Sunday, August 11, 2019

Part Separation from Aircraft: Marine Devil Dog, N165AB; accident occurred August 03, 2017 at Danville Municipal Airport (32A), Yell County, Arkansas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Danville, AR

Accident Number: CEN17LA312
Date & Time: 08/03/2017, 1200 CDT
Registration: N165AB
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Part(s) separation from AC
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The noncertificated pilot, who was the owner of the experimental weight shift control aircraft, stated that he was practicing a series of takeoff and landings called "crow hops" when the left main landing gear tire separated from the wheel rim. The aircraft then veered off the runway and rolled onto its side. The pilot stated that the previous airplane owner had put liquid fix-a-flat in the left tire, which is a product not to be used in aircraft tires. The pilot said that liquid fix a flat will corrode the aluminum of the landing gear wheels and allowed the tire to spin on the wheel during braking. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the presence of liquid flat repair called "slime," and that the diameter of the main landing gear wheel was relatively small compared to the tire, which likely resulted in slippage of the tire from the wheel. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A separation of the left tire from its wheel because of the use of an improper substance and wheel size, which resulted in a loss of directional control during landing.


Wheel/ski/float - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)

Factual Information 

On August 3, 2017, at 1200 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Ralph Marine Devil Dog, N165AB, veered off the runway and impacted terrain during landing at Danville Municipal Airport (32A), Danville, Arkansas. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The uncertificated pilot was uninjured. The airplane was operated by the pilot and registered to the previous owner under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. The local flight originated from and was to remain at 32A.

The pilot recently purchased the airplane, which was a tricycle, weight-shift control aircraft, that had a 40 mile per hour lift-off speed. The pilot stated that he was practicing takeoffs and landings, which he called "crow hops," on the runway. The pilot intended to fly the airplane along the runway but not enter the airport traffic pattern. He performed four crow hops and during the last landing, the left main landing gear tire became flat and separated from its wheel at a speed of 30 miles per hour. The airplane veered right off the runway surface and into a grass area. The airplane rolled over onto its left side damaging the airplane mast.

The pilot stated that the previous airplane owner had put liquid fix-a-flat, which was a product not to be used in aircraft tires, in the left main landing gear wheel. The pilot stated that the liquid fix-a-flat will corrode the aluminum landing gear wheels and would allow the tire to spin on the wheel during braking.

Post-accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed the presence of a liquid flat repair substance commonly called "slime" in the left main landing gear wheel and around the inner edges of the tire. The inspector also stated that the diameter of the main landing gear wheel was relatively small compared to the tire. 

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft maintenance event

Part(s) separation from AC (Defining event)

Takeoff-rejected takeoff
Attempted remediation/recovery

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: , Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
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: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: RALPH
Registration: N165AB
Aircraft Category: Weight-Shift
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: USMC-DD1
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/02/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 170 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Suzuki
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: G13B
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RUE, 409 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:19 Nautical Miles 
Observation Time: 1153 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 45°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2900 ft agl
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: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point:  28°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dansville, AR (32A)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Dansville, AR (32A)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Danville Municipal Airport (32A)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 393 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 11
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5324 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:

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:  35.086944, -93.427500 (est)

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