Saturday, September 21, 2019

Smyth Sidewinder, N492AC: Accident occurred September 14, 2019 near Tucumcari Municipal Airport (KTCC), Quay County, New Mexico

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tucumcari, NM
Accident Number: WPR19LA273
Date & Time: 09/14/2019, 1125 MDT
Registration: N492AC
Aircraft: Smyth SIDEWINDER
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 14, 2019, about 1125 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur built Smyth Sidewinder airplane, N492AC, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Tucumcari, New Mexico. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The flight originated from Gallup, New Mexico, about 2 hours prior to the accident, with an intended destination of Altus, Oklahoma.

The pilot reported that during an uneventful flight at 11,500 ft mean sea level (msl), the engine briefly started to run rough, followed by a portion of propeller blade separating from the fixed pitch propeller assembly. The pilot shut the engine down by turning off the magneto switch and moving the mixture handle to the idle cut-off position. The pilot stated that the propeller continued to windmill throughout the descent, and that he initiated a forced landing to an open desert area. During the landing roll, the airplane struck multiple cacti before it came to rest upright.

Review of photos of the airplane supplied by the pilot revealed that the left wing was structurally damaged and that one of the propeller blades was separated about 1 ft outboard of the blade root. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Smyth
Registration: N492AC
Model/Series: SIDEWINDER No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: KTCC, 4039 ft msl
Observation Time: 1653 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 15°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 16 knots / 22 knots, 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Gallup, NM
Destination: Altus, NM (KTUS) 

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: 35.125556, -103.839167 (est)

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