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

Aviation safety in this past reporting period has been somewhat of an unknown. We have gotten reports of a few accidents from the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), the media, and personal contacts, but nothing from the NTSB. I know people are out there flying. I see them, as I have been one of them. However, the school activity really does seem to be down.

In the last reporting period the NTSB didn’t report that any accidents occurred; however, we did become aware from a few via other sources. They did issue reports on two accidents that occurred in the previous reporting periods, and they are part of this report. The accidents that we are aware of via sources other than the NTSB are also part of this report.

 

THE FOLLOWING ACCIDENT REPORTS WERE RELEASED IN THE PAST REPORTING PERIOD

 

Accident Date: March 13, 2020

Factual Report Dated:  May 18, 2020

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location: Tucson

Aircraft Type:  Piper PA28-180

Injuries:  1 Uninjured

LOSS OF CONTROL LANDING

The solo student pilot reported that after touchdown the airplane veered slightly to the right. She overcorrected with the left rudder control and lost directional control of the airplane. The airplane veered to the left and exited the runway. The right wing struck the windsock pole, crossed a ditch, and ground looped before coming to a stop upright.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, engine mount, and the left forward side of the fuselage.

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

 

 

The following accident was reported in last month’s accident summary before the following information became available.

 

Accident Date:  April 24, 2020

Preliminary Report:  May 20, 2020

Title 14 CFR Part 91

Location:  Mesa

Aircraft Type: Bell UH-1H

Injuries:  1 Fatal  1 Serious Injury

LOSS OF TAIL ROTOR IN FLIGHT

On April 24, 2020, about 1600 MST, a Bell UH-1H helicopter was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Mesa, Arizona. The pilot was fatally injured, and the passenger was seriously injured.

While it was on a repositioning flight, witnesses reported they observed the helicopter flying low towards Falcon Field Airport (FFZ) with white smoke coming from the rear rotor area. Suddenly, the tail rotor separated from the helicopter and landed in a dirt lot below. The helicopter continued northeast as it started to spin and impact the ground.

On scene examination by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector indicated that the debris field was about 1/2 mile long, extending along a generally northeast direction. The first identified piece of debris were fragments of glass, which were consistent with a navigation light on the vertical stabilizer. About 200 yards further northeast was the tail rotor assembly, and the input pinion gear assembly. The rest of the helicopter came to rest about 1⁄2 mile further northeast in an open, slightly sloped field. The first pieces of debris in the field were the vertical stabilizer and a portion of the horizontal stabilizer followed by two long and narrow ground strikes consistent with main rotor blade strikes. Immediately following this area was the main wreckage; the helicopter came to rest slightly nose, and left side low, along a heading of about 49 degrees. The helicopter exhibited upward crushing throughout the cabin and fuselage, most extensively on the left side of the fuselage. The mast and the main transmission were displaced forward, and the main rotor assembly was fracture separated. The main rotor blade assembly was the last major piece of debris located about 20 yards northeast of the main wreckage.

 

 

THE FOLLOWING THREE ACCIDENTS HAVE NOT YET BEEN REPORTED BY THE NTSB. THE ONLY DETAILS FROM THESE ACCIDENTS CAME FROM THE MEDIA AND THE AVIATION SAFETY NETWORK (ASN) NOTES.

 

Accident Date:  May 7, 2020

Location:  Phoenix (GYR)

Aircraft Type: Grob G120A

Injuries:  None

GEAR UP LANDING

Media information only was available for this accident. 

The student pilot and instructor were returning from a training flight and discovered they could not extend the landing gear for landing. They went into a holding pattern to troubleshoot the problem and consume excess fuel on board. Being unable to resolve the problem, a normal landing approach was executed with the landing gear retracted. A “picture perfect” landing was executed and the airplane gracefully slid down the runway centerline to a stop, and the two pilots casually exited the airplane. The airplane was picked up, carried away, and the runway was promptly released for operation.

Because the landing was so smooth, most likely there was no structural damage to the airplane. No doubt, the cause of the gear malfunction will be corrected, and the significant amount of fiberglass that got ground off the belly will be replaced, and other repairs made as needed, and the airplane will be returned to service. If no structural damage had occurred, there will not be a need for an NTSB report of the occurrence. 

 

 

Accident Date:  May 13, 2020

Location:  Phoenix (DVT)

Aircraft Type: Mooney M20J

Injuries:   2 Uninjured

LANDING SHORT OF THE RUNWAY

The following information is from an ASN report of the accident.

The aircraft force landed in desert terrain under unknown circumstances near Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport (DVT). The airplane sustained substantial damage (gear sheared off, wing damage), and the two occupants were not injured.

 

 

Accident Date:  May 14, 2020

Location:  Tucson

Aircraft Type: Cessna 172P

Injuries:   2 Uninjured

LANDED ON A ROAD AND HIT A TREE

The following information is from an ASN report of the accident.

Following a loss of engine power during an aerial survey flight, the aircraft force landed in roadway terrain in Tanque Verde east-northeast of Tucson, Arizona. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the two pilots onboard were not injured during the accident. Nose gear and right main collapsed; prop bent; tail cone kinked. 

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