Unstabilized approach bends 182

As the pilot approached the airport in Stanwood, Wash., he maneuvered the Cessna 182 to enter a standard traffic pattern. On final approach, he fully extended the wing flaps while reducing the engine power. He then temporarily added power to attain adequate clearance from trees located before the runway. [Read more…]

Stearman ground loops

Prior to landing, the Stearman A75 pilot listened to the automated weather station at the airport in Appleton, Wis., which reported the wind out of the west at 8 knots. During the landing roll, the right wing lifted suddenly, the left wing hit the ground, and the airplane ground looped. [Read more…]

The last link: Dealing with the loss of a friend


“Oh, $%*@# !….” Waking up to the news that he had lost another friend to an aviation accident was not a good way to start the day for Tom Bush (CDR, USN, ret.)

This latest tragic mishap claimed pilot number 21 in his own necrology of civilian and military pilots he had known over the years. Bush’s friend, former airport neighbor, and fellow Mooney driver had flown into trees in pre-dawn fog in Norfolk, Virginia, killing the pilot and two passengers onboard.

Bush’s aviation safety analysis training kicked in almost before the morning’s coffee, and he pored over weather charts, ATC tapes, and the Mooney’s flight path tracings toward his old Tidewater, Virginia, stomping grounds.

It began to look very much as if his friend’s accident was the last link in a distressingly long chain of questionable decisions. [Read more…]

Piper hits trees after ‘lost lift’

The pilot reported that the engine run-up and the initial takeoff were normal and that the Piper PA-28 rotated at 50 mph and lifted off at 60 mph from the airport in Lafayette, Ind.

The airplane then accelerated to its best angle of climb speed and cleared the front edge of a band of trees that bordered the end of the runway, after which it descended into the trees and subsequently hit terrain. [Read more…]

Wing hits fuel dock

The pilot was taxiing the Cessna 172N to the fuel pump after he landed at Tell City, Ind., when he turned his focus away from making sure the left wing was clear of the fuel dock. Consequently, the left wing hit the dock and sustained substantial damage.

The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate clearance from an obstruction while taxiing.

NTSB Identification: CEN13CA452

This July 2013 accident report is are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Obstructed fuel system contributes to accident

The Cessna 206 was being used as transport for a skydiving operation at Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The pilot departed for a 25-minute flight to drop parachute jumpers above the airport.

In-flight fuel management was through the use of the fuel selector that drew fuel from either the right or the left fuel tank. The pilot said he was instructed during his airplane checkout that the fuel tanks cross feed like other high-wing Cessna airplanes that he was familiar with, [Read more…]

Failure to abort takeoff kills pilot

The 16,900-hour ATP, 69, who was type rated in a Sikorsky SK-76 helicopter, Beech BE-300 and Fairchild Swearingen SA-227 airplanes, was flying a Cricket MC12, a twin-engine experimental design, that was estimated to be at least 30 pounds above the design gross weight of 375 pounds, but 15 pounds under the builder-designated gross weight at the time of the accident.

Because the airplane was an experimental amateur built airplane, the builder can waiver from the design criteria, including gross weight. According to FAA records, the pilot purchased the plane on Dec. 6, 2002. No maintenance records were located. [Read more…]