Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Kitfox III, N4283V; accident occurred January 18, 2020 at Wauchula Municipal Airport (KCHN), Hardee County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Wauchula, Florida
Accident Number: ERA20CA083
Date & Time: January 18, 2020, 10:30 Local
Registration: N4283V
Aircraft: Denney Kitfox 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he was conducting a crosswind landing. The airplane touched down, bounced slightly, settled, and it then veered off the right side of the runway onto grass, struck a light, flipped over, and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder and the fuselage forward of the horizontal stabilizer. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation and that a gusting crosswind existed during the touchdown.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper landing flare in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a bounced landing, and his subsequent failure to maintain directional control, which resulted in a runway excursion and nose-over.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Other weather encounter
Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact
Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Runway excursion
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Landing-flare/touchdown Nose over

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Sea
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:
Flight Time:  115 hours (Total, all aircraft), 42 hours (Total, this make and model), 61 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 42 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:Denney 
Registration: N4283V
Model/Series: KITFOX III
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 770
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/09/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1050 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 528LC
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 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: SEF, 63 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 29 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1035 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 97°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 14 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.36 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Palmetto, FL (48X)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wauchula, FL (CHN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0930 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Wauchula Muni (CHN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 107 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 36
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4005 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 27.515000, -81.880556 (est)

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