Friday, December 20, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Pitts S-1S Special, N515JD; accident occurred September 11, 2019 at Reno/Stead Airport (KRTS), Washoe County, Nevada

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Reno, NV

Accident Number: GAA19CA596
Date & Time: 09/11/2019, 1443 PDT
Registration: N515JD
Aircraft: Pitts S1
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show 

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped biplane reported that, during landing, the airplane encountered a right crosswind, veered to the right off the runway, and ground looped to the right.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower left wing and rudder.

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

The airport's automated weather observation station reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 150° at 4 knots. The pilot added that he believed he encountered a dust devil. The pilot was landing the airplane on runway 08.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/17/2019
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/15/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 6718 hours (Total, all aircraft), 75 hours (Total, this make and model), 6210 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 27 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Pitts
Registration: N515JD
Model/Series: S1 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: RB2016
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/19/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 114.3 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: HIO-360-A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 350 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: KRTS, 5053 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2155 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 164°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 150°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Reno, NV (RTS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Reno, NV (RTS)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0930 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Reno/Stead (RTS)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5050 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Unknown 
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 7608 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in

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: 39.668056, -119.876389 (est)

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