Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lancair Evolution, N846PM, Evolution Air LLC: Accident occurred May 15, 2017 at Firebaugh Airport (F34), Fresno County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California
Evolution Aircraft LLC; Redmond, Oregon

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfg
Evolution Air LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N846PM

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA104 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Firebaugh, CA
Injuries: 3 Minor, 2 Uninjured.

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 May 15, 2017, about 1630 Pacific daylight time, an Evolution Aircraft, Lancair Evolution, N846PM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing attempt at Firebaugh Airport (F34), Firebaugh, California. The private pilot and one rear seat passenger did not sustain any injuries. A front seat passenger and two rear seat passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK), Livermore, California at approximately 1400. The personal flight was destined for Marana Regional Airport (AVQ), Marana, Arizona. 

The pilot reported that he and 4 family members were en route to their home airport following a recent stay in Northern California. The departure, climbout, and most of the cruise flight was smooth and uneventful; however, further into the flight, at an altitude of 25,000 feet, the windshield "exploded" instantaneously without any pre-indication. The airplane instantly lost cabin pressure and the pilot's headset departed the airplane, so he activated the ancillary oxygen and donned his oxygen mask. During his subsequent steep descent, the pilot found a nearby airport with the requisite landing distance. He entered the airport's identifier into the onboard global positioning system and followed the course line. At 12,000 feet, the pilot leveled off and made visual contact with the airport. He was unable to locate the airport's windsock during the descent, but chose to land on runway 12. While on the downwind leg, the pilot deployed one notch of flaps and attempted to maintain a target airspeed of 110 knots. After he turned to the final leg of the airport traffic pattern, the pilot deployed the landing gear, but the left main landing gear did not show a green indication. The pilot recycled the landing gear, but received the same indication. He then decided to land with the landing gear in the UP position, as his available flight time was decreasing. According to his recount, although the airplane made contact with the runway at a high rate of speed, the touchdown was smooth and level. The airplane then overran the runway, impacted a fence, and traversed a road before it came to rest in a field. 

Postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to both wings. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

A plane with five people on board crashed in western Fresno County on Monday with one person injured, Fresno County Fire Protection District reported.

The pilot was forced to land the plane in a dirt field in the 38000 block of Nees Avenue, near Firebaugh, after the windshield flew off at 20,000 feet, said Capt. Jeremiah Wittwer.

The pilot then attempted to land at a Firebaugh airstrip used by crop dusters, but when the landing gear failed to deploy, the pilot was forced to land in the dirt field, Wittwer said.

The injured person taken to a hospital was conscious with minor injuries, Wittwer said.

The plane was en route from the Bay Area to Southern California, Wittwer said. The crash occurred just after 4 p.m.

Federal Aviation Administration officials were notified of the crash.

Original article can be found here: http://www.fresnobee.com 

On Monday afternoon a small plane with a family of five travelling from San Francisco to Los Angeles had a malfunction at 20,000 feet according to Cal-Fire.

Investigators say the plane came down near the 'Firebaugh crop dusting strip.'

Cal-Fire says the plane had landing gear problems and crashed into a fence.

One person was taken to an area hospital to get checked out.

Original article can be found here:  http://kmph-kfre.com/news


  1. Gear was partially down when pilot touched down on runway. You can see edges of tire marks all the way down runway until he ran off into field, through fense and into field. And much of windscreen is still bonded into frame, looks as if it either blew apart or something hit it?

  2. 5 on board? The Evolution is a 4 place aircraft, I've never heard of one with 5 belted seats...

  3. Mine has belted seats, Ox and headsets for 5. Cascade Aircraft Management (CAM), which in 2012 was owned by the same folks who owned Lancair, worked with Lancair engineers on a design which would provide the same protection in terms of Gs in a crash. They managed that for all accidents but a flat spin, where they were a few Gs under the regular specs. The third back seat in the middle, was designed for a child not to exceed X lbs, in order to maintain CG and not to overload the landing gear. We have flown NY/FL/NY with 5, a bit of a tight squeeze. We really wanted the extra seat for HPN/MVY, so we could get our whole family in the plane.