Friday, June 8, 2018

Aeronca 11AC Chief, N4453P registered to and operated by Father John 77 Flying Club: Accident occurred July 22, 2014 at Dalton Airport (3DA), Flushing, Genesee County, Michigan

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Belleville, Michigan

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N4453P

Location: Flushing, MI
Accident Number: CEN14LA387
Date & Time: 07/22/2014, 1015 EDT
Registration: N4453P
Aircraft: AERONCA 11AC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis 

The purpose of the flight was for the pilot receiving instruction to obtain a checkout in the tailwheel-equipped airplane. The pilot receiving instruction stated that, during the takeoff roll and before the tail became airborne, the airplane suddenly swerved right, and he was unable to correct to the left with normal flight control and brake inputs. When the pilot receiving instruction was unable to regain directional control with normal flight control inputs, the flight instructor, who did not have access to brake controls, applied additional engine power and left rudder input; however, the airplane continued to swerve right. The flight instructor subsequently reduced engine power, but the airplane continued off the right side of the runway and collided with a hangar.

A postaccident airplane examination did not reveal any anomalies with the airplane's flight controls, brake system, or tailwheel assembly that would have prevented normal operation. Although the 5-knot wind was likely variable at the time of the accident, the pilot receiving instruction should have been able to maintain directional control without excessive flight control and brake inputs. Additionally, during the takeoff roll, before the flight controls became more effective at higher ground speeds, the flight instructor likely had inadequate control authority to regain directional control without access to brake controls. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot receiving instruction's failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor not having access to brake controls, which limited his ability to regain directional control at slower ground speeds.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause) 

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Factual Information 

On July 22, 2014, about 1015 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca model 11AC airplane, N4453P, was substantially damaged during takeoff on runway 18 (2,510 feet by 50 feet, asphalt) at the Dalton Airport (3DA), Flushing, Michigan. The private pilot and his flight instructor sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Father John 77 Flying Club under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area instructional flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot flying, who was receiving a flight check to satisfy the flying club's insurance currency requirements, reported that he had not flown the tail wheel-equipped airplane since September 2013. He stated that during the takeoff roll, before the tail became airborne, the airplane suddenly entered a right swerve that he was unable to correct for with normal flight control and brake inputs. The flight instructor reduced engine power as the airplane departed the right side of the runway. The airplane subsequently collided with a hangar structure located alongside the runway. The left wing and fuselage were substantially damaged during the accident.

The flight instructor reported that the airplane entered a right swerve shortly after engine power was increased for the takeoff roll. When the pilot-receiving-instruction was unable to regain directional control with normal flight control inputs, the flight instructor, who did not have access to brake controls, applied additional engine power and left rudder input; however, the airplane continued in the right swerve. The flight instructor subsquently reduced engine power, but the airplane continued off the right side of the runway and collided with the hangar.

A postaccident airplane examination was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airworthiness Inspector. The FAA examination did not reveal any anomalies with the airplane's flight controls, brake system, or tail wheel assembly that would have prevented normal operation.

At 0953, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) located at Bishop International Airport (FNT), about 6 miles southeast of the accident site, reported: a variable wind direction at 5 knots; visibility 10 miles; clear sky; temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dew point 18 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury. 

History of Flight

Takeoff
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion

Takeoff-rejected takeoff
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 76, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/06/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/27/2013
Flight Time: 801 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5 hours (Total, this make and model), 608 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 80, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
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: 08/25/2012
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/21/2013
Flight Time: 10895 hours (Total, all aircraft), 28 hours (Total, this make and model), 9874 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AERONCA
Registration: N4453P
Model/Series: 11AC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11AC318
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/12/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1250 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:  8 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 971 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: C-85-8F
Registered Owner: Father John 77 Flying Club
Rated Power: 85 hp
Operator: Father John 77 Flying Club
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FNT, 782 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 153°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 18°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Flushing, MI (3DA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Flushing, MI (3DA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1015 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Dalton Airport (3DA)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 733 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2510 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  43.052500, -83.805000 (est)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After four years they finally discovered Captain Obvious.