Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Unregistered Buckeye Breeze 2200 powered parachute: Accident occurred April 18, 2015 at Smithville Crawford Municipal Airport (K84R), Bastrop County, Texas

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

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

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


NTSB Identification: CEN15LA212
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 18, 2015 in Smithville, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: BUCKEYE BREEZE, registration: None
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The noncertificated pilot, who had not received any previous flight instruction, reported that, during takeoff, the powered parachute was caught by a gust of wind and veered off the left side of the runway. He was unable to regain control, as he was unfamiliar with the parachute and engine controls, and the aircraft impacted a utility pole and hangar. A nearby weather observation system reported calm winds at the time of the accident. Therefore, it is likely that the pilot experienced a loss of control due to his unfamiliarity with the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noncertificated pilot's loss of directional control during takeoff, which resulted in impact with a utility pole and hangar. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to obtain flight instruction before attempting to fly the aircraft.

On April 18, 2015, about 1440 central daylight time, an unregistered Buckeye Breeze 2200 powered parachute impacted obstructions during takeoff at Smithville Crawford Municipal Airport (K84R), Smithville, Texas. The powered parachute sustained substantial damage and the pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and a flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot reported that he started the engine, inflated the parachute canopy with air, and initiated the takeoff roll. During takeoff, the powered parachute was hit by a "strong crosswind" and veered to the left exiting the runway. The pilot reported he was confused about the engine power control and he had inadvertently increased power instead of decreasing engine power to abort the takeoff. The powered parachute impacted a utility pole and then a hangar before coming to rest. The pilot reported he broke his leg when he impacted the utility pole.

At 1435, the automated weather observation system at Fayette Regional Air Center Airport (K3T5), located approximately 13 miles southeast of 84R, reported calm winds. 

The pilot reported that he did not hold a pilot certificate, and he had no previous ground training or flight training. This accident flight was his first attempt at flight. The two-seat powered parachute was equipped with wheeled tricycle landing gear, a 10-gallon fuel tank, and had an empty weight of about 395 pounds; meeting the light sport aircraft classification. It had not been issued a required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration certificate or an FAA airworthiness certificate.

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