Monday, May 27, 2019

Visual Flight Rules encounter with Instrument Meteorological Conditions: Apollo Gyro AG1, N141C, accident occurred May 06, 2018 in Smith Beach, Northampton County, Virginia

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Smith Beach, VA
Accident Number: ERA18TA142
Date & Time: 05/06/2018, 1510 EDT
Registration: N141C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: VFR encounter with IMC
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 6, 2018, about 1510 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Apollo AG-1 gyroplane, N141C, was substantially damaged when it collided with power lines during a precautionary landing near Smith Beach, Virginia. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The gyroplane was operated by the private pilot as personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport (IXA), Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, about 1330. The flight was destined to Accomack County Airport (MFV), Melfa, Virginia.

The pilot reported that he started to fly across the Chesapeake Bay to the Cape Charles VOR at 1,300 ft above ground level. As the airplane approached the shoreline at the Cape Charles VOR, the pilot turned north toward MFV. At that time, the cloud ceiling began to lower very rapidly, so he made the decision to land at a private airstrip prior to MFV. He mistook a road for the private airstrip and the gyroplane collided with power lines during the attempted landing. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the gyroplane.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that it was intact and resting on its right side on a road. The inspector noted that the fuselage sustained substantial damage. He did not observe any anomalies with the flight controls and was able to successfully test-run the engine on the airframe.

The recorded weather at MVF, at 1515, was: wind from 170° at 4 knots; visibility 1 3/4 miles in mist; overcast ceiling at 500 ft; temperature 18° C; dew point 17° C; altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury. The pilot also reported that he utilized weather equipment onboard his gyroplane, but did not receive a weather briefing from flight service.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private; Sport Pilot
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Gyroplane
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/06/2018
Flight Time:  1700 hours (Total, all aircraft), 475 hours (Total, this make and model), 1700 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BARRY MAGGIO
Registration: N141C
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 0002
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/03/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1232 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 25 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 464 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 914ULS
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MFV, 48 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1515 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 220°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  1.75 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 170°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Mist; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Roanoke Rapids, NC (IXA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Melfa, VA (MFV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 37.362778, -75.990833 (est)

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