Monday, November 6, 2017

Golden Circle Air T-Bird II, N618ER, registered to and operated by a private individual: Accident occurred November 05, 2017 near JMJ Landing Airport (02KS), St Mary's, Pottawatomie County, Kansas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

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/N618ER



Location: St Mary's, KS
Accident Number: CEN18LA027
Date & Time: 11/05/2017, 1140 CST
Registration: N618ER
Aircraft: RIGGS KENNETH W T BIRD II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Part(s) separation from AC
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The private pilot and passenger planned on a short flight around the traffic pattern in an open-cockpit, light sport airplane. Shortly after takeoff, as the pilot turned downwind, he heard a "crack," and the engine started to vibrate and lose power. The pilot applied power, but the engine did not respond. He turned sharply left and then tried to stop the turn and descend, but the airplane continued to turn and descend until it impacted terrain. A witness saw two objects fall from the airplane shortly after the engine sound "stopped." Both objects were retrieved. The first object was the passenger's knitted hat, the top of which was "chewed up" and had a line burnt/melted into it. The other object was one of the propeller blades. The accident is consistent with the passenger's hat exiting the cockpit and impacting the three-bladed pusher propeller, which led to the separation of one of the propeller blades and the subsequent loss of engine power.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The loss of engine power due to a propeller failure when the passenger's hat exited the cockpit and impacted the three-bladed pusher propeller, separating one of the propeller blades.

Findings

Aircraft
Propeller blade section - Not specified (Cause)

Environmental issues
Person - Effect on equipment (Cause)


Factual Information

On November 5, 2017, about 1140 central standard time, a T-Bird II airplane, N618ER, impacted terrain near St. Marys, Kansas. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane was registered to and 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.

The pilot reported that he and the owner of the airplane planned to take the airplane for a flight around the traffic pattern to see if they were clothed warmly enough for another flight. They departed from runway 36, climbed to about 1,000 ft, and turned left for the downwind when they heard a loud "crack" and the engine started to vibrate. To avoid powerlines, the pilot applied power, but the engine did not respond. He turned sharply left, adding that he tried to stop the turn and decent; however, the elevators and ailerons did not respond. The airplane continued to turn and dropped rapidly, until it impacted a ravine.

A neighbor reported that she saw something "flutter" into a tree and something fell when the engine sound "stopped". The object in the tree was retrieved and was the passenger's knitted hat. The top of the hat was "chewed up" and had an area in the shape of a line, burnt/melted in it. The object that fell in the yard was also retrieved and was one of airplane's propeller blades.

An examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the fuselage, and one blade from the three-bladed pusher propeller had separated from the propeller hub. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 72
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: 
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/14/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/18/2017
Flight Time:  2054 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3 hours (Total, this make and model), 1593 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: RIGGS KENNETH W
Registration: N618ER
Model/Series: T BIRD II NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 90062000
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/09/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 159.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:
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: KTOP
Observation Time: 1153 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2200 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft agl
Visibility: 8 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots/ 21 knots, 350°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  29.9 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: St Mary's, KS
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: St Mary's, KS
Type of Clearance:  None
Departure Time:  CST
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  39.197500, -96.073333 (est)

NTSB Identification: CEN18LA027
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 05, 2017 in St Mary's, KS
Aircraft: RIGGS KENNETH W T BIRD II, registration: N618ER
Injuries: 2 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 November 5, 2017, about 1150 central standard time, a T-Bird II airplane, N618ER, conducted a forced landing near St. Marys, Kansas. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane was registered to and 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. 

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the pilot and passenger had departed from a private airstrip. The pilot reported to the inspector, that during cruise flight, they heard a "pop", and the engine lost power. He attempted a forced landing; however, the airplane impacted terrain hard. An initial examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the fuselage, and a propeller blade had separated from the engine in-flight. 

The airplane was retained for further examination. The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Factual 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/N618ER



Location: St Mary's, KS
Accident Number: CEN18LA027
Date & Time: 11/05/2017, 1140 CST
Registration: N618ER
Aircraft: RIGGS KENNETH W T BIRD II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Part(s) separation from AC
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 5, 2017, about 1140 central standard time, a T-Bird II airplane, N618ER, impacted terrain near St. Marys, Kansas. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane was registered to and 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.

The pilot reported that he and the owner of the airplane planned to take the airplane for a flight around the traffic pattern to see if they were clothed warmly enough for another flight. They departed from runway 36, climbed to about 1,000 ft, and turned left for the downwind when they heard a loud "crack" and the engine started to vibrate. To avoid powerlines, the pilot applied power, but the engine did not respond. He turned sharply left, adding that he tried to stop the turn and decent; however, the elevators and ailerons did not respond. The airplane continued to turn and dropped rapidly, until it impacted a ravine.

A neighbor reported that she saw something "flutter" into a tree and something fell when the engine sound "stopped". The object in the tree was retrieved and was the passenger's knitted hat. The top of the hat was "chewed up" and had an area in the shape of a line, burnt/melted in it. The object that fell in the yard was also retrieved and was one of airplane's propeller blades.

An examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the fuselage, and one blade from the three-bladed pusher propeller had separated from the propeller hub. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 72
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: 
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/14/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/18/2017
Flight Time:  2054 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3 hours (Total, this make and model), 1593 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: RIGGS KENNETH W
Registration: N618ER
Model/Series: T BIRD II NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 90062000
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/09/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 159.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:
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: KTOP
Observation Time: 1153 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2200 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft agl
Visibility: 8 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots/ 21 knots, 350°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  29.9 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: St Mary's, KS
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: St Mary's, KS
Type of Clearance:  None
Departure Time:  CST
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  39.197500, -96.073333 (est)

NTSB Identification: CEN18LA027
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 05, 2017 in St Mary's, KS
Aircraft: RIGGS KENNETH W T BIRD II, registration: N618ER
Injuries: 2 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 November 5, 2017, about 1150 central standard time, a T-Bird II airplane, N618ER, conducted a forced landing near St. Marys, Kansas. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged during the accident. The airplane was registered to and 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. 

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the pilot and passenger had departed from a private airstrip. The pilot reported to the inspector, that during cruise flight, they heard a "pop", and the engine lost power. He attempted a forced landing; however, the airplane impacted terrain hard. An initial examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the fuselage, and a propeller blade had separated from the engine in-flight. 

The airplane was retained for further examination.

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