Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Low Altitude Operation/Event: Sonex, N612RF; accident occurred October 11, 2019 at Whidbey Air Park (W10), Langley, Island County, Washington

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Washington

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Langley, WA
Accident Number: GAA20CA018
Date & Time: 10/11/2019, 1530 PDT
Registration: N612RF
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, on left base in the traffic pattern, the airplane was high. He made a 270° descending right turn to final and add 20° of flaps. The airplane descended faster than expected and the left wing struck a tree. The airplane impacted terrain, came to rest inverted, and post-crash fire ensued.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/23/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 160.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 160.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 4.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N612RF
Model/Series: SONEX
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 1559
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4.5 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Aerovee
ELT: C91A installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: Aerovee 2.1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 80 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: KPAE, 606 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 136°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 340°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Langley, WA (W10)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Langley, WA (W10)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1500 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Whidbey Air Park (W10)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 271 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2470 ft / 25 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: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 48.017500, -122.437778 (est)

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