Sunday, March 03, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Kitfox Series 5 Safari, N14GX; accident occurred October 13, 2018 at Monte Vista Municipal Airport (KMVI), Rio Grande County, Colorado

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Monte Vista, CO
Accident Number: GAA19CA023
Date & Time: 10/13/2018, 1700 MDT
Registration: N14GX
Aircraft: Skystar KITFOX SER 5 SAFARI
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


A pilot-rated witness at the airport reported that, during the airplane’s approach, it appeared to be low and fast. The airplane landed hard, bounced about 4 to 5 ft, and then touched back down on the runway. The witness added that it appeared that the pilot tried to increase power to recover, but while the airplane was about 2 ft off the ground, it turned left. The wings then leveled shortly before the airplane aerodynamically stalled and then nosed over into brush. 

The pilot reported that, while "taxiing," he "over sped" the airplane, and the left main landing gear impacted a berm. Subsequently, the airplane veered left and bounced, the right wing impacted the ground, and the airplane then ground looped and came to rest nose down.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and windscreen.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

An automated weather observation station about 10 miles from the accident site reported that, about 5 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 250° at 14 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 16.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper landing flare in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard, bounced landing and his subsequent failure to maintain directional control. 


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation
Gusts - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Hard landing
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Aerodynamic stall/spin

Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
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 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/07/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 100 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Skystar
Registration: N14GX
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: S9801-0143
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/13/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 50 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-240
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 125 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: KALS, 7541 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2252 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 122°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:  14 knots / 25 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / -7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Monte Vista, CO (MVI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Monte Vista, CO (MVI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 7611 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft; Vegetation
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2300 ft / 30 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:  37.531389, -106.044167 (est)

1 comment:

  1. Why do accounts from a qualified witness and a pilot making a mistake differ. If somebody had a WebCam or something at the airport the pilot would be stuffed from lying to the FAA. There are cameras everywhere these days