, and some airplanes got bent up. Fortunately nobody was fatally injured, but some came awfully close, surviving only by a twist of fate. An example of this was the accident at Ak Chin (A39). If the airplane had struck the building a few feet closer to the runway, the airport manager would have been hit by the airplane, and if the airplane had gone a few feet further the other direction, the airplane would have missed the building and struck the ground, most likely fatally injuring both occupants of the airplane. Please fly with much pre thought and care. Your life could depend on it.

It’s unfortunate that a large number of the accident reports this period have not had their preliminary reports released for our review. This is usually an indication that the damage may have been relatively minor in nature, and there were no fatalities involved. In any event, the following are the details of what is presently available.



Accident Date: August 25, 2019

Factual Report Dated: 10/23/19

Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation

Location: Cottonwood

Aircraft Type: Piper PA28

Injuries: 2 Uninjured


The flight instructor reported that, during a soft field takeoff with the student pilot at the flight controls, the airplane was in ground effect and yawed to the left with a high angle of attack. As the student was correcting, a wind gust from the right caused the airplane to drift left and put the airplane into a "cross controlled situation." The instructor attempted to assume control of the airplane, but the student pilot only heard his name and continued to fly the airplane. The instructor reported he was unable to overpower the student and became concerned that the airplane was not producing enough lift and would aerodynamically stall or spin. The instructor pushed forward hard on the yoke to prevent the stall, and the airplane impacted terrain 50 yards off the side of the runway about midfield. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, left, and right wings.

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

The student pilot did not submit a written statement as requested.

An airport's automated weather observation station, located 14 miles to the northeast, reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 210° at 8 knots and variable from 180° to 240°. The airplane was departing from runway 14.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3B, provides information and guidance in a section titled "Soft/Rough-Field Takeoff and Climb" which stated in part:

The pilot must be aware that the correct takeoff procedure for soft fields is quite different from the takeoff procedures used for short fields with firm, smooth surfaces. To minimize the hazards associated with takeoffs from soft or rough fields, the pilot should transfer the support of the airplane's weight as rapidly as possible from the wheels to the wings as the takeoff roll proceeds by establishing and maintaining a relatively high AOA or nose-high pitch attitude as early as possible. The pilot should lower the wing flaps prior to starting the takeoff (if recommended by the manufacturer) to provide additional lift and to transfer the airplane's weight from the wheels to the wings as early as possible.

After the airplane becomes airborne, the pilot should gently lower the nose with the wheels clear of the surface to allow the airplane to accelerate to VY, or VX if obstacles must be cleared. Immediately after the airplane becomes airborne and while it accelerates, the pilot should be aware that, while transitioning out of the ground effect area, the airplane will have a tendency to settle back onto the surface. An attempt to climb prematurely or too steeply may cause the airplane to settle back to the surface as a result of the loss of ground effect. During the transition out of the ground effect area, the pilot should not attempt to climb out of ground effect before reaching the sufficient climb airspeed, as this may result in the airplane being unable to climb further, even with full power applied. Therefore, it is essential that the airplane remain in ground effect until at least VX is reached.



Accident Date: August 30, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated: 10/2/19

Location: Prescott

Aircraft Type: Luscombe 8A

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB has not yet made the preliminary report available.



Accident Date: September 10, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated: 9/30/19

Title 14 CFR Part 91 Operation

Location: Maricopa

Aircraft Type: Ercoupe 415

Injuries: 2 Serious


On September 10, 2019, about 0830 MST, an Ercoupe 415-C, airplane, impacted a building during departure from Ak-Chin Regional Airport (A39), Maricopa. The pilot receiving instruction and the flight instructor were seriously injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and a flight plan was not filed for the local instructional flight.

According to an eyewitness, the airplane was heard traveling down the runway during departure and the engine sounded normal. The airplane departed from runway 22, and as the airplane was climbing out, it veered left, pitched up slightly and rolled left, putting the airplane in a nose down descent, impacting the roof of the A39 administrative building. The eyewitness, who was also the first responder, stated that the pilot and flight instructor exited the airplane and one of the occupants jumped to the stairwell below. They were both transported to the hospital.

The airplane entered the top of the two-story building and was lodged in the outside wall and roof. The airplane was visible from the ground below and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. 



Accident Date: September 13, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated:   10/7/19

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Marana

Aircraft Type:  Piper PA28-181

Injuries:  3 uninjured


On September 13, 2019, about 1730 MST, a Piper PA-28-181 caught fire during preflight startup at the Marana Regional Airport (AVQ). The flight instructor and two student pilots were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and no flight plan was filed.

According to the flight instructor, after landing at AVQ, he and the student pilots exited the airplane, used the airport facilities, and had the airplane refueled. About 30 minutes after the airplane was shut down, the flight instructor completed his preflight and he and the student pilots boarded the airplane. During the preflight, the flight instructor stated he did not see any fuel or liquids during the walk around. After a second failed attempt to start the engine the flight instructor and student pilots smelled smoke. The flight instructor saw smoke coming from the nose wheel well and he and the student pilots stood clear of the airplane and called the local authorities. The airplane continued to smoke for about 15 minutes before the fire department arrived.

During a post-accident examination of the airplane, the cowling was removed which revealed substantial damage to the firewall. The cowling and various lines and accessories sustained thermal damage.



Accident Date: September 14, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated: 9/25/19

Location: Chandler

Aircraft Type: Mooney M20M

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB has not yet made the preliminary report available.



Accident Date: September 20, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated: 9/24/19

Location: Sedona

Aircraft Type: Piper PA60

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB has not yet made the preliminary report available.



Accident Date: September 27, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated: 10/9/19

Location: Mesa

Aircraft Type: Diamond DA40

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB has not yet made the preliminary report available.



Accident Date: October 18, 2019

Preliminary Report Dated: 10/22/19

Location: Marble Canyon

Aircraft Type: Titan Tornado ll

Injuries: UNK

The NTSB has not yet made the preliminary report available.

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