Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pietenpol Air Camper, N40WH: Accident occurred September 21, 2017 at Venango Regional Airport (KFKL), Franklin, Pennsylvania

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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/N40WH


Location: Franklin, PA
Accident Number: GAA17CA552
Date & Time: 09/21/2017, 1410 EDT
Registration: N40WH
Aircraft: HENCKEN WILLIAM PIETENPOL AIR CAMPER
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis

The pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll, the experimental tailwheel-equipped airplane's left wing dropped. The pilot corrected with right aileron input and back pressure on the control yoke. However, the airplane veered off the runway, bounced, and then impacted the runway in a right-wing-low attitude. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the weld that connects the left main landing gear and the axle had failed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and empennage. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the weld that connects the left main landing gear and the axle during the takeoff roll.

Findings

Aircraft
Main gear strut/axle/truck - Failure (Cause)
Directional control - Not specified

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff
Landing gear collapse (Defining event)
Loss of control on ground
Runway excursion
Nose over/nose down

The pilot reported that during the takeoff roll, the experimental tailwheel-equipped airplane's left wing dropped. The pilot corrected with right aileron input and back pressure on the control yoke. However, the airplane veered off the runway, bounced, and impacted in a right wing low attitude. Subsequently the airplane nosed over.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the weld that connects the left main landing gear and the axle failed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and empennage.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
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: Sport Pilot Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:  07/11/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/15/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 313 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12 hours (Total, this make and model), 231 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HENCKEN WILLIAM
Registration: N40WH
Model/Series: PIETENPOL AIR CAMPER NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1986
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 40
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/01/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1325 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 106.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Chevrolet
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: Corvair
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 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: KFKL, 1539 ft msl
Observation Time: 1756 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 316°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 16°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 20°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Franklin, PA (FKL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Franklin, PA (FKL)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1410 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: VENANGO RGNL (FKL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1540 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5200 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

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:  41.377778, -79.860278 (est)

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