Sunday, July 7, 2019

Midair Collision: Ryan Navion, N4356K and North American Navion, N8995H, accident occurred May 21, 2018 in Jasper, Walker County, Alabama

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama

N4356K Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N4356K Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N4356K Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N4356K

Location: Jasper, AL
Accident Number: WPR18LA144A
Date & Time: 05/21/2018, 1230 CDT
Registration: N4356K
Aircraft: RYAN NAVION
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

Before takeoff for the practice formation flight of four airplanes, the lead pilot briefed all the pilots on instructions for the formation changes. The flight began as a finger-four, heavy-left formation with a separation between the airplanes of about 80 ft. As the airplanes neared their destination, the lead pilot called for the flight to maneuver to "parade," and the airplanes closed the separation between them to about 40 ft. The lead pilot then called for the flight to change to an echelon-right formation. The two pilots in the trail airplanes left of the lead airplane began their maneuver to the right to position themselves behind the airplane that was already in position on the right side of the lead airplane. During this maneuver, the pilot in the airplane opposite the right-side airplane lost sight of that airplane due to sun glare, and they subsequently collided.Both airplane were able to land at the destination airport.

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 clearance from another airplane in the formation flight due to sun glare.

Findings

Personnel issues
Monitoring other aircraft - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Glare - Effect on personnel (Cause)

Factual Information 

On May 21, 2018, about 1230 central daylight time, a white Ryan Navion N4356K, and a green North American Navion, N8995H, collided in midair near the Walker County Airport-Bevill Field (JFX), Jasper, Alabama. The white Navion's airline transport pilot and passenger were uninjured. The green Navion's private pilot was uninjured. The white Navion sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The green Navion sustained minor damage to the propeller and the underside of the left wing. Both airplanes were privately owned and operated by the pilots as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal formation flight of four airplanes. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plans were filed by either pilot. The formation flight originated from Abernathy Field Airport (GZS) Pulaski, Tennessee, about 1130 destined for JFX.

Both airplanes were part of a formation flight of four airplanes practicing for an upcoming airshow. All the pilots in the formation had been briefed by the lead pilot prior to takeoff and included instructions for formation changes. Upon arrival to the destination airport, the flight was in a finger-four, heavy left formation, see figure 1a. The lead airplane was in the #1 position. The green Navion was in the #2 position. The white Navion was in the #3 position and the last airplane was in the #4 position.

The white Navion's pilot reported that when they were about five miles north of JFX, with "two airplanes" length separation of approximately 80 ft, the lead pilot called for the flight to maneuver to "parade" and the flight closed separation to approximately 40 ft. The lead pilot then called for the flight to change to an echelon right formation, see figure 1b. The pilot of the white Navion stated that he initiated a right bank and descended and decelerated to pass below and behind the green Navion, however due to sun glare he lost sight of the green Navion. He asked his passenger if she could see the green Navion. She told him it was right above them. He immediately pushed the nose down when the collision occurred.




The pilot in the #4 position stated it initially appeared the white Navion was not low enough to pass underneath the green Navion. He thought to transmit a warning to the pilot of the white Navion but changed his mind when he saw the airplane had clearance. He further stated just as the white Navion passed underneath the green Navion, the white Navion climbed into the green Navion. After the collision, all four airplanes continued to JFX and landed without further incident. 

History of Flight

Maneuvering
Midair collision (Defining event) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/22/2017
Flight Time:  13959 hours (Total, all aircraft), 66.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 4657.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 170.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 98 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5.9 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: RYAN
Registration: N4356K
Model/Series: NAVION
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1948
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: NAV-4-1356
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO 520
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 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: KJFX
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1230 CDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4500 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Convective
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Moderate
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 37°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Jasper, AL (KJFX)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Jasper, AL (KJFX)
Type of Clearance: VFR 
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Walker County Airport-Bevill F (KJFX)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 483 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5004 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

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: 33.871944, -87.259722

N8995H Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N8995H Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

N8995H Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N8995H

Location: Jasper, AL
Accident Number: WPR18LA144B
Date & Time: 05/21/2018, 1230 CDT
Registration: N8995H
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

Before takeoff for the practice formation flight of four airplanes, the lead pilot briefed all the pilots on instructions for the formation changes. The flight began as a finger-four, heavy-left formation with a separation between the airplanes of about 80 ft. As the airplanes neared their destination, the lead pilot called for the flight to maneuver to "parade," and the airplanes closed the separation between them to about 40 ft. The lead pilot then called for the flight to change to an echelon-right formation. The two pilots in the trail airplanes left of the lead airplane began their maneuver to the right to position themselves behind the airplane that was already in position on the right side of the lead airplane. During this maneuver, the pilot in the airplane opposite the right-side airplane lost sight of that airplane due to sun glare, and they subsequently collided.Both airplane were able to land at the destination airport.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The other pilot's failure to maintain clearance from another airplane in the formation flight due to sun glare. 

Findings

Personnel issues
Monitoring other aircraft - Pilot of other aircraft (Cause)

Environmental issues
Glare - Effect on personnel (Cause)

Factual Information

On May 21, 2018, about 1230 central daylight time, a white Ryan Navion N4356K, and a green North American Navion, N8995H, collided in midair near the Walker County Airport-Bevill Field (JFX), Jasper, Alabama. The white Navion's airline transport pilot and passenger were uninjured. The green Navion's private pilot was uninjured. The white Navion sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The green Navion sustained minor damage to the propeller and the underside of the left wing. Both airplanes were privately owned and operated by the pilots as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal formation flight of four airplanes. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plans were filed by either pilot. The formation flight originated from Abernathy Field Airport (GZS) Pulaski, Tennessee, about 1130 destined for JFX.

Both airplanes were part of a formation flight of four airplanes practicing for an upcoming airshow. All the pilots in the formation had been briefed by the lead pilot prior to takeoff and included instructions for formation changes. Upon arrival to the destination airport, the flight was in a finger-four, heavy left formation, see figure 1a. The lead airplane was in the #1 position. The green Navion was in the #2 position. The white Navion was in the #3 position and the last airplane was in the #4 position.

The white Navion's pilot reported that when they were about five miles north of JFX, with "two airplanes" length separation of approximately 80 ft, the lead pilot called for the flight to maneuver to "parade" and the flight closed separation to approximately 40 ft. The lead pilot then called for the flight to change to an echelon right formation, see figure 1b. The pilot of the white Navion stated that he initiated a right bank and descended and decelerated to pass below and behind the green Navion, however due to sun glare he lost sight of the green Navion. He asked his passenger if she could see the green Navion. She told him it was right above them. He immediately pushed the nose down when the collision occurred.

The pilot in the #4 position stated it initially appeared the white Navion was not low enough to pass underneath the green Navion. He thought to transmit a warning to the pilot of the white Navion but changed his mind when he saw the airplane had clearance. He further stated just as the white Navion passed underneath the green Navion, the white Navion climbed into the green Navion. After the collision, all four airplanes continued to JFX and landed without further incident. 

History of Flight

Enroute
Midair collision (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/12/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/11/2017
Flight Time:  1067 hours (Total, all aircraft), 805 hours (Total, this make and model), 967 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: NORTH AMERICAN
Registration: N8995H
Model/Series: NAVION NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: NAV-4-995
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/09/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4783.67 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: E185
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 250 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: KJFX
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1230 CDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Convective
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Moderate
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 37°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Jasper, AL (KJFX)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: JASPER, AL (JFX)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Walker County Airport-Bevill F (KJFX)
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 483 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5004 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  33.871944, -87.259722

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