Smoke distracts pilot

Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Newberry, Mich. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The airplane was in cruise flight when the pilot detected a “hot electrical” odor in the cockpit.

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Rollout goes bad

Aircraft: Zenith CH 750. Injuries: None. Location: Colfax, Wis. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land the airplane on a grass runway. The airplane touched down on the centerline of the runway and was slowing down when it encountered a strong gust of wind from the right.

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Piper fails to climb

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: None. Location: Marysville, Tenn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to takeoff from his private airstrip. Despite the application of full power, the airplane did not climb at a normal rate, and he was unable to avoid trees at the end of the grass runway.

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Running out of fuel proves fatal

Aircraft: Buccaneer II. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Granite Quarry, N.C. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot added about five gallons of automotive gasoline to the airplane’s fuel tank before departing on a local flight. Witnesses saw the airplane flying at a low altitude when the engine lost power.

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Short field takeoff goes awry

Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: 4 Minor. Location: Tiskilwa, Ill. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot and three passengers was attempting to takeoff from a 1,600-foot private airfield. The C-182 had been modified for short takeoff and landing (STOL) operations.

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Gust front catches Cessna

Aircraft: Cessna 180. Injuries: None. Location: Huntington, Utah. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The commercial pilot was using his high-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane to participate in an Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles event at a non-towered airport.

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Drunk pilot crashes

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Fredericksburg, Va. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: During takeoff in good visibility and calm wind, about 100 feet above ground level, the airplane banked 90° to the left and descended in a spiral until hitting the ground.

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Crosswind catches Cessna

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: None. Location: St. Johns, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was landing at a private dirt airstrip in gusting crosswind conditions. He reported that when he flared to land, the wind shifted. The airplane swerved and hit a dirt berm.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing in gusty crosswind conditions.

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA438 

This August 2012 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.