Saturday, December 07, 2019

Collision During Landing: Stolp SA300 Starduster Too, N503CM; accident occurred October 12, 2018 near Maidment Field Airport (7MS3), Byhalia, Marshall County, Mississippi

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Byhalia, MS
Accident Number: ERA19LA016
Date & Time: 10/12/2018, 1345 CDT
Registration: N503CM
Aircraft: SA300 Starduster
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 12, 2018, about 1345 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built SA300 Starduster, N503CM, was substantially damaged when it struck trees during final approach to land at Maidment Field Airport (7MS3), Byhalia, Mississippi. The private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight, which originated about 1315. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to practice landings on runway 35 at 7MS3. He departed and flew over a nearby town and noted that the air was "quite turbulent," which he did not notice on the ground. On the way back, the pilot entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern to land on runway 35 and began a constant radius descending turn to the final leg of the traffic pattern. He noticed that the airplane was "too low" and applied engine power to maintain level flight. The airplane leveled off and the pilot continued the approach to the runway. As the airplane approached the tree line, which was 100 ft prior to the approach end of the runway, the airplane "suddenly sank" and impacted the trees before he could arrest the descent.

The airplane came to rest inverted in a wooded area. The wings, fuselage, and empennage were substantially damaged in the accident sequence.

After the accident, the pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

The 1350 recorded weather observation at Olive Branch Airport (OLV), Olive Branch, Mississippi, located about 16 nautical miles north of the accident location, included wind from 360° at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 19°C, dew point 5°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

An upper air sounding for accident site for 1400 was reviewed and indicated that there was no clear-air turbulence or low-level wind shear. In addition, the wind below 4,000 ft mean sea level indicated 5 knots.

Two non-official weather sites about 16 nautical miles to the west of the accident location (one to the northwest and one to the southwest) were reviewed for weather data. Wind speeds were similar to OLV around the time of the accident; however, both indicated a tailwind wind component of about 1 knot.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Foreign; Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
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 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/27/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/24/2017
Flight Time:  331 hours (Total, all aircraft), 40 hours (Total, this make and model), 292 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SA300
Registration: N503CM
Model/Series: Starduster
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1991
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 1
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/03/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 264 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: HO-360-B1B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: OLV, 402 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1350 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 348°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Byhalia, MS (7MS3)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Byhalia, MS (7MS3)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1315 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Maidment Field (7MS3)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 370 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2100 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.710833, -89.719167 (est)<

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