Friday, February 9, 2018

Heinlein GH125, N79GH: Accident occurred February 08, 2018 at Valkaria Airport (X59), Brevard County, Florida

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

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/N79GH

Analysis

The pilot reported that, after landing the tailwheel-equipped airplane, he exited the runway as soon as possible due to student traffic in the pattern. The runway had no parallel taxiway, and he underestimated the softness of the terrain next to the runway. He added that the right main landing gear dug in, the airplane ground looped, the right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest nose-down. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot reported that he should have stayed on the paved runway until reaching the taxiway exit.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's decision to exit the paved runway into soft terrain, which resulted in a ground loop and landing gear collapse.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Soft surface - Effect on operation

Location: Valkaria, FL
Accident Number: GAA18CA182
Date & Time: 02/08/2018, 1500 EST
Registration: N79GH
Aircraft: HEINLEIN GEORGE GH125
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, after landing the tailwheel-equipped airplane, he exited the runway as soon as possible due to student traffic in the pattern, but the runway had no parallel taxiway, and he underestimated the softness of the terrain next to the runway. He added, the right main landing gear dug in, the airplane ground looped, the right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest nosed down.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

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

The pilot reported that he should have stayed on the paved runway until reaching the taxiway exit. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 73, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2 hours (Total, this make and model), 3000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HEINLEIN GEORGE
Registration: N79GH
Model/Series: GH125 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1993
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 01
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-290-G
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 130 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: KMLB, 27 ft msl
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 332°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 19°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots, 30°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Valkaria, FL (X59)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Valkaria, FL (X59)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1500 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: VALKARIA (X59)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 26 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 10
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  27.961389, -80.559722 (est)

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