Sunday, January 05, 2020

Van's RV-6, N420PW: Fatal accident occurred January 05, 2020 at Cullman Regional Airport (KCMD), Alabama

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N420PW 


Location: Cullman, AL
Accident Number: ERA20FA063
Date & Time: 01/05/2020, 1243 CST
Registration: N420PW
Aircraft: Van's RV-6
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 5, 2020, about 1243, central standard time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-6, N420PW, was destroyed when it impacted terrain at Cullman Regional Airport (CMD), Cullman, Alabama. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

A review of airport surveillance video revealed that the pilot and passenger arrived at CMD about 1230. At 1240, the airplane was seen on the taxiway, then stopped for a brief moment before continuing to the active runway. At 1242, the airplane was seen climbing out from runway 2, when the video stopped recording. Other surveillance cameras recorded witnesses acknowledging the accident and responding to the accident site.

According to witnesses, the airplane taxied to runway 2 and began the takeoff roll. During the initial climb, when the airplane reached about 350 ft, a loud "pop" was heard. The witnesses watched as the airplane made an immediate "sharp left banking turn" in what appeared to be an attempt to return to the airport. The airplane "stalled and went into a left spiral downward turn." The airplane completed two turns before colliding with the ground on airport property adjacent the taxiway. The airport authorities and witnesses responded immediately to the accident scene.

The pilot, age 40, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The pilot held a third-class medical certificate that was issued November 24, 2014. The pilot's logbook was not available for review. The pilot reported 460 total hours of flight time at his last medical examination.

The airplane's construction was completed in 2014. It was powered by a Lycoming O-360-A1D engine rated at 180 horsepower. The engine was equipped with a Hartzell two-bladed, controllable-pitch propeller. Review of maintenance records revealed a condition inspection was completed on August 18, 2014, and an airworthiness certificate was issued on August 26, 2014, at a tachometer time of 3.5 hours. No further entries were in the maintenance logbooks. The tachometer and Hobbs meter were destroyed by impact forces.

Fueling records revealed that the airplane was last fueled at CMD on November 29, 2019, with 18.7 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. According to one of the co-owners of the airplane, the accident pilot flew from CMD to Auburn University Regional Airport (AUO), Auburn, Alabama, on November 30, 2019. The pilot then departed AUO to return to CMD, but due to wind conditions at CMD, the pilot diverted to Hartselle-Morgan County Regional Airport (5M0), Hartselle, Alabama. On December 1, 2019 the pilot returned to CMD. There were no other fueling records for the stops at AUO or 5M0.

The CMD weather at 1255 was reported as wind from 210° at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, ceiling clear, temperature of 29° C, dew point temperature of 23° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.29 inches of mercury.

Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted an airport field about 1,500 ft from the departure end of runway 2. All flight control surfaces were located at the accident site. The cockpit section of the airplane was crushed to the bulkhead of the fuselage. The instrument panel was crushed and the instruments were impact damaged. The instruments did not display any reliable information due to impact damage. Examination of the fuel selector revealed that the selector was between the left and right fuel tank. Pressurized air was supplied to the fuel selector and it was discovered that when positioned between both tanks, fuel was only supplied from the left tank. The fuel selector was placed in the right tank position and pressurized air was supplied through the lines and the air moved to the right fuel tank line as noted on the selector. The selector was placed in the left fuel tank position and pressurized air was supplied through the lines and the air moved to the left fuel tank line as noted on the selector.

The fuselage exhibited crush damage to the aft empennage. The empennage was buckled and crushed to the right. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers remained attached to the empennage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and was unremarkable. The elevators remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer and were unremarkable. The tail wheel assembly remained attached to the empennage and was bent upward. Flight control continuity was established from the control stick to the elevators. The rudder cables were traced from the rudder pedals to the attachment points on the rudder and the tail wheel steering assembly.

An examination of the left wing assembly revealed crush damage along the leading edge of the wing assembly. The fuel tank was breached and no signs of fuel was discovered within the fuel tank. The flap assembly was located in the retracted position and still attached to the wing.The aileron was still attached to the wing and remained connected to the push pull control tubes. Flight control continuity was established from the left aileron to the control stick.

An examination of the right wing assembly revealed crush damage along the leading edge of the wing assembly. The fuel tank was breached and no signs of fuel was discovered within the fuel tank. The flap assembly was located in the retracted position and still attached to the right wing. The aileron was still attached to the right wing and connected to the push pull control tubes. Flight control continuity was established from the right aileron to the control stick.

Examination of the engine revealed that the crankcase remained intact and displayed impact damage. There were no fractures in the case that would indicate a catastrophic internal engine failure. During the examination of the carburetor the upper section was removed from the float bowl and was observed to be about ½ full of blue liquid with and odor consistent with aviation gasoline. A test of the liquid with water finding paste revealed no indication of water in the liquid. No damage was noted to the brass fuel floats or the needle and seat assembly. The engine-driven fuel pump remained attached to the engine and no damage was noted. The pump was removed and produced air from the outlet port when actuated by hand. Liquid with an odor consistent with aviation gasoline drained from the pump when it was removed and tilted. The pump was partially disassembled and no damage noted to the internal check valves or the rubber diaphragms. No liquid drained from the fluid line from the airframe to the engine driven fuel pump or the fluid line from the pump to the carburetor when they were removed.

The propeller flange and starter ring separated from the crankshaft and the propeller remained attached to the propeller hub. The rear engine accessories were impact damaged. The accessories were removed to facilitate valvetrain continuity. The vacuum pump drive was rotated and valvetrain continuity was established throughout the engine. The cylinders were examined using a lighted borescope. The piston faces, cylinder bores, and valve heads displayed normal operating and combustion signatures. While rotating the vacuum drive it was noted that all four cylinders displayed thumb compression and suction. During rotation it was noted that all the rocker arms and valves moved accordingly. Examination of the magnetos revealed the left magneto was broken away from the accessory case and the right magneto remained attached. Both magnetos were rotated and both produced spark on all terminals.

Examination of the propeller assembly revealed the two blade, constant speed propeller remained separated from the propeller flange and displayed impact damage signatures. Both propeller blades revealed "S" type bending and exhibited chordwise scratching. One blade displayed aft bending and twisting deformation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N420PW
Model/Series: VANS RV-6 Undesignated
Aircraft Category:Airplane 
Amateur Built: Yes
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: CMD, 969 ft msl
Observation Time: 1235 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.31 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:None 
Departure Point: Cullman, AL (CMD)
Destination: Cullman, AL (CMD)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.272778, -86.858056

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. 




40-year-old Tyler Wesley Walker and 10-year-old Brooklyn Walker 


CULLMAN, Alabama (WBRC) - The investigation is underway into the death of a Cullman county man and his ten-year-old daughter.

On Sunday, Tyler Walker and his daughter Brooklyn were both killed after his experimental plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

Monday federal investigators were at the airport. The investigation will take time. We know that from past experiences with the National Transportation and Safety Board.

But the family member and others believe there might have been issues with his experimental plane that lead to the deadly crash.

40-Year-old Tyler Wesley Walker and his ten-year-old daughter both loved to fly. Walker’s experimental plane, which he built himself, crashed quickly after takeoff.

“The FAA is here. The NTSB is here. I don’t know how long it take for them to complete their investigation, the processes they have to go through now,” says Ben Harrison, the Cullman Regional Airport General Manager.

Walker grew up at the airport. His father’s home is walking distance from the airfield. Walker was an experienced pilot.

Walker’s brother-in-law, DJ Smithson, says a witness, another pilot, talked about hearing a pop and then an explosion before the crash.

The Walkers’ deaths have shaken the community where they were well known.

“It’s scary. It’s a shocking thing for everyone. It’s something nobody wants to stand up here and talk about. It’s something no one wants to deal with. It’s terrible,” continued Harrison.

Smithson says the experimental plane does not glide much at all. So, when power was lost, it fell quickly.

He doubts Walker had much time to react. Harrison hopes answers are found soon.

“When something like this happens, it’s the human factor. They are from here. A lot of people know them. They are good friends. They are good people,” says Harrison.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wbrc.com


Brooklyn Walker

Tyler Walker


Van's RV-6, N420PW




LATEST 7 P.M. CULLMAN, Alabama – A father and daughter were killed in a plane crash at Cullman Regional Airport on Sunday afternoon, according to the Cullman County Coroner.

The coroner said Tyler Wesley Walker, 40 of Vinemont, and Brooklyn Walker, 10 of Vinemont, were the victims.

LATEST 5 P.M. — CULLMAN, Alabama (WIAT) —  In another brief news conference, Folsom Field Airport General Manager Ben Harrison reported the plane crash that left two people dead happened around 12:45 p.m.

During the investigation, it was revealed that the crash did not happen on the runway at the airport. The plane landed near the runway in a grassy area.

Officials at the scene are not releasing the names of the victims involved in the accident. And they have not given an update as to how the accident was caused.

The runway at the regional airport is open at this time.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will be taking over the investigation and will give another update Monday, January 6th.

CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — Authorities are investigating a plane crash that occurred Sunday afternoon at Folsom Field Airport in Cullman.

Authorities believe the accident happened between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Two people were killed in the plane crash, Cullman Regional Airport General Manager  Ben Harrison reported in a brief news conference.

At this time, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, Cullman County EMA, and Vinemont Fire Department are among agencies assisting in the plane crash investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://whnt.com


Update: 7:02 p.m.: The Cullman County Coroner identified the plane crash victims as Tyler Wesley Walker, 40, and his daughter Brooklyn Walker, 10.

Update: 5:30 p.m.: The Cullman Regional Airport General Manager Ben Harrison says two people were killed in the plane crash. No information about the victims will be released at this time. The crash location is off a runaway, and the nearest runway has reopened. NTSB investigators are expected on site Monday, and an update is expected at 12:00 p.m. Monday.

Cullman County EMA Director, Philly Little confirms there has been a plane crash Saturday afternoon at the Cullman Regional Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration has released a statement: "A Vans RV-6 crashed off the end of Runway 2 during departure from Cullman Regional Airport-Folsom Field, Vinemont, Alabama, today at 12:30 p.m. CST"

Cullman Regional Airport General Manager says a press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration will continue to investigate the scene and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wvtm13.com



Cullman County Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick has identified the two victims as Tyler Wesley Walker, 40, and his daughter, 10-year-old Brooklyn Walker, of Vinemont.

Statement from Arlene Salac with the Federal Aviation Administration:

“A Vans RV-6 crashed off the end of Runway 2 during departure from Cullman Regional Airport-Folsom Field, Vinemont, Alabama, today at 12:30 p.m. CST. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.”

Cullman Regional Airport General Manager Ben Harrison has confirmed two people died in a plane crash at the airport Sunday.

Harrison said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified. 

The Cullman Police Department, Cullman Sheriff’s Office and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are on the scene.

A press conference is scheduled for 5 p.m.

VINEMONT, Alabama – Multiple agencies are responding to a plane crash at Cullman Regional Airport. Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper reported two fatalities.

Original article ➤ https://www.cullmantribune.com



Cullman County Coroner has identified the two plane crash victims as Tyler Wesley Walker (40) and his daughter Brooklyn Walker (10) of Vinemont.

There wasn’t much that Tyler and Brooklyn loved more than to fly. As shown in their time in the air, they both lived life to the fullest and loved their family. Tyler was certainly an incredible father going above and beyond for his daughter, a fifth grader at East Elementary, who perished with him in today’s crash.

Please keep the Walker family in your prayers during this tragic time.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://cullmandaily.com








VINEMONT, Alabama (WBMA) -- The Cullman County EMA confirmed that there's a plane crash at the Cullman Regional Airport.

Cullman Regional Airport General Manager Ben Harrison confirmed two people died in the small plane crash at the airport Sunday, shortly after 12:30 p.m.


The victims names were not immediately released.


In a news conference Cullman Regional Airport General Manager Ben Harrison said "it's a sad day for the flying community."

Harrison said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are handling the investigation, which is standard procedure. Those federal agencies are expected to hold another news conference at noon on Monday, January 6th.


Story and video ➤ https://abc3340.com

2 comments:

  1. I sobbed reading this loss. My worst fear and nightmare as a pilot.

    Brooklyn - wow, what a beautiful, precious young lady in those cute unicorn leggings.

    I can't imagine the heartbreaking pain Mrs. Walker must be feeling at this very moment with the loss of her beloved husband and sweet, amazing daughter.

    Mrs. Walker, I am so sorry that you are experiencing the deepest sadness a mother and wife can, and will carry you and your family in my heart.

    ...Treasure your family and try to enjoy each day with them...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cried too reading this.
    I've owned 6 planes including an RV-6.
    I loved every one of them.
    I took my daughter in every one of them.
    I need to quit and just enjoy the lucky happy memories.
    So, so sad about your loss.

    ReplyDelete