NTSB Investigations Worth Reading, Transcripts and Pilot Reports





NTSB Investigations Worth Reading, Transcripts and Pilot Reports


NTSB Investigates Airborne Aircraft Hitting Power Line

On November 03, 2009, in Lake Placid, Florida, during a local sightseeing flight, the pilot descended through an altitude of 1,000 feet to be able to see a waterway below him. As the pilot performed the low flight maneuver, the airplane impacted a power line, causing the vertical stabilizer to separate from the airplane. The pilot reported experiencing resistance and a vibration with the airplane, followed by a loss of control. He was able to subsequently perform a forced landing straight ahead, during which the airplane sustained damage to the nose gear and to the rudder. A witness stated he heard a low flying airplane, followed by a loud noise similar to a "pop," and then he observed the airplane dragging a cable. Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, revealed the vertical stabilizer, with 150 feet of power line still attached, was located approximately 300 feet aft of the wreckage. No pre-impact malfunctions were reported by the pilot or identified during the post-accident examination. Aircraft: American Aviation AA1, registration: N7266L

NTSB Investigates A Destroyed Helicopter - Pilot Gets Out Of Helicopter, Then Helicopter Becomes Airborne

On November 28, 2009, in Indian Key, Florida, the pilot of a Robinson Helicopter R22, he landed in order to examine his helicopter due to the intermittent illumination of a warning light. After landing, he reduced the throttle to "70 percent," exited the helicopter, and began a visual inspection as the helicopter continued to run. During the inspection, the helicopter initiated a takeoff, which the pilot could not arrest from outside the cockpit. The helicopter climbed to approximately 150 feet altitude and flew about 1,800 feet before it descended and collided with water. The pilot was seriously injured during the takeoff, and the helicopter was substantially damaged during collision with the water. The pilot stated that he failed to secure the collective control, and added, "There was nothing wrong with the helicopter." Aircraft: Robinson Helicopter R22, registration: N324GS

NTSB Investigates Northwest Airlines (NWA) Flight 188

On October 21, 2009, Northwest Airlines (NWA) flight 188, an Airbus A320, N374NW, did not respond to air traffic control communications for approximately one hour 17 minutes during cruise at FL370. Flight 188 flew past their intended destination while the flight was NORDO (no radio communications) but landed without further incident once radio communication was reestablished. There the aircraft had 2 pilots, 3 flight attendants and 144 passengers onboard. The flight was from San Diego International Airport (SAN), San Diego, California, to Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport (MSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota.

CFI Stated "There Was Some Confusion" Regarding Who Was At The Controls

On September 27, 2009, in Factoryville, PA, the certificated flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot receiving instruction were conducting an instrument approach to a 2,500-foot long runway in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The pilot receiving instruction was at the controls. As the airplane reached the minimum descent altitude, the pilot initiated a circle-to-land on the opposite runway. The CFI then said, "no," took control of the airplane, and conducted a "steep" turn to land on the approach runway. The pilot stated that they "had too much airspeed and floated almost halfway down the runway." Upon touchdown, the pilot reported "hydroplaning" on the wet runway. The airplane departed the end of the runway, slid down a grassy hill, and came to rest in a ditch, resulting in substantial damage to the firewall. The CFI stated "there was some confusion" regarding who was at the controls during touchdown, and he "should have taken over sooner" than he did. The pilot and the CFI reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures. The nearest weather reporting station, located approximately 15 nautical miles north of the accident site, reported winds from 310 degrees at 3 knots and 10 miles visibility around the time of the accident. The report also indicated that rain had ended about 15 minutes prior to the accident. Cessna 172, registration: N5123E


Pilot Forced To Land Fuel Inlet Filter 75 % Blocked with Rust, Insect Remains

On August 30, 2009 in Thomasville, PA, according to the pilot, during the preflight inspection, he checked the full fuel tanks for water at all three access points, with none found. The engine ran smoothly during taxi, run up and takeoff, but "stumbled" upon level off. The pilot switched tanks, "checked" the carburetor heat, and found that the engine only smoothed out when he added full power. The pilot decided to return to the airport, and during the base leg, the engine lost all power, resulting in a forced landing in a cornfield. A post flight examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed no obvious mechanical anomalies with the physical components of the engine. However, when he examined the carburetor fuel inlet filter, the inspector found it about 75 percent blocked with particulate matter consisting of large quantities of rust, insect remains, and sand. A restriction of this amount would significantly effect the engines ability to operate at lower power settings and could result in a total loss of engine power. Beech B19, registration: N6982R


Pilot Failed To Maintain Directional Control During The Landing Roll

On July 25, 2009 in Warrenton, VA, the certificated private pilot performed a "normal" landing at 60 miles per hour and the tail-wheel-equipped airplane continued for approximately 600 to 700 feet on the 2,215 foot-long by 70-foot-wide turf runway, before it drifted to the right. The pilot was unable to correct the drift with left rudder and left brake before the airplane departed the runway, and struck trees at approximately "30 miles per hour."

When asked how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated he should have kept the control stick fully back during the landing roll, and that the wet grass condition significantly decreased surface friction available for braking and steering effectiveness. Calm winds were reported 5 nautical miles southeast of the airport.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll. Contributing to the accident was the wet turf landing surface. Aircraft: Dart GW, registration: N20930


Five Onboard Balloon Encounters High Winds Resulting In Crash Landing   

On June 13, 2009, in Marathon City, WI, the pilot and four paying passengers departed in a free air balloon. The local area surface weather observations indicated that the winds were consistently from the northwest at 6 ? 8 knots. Around the time of the balloon launch, the winds were observed to be 300 degrees at 6 knots. About 3 minutes after liftoff, the balloon was heading 180 degrees at 10 knots about 800 feet above ground level. The winds on the ground suddenly increased to about 25 mph, and the balloon experienced strong wind gusts. The pilot reported that about 9 minutes after takeoff, a big wind gust ?caved in? half the balloon and the mouth was ?almost shut.? The pilot decided to get the balloon on the ground at the nearest suitable field, and instructed the passengers to prepare for a hard landing. The balloon hit hard, bounced in the air about 30 feet, and traveled about 200 feet before it hit the ground again. The balloon tipped on its side and one of the passengers partially fell out of the basket, but was restrained by the pilot and a passenger. The wind dragged the basket about 125 feet where the passenger fell out the basket and into a ditch. The basket was dragged about another 60 feet before it came to a stop in another field. The passenger was seriously injured. The balloon sustained minor damage. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: A hard landing as a result of unexpected high winds and gusts. Aerostar International Inc RX-9, registration: N9116M 

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