Saturday, December 07, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey, N221EZ; accident occurred July 29, 2018 in Haverhill, New Hampshire

Front Left Side View of the Airplane Wreckage in River.
Federal Aviation Administration

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Accident Number: ERA18LA204
Date & Time: 07/29/2018, 1205 EDT
Registration: N221EZ
Aircraft: Progressive Aerodyne SEAREY
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 29, 2018, at 1205 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built SeaRey amphibious airplane, N221EZ, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees then water while attempting to land on the Connecticut River, near Haverhill, New Hampshire. The private pilot/registered owner and the passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The flight originated from the river about 1200.

The pilot stated that he had made two successful water landings on the Connecticut River and was preparing to make a third landing up-river to join a friend who had already landed and beached his SeaRey. After takeoff, he initiated a right 180° turn before making a left "teardrop" (beyond 180°) turn over a flat cornfield to make a 45° re-entry to the river at an altitude of 50 ft above ground level. When the airplane crossed over the shoreline, the pilot attempted to turn left and line up with the river, but the control stick would not move past the vertical position. The airplane would not turn and was approaching 60-ft-tall trees on the opposite side of the river. The pilot added power, but the airplane was unable to out climb the trees and collided with them at a speed of about 70 knots. The airplane then descended in a nose down left-wing low attitude, into the river. The pilot said that he would normally climb above the surrounding terrain before coming back into land; however, during this flight, he did not give himself an "out" in case of an emergency.

The passenger stated they had made a left hand turn over the corn field at "tree top height" when the pilot attempted to make another left hand turn to line up with the "very winding" river. As the pilot initiated the turn, the passenger saw trees ahead of them and told the pilot to, "pull up, pull up!" The pilot was "struggling" with the control stick and was unable to pull up and clear the trees. The airplane clipped the tops of the trees and impacted the river in a left nose down attitude.

The airplane came to rest upright and partially submerged in shallow water in the Connecticut River. The width of the river was about 100 ft wide and lined with trees on both sides.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed both wings had been removed during recovery, but the flight controls moved freely when manually manipulated. The pilot said that he thought his ADS-B component, which was attached to the control panel via a suction cup, may have come loose during the flight and got caught under the flight control assembly, thus jamming the controls. He demonstrated how it was possible for this to occur; however, neither he nor the passenger could confirm this actually happened. Examination of the ADS-B component did not reveal any physical damage.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He also held a sport pilot certificate; however, a review of his logbook by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations inspector revealed that he was not endorsed for Light Sport single-engine sea airplanes. The pilot's last FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on December 20, 2017. He reported a total of 760 flight hours; of which, 498 hours were in the accident airplane.

At 1100, weather at LCI was reported as wind from 290° at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 4,000 ft, temperature 81° F, dew point 75° F, and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private; Sport Pilot
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
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: 12/20/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/23/2017
Flight Time:  760 hours (Total, all aircraft), 498 hours (Total, this make and model), 700 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 20.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Left Side View of the Airplane Wreckage in River.
Federal Aviation Administration

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Progressive Aerodyne
Registration: N221EZ
Model/Series: SEAREY No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: ID403C
Landing Gear Type: Amphibian; Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/15/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1430 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 83 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 735.5 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 914ULS
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Airplane Wreckage in Connecticut River. 
Picture Shows the Narrow Width of the River.
Federal Aviation Administration

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LCI, 545 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 40 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1100 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 150°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; Unknown Obscuration
Departure Point: HAVERHILL, NH
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: HAVERHILL, NH
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1200 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 44.000000, -72.000000 (est)

No comments:

Post a Comment