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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA18CA051
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 12, 2017 in Tucson, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/14/2018
Aircraft: CESSNA 182H, registration: N8515S
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, after he refueled his airplane, he was cleared by the tower controller to the runway. He added that, as he taxied west toward taxiway Delta, the asphalt was very rough, and he did not see the taxiway to his left nor the unmarked drainage ditch immediately in front of him. The airplane entered the ditch travelling about 5 knots.
Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the empennage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Review of the accident airport diagram revealed that the area around the ditch was not a depicted taxiway. Further review of satellite imagery revealed that there were two access points to taxiway Delta southwest of the refueling point.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s failure to use taxiways shown on the airport diagrams and his subsequent failure to avoid a ditch.