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

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.

The Ditching Option

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.

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

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.

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

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

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, Columbus, Ga. Glasair III Experimental

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.

NTSB Reports July 2013: Recent General Aviation and Air Carrier Accidents

The pilot departed on a 1+50 cross-country flight with approximately 30 gallons of fuel in each wing tank (approximately 27 gallons usable fuel per side). The flight was uneventful until he started a descent from 8000 feet msl to 3000 feet, when the engine made “two pops” and “quit.” The pilot said there was no engine roughness, “It just stopped.” He made several attempts to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. The pilot declared an emergency and landed in a field. Upon landing, the nose gear dug into the dirt and separated from the airplane.

April 27, 2013, Shirley, N.Y., Schweizer SGS 2-32

At about 1150 Eastern time, the glider was substantially damaged when it impacted a road, following an in-flight loss of control during approach. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

April 28, 2013, Hoosick Falls, N.Y., Aeronca 11AC Chief

At about 1234 Eastern time, the airplane impacted a golf course in a nose-down attitude. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.

April 10, 2013, Silver Peak, Nev., Cirrus Design SR22

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0950 Pacific time during impact with terrain after the pilot became incapacitated during cruise flight. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

April 14, 2013, Wellington, Nev., Cessna 182D Skylane

At about 2050 Pacific time, the airplane impacted mountainous terrain and was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual night conditions prevailed.

April 14, 2013, Mesquite, Nev., Ercoupe 415-C

The airplane landed hard during a forced landing at about 0910 Pacific time, sustaining substantial damage to its right wing and firewall. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; a VFR flight plan had been filed.