Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Unregistered Golden Circle Air T-Bird II, operated by a private individual: Accident occurred July 17, 2017 in Dunn Center, Dunn County, North Dakota

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

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


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

Location: Dunn Center, ND
Accident Number: CEN17LA275
Date & Time: 07/17/2017, 1900 CDT
Registration: UNREG
Aircraft: GOLDEN CIRCLE AIR T-BIRD II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

After filling the fuel tanks with fuel, the private pilot determined that the wind was about 7 knots from the north-northeast with gusts to 10 knots. He completed a preflight inspection and an engine run-up and then started the takeoff roll to the south on a gravel road. As the airplane lifted off, the left wing lifted. The airplane then rolled right and landed back on the road. With limited road available to stop the airplane, the pilot advanced the throttle and attempted another takeoff. The airplane did not lift off, and it continued through a fence and into a ditch. The airplane became airborne again, collided with power lines, and then descended nose first into the ground.

It is likely that a quartering tailwind lifted the airplane's left wing after liftoff and that the pilot did not adequately correct for it, which resulted in the airplane touching down again. The pilot decided to continue the takeoff attempt with insufficient road length remaining, during which the airplane collided with obstacles on the ground, which prevented the airplane from having sufficient airspeed to climb over obstacles beyond the end of the road.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control, his inadequate quartering tailwind correction during takeoff, and his decision to continue the takeoff to the south with insufficient road length remaining. 

Findings

Aircraft
Performance/control parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Crosswind correction - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tailwind - Response/compensation (Cause)
Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome
Wire - Contributed to outcome


Factual Information

On July 17, 2017, about 1900 mountain daylight time an unregistered Golden Circle Air T-Bird II airplane impacted power lines and terrain near Dunn Center, North Dakota. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had just departed from a gravel road.

The pilot reported that about 1830 he filled the airplane's fuel tanks with fuel and pulled the airplane out of the storage building. He then walked out to the gravel road to observe the wind conditions for about 10 minutes and determined the wind was 7 to 8 knots from the north-northeast. He completed a preflight inspection, an engine run up, and then started the takeoff roll to the south on the gravel road. The airplane lifted off the gravel road and a wind gust lifted the left wing, the airplane rolled to the right and landed back on the gravel road. The pilot added that he wanted to abort the takeoff, but there wasn't enough gravel road remaining after the wheels touched the ground, so he advanced the throttle to attempt another takeoff. The airplane did not lift off, continued through a fence, and then into a ditch. The airplane became airborne when it exited the ditch and the pilot attempted to avoid power lines by turning left. The airplane collided with the power lines and then descended nose first into the ground. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/03/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/15/2016
Flight Time:  348.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 185.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 24.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GOLDEN CIRCLE AIR
Registration: UNREG
Model/Series: T-BIRD II
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1987
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 20026
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 618
Registered Owner: N/A
Rated Power: 75 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDIK, 2583 ft msl
Observation Time: 1856 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 34 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 192°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 10°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  29.9 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dunn Center, ND
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Dunn Center, ND
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1900 CDT
Type of Airspace:  Class E; Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  47.345000, -102.621667 (est)

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA275
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 17, 2017 in Dunn Center, ND
Aircraft: INDY AIRCRAFT LTD T BIRD, registration: Unreg
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 July 17, 2017, about 1900 central daylight time, an Indy Aircraft LTD T-Bird II airplaneimpacted power lines and terrain near Dunn Center, North Dakota. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The unregistered airplane was operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had just departed from a gravel road. 

The responding law enforcement officer, who spoke to the pilot after the accident, stated that the pilot pulled the airplane out of its storage building and then observed the wind conditions for a while to decide in which direction he should depart. 

The pilot later stated to the NTSB that the takeoff to the south was normal until the wind lifted the left wing and the airplane unexpectedly veered to the right. The airplane descended and impacted a hill, became airborne again, then impacted power lines. The airplane came to rest in a field underneath the power lines. 

The airplane has been retained for further examination.

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