June 1, 2018, Ramona, Calif.
Cessna 210 Centurion
At about 1118 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged after a main landing gear collapsed during landing. The private pilot and passenger were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot later stated he selected the landing gear handle to the down position, but the main landing gear did not lock in the extended position. He then selected the landing gear handle up, but the landing gear did not retract. After maneuvering away from the airport, an attempt to pump down the gear with the emergency hand pump was unsuccessful. An airframe-mounted mirror indicated the left landing gear was down. During the landing, the right main landing gear collapsed and the airplane veered to the right and departed the runway surface, coming to rest on the parallel taxiway.
June 2, 2018, Wasilla, Alaska
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub
The airplane was substantially damaged during an engine-out forced landing at about 1025 Alaska time. The solo private pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed. The Super Cub had been airborne for 10 minutes when the engine lost all power, consistent with fuel starvation. The pilot reported the left fuel tank was about full, the right fuel tank was empty and the fuel selector was on “BOTH.”
June 2, 2018, Amagansett, N.Y.
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain
At about 1433 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted the Atlantic Ocean. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
A pilot in another airplane, a Bonanza, was flying with the accident airplane. The Bonanza pilot stated he conducted the flight at 1000 feet agl and slowed down due to turbulence, but landed at the planned destination under VFR conditions. Radar data depicted the Navajo five miles in front of the Bonanza over the Atlantic Ocean and south of the destination. The data revealed the Navajo’s altitude was 432 feet agl about six miles from the airport, then varied between 512 feet and 152 feet. The last radar target indicated 325 feet.
June 3, 2018, Salem, Ore.
Kitfox Model 1 Experimental
The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 1815 Pacific time during an impact with trees and terrain. The solo student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
A witness stated the pilot taxied the airplane up and down the runway “several” times to test just-completed landing gear maintenance. The next day, a friend of the pilot who had not heard from him conducted an aerial search in his own airplane and located the accident site about 100 yards from the airport’s runway. The accident pilot’s flight instructor estimated the student pilot had accumulated about 35 total flight hours, almost all in a Piper Cherokee 140. To his knowledge, the accident pilot had not flown the Kitfox before, and did not have a tailwheel endorsement or solo endorsement for it.
June 3, 2018, Warsaw, Ky.
Bellanca 7ECA Citabria
At about 0945 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a rejected takeoff at a private field. The airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the pilot, the preflight inspection, engine start, taxi and engine runup were normal. During takeoff, however, he determined the airplane would not clear trees at the end of the turf runway. Realizing he would not be able to stop before the trees, he rejected the takeoff, applied right rudder, groundlooped the airplane and stopped.
Examination revealed fuel was present in both wing tanks. Thumb compression and suction were confirmed on all four cylinders, and the air intake was unobstructed. The carburetor inlet screen was absent of debris, and the carburetor bowl contained fuel. The airport was a private unpublished turf field with one runway, 1100 feet long by 125 feet wide, oriented north-south, with an elevation of about 850 feet. The runway was oriented uphill to the north, which was the direction of the takeoff. The grass was “short” and had recently been mowed. A nearby weather observation included wind from 290 degrees at 12 knots and temperature of 24 degrees C.
June 7, 2018, Sedalia, Mo.
Beechcraft A23 Musketeer
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1645 Central time during a runway excursion while landing. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
After four normal touch-and-go landings, the pilot set up for another landing on Runway 18. He recalled the reported winds were from 100 degrees at three knots about 20 minutes prior to the landing. At touchdown, the airplane suddenly turned about 90 degrees to the left. The pilot applied right rudder and reduced power to idle, but the airplane departed the runway surface and struck a runway light with its right horizontal stabilizer. The pilot reported the left brake had locked while braking on rollout.
Examination of the brake system did not reveal any anomalies. Observed wind at 1640 was 230 degrees at seven knots: The approximate crosswind component would have been about 130 degrees opposite and four knots greater than the pilot’s last weather update.
June 8, 2018, Moriarty, N.M.
Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin
At about 0753 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an attempted visual approach to land. The pilot and flight instructor suffered minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot had recently purchased the airplane and was receiving his second training flight. The pilot accomplished the takeoff and flew a traffic pattern to Runway 26. While on final approach, the flight instructor told the pilot to increase engine power due to the airplane’s low glidepath. After the engine did not respond as the flight instructor expected, he assumed control of the airplane and applied full power. The airplane continued to settle and impacted the ground about mile short of the Runway 26 threshold, damaging both wings.
June 8, 2018, Baton Rouge, La.
Beechcraft Model 58 Baron
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1605 Central time when the right wing caught fire shortly after takeoff. The pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
During initial climb from Runway 31 and at about 200 feet agl, the pilot heard a loud bang from the right wing and subsequently saw fire near the right wingtip. She made an emergency landing and the airport fire department extinguished the fire. The location of the fire was outboard of the right engine near the wingtip and auxiliary fuel tank. The aluminum wing skin exhibited black charring, burn holes, popped rivets and buckling on the top and bottom of the wing.
June 9, 2018, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Piper PA-44-180 Seminole
At about 1500 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged after impacting terrain while on approach. The flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction sustained minor injuries. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight had received a local IFR clearance.
The flight was performing the RNAV RWY 16 approach when they encountered rain around the final approach fix. The rain increased in intensity as they continued the approach. Shortly after passing the final approach fix, they received a low altitude alert from ATC. The flight instructor added full power and attempted to climb; however, the airplane continued to lose altitude while “still indicating 90 knots throughout descent and impact.”
June 10, 2018, Monroe, Wis.
Cessna T182T Turbo Skylane
The airplane was destroyed when it collided with trees and terrain at about 1200 Central time. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the flight operated on an IFR flight plan.
A witness reported the airplane made a loud, high-pitched sound like it was descending at high speed. She subsequently looked out of her kitchen window and observed a “fireball” through the tree line behind her home. She immediately heard a “deafening” explosion that shook the house and saw thick black smoke rising above the trees. A second explosion followed shortly after the first.
The debris path was oriented toward the east-southeast. The initial tree strike was about 80 feet agl. A second tree strike about 12 feet agl was about 32 feet from the initial strike. The main wreckage was located about 114 feet from the initial tree impact on the top of the ravine near the edge of the tree line. The area east of the woods was open and consisted of tall grass.
June 13, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska
Cessna 175 Skylark/Cessna 207
The two airplanes collided in midair at about 1205 Alaska time, near the mouth of the Big Susitna River. The Cessna 207 was operating as a scheduled Part 135 commuter flight, and its solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. The solo private pilot of the Cessna 175 was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The Cessna 175 pilot later stated he was in level cruise flight at about 1000 feet msl and communicating with the pilot of a Piper Super Cub passing in the opposite direction. As he watched the Piper pass well below him, the Cessna 175 pilot noticed the shadow of a third airplane converging with the shadow of his airplane. He looked forward, saw the converging airplane in his windscreen and immediately pulled aft on the control yoke as the two collided. After the collision, the Cessna 207 descended uncontrolled into the Big Susitna River.
The Cessna 175 subsequently was landed. Its left main landing gear and nosewheel were separated and missing. The right main landing gear tire was cut with features consistent with a propeller strike, and the outboard portion of the right elevator sustained impact damage with paint transfer. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right elevator.
June 13, 2018, Springfield Township, N.J.
Raytheon/Beech Model 58 Baron
At about 0908 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a field. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; the airplane was operating on an IFR clearance.
At about 0904, shortly after takeoff, the flight reported airborne to ATC. Radar data indicated it was at 200 feet msl and climbing. At about 0905, the airplane was radar identified at 600 feet msl, still climbing. At 0906, ATC attempted to contact the pilot but there was no response. The radar data show the airplane proceeded on a northeasterly direction and climbed to 1300 feet msl, then began a right descending turn. Between 0906:04 and 0906:28, radar data indicated a loss of altitude from 1300 feet to 500 feet. During this time, ATC issued a low-altitude alert, with no response. There were two more radar returns, one at 0906:33 indicating 1000 feet msl and the last one at 0906:38 indicating 1600 feet msl. At about 0907, ATC announced radar contact was lost.
June 14, 2018, Umatilla, Fla.
Piper PA-34-200 Seneca
The airplane experienced a runway excursion at about 0950 Eastern time, while landing. The flight instructor and pilot receiving instruction were not injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed.
Both aboard later agreed the landing gear was extended on downwind and the appropriate checks confirmed all three landing gear were down and locked. After touchdown at 80 mph, the airplane began an uncommanded and violent swerve to the right, departing the runway and impacting a drainage ditch. While assessing the airplane’s damage, personnel noticed the securing hardware for the upper and lower torque links of the right main landing gear were not in place. A subsequent search failed to locate the missing hardware.
June 18, 2018, Beloit, Kan.
Cessna TR182 Turbo Skylane RG
At about 1230 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during an emergency landing. The solo pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot was in the traffic pattern performing touch-and-go landings when the left main landing gear failed to extend. After cycling the gear and using the manual gear extension without success, he executed an emergency landing on the turf runway, damaging the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator.
During the airplane’s recovery, personnel noted one of the brake caliper attachment bolts had backed out about three or four turns, causing the bolt to protrude about -inch. It appeared that the protruding bolt had caught on the fuselage skin at the perimeter of the wheel well, causing the left main landing gear to remain retracted. A total of 3.2 hours had accumulated since the airplane’s most recent annual inspection, completed days earlier. The brake calipers had been installed without being secured with safety wire. The aircraft’s service manual presents two different procedures for installing the brake calipers; one of them does not require safety wiring.
June 21, 2018, Yellow Pine, Idaho
Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub
The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1200 Mountain time following a loss of control and impact with terrain near Dewey Moore Airstrip. The solo private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
A witness who had just landed at the strip noted the accident airplane’s approach was slightly high. As it joined the runway’s extended centerline, power was added and the airplane pitched up steeply. The witness observed the airplane continue upstream for about half a mile with its nose up and little climb, followed by it entering a left turn. Shortly thereafter, the left wing dipped and the airplane entered a stall/spin to the left, rotated one and one-quarter turns, then descended out of view just prior to impact with the ground.
June 22, 2018, Diamond Head, Miss.
Cessna 172L Skyhawk
At 0700 Central time, the airplane was destroyed during a collision with trees, powerlines and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff. The student pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
According to the student pilot’s flight instructor, the flight’s purpose was to conduct solo traffic pattern work, with full-stop landings and taxi-backs before the next takeoff. A witness said the airplane appeared to be traveling “slowly” northbound, just above treetop height. The nose gradually pitched down as the airplane rolled and turned to the left until it was out of view below the trees. At 0658:24, radar data depicted the airplane at 225 feet msl and 1100 feet prior to the approach end of the runway. The student pilot was issued an FAA third-class medical and student pilot certificate in September 2017. A review of his logbook revealed he had accrued 169.1 total hours of flight experience. His first solo endorsement was dated June 12, 2018, after he had accrued 164.9 total hours of flight experience. Weather observed at 0650 included clear skies and calm winds.
June 26, 2018, Salt Lake City, Utah
Bombardier Learjet Model 60
The airplane sustained substantial damage at about 0850 Mountain time after a brake caught fire while taxiing. The airplane was registered to and operated by the FAA as Flight Check 57, and had been modified to perform flight inspections of the national airspace navigational systems. All three aboard (two airline transport pilots and one technician) were uninjured. Visual conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operating under FAR Part 135.
While taxing on taxiway Kilo for a Runway 17L departure, the airplane’s right main brake ignited. The fire spread, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing. Observed wind was from 290 degrees at seven knots, and other conditions included good visibility under high clouds.
“Realizing he would not be able to stop before the trees, he rejected the takeoff, applied right rudder, groundlooped the airplane and stopped.”
This Month’s Graphic
Fresh data published by the NTSB includes aviation accident statistics for the 10 years ending in 2015. At right, we’ve reproduced an NTSB chart detailing the total and fatal accident numbers for non-scheduled Part 135 operations of fixed-wing aircraft, 2006 through 2015.
It appears the worldwide economic downturn beginning in 2008 favorably impacted accident occurrences. As the economy recovered, accident numbers returned to their post-downturn levels. Since then, improvements are seen.