Friday, May 04, 2018

Abnormal Runway Contact: Pulsar Series III, N914BB; accident occurred May 03, 2018 at Reigle Field Airport (58N), Palmyra, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Palmyra, PA
Accident Number: GAA18CA258
Date & Time: 05/03/2018, 1556 EDT
Registration: N914BB
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal Runway Contact
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, during the preflight, he observed no discrepancies and noted that the oil level was "inside the lower bound of normal oil capacity". He reported that en route, the oil pressure "was in the 30's (psi) and trending downward", but still within the normal engine oil pressure limits. He decided to divert to a nearby airport as a precaution.

The pilot reported that, while maneuvering to the alternate airport, the engine instruments appeared normal. However, during left base for the runway, he observed "a few seconds of white smoke" coming from the engine over the left wing. He reduced power, added flaps, and noticed that his approach speed was too fast. He decided he would not attempt a go around due to the smoke and shut the engine off "thinking of the possibility of an engine fire". Subsequently, the airplane bounced during the initial touch down, and landed near the halfway point of the runway. The pilot applied brakes, but the airplane overran the runway into a dirt field, and the nose landing gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

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 an appropriate approach speed, which resulted in a bounced landing and a runway overrun.


Aircraft Airspeed - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Oil - Related operating info

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise Miscellaneous/other
Landing Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Landing Runway excursion
Landing Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Military; Private
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/28/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/29/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1413.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 91 hours (Total, this make and model), 790.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N914BB
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: P9802-0550
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/09/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1325 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 771.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 914UL
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: KMUI, 488 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1956 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 4°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 8000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 20 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: CARLISLE, PA (N94)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: CARLISLE, PA (N94)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1457 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: REIGLE FIELD (58N)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 489 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 31
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1955 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Precautionary Landing; Traffic Pattern 

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: 40.287778, -76.580000

A small plane was involved in a minor crash Thursday afternoon at Reigle Airport in South Londonderry Township.

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. at the airport along Route 117 south of Palmyra.

Preliminary reports are the crash was minor in nature, and that no one was injured.

WGAL reports the pilot was headed to Carlisle when a low oil pressure light came on, so he tried to land but overshot the runway and ended up in a field.

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