Saturday, February 10, 2018

Christen Eagle II, N304DR: Accident occurred July 22, 2017 at Amelia Earhart Airport (K59), Atchison County, Kansas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Atchison, KS
Accident Number: GAA17CA449
Date & Time: 07/22/2017, 1000 CDT
Registration: N304DR
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 the landing roll, the tailwheel-equipped airplane encountered a gust of wind, and subsequently veered off the runway to the left. The pilot over corrected to the right and the airplane ground looped to the left.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

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

The pilot reported that the automated weather observation system indicated that the wind was from 270° at 10 knots. The airplane landed on runway 34. 

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 the landing roll in crosswind conditions.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Landing-landing roll
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 79, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
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: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/01/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/24/2017
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 3238 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1148 hours (Total, this make and model), 3100 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: RADFORD DARREL F
Registration: N304DR
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: RADFORD-0001
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1152 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: AEIOA1A
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: KSTJ, 818 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 44°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 24°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 240°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: DODGE CITY, KS (DDC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Atchison, KS (K59)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0830 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1073 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 48 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; 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:  39.568056, -95.180000 (est)

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