Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Steen Skybolt, N22GL: Accident occurred July 14, 2018 at Cotton Patch Airport (TA75), Lexington, Lee County, 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; Houston, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lexington, TX

Accident Number: CEN18LA271
Date & Time: 07/14/2018, 1400 CDT
Registration: N22GL
Aircraft: Steen Skybolt
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 14, 2018, about 1400 central daylight time, a Leake Steen Skybolt biplane, N22GL, was substantially damaged when the main landing gear failed while it was taxiing from landing at Cotton Patch Airport (TA75), Lexington, Texas. The pilot was not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the accident site at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from TA75 about 1300.

According to the pilot, he flew to Taylor, Texas, to refuel his airplane. He then flew back to TA75 and landed. While taxiing to the hangar, the airplane started to settle. The pilot secured the engine. The fuselage tubing and wing flying wires were bent, and the fuselage skins were deformed.

Post-accident examination revealed the main landing gear had failed, allowing it to spread apart. The pilot later reported there was a fatigue failure in the landing gear truss. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
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: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/28/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/22/2018
Flight Time:  818 hours (Total, all aircraft), 429 hours (Total, this make and model), 818 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Steen
Registration: N22GL
Model/Series: Skybolt
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: GL-1
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/25/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 4 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1511 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming 
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-320-B1A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: GYB, 484 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1355 CDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Taylor, TX (T74)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lexington, TX (TA75)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1335 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Cotton Patch (TA75)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 430 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

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: 30.391667, -97.108333 (est)

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