Thursday, June 13, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-22-150, N6865B; accident occurred June 09, 2019 at Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL), California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside,California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Riverside, CA

Accident Number: GAA19CA333
Date & Time: 06/09/2019, 1115 PDT
Registration: N6865B
Aircraft: Piper PA22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, while landing on a grass runway, the airplane encountered a "strong crosswind that blew [the airplane] to the left side of the grass." Upon landing, he observed "small grass mounds" rising higher than the mowed grass. As he continued the landing roll, he realized that the grass mounds were runway lights. The airplane hit a runway light and then ground looped to the right.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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 station located 3 miles south of the accident site reported that, about 38 minutes after the accident, the wind was from 270° at 15 knots. The pilot was landing the airplane on runway 24. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to the maintain the runway heading during landing with a crosswind, which resulted in impact with runway lighting and a subsequent ground loop during the landing roll.


Heading/course - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Runway/taxi/approach light - Effect on operation (Cause)
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Loss of control on ground
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/12/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/22/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 262 hours (Total, all aircraft), 32 hours (Total, this make and model), 129 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6865B
Model/Series: PA22 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1956
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 22-4165
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/11/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3592.3 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 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: KRAL, 804 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 213°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / Terrain-Induced
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / Moderate
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 35°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: San Diego/El Cajon, CA (SEE)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Riverside/Rubidoux, CA (RIR)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1015 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Flabob (RIR)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 767 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: 24
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3190 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

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: 33.988889, -117.410000 (est)

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