Sunday, January 19, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Kitfox Series 6, N524MB; accident occurred November 13, 2014 at Wheat Field Airport (56NC), Columbus, Polk County, North Carolina

Airplane as it came to rest

Airplane after recovery

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Columbus, NC
Accident Number: ERA15LA051
Date & Time: 11/13/2014, 1030 EST
Registration: N524MB
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 13, 2014, about 1030 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Kitfox 6, N524MB, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during landing at Wheat Field Airport (56NC), Columbus, North Carolina. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned by the pilot and operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Rutherford County Airport Marchman Field (FQD), Rutherfordton, North Carolina, about 1015.

The pilot stated that he departed 56NC for a pleasure flight and stopped at FQD for fuel before returning to 56NC. He initially reported to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that, while landing on the private, 1,500-foot long turf runway, he experienced a loss of directional control. The airplane ground looped and came to rest inverted, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot stated that he did not experience any mechanical malfunctions with the airplane; however, he later reported that the loss of control was due to the left main landing gear axle separating from the gear leg during landing.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued in August 2013. He reported 254 total hours of flight experience, of which 39 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The amateur-built, tailwheel-equipped airplane was manufactured in May 2006, and was powered by a Continental IO-240, 125 horsepower reciprocating engine. Its most recent annual inspection was completed September 19, 2014, at a total time of 224.9 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated about 235 total hours in service. Review of maintenance logbooks did not reveal any entries pertaining to work performed on the landing gear in the previous year. No postaccident examination of the airplane and left main landing gear was performed.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 50, 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: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/21/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/22/2013
Flight Time: 254 hours (Total, all aircraft), 39 hours (Total, this make and model), 8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL BILL
Registration: N524MB
Model/Series: KITFOX 6
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: S60005-008
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/19/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 235 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-240 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 125 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: KFQD, 1078 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1555 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3700 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rutherfordton, NC (FQD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Columbus, NC (56NC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1015 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport:Wheat Field Airport (56NC) 
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 980 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1500 ft / 80 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

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: 35.206667, -82.031944 (est)


  1. I ground looped mine luckily with no damage theres a reason your instructor says stay off the brakes use the rudder

  2. Odd "wheel fell off" adjustment in the reporting progression.

  3. Fairly minor accident from 2014....why did this show up in 2020?

    1. Despite several requests, the pilot did not submit a written statement of the accident to the Federal Aviation Administration. The National Transportation Safety Board released the approved factual report on Thursday, January 02, 2020.