Saturday, September 21, 2019

PZL-104 Draco Turbine Wilga, N123T: Accident occurred September 16, 2019 at Reno/Stead Airport (KRTS), Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

NTSB Identification: GAA19CA550
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 16, 2019 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: Pzl Okecie PZL104, registration: N123T

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft ground looped attempting to departure.

Date: 16-SEP-19
Time: 17:07:00Z
Regis#: N123T
Aircraft Make: PZL OKECIE
Aircraft Model: PZL104
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: RENO

Update, 1:57 p.m.

A small single-engine aircraft had a "wind related incident" during takeoff at the Reno-Stead Airport this morning, causing it to crash, according to a statement from the STIHL National Championship Air Races. 

The crash caused "extensive damage" to the aircraft, according to the statement, but the pilot and two passengers on board were able to exit the plane unharmed. 

The air races did not elaborate on what a "wind related incident" was or how it caused the aircraft to crash. 

The aircraft was a static display at the Air Races, which ended yesterday, but did not race. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident. 

Original Story 

Emergency crews are responding to reports of a down plane at the Reno Stead Airport.

Crews are on scene at the aviation facility 15 miles north of Reno.

The airport is owned and operated by the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and was most recently the site of the National Championship Air Races, a yearly event that features hundreds of aircraft. 

No other information was immediately available but staff at the airport said wind could be a factor. 

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. For incident video and pilot's narrative, see YouTube video titled "Draco crash today". Although the aircraft was heavily damaged, it would appear that turboprop/engine mount and more could be swapped on to another Wilga and have another go after refurbishment - would please so many admirers.

  2. After watching the video. I thought the wings spars folded up quickly rather than holding up the plane into a ground loop. This is a strut less wing design with maybe less strength, or maybe overloaded due to mods.

  3. It looks like the wingtip tanks were installed from the youtube video. Were the wingtip tanks full or partially full? If the added tanks had much fuel it could be a contributing factor to the crash since Draco's yaw and roll inertia would be significantly increased, severely limiting the rudder and aileron authority at lower airspeed (and effort to get Draco into the wind quickly). These kind of changes to the aircraft dynamics are the things that keep us loads and dynamics (and flying qualities) guys up at night....
    Hope to see a Draco 2.0, but mods should be carefully considered....