Sunday, April 08, 2018

Rutan Long-EZ, N754T: Accident occurred November 11, 2017 at Weedon Field (KEUF), Eufaula, Barbour County, Alabama

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: EUFAULA, AL 
Accident Number: ANC18LA008
Date & Time: 11/11/2017, 0935 CST
Registration: N754T
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Part(s) separation from AC
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 11, 2017, about 0935 central standard time (CST), a Cloud Jeffery Ferrell Long EZ airplane, N754T, landed short of the runway during a forced landing at Wheedon Field (KEUF), Eufaula, Alabama. The private pilot and passenger were not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Marianna Municipal Airport (KMAI), Marianna, Florida, about 1000 eastern standard time, and was destined for Falcon Field (KFFC), Atlanta, Georgia. However, due to deteriorating weather conditions en route, the destination was changed to KEUF. No flight plan had been filed.

According to a statement from the pilot, while flying about 7,500 ft msl, about 9 miles northeast of KEUF, "suddenly and without warning the aircraft violently began shuddering." The pilot immediately shut down the engine and turned the airplane towards KEUF. During the turn, he noticed the right rudder control surface was damaged. Due to winds and orientation to the runway when the engine was shut down, the airplane was unable to reach the runway and landed about 200 ft prior to the runway edge in a rough, grassy area. Upon exiting the airplane, the pilot discovered a portion of the trailing edge of the propeller had separated and penetrated the lower half of the right rudder control surface, which resulted in substantial damage. The separated portion of the propeller was not located.

The wood propeller, manufactured by Ed Sterba Propellers, was removed from the aircraft and sent to the US Department of Agriculture's Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, for examination under the NTSB supervision. The examination determined that the propeller was manufactured from laminations of defect-free hard maple lumber that was absent of any decay. An inspection of the separation surface, using a low magnification hand lens, indicated that the individual layers of the propeller were laminated together using an adhesive that resulted in a light-colored bond line. The failure surface included an exposed portion of the bond line between two wood laminae that had failed. Examination of this bond line showed minimal wood failure about eight inches in length and between 1/8" and 1/4" wide. It was noted that the amount of cured adhesive observed varied considerably along the length of the failure surface's bond line, with an area of the bond line having minimal adhesive coverage.

According to the propeller manufacturer, the propeller was carved by hand using hard maple lumber. The adhesive used was Weldwood® Plastic Resin Glue. Weldwood is a ureaformaldehyde product that is advertised as "ideal for interior wood application." In a letter to the NTSB from DAP Products Inc., the adhesive manufacturer, it was stated "DAP has not qualified this product for use on any aircraft component such as hand-carven wooden propeller, nor has it been tested for applications where extreme temperature fluctuations, pressure and vibration would be expected."

The closest official weather observation station is Columbus Airport (KCSG), Columbus, Georgia, which is located about 35 miles northeast of the accident site. At 0851, a METAR was reporting, in part, wind 090° at 11 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and ceiling clear; temperature 50° F; dew point 39° F; altimeter 30.35 inches of Mercury.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 47, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
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: BasicMed Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/06/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/06/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 248 hours (Total, all aircraft), 177 hours (Total, this make and model), 210 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CLOUD JEFFREY FERRELL
Registration: N754T
Model/Series: LONG EZ
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 1763-L
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/05/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1425 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 177.4 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235-L2C
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 118 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: KCSG, 392 ft msl
Observation Time: 0851 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 35 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 16°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 4°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 90°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.35 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: MARIANNA, FL (MAI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ATLANTA, GA (FFC)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1000 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 285 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Forced Landing 

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:  31.958611, -85.128333 (est)

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