Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: CubCrafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub SS, N78BK; accident occurred March 07, 2020 in Mack, Mesa County, Colorado

View of damage to the right wing lift strut. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Mack, CO
Accident Number: CEN20CA116
Date & Time: 03/07/2020, 1100 MST
Registration: N78BK
Aircraft: CubCrafters CC11-160
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the pilot, he was conducting an off-airport landing to a river sandbar when he noticed wires in his approach path. He pushed forward on the stick to lower the nose and avoid the wires; however, the airplane touched down in the river just short of the sand bar and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing strut.

The pilot reported that the accident could have been avoided if he had reconnoitered the area for obstacles before beginning the approach. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age:36, Male 
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:No 
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/21/2019
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/24/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3113 hours (Total, all aircraft), 72 hours (Total, this make and model), 3046 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 73 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CubCrafters
Registration: N78BK
Model/Series: CC11-160 100
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: CC11-00222
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/13/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 305 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CUBCRAFTERS
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: CC340
Registered Owner: Diamond M Aero Llc
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Diamond M Aero Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGJT, 4839 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 112°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 130°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Moab, UT (UT97)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Mack, CO
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:0715 MST 
Type of Airspace:Class G 

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: 39.265000, -108.950278 (est)

MESA COUNTY, Colorado  (KKCO)- Search teams have extracted the pilot from Knowles Canyon via the Centurylink helicopter, and have brought him back to the staging area at Rabbit Valley.

The pilot did not receive any major injuries according to our crew on the scene.

The man was traveling from Moab to Grand Junction according to the Sheriff's Office. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was attempting to land on a sand bar but struck a cable, which flipped the plane into the river.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Lower Valley Fire Protection District, Mesa County Search and Rescue, and Centurylink helicopter all responded during the operation.

Boats were launched and a helicopter was used to help locate the pilot at the crash site, which was near the Colorado River in Knowles Canyon.

Rescue crews received the call from the pilot just after 11:00 a.m. The pilot was conscious and said that they received no major injuries.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.nbc11news.com 

Local authorities conducted a successful rescue operation Saturday after a small plane crashed near the Utah-Colorado border.

The plane crashed near the Colorado River in Knowles Canyon.

The pilot, a 37-year-old male, suffered only minor injuries and is reported to be safe. He was flying from Moab, Utah, to Grand Junction when the plane crashed into the Colorado River, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

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


  1. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  2. His daddy will buy him a new one.

  3. Just buzzing along the river like those youtube videos. Was skeptical that it was maybe a skim landing fail until was just able to see there really is a cable about 10 feet above the wheels in this photo:

    1. Looking closer, the cable is higher than it looks - goes to a pole stand in the background. No cable contact marks on the paint of plane. This was a water assisted landing nose-over. Look at the still photo that shows the approach view at the 50 second mark of this news video, unlikely that he had hung up on the wire and left no marks, such minor damage:


  4. Have to look for the poles assume there is a wire at least he wasn't hurt.