Sunday, August 11, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-28-161 Warrior, N487JK; accident occurred August 09, 2018 at Merritt Island Airport (KCOI), Brevard County, Florida

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Merritt Island, FL
Accident Number: GAA18CA479
Date & Time: 08/09/2018, 1000 EDT
Registration: N487JK
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The solo student pilot reported that, during landing, prior to initiating the landing flare, he saw a "white bird" heading towards the airplane. He applied left rudder to avoid the bird, and the airplane drifted left of the runway centerline. He then "[pulled] the yoke back", but the left main landing gear impacted a taxiway sign, and the airplane settled on the adjacent grass.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left-wing spar.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 18, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/11/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 21 hours (Total, all aircraft), 21 hours (Total, this make and model), 2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N487JK
Model/Series: PA28 161 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 2842044
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/03/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2447 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10899.2 Hours
Engine Manufacturer:Lycoming 
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D3G
Registered Owner: Growl Aircraft Inc
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: 2FlyAirborne
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCOF, 8 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1356 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 145°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Merritt Island, FL (COI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Merritt Island, FL (COI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 29
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3601 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 28.341667, -80.686944 (est)

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