ASI ePilot Accident Reports

On this page, the Air Safety Institute will present accident reports documenting a specific accident cause on a biweekly basis. Come back often to learn more.

Reports are sorted by NTSB number (where applicable). Dates in parentheses present the date they were published in AOPA ePilot. Would you like to receive these reports and other news involving general aviation on a regular basis? Sign up for AOPA ePilot!

Latest ePilot Accident Reports

Advantages foregone

In flight, you want everything possible working to your advantage.

2015, 02 19

Brownout

Under certain circumstances, helicopters can create their own weather. It's often a change for the worse.

2015, 02 03

Accident chain builds on low-time pilot’s business flight

The reason for making a flight is never more critical than managing the flight itself.

2015, 01 14

No second chance

The rule "always leave yourself a way out" takes on particular importance when flying a piston single over mountainous terrain in instrument conditions.

2014, 12 29

How much is too much?

Even when no single item is absolutely prohibitive, accepting too many challenges on the same flight can lead to a very bad day.

2014, 12 17

Local knowledge

When operating from remote or unusual airports, local expertise can save a world of grief.

2014, 12 02

Don’t wait to go around

For those who fly either airplanes or helicopters, the go-around is like Monopoly’s Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. The go-around is not a difficult maneuver, but it does get harder the longer you wait.

2014, 11 18

IFR in IMC

Safe instrument flight requires a realistic understanding of how sharp your skills are today.

2014, 11 03

No guarantees

In an unprotected airplane, anything more than a trace of ice is cause for immediate action, including declaring an emergency if that’s what it takes to get out. In a better-equipped aircraft, the urgency of the situation depends on a number of things.

2014, 10 27

Don't do it yourself

Initiative is widely regarded as admirable, and having the gumption to manage one's own education is one of the most widely admired initiatives of all. But aviation isn't a skill that lends itself to being "self-taught."

2014, 10 17

Patience

Hurry is usually counterproductive. In aircraft maintenance, it can be catastrophic.

2014, 09 30

VFR into VMC?

Reported ceilings and visibilities above VFR minimums are no guarantee of a clear view of the horizon. NTSB investigators concluded that the VFR pilot in a fatal crash Oct. 21, 2013, likely lost control in reduced visibility caused by rain showers.

2014, 09 15

Borrowing trouble

Teaching yourself to fly an unfamiliar airplane is daring enough. Teaching yourself to fly an unfamiliar homebuilt when you haven't flown in a decade practically invites catastrophe.

2014, 09 05

Due diligence

Initial reports that a King Air C90 had succumbed to apparent fuel exhaustion on the short hop from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to Bentonville (about 172 nautical miles straight-line distance) inspired some incredulity. How could anyone able to operate a King Air be too cheap or too careless to assure he had enough fuel for the flight?

2014, 08 11

Too many unhappy returns

On Aug. 5, 2013, the 34-year-old pilot of an Air Tractor AT-400 became at least the fourth crop duster in the past few years killed when his airplane collided with a meteorological tower.

2014, 07 28
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