Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Van's RV-7A, N4163B: Accident occurred January 13, 2018 at Furnace Creek Airport (L06), Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Death Valley National Park, CA

Accident Number: GAA18CA103
Date & Time: 01/13/2018, 1630 PST
Registration: N4163B
Aircraft:  HARROP BLAKE RV 7
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, during the landing flare, about 2 to 3 ft above the ground, he reduced power, and the airplane aerodynamically stalled. The airplane landed hard and then bounced, the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane then came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the canopy and empennage.

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 adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack during the landing flare, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.


Angle of attack - Capability exceeded (Cause)
Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)
Hard landing
Landing gear collapse
Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private

Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/24/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/07/2013
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 504 hours (Total, all aircraft), 325 hours (Total, this make and model), 469 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HARROP BLAKE

Registration: N4163B
Model/Series: RV 7 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 884163
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/10/2017, Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 324.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:  Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1B6
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 200 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: KDRA, 3230 ft msl
Observation Time: 2355 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 42 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 77°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / -4°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 100°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LONE PINE, CA (O26)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Death Valley National Park, CA (L06)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 1600 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: FURNACE CREEK (L06)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: -210 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3065 ft / 70 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

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:  36.463333, -116.880833 (est)

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