ePilot Accident Report Archive
2015, 03 03
Autopilots are handy, but you'd better be able to fly the airplane by hand. You just might have to.
2015, 02 19
In flight, you want everything possible working to your advantage.
2015, 02 03
Under certain circumstances, helicopters can create their own weather. It's often a change for the worse.
2015, 01 14
The reason for making a flight is never more critical than managing the flight itself.
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.
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.
2014, 12 02
When operating from remote or unusual airports, local expertise can save a world of grief.
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.
2014, 11 03
Safe instrument flight requires a realistic understanding of how sharp your skills are today.
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.
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."
2014, 09 30
Hurry is usually counterproductive. In aircraft maintenance, it can be catastrophic.
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.
2014, 09 05
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, 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?
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.
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.
2014, 06 13
An EMS helicopter tried to make it back to base ahead of a converging storm front.
2014, 05 27
A Cessna 170 pilot suffers a classic stall/spin accident in the Alaskan bush.
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.
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?
2014, 04 15
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 02
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, 03 17
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 03
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.