Saturday, March 30, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Swearingen SA227-AT, N561UP, accident occurred January 10, 2018 at Rock Springs–Sweetwater County Airport (KRKS), Wyoming

View of damaged left wing.
Federal Aviation Administration

View of left wing damage. 

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:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Rock Springs, WY
Accident Number: GAA18CA098
Date & Time: 01/10/2018, 1845 MST
Registration: N561UP
Aircraft: SWEARINGEN SA227
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled


The pilot reported that, while taxiing with a tailwind, he realized that the airplane was moving too fast and that he then applied brakes and reverse engine thrust. He added that he attempted to turn the airplane but was unable to do so and that a strong crosswind "forced" the airplane to the left and off the airport parking ramp. Subsequently, the airplane struck a lamp post and came to rest.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

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

The automated weather observation system located at the airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 280° at 21 knots, gusting to 27 knots.

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 while taxiing in gusting tailwind conditions. 


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tailwind - Effect on operation
Gusts - Effect on operation
Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi-to runway
Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/12/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 6650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 360 hours (Total, this make and model), 4985 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 96 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 28 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SWEARINGEN
Registration: N561UP
Model/Series: SA227 AT
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1983
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: AT-561
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/08/2018, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 14500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 23398.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: AIRESEARCH
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TPE331 SERIES
Registered Owner: UAS TRANSERVICES, INC.
Rated Power: hp
Operator: Ameriflight, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRKS, 6745 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0154 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 121°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 21 knots / 27 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.83 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -3°C / -11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SALT LAKE CITY, UT (SLC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Rock Springs, WY (RKS)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 0752 MST
Type of Airspace:  Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 6764 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 41.598889, -109.063889 (est)

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