Subscribers Only The pilot reported a burning smell in the cabin. Inspection revealed the taxi light circuit breaker switch had burned internal components. This switch (p/n 35-380132-105) is the improved model required by AD 2008-13-07. Unfortunately, when these switches overheat, it can be impossible to determine if the insulators had been installed improperly, or installed at all. This was the second post-AD switch failure in this fleet.
Subscribers Only My earliest aviation-related learning experience came years before I earned my private certificate, or even soloed. I was a passenger in a Cessna 182 Skylane my father rented for a business trip to central Missouri. I don’t remember all the details, but I was probably in elementary school, so it likely was during the summer. At the time, I was too young to see over the Skylane’s seemingly massive instrument panel. We were droning along on the flight home, minding our own business, with my father flying from the left seat and me in the right, when a sudden rush of air and noise announced the pilot’s-side door had sprung open.
Subscribers Only At about 1845 Pacific time, the airplane landed hard during a forced landing. The commercial pilot was not injured but the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed. The airplane had just undergone an avionics and flight-instrument upgrade. This was the first time the pilot had flown the airplane solo since the new system was installed.
Subscribers Only The airplane collided with the parking ramp while attempting to land at 0444 Central time. Night visual conditions prevailed. The flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction were killed. The airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. At 04:34:46, the flight was cleared for the option to land on Runway 1. At 04:37:44, the flight requested a right turn to 2000 feet and a "high key" simulated engine failure approach to Runway 1. At 04:44:05, the pilot stated he was doing another 360-degree turn for Runway 1. No further communications were received.
Subscribers Only At about 1245 Mountain time, the airplane impacted terrain after a rejected takeoff. The commercial pilot received minor injuries, his seven passengers were not injured and the airplane, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The skydiving flight was operating in visual conditions.
Subscribers Only The airplane impacted terrain at about 1300 mountain time. The private pilot and three of his passengers received serious injuries; one of his passengers received minor injuries. The airplane, which belonged to a friend of the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The flight was operating in visual conditions.
Subscribers Only At about 1450 Pacific time, the airplane experienced partial failure of the primary airframe structure supporting its rudder while in the race pattern at Reno-Stead Airport. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage. The air-race qualification/training flight was operating in visual conditions.
Subscribers Only The airplane was destroyed following a collision with trees and terrain at about 1303 Eastern time. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was filed and active. A pilot reported observing the accident pilot perform about eight engine run-ups prior to departure. He stated it sounded like the pilot was trying to clean the spark plugs or he was having trouble with the magnetos firing properly.
Subscribers Only At about 0950 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and the ground following takeoff. Visual conditions prevailed. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured; one passenger was seriously injured.
Subscribers Only The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1718 Central time during a runway overrun. The airline transport pilot and four passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. As the airplane approached the airport, one of its owners—a student pilot—was in the right seat and at the controls. On sighting the airport, the pilot informed the student pilot they were "high and hot" and he needed to "get down and slow down." The student pilot responded by telling the pilot this "landing is yours."
Subscribers Only At about 1405 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it experienced an in-flight upset while in cruise flight. The two commercial pilots were not injured. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was in effect. The airplane was flying in smooth IMC conditions at FL200 with an area of "moderate to heavy to extreme" precipitation located about 30 miles to the northwest. As the airplane closed to 20 miles from the weather, it began to experience moderate turbulence and "several seconds of rime ice" on the windscreen.
Subscribers Only The airplane was destroyed when it collided with trees during takeoff at about 1040 Eastern time. The commercial pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot stated he had been flying out of the departure airport for over 20 years and was very familiar with its 2850-foot-long turf runway. Additionally, he had departed many times with the three passengers aboard, who were his grandchildren. The pilot further stated the airplane’s takeoff weight was below the 2200-pound maximum and he departed with an approximate five-knot headwind.
Subscribers Only At about 0947 Central time, the airplane experienced an in-flight fire and performed an emergency landing. One passenger sustained a minor injury. The three crew members and three other passengers were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged as a result of the fire, which continued after it was on the ground. Visual conditions prevailed.
Subscribers Only The airplane was substantially damaged when it descended rapidly from cruise flight and impacted terrain at about 1601 Pacific time. The owner-pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. According to radar data, the airplane followed a curving course to the southeast for 28 miles after takeoff, then tracked straight for 53 miles on a course of 084 degrees true. Its indicated altitude was 13,500 feet. The airplane then turned south, leveled at about 14,500 feet and flew another 43 miles before it made a course reversal to the left.
Subscribers Only At about 1435 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with wooded terrain during a forced landing, which followed total loss of engine power. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured; the private pilot passenger was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
Subscribers Only The airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing onto a road at about 1730 Pacific time. The commercial pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot reported visually checking fuel quantity and determining he had enough fuel to make the cross-country flight and return.
Subscribers Only At about 1741 Pacific time, the airplane crashed into an open field, sustaining substantial damage. The student pilot owned and operated the airplane; he was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot was completing a solo, round-robin, cross-country instructional flight. The student pilot telephoned his CFI during the accident flight, initially reporting a discharging ammeter, then reporting total loss of electrical power.
Subscribers Only While executing a go-around at about 1433 Mountain time, the airplane entered a rapid vertical descent and collided with the ground. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
Subscribers Only At about 2140 Alaska time, the airplane was substantially damaged during landing. The commercial pilot and the sole passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed; an IFR flight plan was in effect for the flight, which originated in Russia.
Subscribers Only Pilots and non-pilots alike fret about and measure a flight’s quality by the landing. Yes, landings are important to get right, but takeoffs and initial climb procedures can be just as critical. In fact, I worry about takeoffs more than landings. One of the reasons is a takeoff involves more variables and uncertainties than a landing. As an example, the airplane weighs more than it will the rest of the flight and exhibits its worst performance. For another, we’re accelerating, not slowing down. In fact, we’re trying to go as fast as we can in as short a distance as possible. A third thing is the relatively unknown status of the airplane: How will it feel? Is it loaded correctly? Is it trimmed correctly? Will it perform as expected? What about the local wind and weather—is it what we expected from our preflight briefing and personal observations? If there are obstacles, will we be able to clear them if something goes wrong?
Subscribers Only Conventional airplanes have three primary flight controls: ailerons to manage rolling about the longitudinal axis, elevators/stabilators to establish and maintain the desired pitch about the lateral axis, and a rudder to deal with any yawing moments around the vertical axis. All three of these axes meet and pass through the airplane’s center of gravity and, when used correctly, are coordinated to produce smooth, efficient flight. If one spends much time listening to the old-timers populating FBO pilot lounges, today’s pilots don’t know how to use the rudder to manage yaw, especially when flying an older airplane or one with a tailwheel.
Subscribers Only Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re firmly in the season of the bumps, when the sun’s angle and proximity help contribute to significant swings of weather. Many a high-temperature record fell well before summer’s "official" entry on June 21, as late spring served up conditions more often associated with the dog days of summer. Pilots debate which season treats them worse, but my vote goes consistently to summer. Confirmation and justification come again and again by way of accident reports detailing how a pilot lost a tussle with the season’s inclement weather.
Subscribers Only November 12345, cleared to Avsaf, hold east as published, expect further clearance at 1845." That’s a typical clearance into a holding pattern for an IFR flight when ATC needs to "park" it somewhere until traffic or other conditions allow it to continue to its destination. A holding clearance usually isn’t something a pilot or crew wants to hear, and they are much rarer in these times of flow control and ground delays, which are designed to minimize holding in the first place. But ATC still hands them out when needed, and FAR 61.57, Recent Flight Experience, requires regular practice in "holding procedures and tasks" to maintain currency. For the most part, holding can be relatively simple: Fly to the fix and turn right. But it also can get a bit complicated if the hold isn’t published. And there are ways to avoid it entirely if you’re willing to play ball with ATC and eliminate the reason for the hold. Let’s explore.
Subscribers Only Students of introductory biology learn a basic lesson about sensory perception in a quirky behavior found in certain amphibians that has become common lore. By now we all know that if a frog is placed in hot water, he will immediately jump out to safety. However, if the frog is placed in cool water that is gently heated to boiling, the frog does not perceive the gradual rise in temperature or the impending danger. Likewise, when a pilot is presented with a problem or emergency that is an obvious attention-getter, he or she will react quickly to solve the immediate threat—a frog leaping from scalding water.
Subscribers Only Fly a jet or turboprop airplane and you’ll consider a flight director to be an essential tool for precision and aircraft control. Turbine-powered airplanes are generally very powerful and slick, so being off as little as a degree in pitch attitude can quickly lead to an altitude bust. Fly a jet up high, where indicated airspeed provides only a small margin above one-G, wings-level stall speed—the so-called "coffin corner"—and a flight director provides the precise guidance you need to keep the wing flying. You may be new to turbines and just becoming acquainted with flight directors. Many of us who fly piston-powered airplanes also have flight directors as integral parts of an autopilot system. But the system isn’t well understood by many pilots, especially those not yet fortunate enough to be flying turbine equipment.
Subscribers Only While training certainly has to keep pace with modern avionics, driven by the use of GA airplanes as an alternative to airline travel but with the same expectations of mission completion ("Will Training Reform Help Reduce Fatals?" July 2011), the training industry must also keep in mind that these are still mechanical devices and not magic carpets driven from takeoff to landing by a fail-safe computer. Pilots must still master basic stick and rudder skills. In its July issue, your sister publication, Aviation Consumer, report 25 percent of Twin Comanche accidents involved runway loss of control during takeoff or landing. This is typical of those reports.
Subscribers Only Aviation media outlets and those covering many other industries have been exploring what appears to be a significant threat to the viability and utility of the Global Positioning System (GPS) in the U.S. This comes courtesy of LightSquared, a Reston, Va.-based company building what it says is a state-of-the-art open wireless broadband network. Originally, LightSquared was to use satellites instead of ground stations to provide the necessary coverage, and it received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorization in 2004.