Low approach proves fatal

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Plainville, Conn. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The  pilot was flying an approach to his home airport in daylight VFR conditions that terminated in a go-around. On the second approach, the airplane flew lower than normal. It hit a berm at the approach end of the runway, crashed and caught fire.

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Delayed decision leads to crash

Aircraft: Beechcraft Duke. Injuries: 3 Fatal. Location: Sedona, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: According to several witnesses, the airplane appeared to be having difficulty accelerating for takeoff. It did not liftoff. It continued down the 5,132-foot runway, went off the end of the runway and down a steep slope where it crashed and burned.

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Gear collapses on landing

Aircraft: Flight Design CTLS. Injuries: None. Location: Conway, Ark. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot reported that the straight-in approach was normal, but the right main landing gear collapsed upon touchdown. The airplane went off the right side of the runway.

A laboratory examination of the damaged gear leg revealed a longitudinal crack along the leading edge of the right landing gear leg and a transverse fracture near the point where the leg intersected the fuselage. Investigators determined the damage was consistent with a bending load, with the lower surface in tension and the upper surface in compression.

Probable cause: The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing and over-stress failure of the right main landing gear.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA476

This July 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.

Stoned pilot crashes in lake

Aircraft: Kitfox IV. Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious. Location: Cross Lake, Minn. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The airplane was observed flying low and slow over a lake. It stalled, entered a spin, then hit the water.

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Crosswind crimps Pacer

Aircraft: Piper Pacer. Injuries: None. Location: Cooperstown, N.Y. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot stated that, before initiating the takeoff, he noted that the two windsocks located on the runway indicated a crosswind.

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VFR into IMC proves fatal

Aircraft: RV-4. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Cedartown, Ga. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who did not have an instrument rating, took off in VFR conditions on a cross-country flight. There was no record of the pilot obtaining a preflight briefing.

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Fuel valve failure contributes to fatal crash

Aircraft: Beech A23. Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor. Location: Laytonsville, Md. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, accompanied by a flight instructor, was practicing takeoffs and landings. The first two went well. Before the third takeoff, the pilot verified that the flaps were retracted for takeoff and that the fuel selector valve was positioned on the left fuel tank.

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Carb ice catches Cub

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: None. Location: North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was conducting a banner-tow flight. The accident happened as he approached to pick up the banner.

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Loss of control on landing

Aircraft: Cessna 195B. Injuries: None. Location: Camdenton, Mo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, accompanied by a pilot-rated passenger, was practicing takeoffs and landings.  The passenger reported that he was on the flight controls “following lightly” with the pilot.

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Poor approach, poor landing

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: None. Location: Chester, Conn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was trying to land. The first two approaches terminated in go-arounds. On the third approach he felt that the airplane was high and fast, [Read more...]