Sunday, February 24, 2019

Experimental amateur-built Preceptor Ultra Pup N3-2, N484HC: Fatal accident occurred October 05, 2017 near Samuels Field Airport (KBRY), Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky

John David Hall 
(1948 - 2017)

John David Hall, 68, of Bardstown, passed away October 5th, 2017, in Bardstown, Kentucky.  David loved to fly airplanes, it was his first love.


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


Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Louisville, Kentucky

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N484HC

Location: Bardstown, KY
Accident Number: ERA18FA005
Date & Time: 10/05/2017, 1830 EDT
Registration: N484HC
Aircraft: BRYANT C CROSBY BC ULTRA PUP
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 5, 2017, about 1830 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Ultra Pup airplane, N484HC, collided with terrain following a go-around at Samuels Field Airport (BRY), Bardstown, Kentucky. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and was being operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day, visual meteorological conditions existed near the airport, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight, which originated about 1815.

A pilot-rated witness spoke to the pilot before the flight, and the pilot told him this was his first flight in the airplane. The witness reported that he saw the airplane in a left traffic pattern for runway 3 at BRY, and the pilot was seated in the aft cockpit seat; the first approach appeared normal. He added that, during the landing flare, the pilot appeared to be "over controlling the plane," and the pilot subsequently performed a go-around without touching down. The airplane remained in the traffic pattern for a second approach. The witness momentarily went inside the airport's fixed-base operator, and when he returned to the ramp, he saw the airplane about two-thirds of the way down the runway. As the airplane neared the departure end of the runway, it did not appear to be climbing the rate of the previous two departures. The witness added that, as the airplane passed the departure end of runway 3, the right wing dropped, and the airplane appeared to "go straight down at a high rate of speed with the nose generally pointing east." The airplane descended behind a stand of trees and then reappeared with the nose slightly up and pointing generally north before it disappeared behind the trees for a second time and then crashed. The engine sounded normal during the entire flight. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 800 hours (Total, all aircraft)

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot did not hold a current medical certificate. On an October 2, 2014, application for an FAA second-class medical certificate, he reported 800 hours of total flight experience. The application was denied by the FAA for physical and mental health reasons, and the pilot did not repeal the denial. For additional information, see the section in this report titled "MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION."

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had no recent flight experience, and no logged flights in the accident airplane were recorded; his most recent flight review was recorded on September 14, 1992. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BRYANT C CROSBY
Registration: N484HC
Model/Series: BC ULTRA PUP NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 002
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/22/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 2 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 54 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Revmaster
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 2100-D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The high-wing, single-engine, two-seat, tandem-cockpit airplane had a tailwheel landing gear. The airplane was equipped with a Revmaster 2100-D, 65-horsepower reciprocating engine, which was modified for aviation applications from a Volkswagen air-cooled engine core. The engine was fitted with a Tennessee Propellers fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The airplane was not equipped with wing flaps or a stall warning system. The airplane was built in 2013, and the pilot purchased it in May 2017 from its previous owner. The total airframe time was 54.3 hours. A condition inspection was completed on September 22, 2016, at 52.4 hours total time.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: EKX, 775 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1835 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 11000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bardstown, KY (BRY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bardstown, KY (BRY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1815 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

At 1835, Addington Field Airport, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, located about 18 miles west of the accident site, recorded weather that included wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 11,000 ft, temperature 25°C, dew point 15°C, and altimeter setting 30.13 inches of mercury. BRY was not equipped with weather measuring or recording equipment.

Airport Information

Airport: Samuels Field (BRY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 668 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 03
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5003 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  37.824444, -85.493333 (est) 

The airplane crashed in a soybean field about 1,635 ft northeast of the departure end of runway 3. The airplane came to rest in a near vertical, nose-down attitude at the location of initial ground impact. All airplane components were accounted for at the accident site.

All primary flight control surfaces remained attached. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed to all flight controls. The elevator control cables were observed attached to the aft bell crank at the torque tube and at the forward push-pull tube under the floor. The rudder control cables were observed attached to the rudder bellcrank at the empennage and at the rudder pedals at the cockpit area. The right and left aileron control cables were connected to the attachment points on both ailerons. All cables were attached at the control sticks. The balance cable was intact.

The fuselage frame was buckled immediately aft of the aft cockpit seat. The forward fuselage frame was crushed against the engine, and the engine firewall was crushed against the engine and engine mount. The aft seat four-point harness straps were cut by rescue personnel. The seatbelt buckle remained connected.

The rudder was undamaged. The upper rudder hinge pin was in place; however, the cotter pin was missing. The vertical stabilizer was undamaged. The horizontal stabilizer and elevator were undamaged.

The left wing leading edge was twisted in an upward direction about 15°. The left wing tip fairing was broken and held on by wing skin. Forward-to-aft crushing signatures were noted on the left wing leading edge. The left wing fuel tank was intact, and no fuel was present. The left wing lift struts remained attached and were undamaged.

The right wing leading edge was twisted downward about 20°. Forward-to-aft crushing signatures were noted on the right wing leading edge. The right wing fuel tank was intact, and about 1 gallon of clean, blue fuel was recovered from the tank. The right wing lift struts remained attached and were undamaged.

The lines from both fuel tanks were found disconnected and were leaking fuel. The fuel shutoff valve had separated from the instrument panel and was found loose in the wreckage, and its preaccident position could not be determined. All fuel lines from the wing tanks to the engine were clear and unobstructed. The fuel tank vents were unobstructed. Clear, blue fuel was found in the fuel gascolator. Fuel was observed in the strainer bowl, and no water or debris were present. The fuel tank caps were securely attached and undamaged.

The elevator trim control cable was continuous from the trim lever at the rear cockpit seat position to the trim tab. The trim lever was full aft, and the tab was full down; however, there was deformation of the area due to impact.
The main landing gear (MLG) remained attached to the fuselage. The support struts on both MLG were bent and broken. The main tires remained attached. The main tire wheel brakes appeared normal. The tailwheel assembly was attached and operable.

Engine examination revealed that the carburetor remained secured to the engine. The intake system remained attached to the carburetor. The air filter was clean and unobstructed. The four spark plugs were removed for inspection. The fine wire electrodes were normal in wear and color when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand-turning the propeller hub. No internal restrictions or unusual noises were noted. Compression and suction were observed on all cylinders, and valve action was correct. The ignition harness leads were intact and undamaged. The magneto was not removed or examined due to airframe damage. The engine case contained oil. The mixture and throttle cables remained attached. The wooden propeller blades had separated at the hub and were found in multiple pieces at the accident site. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Louisville, Kentucky performed the autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death of the pilot was attributed to "blunt force injuries of the head, torso, and extremities."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. Testing was negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Testing was positive for the antidepressant sertraline (0.118 µg/mL) and its metabolite desmethylsertraline (0.316 µg/mL) in the blood and liver.

According to personal medical records obtained from the Veterans Administration, the pilot had obsessive compulsive disorder, depression/anxiety (not further specified), paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/supraventricular tachycardia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He had also had a hernia and had undergone back surgery.

During the 8 months preceding the accident, the pilot had additional health issues. He had fallen in February 2017 and fractured a small area of the posterior wall of his acetabulum (hip socket), which was treated conservatively and resolved. He also struck his left elbow, which caused a tiny chip fracture, but the elbow developed an infection several months later, and surgery was required to remove the infected tissue. His prostate specific antigen rose significantly, and he required a biopsy that was complicated by significant bleeding (the result was negative). He developed a tear in his retina that required laser surgery, and because of persistent symptoms, he was scheduled to have a cataract removed in November 2017. As part of the evaluation of his eye symptoms, he underwent an ultrasound evaluation of his carotid arteries, which identified an early stenosis of his right carotid (when more severe, these stenoses can lead to strokes); he was considering additional medical treatment.

The pilot regularly visited a mental health counselor. At his last visit on September 5, 2017 (1 month before the accident), he told the counselor that things had gone "from bad to worse" in terms of his anxiety and stress, primarily due to his recent medical issues. His coping mechanism was to retreat to the "dark and quiet" of his basement when he was overwhelmed. The counselor found him anxious with logical thought content but rated his judgment and insight as "fair."

NTSB Identification: ERA18FA005
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 05, 2017 in Bardstown, KY
Aircraft: BRYANT C CROSBY BC ULTRA PUP, registration: N484HC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On October 5, 2017, about 1830 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built BC Ultra Pup, N484HC, collided with terrain following a go-around at Samuels Field Airport (BRY), Bardstown, Kentucky. The airplane was substantially damaged. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight. The flight originated about 1815.


A pilot-rated witness observed the airplane in the traffic pattern at BRY. He reported that the pilot flew a left-hand pattern for runway 3, and the first approach appeared normal. During the flare, the pilot appeared to be "over controlling the plane," and performed a go-around without touching down. The airplane remained in the traffic pattern for a second approach. The witness momentarily went inside the airport's fixed base operator (FBO), and when he returned to the ramp, he observed the airplane climbing. The airplane was about two-thirds of the way down the runway, and was not climbing at the same rate as the previous two departures. As the airplane passed the departure end of runway 3, the right wing dropped and the airplane appeared to "go straight down at a high rate of speed with the nose generally pointing east." The airplane descended below a stand of trees, then reappeared, with the nose slightly up and pointing generally north before it disappeared behind the trees for a second time and crashed. The witness reported that the engine sounded normal during the entire flight.


The airplane crashed in a soybean field, about 1,635 ft northeast of the departure end of runway 3. The airplane came to rest in a near vertical nose down attitude at the location of initial ground impact. There was no fire. All components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls.


The pilot, age 68, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He was seated in the aft cockpit seat. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot did not hold a current medical certificate; however, he reported 800 hours of total flight experience on an application for an FAA second class medical certificate on October 2, 2014.


The high-wing, single-engine, two-seat, tandem cockpit airplane incorporated a tailwheel landing gear. The airplane was equipped with a Revmaster 2100-D, 65-horsepower reciprocating engine, which was modified for aviation applications from a Volkswagen air-cooled engine core. The engine was fitted with a Tennessee Propellers fixed pitch wooden propeller. The airplane was built in 2013 and was purchased by the pilot in May 2017. The total airframe time was 54.3 hours. A condition inspection was completed on September 22, 2017, at 52.4 hours total time.

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