Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lancair IV-P, N420M, Pilot Proficiency Inc: Fatal accident occurred August 03, 2017 near McClellan Airfield (KMCC), Sacramento County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Pilot Proficiency Inc:

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA179
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 03, 2017 in Rio Linda, CA
Aircraft: Michaelian Lancair IV-TP, registration: N420M
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 03, 2017, at 1503 Pacific daylight time, a single-engine experimental Michaelian Lancair IV-TP, N420M, impacted a residential area in Rio Linda, California following a loss of engine power while on approach to Mc Clellan Airfield, Sacramento, California. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Pilot Proficiency Inc., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal flight departed from Auburn Municipal Airport, Auburn, California at 1455 with a planned destination of San Carlos Airport, San Carlos, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed; the pilot was receiving flight following advisories.

Located in the wreckage was a Garmin GPSMAP 396, battery-powered portable GPS receiver. The unit stores date, route-of-flight, and flight-time information; all recorded data is stored in non-volatile memory.

Recorded data plots were recovered for the time frame that matched the anticipated flight track of the airplane departing from Auburn. The track indicated that the airplane departed from runway 25 about 1455. After becoming airborne, the airplane climbed and headed toward San Carlos on a heading of about 220 degrees. At 1459:28, with the airplane about 6,800 ft msl, the airplane began a gradual descent and shifted to a 240-degree heading. The airplane continued in the direction while cruising between about 215-200 kts until 1502:02 when the airplane made a left turn to adjoin the final approach leg to runway 16 at Mc Clellan Airfield.

The last six hits of the flight track occurred over 35 seconds from 1502:06 to 1502:41. During that time the speed increased from 130 kts to 91 kts and the altitude decreased about 510 ft. The last recorded point placed the airplane approximately 790 feet north-northeast of the accident site at 155 feet msl.

Numerous witnesses observed the airplane flying south along 28th street toward Mc Clellan Airfield at a low altitude. The airplane suddenly made a sharp turn to the right and disappeared into the trees.

The accident site was in a back yard of a residence located on the corner of U street (east-west oriented) and 28th street (north-south oriented). Powerlines were located 190 ft north of the wreckage with two support structures (wood poles) on both sides of 28th street (south side of U street), at a distance of 75 ft apart. The lines had been separated from the west structure attach fittings (35-ft high) but remained attached to the east structure (about 50 ft high). The upper powerline had several bends in the center area consistent with the airplane having made contact with the wire.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Dr. Marshall Michaelian 

RIO LINDA (CBS13) — The wreckage of Thursday’s deadly small plane crash was removed from the backyard of a Rio Linda home on Friday.

The pilot killed in that crash is being remembered for his giving-spirit and passion for flying.

Dr. Marshall Michaelian died when his plane crash-landed in a backyard a mile from the McClellan Air Field Thursday.

Crews hoisted the wreckage from the small plane—backwards from its final crash landing spot in a backyard.

The airplane’s tail battered, its wings sawed off, its propellers bent

The FAA reports the plane was bound for San Carlos from Auburn when investigators believe the pilot attempted an emergency landing at McClellan Airfield.

Air traffic recordings describe the initial crash aftermath.

“We got a downed aircraft out here.”

“Can you let us know if you can see anything? They’re a mile out from the runway right on the approach in.”

The pilot, oral surgeon Marshall Michaelian is shown in photos on his dental practice website with his Lancair plane that he was flying when he crashed.

Michaelian was a volunteer for “Angel Flight” and had flown 28 missions, flying children with burn scars and hearing impairments to special needs camps in his plane.

“It’s sad, it’s very sad,” Auburn pilot Kenton Kiaser said.

Kiaser had recently befriended Michaelian.

He says Michaelian’s Lancair, a high-performance plane, was the envy of the airport.

“He had quite a bit of experience with the hours he had, and he had built the airplane that he was flying,” Kiaser said.

NTSB crews removed the plane from the crash site and will deconstruct it at a wreckage warehouse.

“I’ll do a teardown examination, where I’ll thoroughly look at the engine,” NTSB investigator Zoe Keliher said.

An NTSB preliminary investigation report is expected to be released next week. A full crash report will take a year.

The National Transportation Safety Board says Marshall Michaelian was flying from Auburn Municipal Airport with a destination of San Carlos south of San Francisco.

Witnesses told the Sacramento Sheriffs Department they saw his single-engine plane hit a power pole and trees before crashing into the yard of a home at the corner of 28th and U Streets in Rio Linda. Michaelian was pronounced dead at the scene.

The  Sacramento County Coroner has not released a cause of death.

Michaelian was flying a Lancair IV P. Lancair sells planes in kits to be assembled by people at their homes.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, 28 Lancair planes have crashed since 1989, 11 of the crashes resulted in a fatality.

Six of the 28 crashes involved an IV P model.

The NTSB says failure to maintain sufficient speed was the cause of half of the IV P crashes.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires home-built aircraft be certified and pass annual airworthiness inspections.

The Federal Aviation Administration says a homebuilt aircraft must first receive an airworthiness certificate which can be obtained after 40 hours of flight time that prove it is "controllable."

Even with a certificate, pilots may not fly over populated areas unless they are in the process of landing at or taking off from airports.

Homebuilt aircraft must undergo the same annual or 100 flight-hour, whichever comes first, inspections as aircraft with standard airworthiness certificates.

FAA and NTSB inspectors are reviewing the crash.

The pilot of a small home-built airplane died when when the aircraft crashed into the yard of a Rio Linda home Thursday afternoon.

Sgt. Tony Turnbull, Sacramento County sheriff’s spokesman, said deputies responded to a report of a plane crash about 3 p.m. on property at 28th and U streets.

The pilot, the only person on board, was unresponsive. Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department personnel provided medical aid, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Turnbull said the plane did not damage any structures and no one else was injured.

The plane was a single-engine, home-built Lancair IV-P, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Tunbull said no information was available on where the flight originated or where the plane was headed. Witnesses reported that the plane was southbound at a low altitude, and it clipped power lines and trees as it came down on the property, he said.

The name of the pilot has not been released.

An investigation will be conducted by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Turnbull said 28th Street is closed between Elverta Road and Elkhorn Boulevard, and U Street is closed between 26th and 30th streets.

RIO LINDA, Calif. (KCRA) — A pilot died Thursday afternoon after his small plane crashed into a Sacramento County neighborhood, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said.

The pilot was the only person on board the plane at the time.

The plane crashed into the backyard of a Rio Linda home near 28th and U streets, the Sacramento Metro Fire Department said. The scene is just north of McClellan Airfield.

The FAA said the plane -- a single-engine, home-built Lancair IV-P aircraft -- crashed for unknown reasons.

The incident will be investigated by the FAA and the NTSB.

A small power outage was reported in the area due to the plane crash. Aerial video from LiveCopter 3 shows downed power lines and trees at the crash scene.

Story and video ►


Anonymous said...

I knew Dr. Michaelian. I used to teach on his AST-300 quite a bit. He was a very good man! This is very, very sad news!

Anonymous said...

I am always saddened by any aviation death, general or otherwise, my prayers are with your family sir.