Monday, January 14, 2019

Maule MX-7-160 Sportplane, N3156K: Accident occurred January 11, 2017 in Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee

Collin McDonald

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N3156K



Location: Carthage, TN
Accident Number: ERA17LA083
Date & Time: 01/11/2017, 1540 CST
Registration: N3156K
Aircraft: MAULE MX7
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis


The commercial pilot was landing on his 1,100 ft-long private grass airstrip. He set up for a landing to the north due to obstacles and the runway's upslope in that direction. A witness reported that the wind was "blowing hard," gusting, and variable at the time of the landing. The witness described the approach as normal until just before touchdown, when the left wing dropped and the right wing rose. The airplane then collided with the ground and came to rest on its nose with structural damage to the left wing and forward fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures before the accident, and the witness reported that the engine sounded normal during the event. Recorded weather information from nearby airports indicated wind from the south; one airport reported gusts of up to 29 knots. The pilot subsequently reported that the accident was the result of wind gusts that he had not anticipated.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's inadequate compensation for gusting tailwind conditions, which resulted in a loss of airplane control during the landing flare.

Findings

Aircraft

Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Response/compensation (Cause)
Gusts - Effect on operation (Factor)



Factual Information

On January 11, 2017, at 1540 central standard time, a Maule MX-7-160, N3156K, was substantially damaged during landing at a private, grass airstrip at Carthage, Tennessee. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Lebanon Municipal Airport (M54), Lebanon, Tennessee, at 1518.

The pilot reported that the preflight inspection, departure, and cruise portions of the flight were uneventful. He entered the traffic pattern at his property, which consisted of a grass airstrip that was about 1,100 feet in length. He maneuvered the airplane for a landing to the north, which was always the landing direction due to runway slope and obstacles. He checked the wind at the departure airport prior to landing and recalled that it was out of the south at 12 knots. He also checked the wind sock at his airstrip prior to landing. Due to his injuries, he did not recall the events of the landing sequence.

A witness observed the accident and the weather conditions at the scene. He reported that the pilot arrived over the airstrip, and circled around the property. He then set up for a landing to the north. The wind was "really blowing hard" at the time, and he described the wind as strong and gusting, and coming from different directions. Just prior to the airplane touching down, the left wing dropped suddenly, and the right wing came up. The airplane then went nose down and stopped. He stated that the engine was "running great, no misfires or roughness."

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to left wing and fuselage was confirmed. An on-scene examination of the airframe, engine, and fuel system did not reveal evidence of a mechanical malfunction. The initial impact point was about 900 feet north of the approach end of runway 35, and about 200 feet west of the runway. The initial ground impact point matched damage to the left wingtip. The airplane came to rest in a nose low attitude, 30 feet to the west of the initial ground impact point. He also noted that runway 35 sloped uphill, with a total elevation change of 50-70 feet.

Murfreesboro Municipal Airport (MQY), Murfreesboro, Tennessee was located about 30 nautical miles southwest of the accident site. The MQY weather at 1556 included wind from 180 degrees at 12 knots with gusts to 20 knots. Nashville International Airport (BNA), Nashville, Tennessee, was located about 35 nautical miles west-southwest of the accident site. The BNA weather at 1553 included wind from 190 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 23 knots, with a recorded peak wind from 190 degrees at 29 knots.

After the accident, the pilot reported that there was no mechanical failure or malfunction with the airplane prior to the accident. He also reported that the accident was the result of wind gusts that were not anticipated by him.

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown
Other weather encounter
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Abnormal runway contact

Landing-landing roll
Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/11/2014
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/25/2015
Flight Time:  695 hours (Total, all aircraft), 478 hours (Total, this make and model), 605 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MAULE
Registration: N3156K
Model/Series: MX7 160
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1995
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 19036C
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/28/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 325 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1057 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2D
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: MQY, 614 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1556 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 220°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots / 20 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lebanon, TN (M54)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carthage, TN
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1518 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 36.254444, -85.969167 (est)




NTSB Identification: ERA17LA083 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 11, 2017 in Carthage, TN
Aircraft: MAULE MX7, registration: N3156K
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 January 11, 2017, at 1540 central standard time, a Maule MX-7-160, N3156K, was substantially damaged during landing at a private, grass airstrip at Carthage, Tennessee. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Lebanon Municipal Airport (M54), Lebanon, Tennessee at 1518.

The pilot reported that the preflight inspection, departure, and cruise portions of the flight were uneventful. He entered the traffic pattern at his property, which consisted of a grass airstrip, 1,195 feet in length. He maneuvered the airplane for a landing to the north, which was always the landing direction due to runway slope and obstacles. He checked the wind at the departure airport prior to landing and recalled that it was out of the south at 12 knots. Due to his injuries, he did not recall the events of the landing sequence. Witnesses reported that the airplane nosed down during the landing and the left wing struck the ground. The witnesses also reported that the wind began "swirling and gusting" as the airplane was landing.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to left wing and fuselage was confirmed. A cursory examination of the airframe, engine, and fuel system did not reveal evidence of a mechanical malfunction. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

No comments: