Sunday, February 09, 2020

Aerodynamic Stall/Spin: Pipistrel Virus SW, N811AW; accident occurred August 03, 2017 in Immokalee, Collier County, Florida

Airplane Wreckage and Ground Scars Near Border of Runway in Trees. 

Close up of Left Side of Airplane Wreckage. 

Close up of Right Side of Airplane Wreckage. 

Wide View of Wreckage in Trees. 

Map of Accident Site

  Maintenance Record Excerpt

Pilot Logbook
Pilot Logbook

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Immokalee, FL
Accident Number: ERA17LA270
Date & Time: 08/03/2017, 1100 EDT
Registration: N811AW
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 3, 2017, about 1100 eastern daylight time, a Pipistrel Virus-SW, N811AW, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following an aborted landing from a private grass airstrip near Immokalee, Florida. The private pilot received minor injuries and the passenger was seriously injured. The motor glider was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight and originated about 1045 from Immokalee Regional Airport (IMM), Immokalee, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight.

The pilot reported that he was attempting to land on a private, 1,200 ft-long grass airstrip with 50 ft-tall trees on both ends of the runway. After touchdown on the first third of the runway, realizing he was not going to stop in time, he disengaged the air brakes, aborted the landing, and attempted to go around. During the initial climb, at about 30 ft, "the left wing quickly dropped," before the glider descended and its left wing impacted the ground. The glider impacted trees located about 75 ft left of the runway center and 1,000 ft beyond the approach end of the runway. The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure with the glider prior to the accident.

Examination of the accident site revealed that pieces of the fiberglass wheel fairing came to rest near the point where the glider touched down. The pieces were scattered along the runway for about 150 ft, with the last piece located about 550 ft from the main wreckage. The path of the fiberglass debris was consistent with the runway heading of 080°. No other ground scars were discovered until the first impact marks near where the wreckage came to rest.

An approximate 140-foot-long debris path oriented about a magnetic course of 060 degrees was located off the left side of the runway along with ground scars and propeller scalp marks. The left wing was completely separated from the fuselage and broken off at the wing spar near the wing root. The empennage was twisted upside down.

Southwest Florida International Airport, (RSW) Fort Myers, Florida was located about 40 miles east-northeast of the accident site. The recorded weather at RSW, at 1053, included wind from 130 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 2,100 feet, temperature 31 degrees C, dew point 25 degrees C, and altimeter setting 30.14 inches of mercury.

According to Federal Aviation Administration and aircraft records, the motor glider was issued a special airworthiness certificate for experimental exhibition on March 1, 2017. It was manufactured by the Pipistrel d.o.o. Ajdovscii factory. The pilot was issued a private pilot certificate with a glider rating on March 27, 2017 and reported a total time of 33 hours.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:4-point 
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/27/2017
Flight Time: 33 hours (Total, all aircraft), 33 hours (Total, this make and model), 21 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N811AW
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 823 SWN 100
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2017, Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1323 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 33 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 48 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 912
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 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: KRSW, 37 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 40 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1053 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 290°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2100 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 130°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 25°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: IMMOKALEE, FL (IMM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Immokalee, FL (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1045 EDT
Type of Airspace:Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Private (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Dirt; Grass/turf; Gravel
Airport Elevation: 5 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Rough
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1200 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 26.291944, -81.112222

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