Porpoise catches pilot by surprise

The pilot of a Mooney M20J was attempting to land in Warsaw, Indiana. He told investigators that during the downwind leg of the traffic pattern he did not compensate for winds pushing the airplane toward the runway and, as a result, he overshot the turn to final. The Mooney was not aligned with the runway when it hit the ground hard and bounced. [Read more…]

Carb ice blamed for off-airport landing

The student pilot was on his first solo cross-country flight in a Cessna 150 near Matlock, Wash., when the weather started to deteriorate. He descended to a lower altitude to avoid clouds and proceeded toward the nearest airport.

When he tried to level off at the lower altitude, the airplane continued to descend at a rate of about 700 feet per minute. He applied full engine power, but the engine did not respond and the airplane continued to descend. [Read more…]

Accidental trim activation leads to accident

The private pilot and a CFI were on an instructional flight in a Cessna 172 near Peoria, Illinois. The airplane was equipped with an electric trim activation switch on the yoke.

According to the private pilot, during the takeoff shortly after rotation, the nose pitched downward and the plane bounced on the runway. The CFI took control of the airplane and attempted to abort the takeoff, but the plane bounced several more times before the nosewheel collapsed and the airplane slid to a stop. [Read more…]

CFI misjudges fuel onboard

A CFI and private pilot were attempting to do a two-leg cross-country flight in a Cirrus SR20. Before takeoff from Danbury, Conn., the CFI used a flashlight to look in the fuel tanks and determined they contained 25 gallons of usable fuel, and that the flight would require 23.3 gallons of fuel. He then entered 22 gallons in the airplane’s multifunction display (MFD) fuel totalizer. The airplane reached its destination airport and landed without incident. He did not refuel. [Read more…]

Girlfriend walks into propeller

The pilot reported that he and a passenger were preparing to take off in a Quicksilver Sport from an airport in Camarillo, Calif.

The airplane has a rear-mounted engine and the engine was running when the passenger’s girlfriend approached the airplane from behind to check an airframe-mounted camera she had installed to document the flight. [Read more…]

Night approach goes bad

The pilot, flying a Grumman Tiger, was attempting to land at the airport in Ankeny, Iowa, in night VFR conditions. He listened to the AWOS and learned the wind was from 220° at 10 knots, gusting to 26 knots. The first attempt to land resulted in a bounce, so he did a go-around. [Read more…]

Oil starvation, miscommunication prove fatal

The lineman who serviced the Beech Bonanza prior to the flight noticed visible oil leaks on the airplane during refueling. He pointed them out to the pilot. The pilot, accompanied by two passengers, was flying in VFR conditions at an altitude of about 7,500 feet over Palm Coast, Fla., when he reported engine vibrations and an “oil pressure problem” to air traffic control and asked for radar vectors to the nearest airport. [Read more…]