Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kirbybilt Aircraft XCALIBUR, N505XC: Accident occurred July 19, 2016 in Valdez, Alaska

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: ANC16CA055
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 19, 2016 in Valdez, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2016
Aircraft: KIRBYBILT AIRCRAFT XCALIBUR, registration: N505XC
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 he made an approach to a remote grass airstrip that resulted in the tailwheel-equipped airplane being too low to make the airstrip threshold. During the touchdown, the main landing gear impacted an embankment and collapsed, and the bottom of the fuselage impacted terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

As a safety recommendation, the pilot reported to avoid landing at this particular area until more reconnaissance is conducted along with additional off airport operations practice. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has published the Airplane Flying Handbook FAA-H-8083-3A (2004). This handbook discusses a low final approach and states in part:

When it is realized the runway will not be reached unless appropriate action is taken, power must be applied immediately to maintain the airspeed while the pitch attitude is raised to increase lift and stop the descent. When the proper approach path has been intercepted, the correct approach attitude should be reestablished and the power reduced and a stabilized approach maintained.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate glide path during landing, which resulted in the airplane landing short of the airstrip, a landing gear collapse, and subsequent substantial damage to the fuselage.

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