Friday, November 24, 2017

Luscombe 8F, N1780K: Accident occurred November 23, 2017 in Caldwell, Burleson County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

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


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



Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N1780K

Location: Caldwell, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA061
Date & Time: 11/23/2017, 1650 CST
Registration: N1780K
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


Analysis 

The pilot reported that, during the right downwind in the traffic pattern, he was about 1/4 mile from the runway, which was "too close." He added that, "during a poorly planned and executed base to final approach," he performed an "uncoordinated" right bank about 45°, and the right wing dropped, which resulted in a descending right roll. He attempted to recover, but the airplane impacted terrain.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing.

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

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 yaw control and the exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack in the traffic pattern, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin.

Findings

Aircraft
Yaw control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Angle of attack - Capability exceeded (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern base
Miscellaneous/other
Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/02/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/04/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 589 hours (Total, all aircraft), 589 hours (Total, this make and model), 589 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: LUSCOMBE
Registration: N1780K
Model/Series: 8 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 4507
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: C90-12F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 90 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRWV, 391 ft msl
Observation Time: 0015 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 232°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Caldwell, TX (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Caldwell, TX (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1610 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Private (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 268 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 36
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2700 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 30.699444, -96.654722 (est)

Preventing Similar Accidents  

Prevent Aerodynamic Stalls at Low Altitude

While maneuvering an airplane at low altitude in visual meteorological conditions, many pilots fail to avoid conditions that lead to an aerodynamic stall, recognize the warning signs of a stall onset, and apply appropriate recovery techniques. Many stall accidents result when a pilot is momentarily distracted from the primary task of flying, such as while maneuvering in the airport traffic pattern, during an emergency, or when fixating on ground objects.

An aerodynamic stall can happen at any airspeed, at any altitude, and with any engine power setting. Pilots need to be honest with themselves about their knowledge of stalls and preparedness to recognize and handle a stall situation. Training can help pilots fully understand the stall phenomenon, including angle-of-attack (AOA) concepts and how weight, center of gravity, turbulence, maneuvering loads, and other factors can affect an airplane's stall characteristics. The stall characteristics may be different in each type of airplane, so learn them before you fly.

The stall airspeeds marked on the airspeed indicator (for example, the bottom of the green arc and the bottom of the white arc) typically represent steady flight speeds at 1G at the airplane's maximum gross weight in the specified configuration. Maneuvering loads and other factors can increase the airspeed at which the airplane will stall. For example, increasing bank angle can increase stall speed exponentially.

Reducing AOA by lowering the airplane's nose at the first indication of a stall is the most important immediate response for stall avoidance and stall recovery. This may seem counterintuitive at low altitudes, but is a necessary first step.

See http://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-alerts/documents/SA_019.pdf for additional resources.

The NTSB presents this information to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. Note that this should not be considered guidance from the regulator, nor does this supersede existing FAA Regulations (FARs).

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