Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Zodiac 601 HDS, N99SZ and Cessna 441 Conquest II, N33DE: Accident occurred May 17, 2016 at Nevada County Air Park (KGOO), Grass Valley, California

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: 

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Docket And Docket Items:

National Transportation Safety Board  -   Aviation Accident Data Summary:



FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in Grass Valley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2016
Aircraft: VAN B ANTHONY ZODIAC, registration: N99SZ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 of an experimental amateur built airplane reported that he felt pressured by a trailing airplane while in the traffic pattern; he further reported that this pressure caused him to turn base, and then final sooner than expected, which resulted in an increased airspeed and higher than expected altitude on final approach. 

The pilot reported that he decided to proceed with the landing with the intent of utilizing the length of the runway to reduce the airspeed. He further reported that the landing flare was effected by the higher than normal airspeed, and resulted in a hard landing. 

During the landing roll, the pilot reported that the airplane began to veer to the left and right which progressively increased, resulting in a runway excursion to the left. During the runway excursion, the airplane impacted a taxiway sign, which disabled the brake(s). The airplane continued across the airport until it impacted a parked airplane on the ramp. As a result of the impact, a post-impact fire ensued and the airplane was destroyed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain a stabilized approach and landing, which resulted in a hard landing, loss of directional control, runway excursion, and collision with a parked airplane.

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) —A Grass Valley pilot is lucky to be alive after an experimental plane he put together himself made a hard landing at the Nevada County Airpark before it crashed into another plane and burst into flames.

Friends identified the pilot as 75-year-old Van Anthony.

After the crash, Anthony climbed out of the burning plane but suffered burns to his body.

“I’m very surprised. I thought for sure he was done,” said Bruce Marlow, a friend of Anthony. “He did well to get out of that aircraft in a timely fashion. I’m sure right now he’s probably not feeling that, but he did well to get out of that.”

Anthony built the plane, a Zodiac 601 HDS, by himself from a kit.

The crash happened around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Anthony initially touched down on the runway then lost control. The plane darted across the taxiway and into an unoccupied plane on the parking ramp.

“He was landing, and landed hard and then something happened after that and he was along for the ride basically,” Airport Manager Lee Ocker said.

Cal Star paramedics placed Anthony on a stretcher and loaded him up into a helicopter. They flew him to UC Davis Medical Center where he's in the emergency room and reported as stable.

A majority of the Zenith Zodiac burned, including the entire front end and cockpit. The Cessna 441 plane Anthony crashed into also suffered significant burn damages.

It’s unknown what caused the plane to crash. Federal investigators will arrive Wednesday to investigate.

Original article can be found here:

 A local pilot was airlifted to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after his airplane collided with a stationary plane at the Nevada County Airpark, leading to a fire that damaged both aircraft and burned the pilot, officials said.

The pilot, in a single-engine, home-built Zodiac 601 HDS, ran off the runway about 4:30 p.m. for unknown reasons, officials said.

“It ended up in front of a stationary plane,” said Lee Ocker, the airport’s manager.

A fire erupted in the pilot’s plane that spread to the other aircraft, an unmanned twin-engine Cessna 441. The pilot then fled from his plane, and was conscious and alert when first-responders arrived, Ocker added.

The pilot’s plane had significant damage.

According to the FAA, the Zodiac’s registered owner is Van B. Anthony, of Grass Valley.

Ocker said he would contact officials with both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, the latter of which would send an investigative team.

The airport remained open after Tuesday’s crash. 

Original article can be found here: 

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — A Grass Valley pilot survived a fiery crash after his homemade airplane crashed into another plane at the Nevada County Airpark.

The pilot is recovering from second- and third-degree burns and smoke inhalation at UC Davis Medical Center. Rescue crews say he walked out of his plane just in time.

The home-built plane called Zodiac 601 HDS burst into flames after crashing into a parked Cessna twin-engine plane. Within seconds, the cockpit turned into a pile of ash on the tarmac of the airpark.

While the plane was totaled, pilot Van Anthony still has his life. Firefighters arrived in minutes to find him suffering from burns.

Tyler Paulin lives nearby and witnessed the pilot making a hard landing and veer 200 feet off the runway before crashing into a parked plane.

“I think he got real lucky,” he said. “He could have died.”

Paulin says his buddies fly home-built planes all the time at the airport. He says it looked like this one didn’t stand a chance after the plane hit the ground.

Firefighters say wind may have played a role in Tuesday’s crash, but the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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  1. BIG $$$$$$ again; he best have very deep pockets, very comprehensive insurance policy, good lawyer and hopefully all three.

  2. Unfortunately this pilot did not have enough experience on this plane. The Zodiac 601 HDS have a tendency of nose wheel shimmy and vibration if landing at too high an airspeed (above 65mph). All the pilot had to do was to keep the nose wheel of the ground by holding back the stick once the main wheels has touch down and keeping directional control with the rudder until the speed has bled off to about 30 mph where the elevator authority wont be able to hold the nose up anymore and the nose wheel will touch down and the nose wheel steering would be sufficient to control the aircraft safely. Proper training would not have resulted in this accident. The 601 HDS have no flaps, so the landing speed is faster but controllable up to 95mph if the pilot keep the nose gear off the ground at high speeds.
    M Ross (500hrs total and 150hrs on 601 HDS and operating from 1500ft landing strip)

  3. No nose wheel. This one was a taildragger.