Sunday, January 05, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Tukan Trike, N907T; accident occurred January 18, 2018 at Erie Municipal Airport (KEIK), Weld County, Colorado

Aircraft Wreckage.

 Accident Site with Wreckage in Foreground.

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Erie, CO
Accident Number: CEN18LA080
Date & Time: 01/18/2018, 1605 MST
Registration: N907T
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On January 18, 2018, about 1605 mountain standard time, a Tukan experimental, amateur-built weight-shift aircraft, N907T, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during an approach to Erie Municipal Airport (ELK), Erie, Colorado. The student pilot sustained minor injuries. The aircraft was registered to a private individual and the flight was conducted as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 solo training flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The flight originated from ELK about 1600.

A flight instructor flew the aircraft with the student pilot and conducted seven landings and takeoffs. The aircraft was operating normally during the dual instructional flight. After the dual instruction, the aircraft was taxied back to a hangar where the instructor pilot explained single pilot operations to the student. The student pilot then took off solo and entered the landing pattern. The instructor pilot observed that the student seemed to lose control on his first final approach and executed a go-around. On the second approach, the instructor observed the aircraft on final. The aircraft collided with trees and the wing struck the ground, resulting in substantial damage.

According to the student pilot, while securing the airplane after the accident, he realized that he had inadvertently shut off the fuel valve while on the downwind leg instead of activating the carburetor heat. He stated that the two systems had similar push/pull control knobs that were positioned next to each other in the cockpit.

Examination of the wreckage at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical with the airframe or engine. 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 35 hours (Total, all aircraft), 35 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N907T
Aircraft Category: Weight-Shift
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 11760
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 741.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: AMA/EXPR
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: UNKNOWN ENG
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: EIK, 5119 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1554 MST
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Obscured
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Erie, CO (EIK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Erie, CO (EIK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1600 MST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Erie Municipal (EIK)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 5119 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4700 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

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: 40.010278, -105.048056 (est)

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