After the pilot refueled his Cessna 182, he was cleared by the tower controller to the runway at the airport in Tucson, Arizona.
As he taxied west toward taxiway Delta, the asphalt was very rough, and he did not see the taxiway to his left nor the unmarked drainage ditch immediately in front of him.
The airplane went into the ditch traveling about 5 knots.
Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the empennage.
Review of the airport diagram revealed that the area around the ditch was not a depicted taxiway. Further review of satellite imagery revealed that there were two access points to taxiway Delta southwest of the refueling point.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to use taxiways shown on the airport diagrams and his subsequent failure to avoid a ditch.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA051
This November 2017 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.