November 2014

By The Numbers

Subscribers Only By The Numbers: U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents

Electrical

Subscribers Only Aircraft departed but pilot could not retract landing gear. Pilot diverted to nearby airport without problems. Maintenance found a broken wire at the gear selector switch. Repaired wire, ops checks good. Part Total Time: 15,557 hours

Throttled

Subscribers Only Engine failure. Take a breath and collect yourself. Hopefully you have a flow memorized to try and restore power, and maybe it includes the fuel selector, mixture control, boost pump, magnetos and more. But what about the throttle?

September 21, 2014, Homosassa, Fla. Grumman American AA-5A

Subscribers Only At about 1205 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power during cruise flight. The private pilot was not injured, but the pilot-rated-passenger incurred minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 19, 2014, Piscataquis County, Maine Cessna 180B

Subscribers Only The float-equipped airplane was substantially damaged at 1630 Eastern time during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power. The private pilot/owner and passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 19, 2014, Alton, Va. North American T-28C Trojan

Subscribers Only At about 1710 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a field while performing low-level aerobatics. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 19, 2014, Okmulgee, Okla. Cessna 172R Skyhawk

Subscribers Only The airplane impacted terrain at an undetermined time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight was not operating on an IFR clearance. The flight departed Fort Worth, Texas, en route to Tulsa, Okla.

September 15, 2014, St. Petersburg, Fla. Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee 180

Subscribers Only At about 1030 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain following a total loss of engine power while maneuvering for landing. The foreign-rated pilot seated in the left front seat and the pilot-rated passenger seated in the right rear seat were seriously injured. The pilot seated in the right front seat and the passenger seated in the left rear seat received minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 10, 2014, Spruce Creek, Fla. Cessna 172P Skyhawk

Subscribers Only The airplane was substantially damaged at about 2021 Eastern time when it collided with trees and terrain following a total loss of engine power on approach. The instructor pilot/owner-operator and the commercial-rated pilot receiving instruction sustained minor injuries. Night visual conditions prevailed.

September 10, 2014, Carrol County, Va. Piper J-3C-65

Subscribers Only At about 1315 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees while maneuvering at low altitude. The solo private pilot was seriously injured; instrument conditions prevailed.

September 10, 2014, Austin, Texas Smith Aerostar 601P

Subscribers Only The airplane impacted terrain just north of its destination airport at 1326 Central time. The solo pilot was fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 9, 2014, Houston, Texas Vans RV-10 Experimental

Subscribers Only airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The private pilot and pilot-rated-passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The accident occurred during the airplane’s second flight since receiving its experimental airworthiness certificate; its maiden flight was completed earlier in the day by the pilot-rated passenger.

September 8, 2014, Selkirk, N.Y. Cessna 172K Skyhawk

Subscribers Only The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a parked railroad freight car, then terrain, shortly after takeoff. The flight instructor and the sport pilot (under instruction for her private pilot certificate) were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 6, 2014, Rock Hill, S.C. Navion A

Subscribers Only At 1005 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power. The private pilot/owner and two passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 5, 2014, Open Water, Jamaica

Subscribers Only The airplane impacted open water near the coast of northeast Jamaica at about 1410 Eastern time. The commercial pilot/owner and his passenger were fatally injured. An IFR flight plan was in effect.

September 3, 2014, Columbus, Ga. Glasair III Experimental

Subscribers Only At about 1213 Eastern time, the airplane collided with a taxiway sign following a rejected takeoff. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 3, 2014, Collegedale, Tenn. Lancair IV-P Experimental

Subscribers Only The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted an open field at about 1522 Eastern time. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan had been filed. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Shortly after reaching its 16,000-foot cruise altitude, the pilot reported “engine problems” and requested to divert. At 1513, the pilot reported the airplane “lost engine power.” The pilot reported “oil all over the windshield” and that he “could not see a thing” and that a forced landing was imminent.

September 3, 2014, Cortez, Colo. Piper PA-46-350P (JetProp Deluxe)

Subscribers Only At about 1238 Mountain time the turboprop airplane was substantially damaged while landing. The commercial pilot receiving instruction and his flight instructor sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 2, 2014, Neihart, Mon. Cessna 177B Cardinal

Subscribers Only The airplane impacted terrain at about 1230 Mountain time. The private pilot and two passengers were seriously injured; one passenger was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence and post-impact fire. Visual conditions prevailed.

September 1, 2014, North Hampton, N.H., Cessna 180

Subscribers Only At about 1050 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after a losing control during initial climb. The airline transport pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Known Deficiencies

Subscribers Only Under basic Part 91 rules for certified aircraft, everything aboard has to be documented and working. The aircraft can remain airworthy if failed equipment isn’t required for the operation, and is placarded and isolated from other systems. But an airplane is like any other mechanical contrivance: it’s subject to wear and tear: A system may function, but not as intended.A good example can be braking systems. Those on typical personal airplanes are hydraulically actuated, as…

Planning For Failure

Subscribers Only Reviewing the terminal procedure charts, checking the obstacle clearance procedures and picking your preferred departure runway based on the terrain that gives you the greatest number of options if anything goes wrong is more than most non-commercial pilots do for instrument departures.

Elmira Three Departure

Subscribers Only There’s a lot going on at Elmira, maybe more than you’re accustomed to. After all, your sea-level home plate doesn’t have obstacles, so there aren’t any ODPs.

Leaving Elmira

Subscribers Only Yesterday’s flight didn’t go as planned. You tried to get airborne early enough to beat a line of storms forecast across your route of flight, but they built more rapidly than expected. Evaluating your options and looking at the Nexrad imagery uploaded to your cockpit, you made a good decision—diverting to land at Elmira, N.Y. (KELM), an airport along your route, where the FBO was able to roll your airplane into a hangar before the…

Preparing To Ditch

Subscribers Only All kinds of advice is available from the FAA, manufacturers and other sources on how to ditch an airplane. In fact, the how is fairly easy—it can be summed up as “land in the water.” The checklist excerpt at right, for a Cessna Model 208B Grand Caravan, discusses the major items. (We added the highlighting noting Cessna hasn’t test-ditched a Caravan.)

My Ditching

Subscribers Only The NTSB’s factual report is succinct: “The pilot stated that, about 30 minutes into the flight, he was over the water about 15 miles to the nearest land, when the engine experienced a total loss of power.

The Ditching Option

Subscribers Only Let’s dispel some myths: Ditching done well is not all that dangerous. My recent ditching was devoid of actual trauma. Most people—about 90 percent—survive a ditching, and those who don’t are usually the ones who did not take basic steps to prepare. Some recent incidents and my own experience demonstrate ditching usually is very survivable and taking a few precautions can greatly enhance the possibility of a favorable outcome.

Can I get By Without ADS-B?

Subscribers Only Even though ADS-B will be mandated on January 1, 2020, what does that mean? Where will it be mandated? Can you get a waiver? For the answers, start by referring to FAR 91.225, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS–B) Out equipment and use. The table below summarizes the FAR’s requirements, which basically substitute ADS-B OUT where a Mode C transponder is required now.

Basic Equipment Options

Subscribers Only According to Scotland-based Trig Avionics, “A UAT solution will often be more expensive” than a 1090ES-based solution because the latter uses relatively common Mode S transponders: The 978 UAT standard employs a separate transceiver—and U.S. operators complying with ADS-B OUT via 978 UAT still will need a Mode A/C transponder in the foreseeable future, until the FAA says otherwise.

Is ADS-B Ready for Prime-Time?

Subscribers Only Some observers are not sure ADS-B will be ready by 2020 or, if it is, whether the benefits promised by the FAA will be available. In September 2014, doubters got a boost when the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (DOTIG) reported “ADS-B benefits are limited due to a lack of advanced capabilities and delays in user equipage.” [IMGCAP(1)]According to the DOTIG, the FAA “has not sufficiently tested the entire ADS-B system” and what testing has been…

ADS-B Upgrade Choices

Subscribers Only About the time this issue of the magazine hits your mailbox, the FAA will hold what it’s labeled a “Call to Action” summit designed to “engage the aviation industry in meeting the January 1, 2020, deadline to equip aircraft with new avionics technology.” The invitation- and industry-only event is set for October 28 and is the agency’s latest high-visibility attempt to encourage users of all affected aircraft and airspace to equip with technology complying with the FAA’s NextGen standard, namely, ADS-B OUT. The table on page 15 details where it’ll be required.

Two Aileron Types

Subscribers Only To help reduce the likelihood of wing tip stall and adverse yaw, engineers developed differential ailerons.

All About Ailerons

Subscribers Only Last month in this space we tackled “Proper Rudder Use,” pointing out that in many situations involving angles of attack (AoA) at or near the stall, rudder and not aileron should be the control used to maintain both heading and a wings-level attitude. We also explored how rudder is used to compensate for adverse yaw, and presented a simple exercise pilots can use to demonstrate both its proper and improper application.

Crossing Half The Country In One Flight

Subscribers Only In 1984, I sold the 1975 Cessna 172 I had operated for nine years and acquired a 1978 Mooney 201. I immediately put the airplane to work on a multi-stop trip around the country, quickly discovering how efficient it was. On the last leg of that trip, from St. Petersburg, Fla. (KSPG) to Mansfield, Mass. (1B9), I flew the 1029 nm nonstop in 6.7 hours using 52.4 gallons of fuel. That’s an average of 154…

Fighting Fatigue

Subscribers Only If you’re doing it right, a long-distance flight can be boring. Sitting in the same seat for hours at a time, watching George fly the airplane and occasionally acknowledging a frequency change isn’t the most stimulating way to spend an afternoon. If there’s no weather to worry about, and if you’re in airspace with little traffic, there simply isn’t much to do except scan the gauges, switch tanks every now and then, keep track of…

Long-Range Risks

Subscribers Only After learning to fly, many pilots want to use their new skills to go places. Whether they rent or own an aircraft, and whether it’s a high-performance or a simple fixed-gear single, many pilots want to use their machines for on-demand transportation. It’s a natural desire for a freshly minted private pilot, and for a long time was general aviation’s bread and butter.

Hot Water

Subscribers Only In response to your October editorial, “Hot Water,” what I took from these two tragic accidents was that the culture of fear surrounding declaring an emergency is killing people. The FAA needs to change its policy calling for an emergency declaration investigation to address this fear.

Some Good News

Subscribers Only In mid-September, the NTSB released its preliminary aviation accident statistics for 2013, which contained two pieces of good news. First, the preliminary numbers show an overall decline in the number of U.S.-registered civil aviation accidents, which dropped sharply, from 1539 in 2012 to 1297 in 2013.