Monday, June 17, 2019

SkyRanger, N106RK: Accident occurred June 14, 2019 near Green Landings Airport (WV22), Hedgesville, Berkeley County, West 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; Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Maryland

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hedgesville, WV
Accident Number: CEN19LA172
Date & Time: 06/14/2019, 1915 EDT
Registration: N106RK
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 14, 2019, at 1915 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built light sport Karns Sky Ranger, N106RK, impacted terrain following a loss of engine power during a departure climb from runway 21 at Green Landings Private Residential Airpark (WV22) near Hedgesville, WV. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot and a passenger were uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the passenger under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: KARNS
Registration: N106RK
Model/Series: SKY RANGER
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: Passenger
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MRB, 565 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hedgesville, WV

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 39.574722, -77.971389 (est)

HEDGESVILLE, West Virginia — Saturday morning was surreal for Misty Criswell, who just hours earlier watched a plane with two people in it crash into her husband’s truck before coming to rest upside down in her front yard.

The accident happened shortly after the plane took off from the Green Landings Airport, a private airstrip that borders the North Ridge subdivision. It was reported to authorities at 6:53 p.m.

A female passenger was flown to a hospital for treatment of a serious leg injury and the male pilot was taken to Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Wilson said.

No one on the ground was injured. The identities and conditions of the victims were not available.

Instead of going out of town as planned, Criswell and her husband, Steve, surveyed the scene Saturday with neighbors while awaiting word from a federal official on when the wreckage would be removed.

There was also a sense of déjà vu since this was the third time a plane had crashed in her neighborhood since she’d moved there 12 years ago. One was in 2011, another in 2014, she said.

This time it was literally on her front doorstep, she said, adding that she’d noticed the plane Friday evening when its “engine began to sputter and it just didn’t sound right.”

“I turned around and saw the plane hit the ground across the street, and hit our neighbor’s fence. But then it came back up and was heading straight toward me. I really thought it was going to hit my house with my husband and daughter inside, but somehow I think he was able to turn it,” she said.

“Then I saw the plane hit the truck which weighs like 8,000 pounds and roll it on its side,” she said. “Then the plane flipped over on its top, so that’s when I called 911. It was very traumatic.”

G. Cooper Towers III, a Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector, normally works out of an agency office near Baltimore but came from Maryland’s Eastern Shore on Saturday morning to begin his investigation at the crash site.

He said the wrecked plane is a “Skyranger single-engine, high-wing experimental home-built that somebody built with plans that they probably got from a manufacturer that designs aircraft and sells components to the public.”

Information gathered at the site, including witness statements, will be compiled and also shared with the National Transportation Safety Board, he said.

His agency report should be completed in about a month, but the NTSB report usually takes about 12 months to be released, he said.

“The NTSB is tasked with determining the cause of accidents. We are tasked with determining whether there is pilot or aircraft issue. So if the aircraft had a maintenance issue or if the pilot had a flying issue then we get involved. We do the accident investigation,” he said.

Towers also visited the airstrip and said another staff member would likely return to more closely examine the wrecked plane.

During his site visit, Towers also met with airstrip owner Kevin Green and made plans to have the wreckage removed from the residence.

Green said the turf landing strip opened in 1996 and about a dozen planes currently use his facility. It is private and individuals have their own hangers, he said.

He said pilots make their own decisions about weather conditions and whether to fly.

“That is always up to the pilot. It is a pilot-in-command situation every time they depart the ground,” he said. “Weather is not part of our jurisdiction. There is nothing we can enforce except opening and shutting down the strip.”

Since he lives at his airstrip, Green said he’d seen the airplane take off and also remembers hearing the engine sputtering, but didn’t see the wreckage until after getting a call about the accident.

Original article ➤


  1. There was also a sense of déjà vu since this was the third time a plane had crashed in her neighborhood since she’d moved there 12 years ago. One was in 2011, another in 2014, she said.

    If I were her, I would move. I just hope she doesn't move into my neighborhood. It might be her and not the location.

  2. I live in this neighborhood, and after doing research, its lack of vetting of the pilots

    2011- the pilot had heart condition and shouldn't be flying
    2014- pilot was new and forgot to turn on this lights and crashed into a yard
    2019- still pending, but the plan was home built and not registered and it was an experimental plane.. not sure its the residents of NorthRidge that should be moving.....Just saying

    Seems to me there needs to be more controls in place.....

  3. Now Where do we start to get some controls in place.... who do I call to try to make it a safer situation.