AVweb’s General Aviation Accident Bulletin is taken from the pages of our sister publication, Aviation Safety magazine. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause on the NTSB’s website at www.ntsb.gov. Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at www.aviationsafetymagazine.com.
September 7, 2022, Mesa, AZ
Cessna 750 Citation X
At about 1453 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a runway excursion on landing after losing its primary hydraulic system. The pilot and first officer were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported that the landing gear would not retract after departing Tucson, Arizona, and decided to divert to Mesa. Soon afterward, he noticed that hydraulic system “A” lost fluid and pressure. The pilots completed the appropriate hydraulic system failure emergency checklist.
The subsequent touchdown was smooth, at VREF speed, and the pilot began using the emergency braking immediately. Several hundred feet after touchdown, the left main landing gear tires blew, and the airplane veered off the runway. The right main landing gear subsequently collapsed, and the airplane came to rest in the runway safety area. Examination revealed the nose landing gear centering hydraulic line was frayed near its upper fitting.
September 8, 2022, Santa Monica, Calif.
Czech Sport Aircraft Piper Sport
The airplane was destroyed at about 1626 Pacific time when its pilot lost control on landing. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The flight was an introductory flight lesson for the prospective student pilot. Multiple witnesses observed the airplane land on Runway 21, with one describing the landing as “hard.” The witnesses observed the airplane aggressively pitch up and climb, while the engine made a sound consistent with it going to full power. It continued climbing in a nose-up attitude before leveling off at the climb’s apex, and then spinning to the left, descending and colliding with the ground.
September 9, 2022, Saint Cloud, Fla.
Cirrus Design SF50 Vision Jet
At about 1502 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when its pilot deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Instrument conditions prevailed.
After being cleared for an instrument approach, the flight crossed the intermediate approach fix at 2000 feet MSL and turned toward the final approach fix with a reduced power setting (20 percent). The pilot heard an aural airspeed warning; according to recorded data, indicated airspeed had dropped to about 102 knots. The pilot noted that the reduced airspeed was not common for that portion of the approach, so he added power. When the additional engine power did not have the desired effect, he added more. The pilot reported the airplane then made an uncommanded right turn. He disconnected the autopilot and attempted to roll the wings level. The recorded data reflect that, at about that time, the airplane rolled left and climbed with decreasing indicated airspeed. The pilot pushed the nose down to maintain airspeed, which floated his laptop and iPhone.
The airplane was in IMC, and the pilot informed the passengers that he would be deploying the CAPS. The airplane was flying at 119 knots in a slight nose-up pitch attitude and about a 45-degree left bank at 3150 feet when the CAPS activation occurred. The airplane touched down hard in a marsh and sustained substantial damage.
This article originally appeared in the May 2023 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.
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“Floated his laptop and iPhone” Focus is sort of important during an instrument approach in IMC conditions, unsecured distractions, not so much.