Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mark Brown Spacewalker, N43904: Accident occurred September 09, 2015 at St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS), Cahokia, St. Clair County, Illinois

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N43904

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Saint Louis, Missouri

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA411
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 09, 2015 in Cahokia, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/17/2016
Aircraft: BROWN MARK SPACE WALKER, registration: N43904
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 private pilot and flight instructor were conducting a familiarization flight in the tailwheel-equipped, amateur-built airplane. After completing area maneuvers, the pilot executed two touch-and-go landings. The flight instructor reported that, during the third landing attempt, he noticed that the airplane had developed a high sink rate, so he subsequently took control of the airplane and initiated a go-around as the airplane touched down hard, which damaged the left main landing gear (MLG) and tailwheel attachment spring. The flight instructor was unable to maintain directional control, and the airplane departed the left side of the runway, which further damaged the left MLG. 

Examination of the left MLG revealed that it failed at the point of a previous weld repair, which was on the lower tube of a multitube group weld and was only partially welded. The improperly welded tube resulted in less-than-intended design strength and contributed to the failure of the left MLG.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain a proper descent rate during the attempted landing and the flight instructor's delayed attempt to execute a go-around, which resulted in a hard landing, failure of the left main landing gear, and subsequent loss of directional control. Contributing to the accident was an improperly welded landing gear tube.

On September 9, 2015, at 1450 central daylight time, a Mark Brown Spacewalker amateur-built airplane, N43904, was substantially damaged during landing at the St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS), Cahokia, Illinois. The private pilot and flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. 

The flight's purpose was to allow the front seat (private) pilot to become familiar with the handling characteristics of the tailwheel airplane. The front seat pilot had recently completed construction of an experimental amateur-built airplane of the same make/model and was preparing for his first test flight. After completing area maneuvers, the front seat pilot executed two touch-and-go landings. During the third landing attempt, the flight instructor noticed a high sink rate develop and attempted a go-around. The airplane touched down hard, which damaged left main landing gear and tailwheel attachment spring. The flight instructor was unable to maintain directional control and the airplane departed the left side of the runway, which further damaged the landing gear and empennage.

Examination of the left main landing gear revealed a failure of a multi-tube group weld which had been previously repaired. Further examination revealed that the lower tube of the multi-tube group weld was only partially welded. Records of this repair were not available to the investigation.

No comments: