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

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

More than meets the eye

A VFR-only pilot’s decision to take off in night instrument meteorological conditions resulted in spatial disorientation and a loss of control.

2014, 07 10

Nothing is routine

Buzzing around the pattern becomes an easy default for satisfying the urge to fly, and it’s easy to forget that the majority of accidents during personal flights happen while taking off or trying to land. If a pilot isn’t alive to explain what happened after the accident, it may be impossible to figure out why.

2014, 06 18

A race to the finish

An EMS helicopter tried to make it back to base ahead of a converging storm front.

2014, 06 13

It's called that for a reason

A Cessna 170 pilot suffers a classic stall/spin accident in the Alaskan bush.

2014, 05 27

'Moderate' peril

Pilots flying in areas covered by airmets for moderate turbulence often encounter nothing especially alarming, so it's easy to forget that actual conditions may be worse than predicted. Early in the evening of Dec. 14, 2012, a Beech King Air E90 broke up in flight about 15 minutes after takeoff from the Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas.

2014, 05 13

Not 'ready for anything'

Was the flight of a 1956-model Cessna 310 that took off from the Monett Municipal Airport in Missouri for a short hop to a private grass strip near Miller doomed from the start? Or could the pilots have done something to save it when an emergency started to unfold?

2014, 04 28

Mother knows best

A low-time VFR private pilot continued flying into instrument meteorological conditions even after his mother had requested he return his departure airport to avoid the low ceilings and fog at his planned destination. The pilot continued and crashed 15 miles east of his destination. His mother reported him missing.

2014, 04 15

Judgment call

The question of whether to attempt an instrument approach to an airport where the weather is below minimums is left entirely to the pilot’s discretion under 14 CFR Part 91. The fact that it’s legal doesn’t make it wise, as is evidenced in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.

2014, 04 02

Familiarity and contempt

An 18,000-hour pilot takes off with two pilot passengers after an abbreviated preflight. They’re going on a short 10-nautical-mile flight. Less than 1,000 feet in the air, the engine stops, and the pilot crashes trying to turn back to the airport, killing all on board. A careful preflight could have spotted the problem that made the engine seize.

2014, 03 17

Wire strike

Their ability to get in and out of incredibly constricted spaces is one of the most useful attributes of helicopters—but it can also be one of the most treacherous.

2014, 03 03

Rust removal

Rusty pilots must be careful to base their planning on the skills they have now rather than those they had when they quit or expect to regain soon.

2014, 02 18

Blown away

The pilot who took off from Angel Fire, N.M., in March 2013, when winds were gusting to 47 knots perpendicular to the runway, had told the lineman that he didn’t think the winds would be a problem.

2014, 02 05

Tragedy in the statistics

Remember that individual tragedies underlie the general aviation accident statistics: Three men died in the crash of a Cessna 310 near Vero Beach, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2013, in instrument meteorological conditions.

2014, 01 22
See all ePilot Accident Reports