Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sonex, N212AG: Accident occurred April 22, 2017 near Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO), Loudoun County, Virginia


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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Herndon, Virginia

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/N212AG 



Location: Leesburg, VA
Accident Number: ERA17LA165
Date & Time: 04/22/2017, 0915 EDT
Registration: N212AG
Aircraft: GANJOO AMIT SONEX
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 22, 2017, about 0915 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Sonex, N212AG, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, while attempting to land at the Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed near the airport about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from JYO about 0845 and was destined for the Blue Ridge Airport (MTV), Martinsville, Virginia.

The pilot stated that he purchased the airplane three months before the accident but had to wait for the weather to improve before he could fly the airplane back to his home in Washington state. On the day of the accident, he topped off the airplane's 16-gallon fuel tank and reviewed weather conditions along his intended route of flight. He said it was "drizzly" but the ceiling was "good." The pilot conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane and performed an engine run-up before he departed. The pilot said when he got about 20 miles south of the airport, weather conditions deteriorated, and he elected to turn back to Leesburg. When he was on final approach to runway 35 at an altitude of 700 ft, the engine "just stopped." The pilot attempted to re-start the engine, but to no avail, and he made a forced landing just short of the runway. The pilot said he "ran out of airspeed" when the airplane was about 100 ft above the ground, and that it then "pancaked" onto the ground and slid for about 100 ft before coming to a stop.

The pilot said that the weather conditions (high humidity and visible moisture) were conducive to carburetor icing, but he did not apply carburetor heat until he tried to re-start the engine. Even then, he did not use full carburetor heat. When the airplane was recovered, the pilot said he drained 13 gallons of fuel from the fuel tank and it was absent of debris and water.

A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that it rotated freely, and compression and valve train continuity was established for each cylinder. A borescope was used to examine the inside of each cylinder and no anomalies were noted. No oil leaks were observed, and oil was present in the sump. The magnetic drain plug was removed, and it was absent of debris. External and internal examination of the distributor, rotor, and points revealed no evidence of anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Neither of the two ignition coils displayed any evidence of damage. Examination of the sparkplugs revealed the electrodes were gray in color and exhibited normal signatures. The carburetor heat linkage and air door were functional. External and internal examination of the carburetor revealed no evidence of malfunction, the accelerator pump was functional, the floats showed no sign of leakage, and the float bowl contained fluid consistent with 100LL Aviation Gasoline. The fuel was then tested with water finding paste and no water was detected.

The weather conditions reported at JYO, at 0915, included wind 010° at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, light drizzle, scattered clouds 1,600 ft, broken clouds at 2,400 ft, overcast clouds at 3,600 ft, temperature 55° C, dewpoint 54° C, and a barometric altimeter setting of 29.94 in Hg.

The carburetor icing probability chart from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB): CE-09-35 Carburetor Icing Prevention, June 30, 2009, shows a probability of serious icing at cruise power at the temperature and dew point reported at the time of the accident.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. His last FAA third class medical was issued on January 4, 2015. The pilot reported a total of 932 hours, of which, 2 hours were in the accident airplane. 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Private
Age: 53, 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): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/04/2012
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/11/2017
Flight Time: 932 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2 hours (Total, this make and model), 854 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: GANJOO AMIT
Registration: N212AG
Model/Series: SONEX NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 1470
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/03/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1250 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 3 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 72 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Ganjoo
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: Convair
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 120
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: JYO, 389 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0915 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 170°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 1600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2400 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 10°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Leesburg, VA (JYO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Martinsville, VA (MTV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0845 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class B

Airport Information

Airport: Leesburg (JYO)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 389 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft; Vegetation; Wet
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

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: 39.068333, -77.552500 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA165 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Leesburg, VA
Aircraft: GANJOO AMIT SONEX, registration: N212AG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 April 22, 2017, about 0915 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Sonex, N212AG, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, while attempting to land at the Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the airport about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from JYO about 0845 and was destined for the Blue Ridge Airport (MTV), Martinsville, VA.

The pilot stated that he purchased the airplane three months before the accident, but had to wait for the weather to improve before he could fly the airplane back to his home in Washington state. On the day of the accident, he topped off the airplane's 16-gallon fuel tank and reviewed weather conditions along his intended route of flight. He said it was "drizzly" but the ceiling was "good." The pilot conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane and performed an engine run-up before he departed. The pilot said when he got about 20 miles south of the airport, weather conditions deteriorated and he elected to turn back to Leesburg. When he was on final approach to runway 35 at an altitude of 700 ft, the engine "just stopped." The pilot attempted to re-start the engine, but to no avail, and he made a forced landing just short of the runway. The pilot said he "ran out of airspeed" when the airplane was about 100 ft above the ground, and that it then "pancaked" onto the ground and slid for about 100 ft before coming to a stop.

The pilot said that the weather conditions (high humidity and visible moisture) were conducive to carburetor icing, but he did not apply carburetor heat until he tried to re-start the engine. Even then, he did not use full carburetor heat. When the airplane was recovered, the pilot said he drained 13 gallons of fuel from the fuel tank and it was absent of debris and water.

The weather conditions reported at JYO, at 0915, included wind 010° at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, light drizzle, scattered clouds 1,600 ft, broken clouds at 2,400 ft, overcast clouds at 3,600 ft, temperature 13° C, dewpoint 12° C, and a barometric altimeter setting of 29.94 in Hg.

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