ePilot Accident Report Archive

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Into the void

2015, 08 19

You've heard about the hazards of "black-hole approaches." What about black-hole departures?

Too much fun

2015, 08 04

Serious accidents most often result from pilots asking too much of their aircraft. Some demand too much utility. Others just try to have too much fun, like the pilot of a Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon.

Margin for error

2015, 07 14

Why would an experienced pilot put his aircraft into a position where any unexpected event would create a hazard--especially with family members on board?

Slopes too steep to climb

2015, 06 30

Pilots new to mountain flying may be surprised to find that on a warm day, hills can outclimb airplanes.

Heels over head

2015, 06 16

Aerobatics are very safe—when performed in an appropriate place by a qualified pilot flying a suitable airplane.

Almost beyond belief

2015, 06 01

What could possibly account for the crash of a meticulously maintained P-51 flown by an expert pilot in beautiful weather?

No place like home

2015, 05 18

The last few miles are just as dangerous as any others--especially if you're scud running at night.

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.