Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Rans S-12 Airaile, N154BH, registered to a private individual: Accident occurred March 07, 2015 near Cherokee County Airport (KJSO), Jacksonville, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


The passenger had purchased the experimental amateur-built airplane about 2 weeks before the accident flight and was conducting a familiarization flight with a private pilot. The pilot had about 11,000 hours of total flight time, with about 2 hours in the accident make and model. Witnesses reported that the airplane was conducting touch and go takeoffs and landings but that the engine did not sound normal. They subsequently saw the airplane maneuver toward a field before it stalled, collided with trees, and impacted the ground. There was evidence of fuel at the accident site, and inspection of the airframe and engine did not reveal any abnormalities. According to the carburetor icing probability chart, the airplane was operating in an environment conducive to light carburetor icing at cruise or descent power; it is unlikely that the loss of engine power was the result of carburetor ice accumulation. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined based on available information. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain control while maneuvering for a forced landing, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. 


Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Factor)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Factor)

Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

Location: Rusk, TX
Accident Number: CEN15LA169
Date & Time: 03/07/2015, 1230 CST
Registration: N154BH
Aircraft: HOKE BOBBY F RANS S 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 7, 2015 about 1230 central standard time, a Rans S-12 homebuilt experimental airplane, N154BH, registered to a private individual, collided with trees and the ground while maneuvering to land after reported engine problems while in the landing pattern at the Cherokee County Airport (JSO), near Rusk, Texas. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The local flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area and a flight plan was not filed.

According to the FAA, about 2 weeks prior to the accident, the passenger had purchased the ultralight aircraft. The purpose of the flight was to become familiar with the newly acquired aircraft. The PIC had about 11,000 hours of total flight time, with about 2 hours in the accident make and model. The PIC's most recent BFR was conducted on December 9. 2014. According to a written bill of sale, the passenger purchased the airplane on February 19, 2015. The aircraft's most recent conditional inspection was conducted on March 3, 2015.

Witnesses reported that the ultralight aircraft was doing touch and go landings at JSO. They reported that the engine did not sound normal and observed the aircraft maneuver toward a field before it stalled, collided with trees and impacted the ground. The pilot and passenger were transported to the hospital after the accident. The FAA traveled to the accident scene and inspected the accident area and wreckage. There was evidence of fuel smell at the accident site. Inspection of the airframe and engine at the accident site did not reveal any abnormalities.

The reported weather observation METAR at JSO about the time of the accident was:

KJSO 071735Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM BKN100 12/M05 A3048 RMK AO2 T01211051

According to the Icing Probability Chart, with a temperature of 12 degrees and dew point of 5 degrees, the aircraft engine was operating in an area conducive to light icing at cruise of descent power.

The NTSB did not receive a NTSB form 6120, Pilot/Operator Report or statements from the pilot and passenger. It is unknown if the passenger/owner had flight experience. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-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: 05/27/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/09/2014
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 11445 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HOKE BOBBY F
Registration: N154BH
Model/Series: RANS S 12
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1995
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 0195553
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/03/2015, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1406 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: BOMBARDIER
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: ROTAX (ALL)
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 80 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: JSO, 677 ft msl
Observation Time: 1135 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -5°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.51 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Rusk, TX (JSO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:  None
Destination: Rusk, TX (JSO)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CST
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: Cherokee County Airport (JSO)
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 667 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

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:  31.869167, -95.217222 (est)

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