Sunday, April 15, 2018

Cub Crafters CC18-180, N550BS: Accident occurred March 28, 2015 at Crazy Bob's Airport (2OI4), Westfield Township, Medina County, Ohio

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Westfield Township, OH
Accident Number: GAA15LA027
Date & Time: 03/28/2015, 1958 EDT
Registration: N550BS
Aircraft: CUB CRAFTERS CC18 180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the pilot, he departed on a cross-country flight to his home airport. He planned to arrive about sunset and land to the west. The pilot's last recollection of the events leading up to the accident was initiating a right turn from the base to final leg in the traffic pattern. The airplane wreckage was found inverted on the runway, adjacent to a tree line near the approach end. A semicircular, concave indentation on the leading edge of the right wing exhibited wood and paint transfer marks consistent with marks found on a severed treetop and branches at the initial point of impact. It is likely that the pilot misjudged the airplane's height above the trees when he turned onto final and was flying toward the setting sun. 

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 clearance from trees during a base-to-final turn while landing toward the sun.


Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Glare - Effect on personnel (Cause)
Tree(s) - Awareness of condition (Cause)

Factual Information 

On March 28, 2015, about 1958 Eastern daylight time, a Carbon Cub 18-180 airplane, N550BS, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain during the landing at Crazy Bob's Airfield (2OI4), Westfield Center, Ohio. The commercial pilot performed the flight while visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The solo pilot received serious injuries. The airplane departed Loraine County Regional Airport (LPR), Loraine/Elyria, Ohio about 1900, with Crazy Bob's Airfield as the intended destination.

In a written report to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the pilot reported that he obtained the flight's weather planning information using television and radio weather reports. His departure time was 1930, and sunset occurred at 2015. The destination runway was runway 27. The pilot further acknowledged that the turn from base to final was the last memory he could recall pertaining to the events of the accident.

The initial point of impact was located in the southern tree line near the approach end of runway 27. One large treetop, approximately 3 inches in diameter with what appeared to be yellow paint transfer from the right wing of the airplane, was found suspended in the tree line, along with several smaller branches found on the ground in the same vicinity. The airplane wreckage was situated on the runway, approximately 100 feet from the initial point of impact, adjacent to the tree line. The airplane was intact and came to rest inverted.

The airplane was moved into the pilots' hangar at the airport where a post-accident examination was conducted under the supervision of an FAA Inspector. The examination revealed there were no pre-impact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The right wing leading edge, outboard of wing's lift strut attachment, had a semi-circular, concave indentation, and a 12 inch span-wise dent, which was 8 inches deep. An examination of the onboard engine data management system revealed that manifold pressures and exhaust gas temperatures were indicative of an ascent to a cruising power, cruise flight, and a descent.

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern base
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Approach-VFR pattern final
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 81
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/17/2013
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/11/2014
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 8200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1000 hours (Total, this make and model), 40 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CUB CRAFTERS
Registration: N550BS
Model/Series: CC18 180 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: CC18-0015
Landing Gear Type: Amphibian
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/14/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 322 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-C4P
Registered Owner: SYME, ROBERT P.
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: SYME, ROBERT P.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: ROBERTS MARINE
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: BJJ, 1136 ft msl
Observation Time: 2356 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: -4°C / -12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 330°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.28 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LORAIN/ELYRIA, OH (LPR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Westfield Township, OH (2OI4)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1930 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Crazy Bob's Airport (2OI4)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1195 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:  1600 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 41.045278, -81.936667 (est)

NTSB Identification: GAA15LA027
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 28, 2015 in Westfield Township, OH
Aircraft: CUB CRAFTERS CC18 180, registration: N550BS
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 28, 2015, about 1942 eastern daylight time, an amphibious float-equipped, Cub Crafter CC18-180 airplane, N550BS, was substantially damaged when it impacted a tree and terrain during landing at Crazy Bob's Airfield (K2OI4), Westfield Center, Ohio. The airplane was being operated by the commercial pilot as a visual flight rules, personal flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and the pilot sustained serious injury. The flight departed Lagrange Airport (92D) about 1900.

A witness who heard the accident said, when he looked up, the airplane was upside down on the turf runway. The runway is lined on both sides with tall trees, and broken tree branches lay near the airplane. Due to his injuries the pilot has not been interviewed. The investigation is continuing.  

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