FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Richmond FSDO-21
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA167
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 29, 2016 in Clarksville, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/2016
Aircraft: SEWELL WILLIAM K ZODIAC 601, registration: N601BZ
Injuries: 1 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 during takeoff the airplane began to drift to the left immediately after rotation. The pilot further reported that he applied right aileron, but the drift continued and the airplane's left main landing gear struck a tree within a tree line about 100 feet to the left of the runway. After the impact, the airplane sank further into the trees and came to rest slightly nose high and left wing down.
The fuselage, both wings, and horizontal stabilizer were substantially damaged.
The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, which resulted in the airplane drifting to the left of the runway and impacting trees.
Bill Sewell of Chase City was not injured following an early afternoon crash of his plane at the Lake Country Regional Airport in Clarksville on Tuesday.
He was alone in the plane at the time of the crash.
“I was taking off and the plane drifted to the left. My wheels hit the trees [a little more than mid-way down the runway] and stalled the plane,” causing it to crash, Sewell said. Once the left landing gear became enmeshed in the trees, his forward momentum stopped, causing the aircraft to roll over into the treetops.
Sewell said the plane came to rest with one wing tilted downward, barely six feet from the ground. This allowed him to climb out of the cockpit and slid down the wing to safety.
As a safety precaution, police and fire were called to the scene.
“The plane is pretty much totaled,” said Sewell. He called it an experimental home-built model that he constructed from a kit in 2007. He has a newer plane, also an experimental home-built model, but that one was down for servicing, according to Sewell.
A pilot for 15 years, this is Sewell’s first crash — and he said hopefully his last.
Original article can be found here: http://www.sovanow.com