Saturday, April 27, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Nelson Woody, N525AG, accident occurred July 18, 2016 at Hope Municipal Airport (M18), Hempstead County, Arkansas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hope, AR
Accident Number: CEN16LA271
Date & Time: 07/18/2016, 0930 CST
Registration: N525AG
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The private pilot was conducting touch-and-go landings in the homebuilt, tailwheel-equipped, experimental airplane. After a normal touchdown, the airplane veered to the left off the asphalt runway surface and ground looped as it departed the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and left wing. Postaccident examination revealed that the left main landing gear retaining mechanism was broken, but it was not clear if the damage occurred before or after the loss of control. The pilot, who was the builder of the airplane and had about 500 hours of flight time in the airplane, reported that he believed that the retaining mechanism could have broken upon landing and resulted in the ground loop. The winds were light and variable at the time of the accident. Because the damage to the landing gear retention mechanism could have occurred before or after the loss of control, the reason for the loss of control could not be determined.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The loss of control upon landing for reasons that could not be determined.


Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

On July 18, 2016, about 0930 central standard time, a Nelson Woody homebuilt, tailwheel-equipped, experimental airplane, N525AG, registered to the pilot, sustained substantial damage after veering off the runway during landing rollout at the Hope Municipal Airport (M18), Hope, Arkansas. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the vicinity and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from M18 about 0900.

According to the pilot, he was conducting touch and go landings at M18 on runway 16. Upon a normal touchdown, the aircraft veered to the left off the runway surface. There were ground impressions of the left wingtip and propeller marks on the ground. Evidence showed that the airplane ground looped as it departed the runway. Both occupants exited the aircraft and the pilot was transported to a local hospital for his injuries.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector after the accident revealed that the left wing was bent downward mid-span about 90-degrees, and the fuselage was buckled. The left main landing gear retaining mechanism was found broken. It was not clear if the damage was pre or post impact. The pilot, who was the builder of the airplane and had about 500 hours of flight time in the airplane, reported that he believed that the retaining mechanism could have broken upon landing resulting in the ground loop.

The nearest weather reporting station, located in Texarkana, Arkansas, about 30 miles from the accident site, reported clear skies and variable winds at 4 knots. Local personnel located at the airport reported that it was a nice day with light winds on the day of the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 84, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/16/2007
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 500 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: GERALD NELSON
Registration: N525AG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 2281
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
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-290
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 120 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: TXK
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1016 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 275°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3700 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Hope, AR (M18)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Hope, AR (M18)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: CST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Hope Municipal Airport (M18)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 359 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5501 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 33.723889, -93.655278

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