The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.
Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
NTSB Identification: CEN17LA149
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 03, 2017 in Garden Ridge, TX
Aircraft: HUGHES WILLIAM J AVENTURA UL, registration: N580TX
Injuries: 1 Serious.
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On April 3, 2017, about 1934 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Hughes model Aventura UL amphibian airplane, N580TX, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Garden Ridge, Texas. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight departed Kitty Hawk Flying Field (TS67), located near Garden Ridge, Texas, about 1915.
The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to simulate water landings by performing low passes over a grassy area that was situated along the western edge of runway 14/32 (700 feet by 200 feet). The pilot reported that he had completed several low passes before the accident. The pilot stated that after completing an uneventful low pass, while on the right crosswind leg, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power and the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot subsequently completed a forced landing to a nearby clearing; however, he did not recall the impact sequence.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed the postaccident examination of the airplane at the accident site. The airplane landing gear were positioned for a water landing. The emergency ballistic parachute recovery system was armed but had not deployed. The three fuel tanks (1 main, 2 auxiliary) contained automotive gasoline premixed with engine oil. The fuel filter assembly and both carburetors contained fuel. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed by rotating the propeller. The spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and appeared undamaged. One of the three propeller blades had punctured the fabric-covered aft fuselage during the impact sequence. The propeller was removed from the engine to facilitate an operational engine test run. The engine, a 55-horsepower Hirth model 3202, serial number 901269, started and ran at various engine speeds without any hesitation or anomalies. The postaccident examination and operational test run revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal engine operation.
At 1958, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) located at Randolph Air Force Base (RND), about 6 miles south of the accident site, reported: wind 200 degrees at 5 knots, clear sky, 10 mile surface visibility, temperature 26 degrees Celsius, dew point 8 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.69 inches of mercury.