Tailwheel failure in Pitts

Aircraft: Aerotek Pitts S-1T. Injuries: None. Location: Billings, Mont. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was returning to his home airport. During the first landing attempt he lost control of the airplane during the landing roll, so he aborted the landing.

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Student hogs rudders

Aircraft: Allegro. Injuries: None. Location: Adrian, Mich. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: While on approach for a touch-and-go landing, when the airplane was about 30 feet above the ground, the flight instructor directed the student pilot to go around.

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Improper maintenance leads to gear failure

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: None. Location: Juneau, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The flight instructor was demonstrating a short field, three-point landing. The touchdown was normal, but during the landing roll a gust of wind pushed the airplane, and it began to turn to the right. When the instructor applied left brake in an attempt to correct for the right turn, the left main landing gear broke.

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Pilot mistakes torque tube for brakes

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: None. Location: Newport News, Va. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot thought that he positioned his feet on the toe brake pedals during engine start. After starting, the engine accelerated to a higher rpm than expected, and the airplane began to roll forward. The pilot pressed down with his feet, but the airplane continued to roll.

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IMC Clubs: Practice makes proficiency

An air traffic controller for the sims at AirVenture

Hangar flying, the time-honored activity where pilots sit around and swap stories about aviation techniques, can be a valuable educational tool. Add organized informational seminars illustrated with powerpoint demonstrations and desktop flight simulation devices and you have the interactive learning environment of the IMC Club.

IMC stands for Instrument Meteorological Conditions, which necessitates flying on an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan because the aircraft is flying in the clouds without outside visual references. Many pilots will tell you the IFR ticket is the most challenging to get and the one with the most perishable skills.

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Strong winds result in crash

Aircraft: RV-9A. Injuries: 2 Minor. Location: Brunswick, Ga. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: As the pilot approached the destination airport, he received a radio call from another pilot who reported leaving the traffic pattern at the destination airport because of wind conditions. The pilot continued his approach to land but later aborted the landing due to strong crosswind conditions.

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Poor fuel management for Baron

Aircraft: Beech Baron. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Las Cruces, N.M. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot said he added 31 gallons of fuel, bringing the total amount of fuel to 70 gallons prior to departure. The fuel gauges indicated the main tanks were one-half to three-quarters full, with the remainder in the auxiliary tanks. The fuel selectors were on the main tanks.

After a 10-minute flight, the pilot executed an ILS approach in visual conditions.

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Airplane vs. car

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: 2 Minor. Location: Roanoke, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot, who was returning from a solo cross-country flight, stated that the approach for landing at the private airport was normal until short final, when the landing gear struck an automobile that was being driven on a road that crossed near the approach end of the runway.

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Taylorcraft tangles with power lines

Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12-D. Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious. Location: Clutier, Iowa. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land on an unimproved airstrip he had previously used. When the field was previously used as an airstrip, the power lines were buried, but at the time of the accident the power line were now above ground and were not marked.

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