Sunday, March 24, 2019

Maule M-7-260C Orion, N760AC: Accident occurred September 15, 2018 in Grass Valley, Oregon

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Grass Valley, OR
Accident Number: GAA18CA569
Date & Time: 09/15/2018, 1800 PDT
Registration: N760AC
Aircraft: Maule M7
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 second approach to the unimproved canyon airstrip in moderate turbulence, he felt that the groundspeed was faster than normal and that he there was a tailwind, but he reduced power to idle and landed the airplane. About 300 ft into the ground roll, at 35 mph, the airplane veered left. He applied right rudder and moderate braking, but the airplane exited the airstrip to the left, and its left main landing gear struck a pile of rocks that were painted white and used to mark the edge of the runway. The left main landing gear separated from the airplane.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, left wing, and left aileron.

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 system about 16 nautical miles from the accident site reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 290° at 13 knots, gusting to 16 knots. The pilot was landing to the south.

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 the landing roll.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tailwind - Effect on operation
Gusts - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery
Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Part(s) separation from AC

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
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: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/10/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1315 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1120 hours (Total, this make and model), 1315 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 59 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Maule
Registration: N760AC
Model/Series: M7 260C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 30052C
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/27/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 969 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540
Registered Owner: Atlas Casters Llc
Rated Power: 260 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: KDLS, 210 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 309°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 16 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / Unknown
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / Light
Altimeter Setting: 29.82 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hood River, OR (4S2)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Grass Valley, OR
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1730 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 45.450000, -120.863611 (est)

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