Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lancair Legacy 2000, N145JG: Accident occurred January 14, 2018 at Friday Harbor Airport (KFHR), San Juan County, Washington

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Friday Harbor, WA
Accident Number: GAA18CA104
Date & Time: 01/14/2018, 1600 PST
Registration: N145JG
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, prior to a local flight, he placed the airplane's wing and canopy covers and his small dog in the baggage compartment. During the initial climb, after retracting the landing gear, the cockpit canopy, which tips forward for entry into the cockpit, came unlatched and opened to about a 45° angle. He attempted to close and re-latch the canopy to no avail and decided to return to the departure airport.

Subsequently, after extending the landing gear on final, the airplane lost speed and the descent rate increased. He applied full power, but the airplane landed hard and short of the runway, and the landing gear collapsed.

The pilot reported that the airplane had an after market drop down step kit that had been uninstalled; however, during the kit removal, the step mechanism had been removed but the brackets that extended into the baggage compartment had been overlooked. The brackets were attached to the canopy latching mechanism, and he believed his dog accidently hit the protruding brackets and inadvertently opened the canopy in flight.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the center wing spar.

The pilot reported that prior to the canopy opening, 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 inability to maintain the landing flare, which resulted in the airplane landing hard short of the runway. Contributing to the accident was the cockpit canopy opening in flight.


Landing flare - Attain/maintain not possible (Cause)
Passenger/crew doors - Unintentional use/operation (Factor)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery

Landing area undershoot
Hard landing
Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 66, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-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: 09/17/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  09/23/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Total, this make and model), 1250 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GELDERMANN BERT E
Registration: N145JG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: L2K-230
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/04/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 426 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-550 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 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: KFHR, 109 ft msl
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 103°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 4°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 330°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Friday Harbor, WA (FHR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Friday Harbor, WA (FHR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1600 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 112 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3402 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Full Stop; Precautionary Landing; Straight-in

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:  48.522222, -123.024444 (est)

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