Thursday, April 13, 2017

Arion Lightning LS-1, N481SL: Accident occurred August 24, 2016 at Northeast Florida Regional Airport (KSGJ), St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida


Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N481SL

Raw video: https://www.instagram.com

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA502
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 24, 2016 in St. Augustine, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2017
Aircraft: ARION SKYS OPEN SPORT AVIATION LIGHTNING, registration: N481SL
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.

According to the pilot of the experimental light-sport airplane, following a personal flight, he made a straight-in approach to runway 13. He recalled that the tower reported the wind as 070° at 12 knots. During the approach, the airplane encountered “convective turbulence,” but he established a stabilized approach over the runway centerline. He remarked that, about 5 ft above the runway, the airplane encountered what he estimated to be a 20-knot or greater wind gust. He reported that the airplane ballooned and touched down on the nosewheel, the propeller struck the ground, and he used differential braking to stop the airplane on the runway. The nose landing gear separated from the airplane, and the engine mounts and the spar box sustained substantial damage.

The METAR at the accident airport indicated that, at the time of the accident, the wind was 040° true at 12 knots. There were no METARs throughout the day at the accident airport that indicated wind gusts. 

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have prevented normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing.

According to the pilot in the experimental light-sport airplane, following a personal flight he made a straight-in approach to runway 13. He recalled that the tower reported the wind as 070° at 12 knots. During the approach the airplane encountered "convective turbulence," but he established a stabilized approach over the runway centerline. He remarked that about five feet above the runway the airplane encountered what he estimated to be a 20 knot or greater wind gust. He reported that the airplane ballooned, touched down on the nose wheel, the propeller struck the ground, and he used differential braking to stop the airplane on the runway. The nose landing gear separated from the airplane, and substantial damage was sustained to the engine mounts and the spar box.

The meteorological aerodrome report (METAR) at the accident airport, indicated that at the time of the accident the wind was 040° true, at 12 knots. There were no METAR's throughout the day, at the accident airport, that indicated wind gusts. 

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