Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Rans S-9 Chaos, N519TB: Accident occurred August 04, 2017 at Hackney Airpark (ID05), Athol, Kootenai County, Idaho

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 04, 2017 in Athol, ID
Aircraft: RANS S9, registration: N519TB
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 August 4, 2017, about 0900 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Rans S-9 Chaos light sport airplane, N519TB, was substantially damaged in a hard landing during an aborted takeoff from Hackney Skypark (ID05), Athol, Idaho. The commercial pilot, who was also the builder and owner, received serious injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

According to the pilot's son, who was part of the ground crew for the flight attempt, this was the maiden flight of the kit-built airplane. Because the winds were "very light," the pilot decided to use runway 21, which afforded multiple flat fields beyond it. The airplane was fueled with about 12 gallons, and the canopy was left off (a configuration "approved" by the kit manufacturer) for the initial flight. The pilot conducted a "thorough pre-flight and control checks," and radio communication with the ground crew was confirmed. The elevator trim tab was set to neutral, the engine was started and warmed up, and the pilot taxied out uneventfully. He then conducted a "high speed taxi test," which included application of full power, acceleration to about 55 mph, followed by power reduction and rollout. This too was uneventful, and the pilot taxied back for his planned takeoff from runway 21.

The pilot announced his departure on the radio and applied full power. According to the pilot's son, the airplane accelerated well, and liftoff occurred about 300 to 400 feet down the runway. About 2 seconds after liftoff the airplane was observed pitching up to a "fairly nose high attitude" of about 15 to 20 degrees as it reached an altitude of about 50 feet, and the son radioed to the pilot about the excessive pitch attitude. When the airplane was at an altitude of about 150 feet, and less than halfway down the runway, the other ground crew member observed it to be descending rapidly. The airplane landed hard, collapsed the main landing gear, and came to rest upright near the right edge of the turf runway. There was no fuel leakage or fire. The ground crew helped the pilot exit the airplane. He sustained head injuries despite his shoulder harness, and was taken to the hospital for treatment. The pilot reported to the ground crew that he had difficulty controlling the pitch attitude of the airplane, and that the engine performed normally.

The airplane was equipped with a Rotax 503 DCDI series engine, and airplane construction was completed a few weeks before the accident.

The pilot held a commercial certificate with airplane single-engine, multiengine, and instrument ratings. He had about 6,000 hours total flight experience, including about 2 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent flight review was completed in July 2016. At the time of the accident, he no longer held a current FAA medical certificate, and was operating under the light sport provisions via his driver's license.

ID05 was a private use airport, equipped with a single turf runway that measured 3,500 by 150 feet. Field elevation was 2,445 feet.

The 0856 automated weather observation at an airport located about 12 miles south of the accident site included winds from 080 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.89 inches of mercury.

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