Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Flight Design CTSW, N153SW; accident occurred May 19, 2019 at Blairsville Airport (KDZJ), Union County, Georgia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

White Falcon LLC

Location: Blairsville, Georgia 
Accident Number: GAA19CA373
Date & Time: May 19, 2019, 13:00 Local
Registration: N153SW
Aircraft: Flight Design CTSW
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while on approach for landing on runway 26, the wind was reported to be from 240º at 8 knots. One second later, the wind shifted and was from 180º at 6 knots. The pilot flew the final approach with a left crosswind and crossed the threshold at 50 knots. As he leveled the airplane and was about to touch down at 45 knots, the airplane lifted about 7 ft, and the nose pitched up 20º. The pilot pushed the control stick forward and began to add power, but the airplane "violently slammed" onto the runway, and the left main landing gear collapsed. He added full right rudder and aileron to keep the airplane on the runway, but it veered left into tall grass. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall and engine mount.

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 airplane control during landing in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard landing and landing gear collapse. 


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Other weather encounter
Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Landing gear collapse
Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground
Landing-flare/touchdown Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 70, 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 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 1, 2010
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Flight Design 
Registration: N153SW
Model/Series: CTSW No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental light sport (Special)
Serial Number: 07-06-10
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown 
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
Engine Model/Series: 912 ULS
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDZJ,1909 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 
1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:55 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 111°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 14 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Sanford, NC (TTA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Hazel Green, AL (M38)
Type of Clearance: VFR flight following
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Blairsville DZJ
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1907 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 26
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5004 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.854442,-83.997222(est)

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