Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Aviat A-1C-180 Husky, N272WY, accident occurred July 04, 2017 in Dillwyn, Buckingham 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 Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Dillwyn, VA
Accident Number: ERA17LA229
Date & Time: 07/04/2017, 1130 EDT
Registration: N272WY
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The private pilot was attempting to land at an unfamiliar grass airstrip. He made two low approaches, and on the third attempt, he elected to land the airplane with full flaps. After touchdown, he realized that he had insufficient runway remaining on which to stop, so he aborted the landing. Shortly after takeoff and after clearing the trees, the airplane abruptly stalled and impacted the ground. The grass airstrip was designed for radio-controlled model airplanes and was only 650 ft long. A large stand of trees formed the boundary of the northeast end of the runway. The pilot reported that he misidentified the grass airstrip and that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's selection of a grass airstrip that was of insufficient length for landing, and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack during the go-around, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.


Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Understanding/comprehension - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information 

On July 4, 2017, at 1130 eastern daylight time, an Aviat Aircraft Inc. A-1C-180, N272WY, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in Dillwyn, Virginia. The private pilot was seriously injured, and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local, personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he filled the airplane with fuel and departed his home airport for a private, paved airstrip about 12 miles to the northwest. He was encouraged to visit a neighbor who owned a grass airstrip located between the departure and destination airports, so he attempted to find the airstrip. He "falsely identified" the grass airstrip and attempted to land. He attempted two low approaches, the first with no flaps and the second with full flaps. On the third pass, he attempted to land the airplane with full flaps. After touching down, he realized that he did not have sufficient runway remaining to stop, and aborted the landing. Shortly after takeoff and after clearing the trees, the airplane "entered an abrupt stall" and impacted the ground.

The pilot believed that he was at full power when airplane control was lost. He also stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the airplane came to rest in a steep, nose-low position in a cornfield. There was no fire. Structural damage to both wings and the fuselage was confirmed. The inspector reported that the field where the pilot was attempting to land was a grass strip designed for radio-controlled model aircraft. The strip was oriented to the northeast/southwest, was about 650 ft in length, and was not intended for general aviation aircraft. A large stand of trees formed the boundary of the northeast end of the runway. 

History of Flight


Approach-VFR go-around
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 44, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/11/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/08/2017
Flight Time:  600 hours (Total, all aircraft), 73 hours (Total, this make and model), 275 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 62 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 29 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N272WY
Model/Series: A-1C-180 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3272
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/05/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 38 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 40 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A1P
Registered Owner: Inspire Aviation LLC
Rated Power: 180 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: FVX, 415 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1135 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 150°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Farmville, VA (FVX)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Farmville, VA (FVX)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1120 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Private R-C (NA)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 637 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 4
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 650 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around; Traffic Pattern

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: 37.492222, -78.517500 (est)

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