Sunday, December 31, 2017

Grumman American AA-1B, N5538B: Accident occurred August 25, 2013 at Porter County Regional Airport (KVPZ), Valparaiso, Indiana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Bend, Indiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Valparaiso, IN
Accident Number: CEN13CA515
Date & Time: 08/25/2013, 1340 CDT
Registration: N5538B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he had just bought the airplane and was not familiar with it. While making his first landing he made a steep approach, hit "hard", and bounced. After the second impact the airplane exited the runway and impacted terrain. The impact resulted in a complete separation of the nose gear and substantial damage to the fuselage, the right wing and the elevator. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He also reported that the accident was his fault and would not have happened if he had only first gotten a new aircraft check-out from a flight instructor.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper recovery from a bounce landing. 


Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Incorrect action performance - Pilot (Cause)
Total experience w/ equipment - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Nose over/nose down

Part(s) separation from AC 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 82
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
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: 08/01/2004
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/01/2008
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 380 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP.
Registration: N5538B
Model/Series: AA-1B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: AA1B-0339
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/01/2013, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 2 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2222 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 0-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: C GEORGE BROCKUS
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVPZ, 770 ft msl
Observation Time: 1253 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 16°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Valparaiso, IN (VPZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Valparaiso, IN (VPZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Porter County Regional Airport (VPZ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 770 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7001 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 41.453889, -87.006944 (est)

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