Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Piper PA-22-160 Tri-Pacer, Big Bird 3377 LLC, N9807D: Accident occurred July 18, 2017 in Breckenridge, Michigan

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Big Bird 3377 LLC:

Location: Breckenridge, MI
Accident Number: GAA17CA416
Date & Time: 07/18/2017, 1820 EDT
Registration: N9807D
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that he was practicing short-field, touch and go landings on the private grass airstrip. The final leg of the approach was over a cornfield and a road perpendicular to the approach end of the airstrip.

During final, the main landing gear struck corn stalks that were about 6-feet tall, the airplane landed short and struck the road. The right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane slid across the road and onto the grass airstrip. The nose of the airplane dug into the grass and dirt, and the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right-wing strut and the rudder.

The pilot reported that, "This accident was pilot error" and that, "I believe that I fixated on the beginning of the grass and was oblivious to the height of the corn."

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 79, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/01/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  08/22/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 450 hours (Total, this make and model), 1985 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 3.5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N9807D
Model/Series: PA 22
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 22-6694
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/16/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:  2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2526 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: KSRC, 264 ft msl
Observation Time: 2256 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 249°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 23°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 200°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Breckenridge, MI (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:  None
Destination: Breckenridge, MI (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0602 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport:  Ron's Private strip (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 700 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2600 ft / 65 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  43.262500, -84.892500 (est)

MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) - A Mid-Michigan man is okay after his plane crash-landed and flipped over on a grass landing strip.

It happened on July 18 at around 6 p.m. on the landing strip just to the west of South Castor Road and south of Redstone Road in Midland County’s Jasper Township.

Investigators report that Ronald Schultz, 79, from Jasper Township, was alone in his 1959 Piper Pacer single engine plane when he started coming in for a landing.

When he was descending the plane’s landing gear struck the top of some corn that was to the east of the landing strip. That caused the plane to lose speed and it pulled the plane towards the ground.

The plane’s wheels hit South Castor Road, damaging the landing gear.

Once the plane made it to the landing strip, it was almost to a stop when the nose tipped down, hitting the ground, and causing the plane to flip over.

The pilot had a cut on his finger and a bump on his head. He was treated at the scene and released.

The investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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