Sunday, March 10, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Dragon Fly-B, N5023G, accident occurred November 13, 2018 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (PHKO), Kailua, Hawaii

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Accident Number: GAA19CA059
Date & Time: 11/13/2018, 1130 HDT
Registration: N5023G
Aircraft: Eugene Wells Dragon Fly-B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the approach, there was "heavy traffic" behind his airplane and a right crosswind. He added that, during a wheel landing, he tried to "maintain speed" to clear the runway, but the airplane began to "fishtail." He added power to regain control, but the airplane exited the left side of the runway, the left wing impacted the ground, and the airplane came to rest in a "lava field."

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that the accident was due to pilot error because of his lack of experience in the airplane. He added that he did not have a tailwheel endorsement and had a total of only 3 flight hours experience in tailwheel airplanes with a flight instructor.

The airport’s automated weather observation system reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 220° at 9 knots. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 17.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing in a crosswind. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of experience in tailwheel airplanes for which he did not have an endorsement.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Qualification/certification - Pilot (Factor)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery
Runway excursion

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/11/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Eugene Wells
Registration: N5023G
Model/Series: Dragon Fly-B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 1
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 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: PHKO, 43 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 260°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: KAILUA/KONA, HI (KOA)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time:  Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 47 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 11000 ft / 150 ft
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: 19.736944, -156.043056 (est)

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