Monday, May 09, 2016

Arion Lightning LS-1, Arion Aircraft LLC, N341AL: Fatal accident occurred August 02, 2016 at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY), Los Angeles, California -and- incident occurred May 06, 2016 in Camarillo, Ventura County, California


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Van Nuys FSDO-01 
NTSB Identification: WPR16FA157 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 2016 in Van Nuys, CA
Aircraft: ARION AIRCRAFT LLC LIGHTNING LS-1, registration: N341AL
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 2, 2016, about 1322 Pacific daylight time, an Arion Lightning LS-1, N341AL, was substantially damaged after it collided with a building during a touch and go at Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, California. The private pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO), Santa Monica, California at 1315. 

According to an acquaintance, the pilot had planned to complete several touch and go maneuvers at VNY on the day of the accident. Preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control audio indicated that the pilot requested to land on runway 16L. After a touch and go, he reported that he heard something "banging around" and asked the tower controller if he could see it. The controller informed the pilot that his left main landing gear was "dangling" from the airplane. After some further discussion, the pilot stated that he wanted to land at VNY, which was his final radio communication. 

Several witnesses reported that the airplane was flying erratically during its departure from runway 16L. Two witnesses listened to the exchange between the pilot and the controller after they observed a wheel fairing hanging from the left main landing gear of the departing airplane. Seconds after the pilot's final communication, they observed the airplane enter a hard left turn. One witness described the turn as a "fighter pilot maneuver." The airplane's nose dropped through the horizon during the steep turn, which was immediately followed by a quarter spin to the left and then a nose down attitude. According to the FAA, the accident site features indicated that the airplane impacted a utility pole, a truck, and then slid on the ground into a section of alleyway between two buildings where it came to rest. 

The airplane came to rest about one eighth of a nautical mile from VNY. The initial impact point (IIP) was identified by a broken wooden utility pole and multiple severed wires. The end of the debris path was marked by the main wreckage, which came to rest in fragments about 15 feet beyond the IIP. An odor of fuel was detected at the accident site, which was accompanied by a large fuel stain on the ground beneath the main wreckage. One wooden propeller blade remained attached to the propeller hub and the other blade was sheared at the propeller root. 

A wreckage examination will take place at a later date.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email


Date: 06-MAY-16
Time: 18:41:00Z
Regis#: N341AL
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Van Nuys FSDO-01
State: California

VAN NUYS ( — One person was killed after a small plane has crashed into the side of a building near Van Nuys Airport. 

Desmond Shaw, an airborne traffic reporter for KNX NEWSRADIO and CBS2/KCAL9, says he witnessed the crash just after it took off at about 1:15 p.m. into a building at 16145 W. Hart Street, just a block away from the busy commuter airport.

“Before they could clear him to land, he turned really hard to the left and was sideways,” Shaw said. “He started losing altitude, and my pilot was like, ‘He’s going to crash. He’s going to crash’ … He just nosedived, slammed into an industrial building. It all happened in about 15 seconds.”

“Never in all my time in the skies have I actually watched a plane crash…rather shaken up up here. Sometimes we forget the risks we take,” Shaw tweeted.

Authorities confirmed one person was killed in the crash. The building was not structurally damaged and there were no other injuries.

“Basically, we heard a loud crash, but it didn’t sound like a plane crash. It sounded more like a car crash, and we started hearing people screaming, saying, ‘That way! That way,’ ” said Brenda Dykstra, a witness.

The plane was believed to be an Arion Lightning, a light-sport kit-type aircraft, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

According to Gregor, the pilot was apparently performing “touch-and-go” practice maneuvers at Van Nuys Airport when the crash occurred.

Shaw described the plane as a lite sport aircraft and that the pilot complained of something banging around upon take-off, and that the tower said his landing gear was loose.

Just before impact, the pilot radioed in for help:

Pilot: “I have something banging around. Can you see what it is?”

Controller: “Your left main gear appears to be dangling. Uh, it appears to be broke.”

Pilot: “Great. What should I do?”

Controller: “Do you want to attempt landing here? Or it’s up to your uh … it’s your discretion.”

Pilot: “Uh, yeah. I’ll attempt landing here.”

Unknown: “I think that plane went down. I just saw it. I think that plane went down.”

The last time the pilot had filed a flight plan was back in Dec. of 2015, when he flew out of the Santa Monica Airport to Camarillo.

The pilot has not been identified. He was the only one on board.

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1 comment:

  1. This aircraft crashed today at Van Nuys airport, killing the sole occupant aboard. The landing gear was damaged after a hard touch and go. Seconds later the aircraft crashed less than a 1/4 m from the airport inside the traffic pattern of 16L.

    The fact that it had a landing incident in May should raise questions.


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