Friday, February 2, 2018

American Champion 7GCBC, N519AC: Accident occurred February 02, 2018 at Santa Paula Airport (KSZP), Ventura County, California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf



Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N519AC



Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Santa Paula, CA
Accident Number: GAA18CA120
Date & Time: 02/02/2018, 1115 PST
Registration: N519AC
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 7GCBC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The pilot reported that, during landing, she became distracted by another airplane performing a touch-and-go, and upon touchdown, the airplane veered to the right. She added full power to go around, but the airplane continued to the right as it became airborne, and the right wing struck a parked helicopter. Subsequently, the airplane impacted the tops of bushes and came to rest inverted in an adjacent riverbed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings.

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 directional control during landing due to being distracted by another airplane and her delayed initiation of a go-around, during which the right wing struck a parked helicopter.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Delayed action - Pilot (Cause)
Attention - Pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Aircraft - Effect on operation (Cause)
Object/animal/substance - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Miscellaneous/other
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Approach-VFR go-around
Loss of control in flight
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Other
Nose over/nose down 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 57, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/12/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/05/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1131.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 9.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 994 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15.1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9.9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT
Registration: N519AC
Model/Series: 7GCBC NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic; Normal
Serial Number: 1295-2000
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/18/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1052.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT:  C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2B
Registered Owner: Judy McCarthy & Lucia Galgano
Rated Power: 160 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: KSZP, 259 ft msl
Observation Time: 1855 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 285°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SANTA PAULA, CA (SZP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Santa Paula, CA (SZP)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1010 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: SANTA PAULA (SZP)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 248 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2713 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.345556, -119.063056 (est)

Preventing Similar Accidents  

Stay Centered: Preventing Loss of Control During Landing

Loss of control during landing is one of the leading causes of general aviation accidents and is often attributed to operational issues. Although most loss of control during landing accidents do not result in serious injuries, they typically require extensive airplane repairs and may involve potential damage to nearby objects such as fences, signs, and lighting.

Often, wind plays a role in these accidents. Landing in a crosswind presents challenges for pilots of all experience levels. Other wind conditions, such as gusting wind, tailwind, variable wind, or wind shifts, can also interfere with pilots’ abilities to land the airplane and maintain directional control.

What can pilots do?

Evaluate your mental and physical fitness before each flight using the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “I'M SAFE Checklist." Being emotionally and physically ready will help you stay alert and potentially avoid common and preventable loss of control during landing accidents.

Check wind conditions and forecasts often. Take time during every approach briefing to fully understand the wind conditions. Use simple rules of thumb to help (for example, if the wind direction is 30 degrees off the runway heading, the crosswind component will be half of the total wind velocity).

Know your limitations and those of the airplane you are flying. Stay current and practice landings on different runways and during various wind conditions. If possible, practice with a flight instructor on board who can provide useful feedback and techniques for maintaining and improving your landing procedures.

Prepare early to perform a go around if the approach is not stabilized and does not go as planned or if you do not feel comfortable with the landing. Once you are airborne and stable again, you can decide to attempt to land again, reassess your landing runway, or land at an alternate airport. Incorporate go-around procedures into your recurrent training.

During landing, stay aligned with the centerline. Any misalignment reduces the time available to react if an unexpected event such as a wind gust or a tire blowout occurs.

Do not allow the airplane to touch down in a drift or in a crab. For airplanes with tricycle landing gear, do not allow the nosewheel to touch down first.

Maintain positive control of the airplane throughout the landing and be alert for directional control difficulties immediately upon and after touchdown. A loss of directional control can lead to a nose-over or ground loop, which can cause the airplane to tip or lean enough for the wing tip to contact the ground.

Stay mentally focused throughout the landing roll and taxi. During landing, avoid distractions, such as conversations with passengers or setting radio frequencies.

Interested in More Information?

The FAA’s “Airplane Flying Handbook” (FAA-H-8083-3B), chapter 8, “Approaches and Landings,” provides guidance about how to conduct crosswind approaches and landings and discusses maximum safe crosswind velocities. The handbook can be accessed from the FAA’s website (www.faa.gov).

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) provides access to online training courses, seminars, and webinars as part of the FAA’s “WINGS—Pilot Proficiency Program.” This program includes targeted flight training designed to help pilots develop the knowledge and skills needed to achieve flight proficiency and to assess and mitigate the risks associated with the most common causes of accidents, including loss of directional control. The courses listed below can be accessed from the FAASTeam website (www.faasafety.gov).

Avoiding Loss of Control

Maneuvering: Approach and Landing

Normal Approach and Landing

Takeoffs, Landings, and Aircraft Control

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute offers several interactive courses, presentations, publications, and other safety resources that can be accessed from its website (www.aopa.org/asf/).

The NTSB’s Aviation Information Resources web page, www.ntsb.gov/air, provides convenient access to NTSB aviation safety products.


The NTSB presents this information to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. Note that this should not be considered guidance from the regulator, nor does this supersede existing FAA Regulations (FARs).


Location: Santa Paula, CA
Accident Number: GAA18CA120
Date & Time: 02/02/2018, 1115 PST
Registration: N519AC
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 7GCBC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, during landing, she became distracted by another airplane performing a touch-and-go and, upon touchdown, her airplane veered to the right. She added full power to go around, but the airplane continued to the right as it became airborne and the right wing struck a parked helicopter. Subsequently, the airplane impacted the tops of bushes and came to rest inverted in an adjacent riverbed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the both wings.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 57, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/12/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/05/2017
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 1131.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 9.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 994 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15.1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9.9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT
Registration: N519AC
Model/Series: 7GCBC NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic; Normal
Serial Number: 1295-2000
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/18/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1052.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2B
Registered Owner: Judy McCarthy & Lucia Galgano
Rated Power: 160 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: KSZP, 259 ft msl
Observation Time: 1855 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 285°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SANTA PAULA, CA (SZP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Santa Paula, CA (SZP)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1010 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: SANTA PAULA (SZP)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 248 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2713 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  34.345556, -119.063056 (est)















Two people walked away from a plane crash Friday morning at the Santa Paula Airport that left the aircraft upside-down in the dry Santa Clara River bottom.

Santa Paula police and fire officials said a single-engine propeller plane, approaching the airport runway for a landing sometime after 11 a.m., went out of control and traveled south across the tarmac.

The aircraft clipped an unoccupied helicopter and went down an embankment, eventually coming to rest upside-down in the river bottom about 50 yards from the runway.

Santa Paula Police Department Detective Shane Norwood said people at the airport rushed to the scene to help the aircraft’s occupants.

“The pilot walked out under (her) own power,” Norwood said.

Norm Plott, assistant chief of the Santa Paula Fire Department, said the pilot and male occupant were uninjured, refused transport to a hospital and were released from the scene.

Plott said a Ventura County air unit was requested along with crash rescue crew out of the Camarillo. Those resources were canceled, however, as the occupants were safely out of the aircraft.

Pilots were initially told to avoid the airport during the response, but that advisory was lifted just before 12:15 p.m.

According to Norwood, the Santa Paula Police Department will be investigating the incident until Monday, when it will be handed off to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Federal Aviation Administration documents show the aircraft to be co-owned by two Ventura residents.

“I think the good thing is we didn’t have anyone injured,” Plott said.

“The biggest concern was to mitigate a small fuel spill into the river bottom.” 

About 3 gallons of fuel went onto the river bottom before the spill was stopped by fire personnel.

Crews then prepared to flip the aircraft upright, attaching a cable to the tail end of the plane, pulling it end over end.

Plott said the plane would be loaded onto a vehicle and taken into a Santa Paula Airport hangar where it will await inspection by the NTSB.

Friday’s crash is one of a handful of Ventura County incidents investigated by the NTSB in the past year.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.vcstar.com

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