August 1, 2017, Phoenix, Ariz.Grumman AA-1B TrainerAt about 1300 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. Both the flight instructor and student pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.According to witnesses, after the airplane lifted off and was in its initial climb to the west, the wings started to rock back and forth. The airplane began to descend, struck the airport's western perimeter fence and collided with terrain before coming to rest on a road bordering the airport.
Even relatively simple airplanes, those with welded-down landing gear and a fixed-pitch propeller, can have complicated systems. Most of the time, everything works as intended by the manufacturer and all is well. On rare occasions, however, equipment failures occur. When that happens, its easy to say that excellent systems knowledge will save the day. The reality is somewhat different, and pilots often do not have the time or third hand with which to look up systems information in the airplanes documentation.
The aircraft broke up in flight then impacted the ground after an uncontrolled descent at about 0153 Central time. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. Dark night visual conditions prevailed. An IFR flight plan was in effect.The airplane was in cruise at 10,000 feet msl when its pilot queried ATC about nearby weather conditions. Radar data then showed the airplane climb slightly and turn left.
The airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain at 1159 Eastern time. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and was relocating it to a private airstrip near his home. Witness observations were consistent with the airplane flying at low altitude and maneuvering erratically before it impacted. Each witness reported the engine was running prior to impact. The accident…
At 1529 Pacific time, the airplane struck powerlines and traffic lights, then collided with the ground after a loss of engine power during takeoff. The pilot was not injured; the passenger received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.
Ive always enjoyed flying at night. Theres usually a lot less traffic, the ATC frequency is quieter and its rare to be delayed for an approach, landing or takeoff. Sunsets can be quite amazing from a personal airplane, and Ive been fortunate enough to witness a few sunrises, too. Owing to day-job schedules and airplane availability, most of my instrument training happened at night and, even with all that going on, Im by no means an expert on flying in the dark.
At about 0842 Eastern time, the two airplanes were destroyed in an in-flight collision. The airline transport pilot flying the Cessna and the airline transport pilot flying the Grumman were both fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
While on the base leg for his private grass airstrip, the pilot noticed he was high, so he added flaps to increase his descent rate. On final, the airspeed was a little fast and during the landing, he flared the airplane a little high. After touchdown, the pilot applied the brakes, but the airplane did not respond, so he applied a little more brake. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted, sustaining substantial damage to both wings and the empennage. The pilot reported he should have performed a go-around instead of attempting to salvage the landing.
The pilot reported that when he raised the landing gear shortly after takeoff, he heard a loud crunch as the gear entered the wells. The pilot climbed the airplane to about 3000 feet and observed the landing gear circuit breaker was popped and the alternator was off. The pilot attempted to extend the landing gear normally several times, however, the circuit breaker popped each time and the gear remained retracted. The pilot also attempted to use the emergency gear extension, to no avail.
At about 0937 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with mountainous terrain. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed.Radar data show the airplane reached its cruising altitude of approximately 8000 feet msl some 12 minutes after takeoff. The airplane subsequently descended about 1300 feet in one minute before entering a momentary climb, which was followed by a shallow descent. In the remaining two and a half minutes, the airplane maintained a 300 fpm descent rate, with some intermittent climbs. The final two radar targets show the airplane climbed about 425 feet in 12 seconds. The airplane maintained a straight track from its departure airport to the last radar target, which was within 0.1 nm of the 6670 feet msl accident site.
After taking air samples at various altitudes, the airplane was returning to its base and overshot a turn to the Runway 36 localizer. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported an on-board fire. The airplane, which was at 1700 feet, lost altitude rapidly and radar contact was lost. The accident site was consistent with the airplane striking the ground at a high velocity, low angle of impact in a left wing slightly low attitude. There was a ground fire after impact.
According to the pilot, about 10 minutes into an otherwise-normal the flight, the engine began to run rough. The pilot adjusted the power controls, but the engine started to backfire and continued to lose power. He made a spiraling descent from about 1000 feet agl and maneuvered the airplane to land on a paved area of a driving track. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a fence. The pilot stated the engine continued to operate throughout the landing and landing roll until the airplane struck the fence.