Monday, May 01, 2017

Maule MX-7-180A Sportplane, N3035M MX-7-180A Ltd, N3035M: Accident occurred April 30, 2017 in Floydada, Floyd County, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

N3035M MX-7-180A Ltd:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA252
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 30, 2017 in Floydada, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: MAULE MX7, registration: N3035M
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 of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that he was moving the airplane across the country for a friend and had multiple refueling stops along his route. He added that, on his first attempt to land on the asphalt runway, he conducted a go-around due to the strong crosswind, and during the subsequent approach, he landed in the grass next to the asphalt runway to touch down with a gusting headwind. Once stopped in the grass with the engine running, he radioed over the common traffic advisory frequency to ask for assistance to tie down the airplane, but after 5 to 10 minutes, no one had responded. He added, “suddenly” a wind gust lifted the left wing, and the airplane corkscrewed clockwise and nosed over. 

The right and left wing lift struts sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that the wind was from 330° at 30 knots, gusting to 40 knots at the time of the accident. An automated weather observation station (AWOS), 22 nautical miles (nm) northwest from the accident site, recorded that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 320° at 29 knots, gusting to 42 knots. Another AWOS, 32 nm southwest from the accident site, recorded that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 320° at 29 knots, gusting to 43 knots. 

A review of the recorded hourly weather observations from the two AWOSs revealed that, from about 30 minutes before the pilot departed to 1 hour after the accident time, the wind remained consistent from the northwest about 30 knots, gusting to 38 to 46 knots. The pilot reported that he had on-board weather capability. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to fly into and land at an area of known widespread high gusting wind, which resulted in a nose-over.

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