Accident Threat Categories / Operations

Accident summaries organized relative to the threat category that was a major factor in each accident.

Accident Threat Categories
Abrupt Maneuver
The intentional abrupt maneuvering (AMAN) of the aircraft can result in loss of control or system/component failure or malfunction. Generally this occurs while maneuvering the aircraft to avoid a collision with terrain, objects/obstacles, weather or aircraft. Abrupt maneuvering may also occur on ground, examples include hard braking maneuver, rapid change of direction to avoid collisions.

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Automation
Automation in airplane systems has provided a significant improvement in nearly every aspect of aviation safety.  However, occasionally, gaps in the automation/human interface have resulted in accidents.    

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Controlled Flight into Terrain
Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) occurs when an airworthy aircraft is flown without loss of control into terrain (mountain's, water or obstacles) with inadequate awareness on the part of the pilot of the impending collision.   

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Engine / Component Failure
Engine failures (SCF-PP) relate to failure or malfunction of an aircraft system or component related to the engine. This type of failure results in the loss of power and the ability of the aircraft to achieve or maintain flight. Component failures (SCF-NP) aircraft systems or component not related to the engine that causes the aircraft to be uncontrollable. This can include failures in software, databases, pieces separating from the aircraft and those related to or caused by maintenance issues.

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Fuel Exhaustion / Contamination
Fuel exhaustion or contamination (FUEL) resulting in the loss of power and the ability of the aircraft to maintain flight. The reasons for fuel exhaustion range from undiscovered fuel leaks, fuel system mismanagement, navigation errors (e.g. being lost) and inattention to the fuel gauges. Fuel contamination occurs due to condensation, wrong fuel, improper storage, lack of maintenance and other reasons.

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Icing
Accumulation of snow, ice, freezing rain, or frost on aircraft surfaces and components that adversely affects aircraft control or performance (ICE).

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Inclement Weather
Most small airplanes cannot fly over or around weather the way transports can. Often they do not have the systems to avoid or cope with hazardous weather conditions. Technology is evolving that will improve identification of environmental threats for small airplanes. This threat includes such things as thunderstorms, lightening, hail and turbulence (WSTRW).

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Loss of Control
Loss of Control (LOC-I) is an unintended departure from a normal/expected trajectory in flight into an unstable condition that precludes rapid recovery. LOC-I may result from stall/spin, icing contamination, flight controls, automated systems, loss of power, incorrect piloting technique, or encounters with unexpected weather phenomena.  
 
Loss of Control on the ground (LOC-G) may be the result of wheels, brakes, flight controls, failures or Runway conditions.

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Low Altitude Operations
Low Altitude operations (LALT) includes but not limited to such things as Banner towing , Skywriting, Aerial photography, Aerial Spotting, Aerial Surveying, Pipeline inspection, Agriculture, Firefighting and Power line patrol.  Inherent in these operations is the reduction in recovery time should an event occur.

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Midair Collisions / Incursions
Midair Collisions / Incursions (MAC) happen when two or more aircraft come into same airspace during flight. Generally these results in damage or the total destruction of at least one of the aircraft involved. The potential for mid-air incursions is increased by miscommunication, error in navigation, deviations from flight plans, and the lack of collision-avoidance systems. These events often happen near or at airports, where large volumes of aircraft are spaced more closely than in general flight.

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Structural Failure
In general terms, structural components are found to be adequately robust by a process that initially identifies the structural loading spectrum that the assembly, part, or surface will be expected to experience while in service. This includes the identification of the most severe, but none the less, expected loading conditions. Often, accidents involve the realization that either the original loading conditions are more severe than expected, or the capability of the component, structure, or system had deteriorated due to some unanticipated condition being present.

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Uncontrolled Fire / Smoke
Uncontrolled fire and smoke represents a serious safety threat due to flames, heat and smoke and   toxic gasses. Fire or smoke (F-NI) in or on the aircraft, in flight or on the ground maybe the result of combustive explosion, system/component failures/malfunctions in the cockpit, passenger cabin, cargo or impact (POST-F).

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Unintended VFR to IMC
VFR to IMC (UIMC) occurs with an unintended flight is made into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). Visual Flight Rule (VFR) pilots generally do not intentionally fly into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). Pilots should remember that most small airplanes cannot fly over or around weather the way transports can. Often they do not have the systems to avoid or cope with hazardous weather conditions.

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Accident summaries organized relative to the operation that was a major factor in each accident.

Operations
Aerial Observation
Flights made to gather information visual for either private or commercial purposes.

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Airshow

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Business / Commercial
Flights made for hire. This includes but not limited to business charter, medical charter, cargo, crop-dusting, agricultural and banner towing.

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Instructional
Flights made for instructional or training purposes.

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Personal
Flights made for Recreational purposes.

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Positioning
Positioning refers to flying an aircraft to a position (airport) where it will be used for ongoing service or maintenance performed.

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Public Use
Flights made by public agencies such as Police, Fire and the Military.

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