Monday, May 14, 2018

Van's RV-6, N833DW: Accident occurred May 11, 2018 at Hutchinson County Airport (KBGD), Borger, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Borger, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA172
Date & Time: 05/11/2018, 0827 CDT
Registration: N833DW
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 11, 2018, at 0827 central daylight time (CDT), an experimental amateur-built Whittman RV6 airplane, N833DW, impacted terrain during an aborted landing on runway 21 at Hutchinson County Airport (BGD), Borger, Texas. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the cross country flight. The flight departed from H A Clark Memorial Field Airport, Williams, Arizona, at 0830 mountain standard time (MST) and was destined to BGD.

The pilot stated the BGD automated surface observing system (ASOS) was reporting a variable wind of 4-6 knots, which was less than forecast. During a visual approach to runway 21 (3,897 feet by 100 feet, dry asphalt), the pilot stated that he flew an upwind pattern entry and on short final, experienced "strong updrafts from unusual landforms". The pilot landed the tailwheel equipped airplane on runway 21, near the intersection of runway 17/35 (about 1,650 feet down runway 21), and "experienced strong wind gusts causing swerving". The pilot said that as "conditions deteriorated," he decided to abort the landing and applied full engine power while the airplane was departing the runway at about a 20° angle toward the right. The airplane began to climb over rising terrain off the side of the runway. The landing gear dragged through heavy brush/weeds, which reduced the airplane's acceleration. The pilot attempted to fly the airplane under approaching powerlines due to a lack of airspeed needed for a climb. The airplane then impacted the ground and a chain link fence.

Airport Facility Directory information for BGD showed the installation of three windsocks at the airport. The windsocks were located between the approach end of runways 17 and 35 and between runways 3 and 35.

BGD ASOS recorded the following wind information:

At 0551 CDT: wind - 220° at 17 knots, gust - 28 knots

At 0651 CDT: wind - 220° at 21 knots, gust - 32 knots

At 0751 CDT: wind - 220° at 17 knots, gust – 26 knots

At 0851 CDT: wind - 220° at 14 knots, gust – 23 knots

The calculated crosswind component on runway 21 with a wind from 220° at 14 knots was 2 knots and winds from 220° at 32 knots was 6 knots.

The airplane did not have and was not required to have a published maximum demonstrated crosswind velocity capability due to its classification as an experimental airplane A flight instructor, who provided flight instruction in RV-6 airplanes, stated that a comfortable crosswind velocity for a pilot with average skill would be about 15 knots, and a skilled pilot could land the airplane with a 20-25 knot crosswind. He said the RV6 was capable of landing in 20-25 knot crosswinds.

According to a Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) inspector from the Lubbock Flight Standards District Office, there were no witnesses to the accident. The UNICOM operator at the time did not realize the airplane was landing because he did not hear the pilot make radio calls on UNICOM. The operator first learned of the accident through 911, which was looking for the airplane.

Post-accident examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal airplane operation. The inspector stated that the wing flaps were in the fully extended position of 40 °.

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B), Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings, stated in part:

"…a review of accident statistics indicates that over 45 percent of all general aviation accidents occur during the approach and landing phases of a flight. A closer look shows that the cause of over 90 percent of those cases was pilot related and loss of control was also a major contributing factor in 33 percent of the cases."

Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings stated that stabilized descent angle is controlled throughout the approach so that the airplane lands in the center of the first third of the runway and if a landing cannot be made on the first third of the runway, or the airplane drifts sideways, execute a go-around. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/22/2018
Flight Time:  277 hours (Total, all aircraft), 180 hours (Total, this make and model), 14 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N833DW
Model/Series: RV 6
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 23207
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/01/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 405.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A1A
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BGD, 3055 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0851 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 14 knots / 23 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.75 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Williams, AZ (CMR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Borger, TX (BGD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0830 MST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Hutchinson County Airport (BGD)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3055 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3897 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  35.700833, -101.393611 (est)

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