Saturday, January 27, 2018

Aerostar 600A, N211W, Vercelli Airplane LLC: Accident occurred October 27, 2017 at Tallahassee International Airport (KTLH), Leon County, Leon County

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Vercelli Airplane LLC:

Location: Tallahassee, FL
Accident Number: GAA18CA035
Date & Time: 10/27/2017, 1750 EDT
Registration: N211W
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot of the multi-engine, retractable landing gear airplane reported that, during the initial climb, he "noted 105 IAS [indicated airspeed] as normal and reached down to retract the gear." He added that he "glanced down" to make sure he had grabbed the landing gear selector, and when he looked back outside, the airplane was "near the runway." He further added that he "pulled back hard on the yoke," but the propellers struck the runway, the airplane settled on the runway, and skidded into the grass to the left.

The pilot reported additional factors related to the accident on the National Transportation Safety Board Form 6120.1 Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report Safety Recommendation section. He added that the airplane was "not high enough above [the] ground to raise the gear," and he may have "relaxed back-pressure on the yoke after rotation," and when leaning slightly forward for the gear handle, the yoke may had been pushed forward slightly.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

The Federal Aviation Administration's Airplane Flying Handbook stated in part:

Avoid premature landing gear retraction and do not retract the landing gear until a positive rate of climb is indicated on the flight instruments. If the airplane has not attained a positive rate of climb, there is always the chance it may settle back onto the runway with the gear retracted. This is especially so in cases of premature lift-off. Remember that leaning forward to reach the landing gear selector may result in inadvertent forward pressure on the yoke, which causes the airplane to descend. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/20/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  10/27/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1955 hours (Total, all aircraft), 204 hours (Total, this make and model), 1947 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 42 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: SMITH
Registration: N211W
Model/Series: AEROSTAR 600A 600
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 60-0460-153
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/11/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5931.5 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-K1J5
Rated Power: 300 hp
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: KTLH, 83 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 10°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 180°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  30 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: TALLAHASSEE, FL (TLH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: TUSKEGEE, AL (06A)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1750 EST
Type of Airspace: Class C 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 83 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8000 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  30.396667, -84.350833 (est)

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