ePilot Accident Report Archive

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False economies

2015, 04 27

The desire for a bargain shouldn't lead aircraft buyers to cut corners.

Shifting priorities

2015, 04 13

Even if you bother computing weight and balance, the results can't be trusted any more than you can trust the airplane's payload to stay in the places you put it.

Almost correct

2015, 04 02

Apparently minor discrepancies can have immense repercussions.

Borrowing trouble

2015, 03 26

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.

Departure procedure

2015, 03 17

There are no easy answers as to why a Beech Debonair flown by three airline transport pilots crashed immediately after takeoff in February 2014.

Out of his hands

2015, 03 03

Autopilots are handy, but you'd better be able to fly the airplane by hand. You just might have to.

Advantages foregone

2015, 02 19

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

Brownout

2015, 02 03

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

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

2015, 01 14

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

No second chance

2014, 12 29

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

How much is too much?

2014, 12 17

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

Local knowledge

2014, 12 02

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

Don’t wait to go around

2014, 11 18

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.

IFR in IMC

2014, 11 03

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

No guarantees

2014, 10 27

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.

Don't do it yourself

2014, 10 17

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."

Patience

2014, 09 30

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

VFR into VMC?

2014, 09 15

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.

Due diligence

2014, 08 11

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?

Too many unhappy returns

2014, 07 28

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.

More than meets the eye

2014, 07 10

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

A race to the finish

2014, 06 13

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

It's called that for a reason

2014, 05 27

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

'Moderate' peril

2014, 05 13

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.

Not 'ready for anything'

2014, 04 28

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?