Monday, April 21, 2014

American Aviation AA-1 Yankee Clipper, N481HY: Accident occurred April 21, 2014 in Peyton, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA221
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 21, 2014 in Peyton, CO
Aircraft: AMERICAN AA 1, registration: N481HY
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 April 21, 2014, at 1422 mountain daylight time, an American AA-1, N481HY, veered off runway 15 and impacted runway signs and terrain at Meadow Lake Airport (FLY), Colorado Springs, Colorado. The airplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire. The airline transport pilot was uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 CFR Part 91 as a maintenance test flight. The flight was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at FLY about 1422 and was to remain in the airport traffic pattern for the flight.

The pilot, who was also the airplane owner, stated he performed preflight and pre takeoff checks of the airplane prior to a post owner-assisted annual inspection test flight. He departed from runway 15 for the first takeoff and remained in left closed traffic for touch and go landings. He performed the first landing to a full stop to test the airplane brakes and then taxied back to runway 15. He did not notice any anomalies with the airplane and tried to stay off the brakes during the taxi. He rechecked the magnetos and completed takeoff checks prior to a second takeoff on runway 15. During the second takeoff, the airplane accelerated on the main landing gear with the tail wheel off the ground. The airplane "aggressively veered left," and he applied full right rudder. The airplane struck a runway/taxiway sign before he was able to reduce the engine throttle. The airplane bounced and impacted terrain between runway 15 and a parallel taxiway while striking additional airport signs. The airplane came to a stop in a drainage ditch between the runway and taxiway and immediately caught fire. The airplane exploded about one minute after he evacuated the airplane.

The pilot said that he did not know what caused the post-accident fire, but that the fuel tanks were ruptured during the collision with the airport signs/terrain.

The pilot stated that the brake calipers were not removed during the owner-assisted annual inspection and when asked by the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-In-Charge what maintenance work was performed, he said that he replaced the landing gear wheel bearings, tire tubes, and tires. He then said that the calipers were removed when asked if the calipers had to be removed to perform the maintenance items related to the wheel bearings, tire tubes, and tires. The brake fluid was last changed when he purchased the airplane about January 2011. He said that the annual inspection was performed in the hangar belonging to the mechanic with inspection authorization that certified the inspection. He said that the mechanic was present while the inspection work was performed.

The airplane, serial number 0048, was powered by a Lycoming O-320-A2B, serial number L-49225-27A, engine. The airplane underwent an owner-assisted annual inspection that was performed by the pilot. The airplane logbook entry for the annual inspection was made by an airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspection authorization at American Aviation Inc., Peyton, Colorado, and was dated April 2, 2014. The entry stated:

"Aircraft inspected IAW FAR 43 Appendix D. Replaced vacuum regulator filter B3-5-1. Stop drilled 2 small cracks on top canopy. Checked controls for travel and condition. Checked sears, belts and rails. C/W AD 72-06-02 on rudder and elevator control cables by inspection. No broken strands noted. C/W AD 72-07-10 on elevator bungee by inspection. C/W AD 75-09-07 mixture control wire by inspection. Replaced ELT Battery, next change date March 2016. C/W FAR 207D and checked good. See owners entries for cowl, wheels, brakes, tires, etc. Returned to service. Applicable AD's thru 04-02-14."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector from the Denver Flight Standards District Office, the logbook entry for the inspection was not in accordance with regulatory requirements because there were no additional entries relating to "See owners entries for cowl, wheels, brakes, tires, etc." The inspector stated that all maintenance work must be entered and the authorizing mechanic must ensure that such entries are made.

Post-accident fire damage of the airplane precluded examination of the brake and landing gear systems.


Falcon fire crews were among emergency responders who rescued the pilot and put out a small grass fire next to the runway caused by the plane crash, which was reported about 2:20 p.m. Monday.

EL PASO COUNTY - A small plane has crashed at Meadow Lake Airport near Falcon, according to El Paso County Sheriff's Office.  The pilot, flying solo in an American Yankee single-seater airplane, was practicing take-offs and landings.  During one of the take-offs, the plane had a mechanical issue and "landed hard" immediately after take-off.  The pilot managed to get out of the plane before the plane caught fire.   The pilot is OK, but the plane is a complete loss.

A pilot was uninjured after his plane crashed and burst into flames at the Meadow Lake Airport near Peyton, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

The pilot was repeatedly taking off and landing at the airport. The sheriff's office say since the last take-off there was a mechanical issue which made the plane "land hard" just after it took off. The plane burst into flames, but the pilot was able to get out.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is doing the initial investigation and will refer the crash to the FAA and NTSB.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -    The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says the pilot of a small plane that burst into flames after a hard landing at the Meadow Lake Airport escaped without injuries.

The incident happened at 2:22 p.m. on Monday, April 21, 2014.

The sheriff's office says the pilot was doing take-offs and landings when something went wrong.

The plane experienced some sort of mechanical malfunction during one of the take-offs then landed hard moments later.

The sheriff's office says the pilot, who was not hurt in the hard landing, was able to get away from the plane before it burst into flames.