Sunday, April 22, 2018

STOL CH750, N925PS: Accident occurred May 22, 2016 at Lawrenceburg-Lawrence County Airport (2M2), Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


http://registry.faa.gov/N925PS



Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board


Location: Lawrenceburg, TN

Accident Number: ERA16LA191
Date & Time: 05/22/2016, 1330 CDT
Registration: N925PS
Aircraft: SIKES Zenith CH750 STOL
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 22, 2016, about 1330 central daylight time, a Sikes Zenith CH-750 STOL, N925PS, was destroyed during collision with trees and terrain after takeoff from Lawrence County Airport (2M2), Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. The sport pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, the pilot reported that it was the airplane's first test flight. He stated that after liftoff, he applied right rudder to maintain runway heading, but the airplane continued to the left. As he applied more right rudder, the severity of the turn increased. The airplane departed the left side of the runway and airport property, and struck trees and terrain before it came to rest.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a sport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He did not possess an FAA medical certificate, nor was he required to. The pilot reported 40 total hours of flight experience, which he accrued while training for his pilot certificate. A review of his pilot logbook by the FAA inspector revealed that the pilot had not flown in the nearly 12 months prior to the accident flight.

The pilot held no other FAA certificates. Specifically, he did not hold a repairman certificate for the accident airplane.

The two-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 2016 and was equipped with a Continental O-200 series engine. Examination of maintenance logbooks for the airplane revealed only two entries; the condition inspection signed by the pilot and an airworthiness inspection signed by an FAA designated airworthiness representative. The airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed March 16, 2016. The hobbs meter displayed 4.1 total aircraft hours at the accident site.

There were no other articles or documents offered or found with regard to the construction of the airplane. There was no construction plan/log, no manufacturer's flight testing instructions or flight testing data, and no flight test plan. There was no additional pilot program for the testing of the airplane. There was no weight and balance data and neither was there taxi-testing data. No operator's checklist was found in the wreckage.

Examination of the wreckage by the FAA inspector revealed that the rudder control cables had been rigged backward.

Aircraft History

FAA inspectors conducted lengthy, detailed interviews with the pilot/owner, his colleagues, and mechanics who had performed work on the airplane during its construction, who learned that the airplane was purchased partially assembled from its original owner.

Approximately 13 months prior to the accident flight, a maintenance facility had performed a considerable amount of construction and modification on the airplane, including "installation" of the rudder. After that, the pilot/owner decided that the work performed did not meet his liking or the kit specifications, and undid or modified the work performed by the maintenance facility. It could not be determined who performed the most recent work on the rudder and rudder control system prior to the accident flight.

FAA Advisory Circular 90-89A, AMATEUR-BUILT AIRCRAFT AND ULTRALIGHT FLIGHT TESTING HANDBOOK

This AC's purpose was the following:

"(1) To make amateur-built/ultralight aircraft pilots aware that test flying an aircraft is a critical undertaking, which should be approached with thorough planning, skill, and common sense."

"(2) To provide recommendations and suggestions that can be combined with other sources on test flying (e.g., the aircraft plan/kit manufacturer's flight testing instructions, other flight testing data). This will assist the amateur/ultralight owner to develop a detailed flight test plan, tailored for their aircraft and resources."

The advisory circular provided guidance on preparing a plan for each phase of the amateur-built airplane's production. The areas for which guidance was provided included preparing for the airworthiness inspection, weight and balance, taxi test, flight testing, and emergency procedures. The suggested flight testing regimen was separated into 10-hour segments for the 40-plus hour flight testing requirement.

Suggested guidelines for the experience level of the test pilot for the recently-completed amateur-built airplane were also provided. Among the guidelines, was the following:

"A minimum of 50 recent takeoffs and landings in a conventional (tail wheel aircraft) if the aircraft to be tested is a tail dragger."

"If appropriate, have logged a minimum of 10 tail wheel take-off and landings within the past 30 days."

According to FAA Order 8130.2H, Airworthiness Certification of Products and Articles,

"An experimental aircraft builder certificated as a repairman for this aircraft under 65.104, or an appropriately rated FAA-certificated mechanic, may perform the condition inspection required by these operating limitations." 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification:  Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 40 hours (Total, all aircraft), 4 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: SIKES
Registration: N925PS
Model/Series: Zenith CH750 STOL
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 75-8805
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/16/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4.1 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Conintental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-200
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: KMRC, 681 ft msl
Observation Time: 1315 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 11°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lawrenceburg, TN (2M2)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lawrenceburg, TN (2M2)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: LAWRENCEBURG-LAWRENCE COUNTY (2M2)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 936 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5003 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 35.234444, -87.258056 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA191
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 22, 2016 in Lawrenceburg, TN
Aircraft: SIKES Zenith CH750 STOL, registration: N925PS
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 May 22, 2016, about 1330 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Zenith CH-750 STOL, N925PS, was destroyed during collision with trees and terrain after takeoff from Lawrence County Airport (2M2), Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. The sport pilot/owner/builder and a passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, the pilot reported this was the first flight for the airplane. He stated that after liftoff, he applied right rudder to maintain runway heading, but the airplane continued to the left. As he applied more right rudder, the severity of the turn increased. The airplane departed the left side of the runway, the airport property, and struck trees and terrain before it came to rest.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a sport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He did not possess an FAA medical certificate. The pilot reported 40 total hours of flight experience, which he accrued while training for his pilot certificate.

The two-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 2016 and was equipped with a Continental O-200 series engine. The maintenance logbooks for the airplane were not immediately available, but the airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed March 16, 2016. The hobbs meter displayed 4.1 total aircraft hours at the accident site.


Examination of the wreckage by the FAA inspector revealed that the rudder was 180-degrees out of rig. A right-pedal application resulted in a left-rudder input and vice-versa.

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