Monday, January 27, 2014

Simpson Laurence Ray amphibious trike, N440LS: Accident occurred January 25, 2014 in Chehalis, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA104
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 25, 2014 in Chehalis, WA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 25, 2014, about 1515 Pacific standard time, an experimental Simpson Amphibeous Trike, N440LS, made a forced landing and came to rest on its side at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport (CLS), Chehalis, Washington. The pilot/owner operated the trike under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. The trike sustained structural damage to the left wing. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that was departing at the time and no flight plan had been filed. The flight was destined for the Toledo State Airport (5S4), Toledo, Oregon.

In an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that as soon as the trike lifted off the runway, it began to pull hard to the left. He looked to his left and saw the left wing flapping. He radioed that he was having a problem and flew a modified pattern to land. As the pilot turned the trike onto the final leg for landing, the trike began to oscillate in the air. As soon as it touched down, the left wing "grabbed" and the trike flipped over, coming to rest on its left side. The pilot stated that a police officer located the left wing spring assembly broken on the runway.

 A 70-year-old Oregon man sustained minor injuries after his ultralight airplane made a crash landing at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport Saturday afternoon. 

The pilot told responding police that prior to takeoff everything on his plane was in good working order.


Previous accident:
NTSB Identification: SEA08LA207
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 23, 2008 in Lake Chelan, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: Simpson Amphibious Trike, registration: N440LS
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had transported the float-equipped weight-shift amateur-built airplane to the training facility for assistance in having it certified, as well as to receive flight instruction in the airplane. When the flight instructor informed the pilot that his flight training would be postponed for about two weeks, the pilot agreed to wait. The flight instructor cautioned the pilot not to attempt to fly the airplane until he had received adequate training, to which the pilot agreed. Subsequently, the pilot elected to fly the airplane without having received any flight instruction. During the takeoff, witnesses reported observing the airplane climb rapidly, followed by a left wing low, steep nose down attitude prior to impacting the ground with its left wing, consistent with a stall/spin. According to the flight instructor, the airplane's 19-meter wing, known for its lifting capacity, most probably caused the inexperienced pilot to think that he was airborne, when the airplane was only light on its wheels, resulting in the pilot pushing out on the control bar thinking he would climb out. However, not having enough airspeed to sustain flight, the wing stalled. No pre-impact anomalies were reported with the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb, which resulted in an inadvertent aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in the float-equipped, weight-shift airplane.

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