Pilot dies after 182 hits bluff

This August 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Sahuarita, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: On his last medical application the pilot reported that he had a total time of 4,000 hours with 50 hours logged in the previous six months. The pilot was on a cross-country flight and when he did not return on time his family reported him overdue and a search ensued. The wreckage was discovered the next day at the base of a vertical bluff with portions of the wings about halfway up on the bluff face. Radar data indicated that the airplane circled in the accident area at low altitude. The last radar return, which was in the immediate vicinity of the bluff, indicated an altitude that was lower than the elevation of the top of the bluff.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain while maneuvering at low altitude for undetermined reasons.

For more information: NTSB.gov

$100 ‘Q sandwiches

June and Walt Burton and their C-172, "81Lima."

This Short Final was written by Walt Burton, a dear friend of Deb McFarland’s, as she recovers from surgery.

I send greetings from Statesboro, way down here in southeast Georgia. I wouldn’t say that it’s been hot here, but I did see two gnats fanning each other to stay cool. Fortunately, the air temperature up above our pattern altitude is in the 70s and that alone encourages us to go flying. Usually, flying requires a reason or a mission.

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Back on the block

Missed out on the Spirit of Aviation Auction at this summer’s AirVenture? You can still bid on one of 46 aircraft at the Second Chance Online Post Auction, which is running through Aug. 31 on the AirVenture website. Up for auction is a fully restored 1938 Stinson SR-10 that was flown by Jimmy Doolittle, and Songbird III, which appeared in the television series “Sky King.”