Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N47FP; accident occurred December 20, 2017 at Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport (KLBX), Angleton, Brazoria County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Angleton, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA071
Date & Time: 12/20/2017, 1530 CST
Registration: N47FP
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 20, 2017, about 1530 central standard time, a Piper PA-12 airplane, N47FP, sustained substantial damage following a runway excursion upon landing at the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport (LBX), Angleton, Texas. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area and flight plan was not filed. The airplane was registered to a private individual and the personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from the Flying Tiger Airport (81D), Angleton, Texas, about 1515.

According to the pilot, after an uneventful flight from 81D, the pilot checked the weather for landing at LBX and conducted a visual pattern and approach to runway 17. The winds were from 220° at 6 knots which would yield about a 5 knot right-to-left crosswind component. The landing was on airspeed, on runway centerline, and in the touchdown zone. After lowering the left wheel to the ground, the aircraft immediately and uncontrollably veered sharply to the left. The pilot applied full right rudder and immediately held the stick full right and aft to keep the aircraft from ground looping or cartwheeling. The pilot was able to regain directional control of the aircraft and departed the runway to the left and proceeded to impact two of the four Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights for runway 17. The propeller hit a PAPI light and the aircraft continued and came to a stop in the grass about 50-100 feet off the runway. The pilot immediately suspected that a brake had somehow locked on the left main wheel. Braking marks on the runway and grass correlated to the left main landing gear tire as it passed from the runway surface onto the grass. The airplane was towed to a hangar for examination.

After an examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and a mechanic, no anomalies were discovered with the left brake assembly. The pilot reported on National Transportation Safety Board accident report form that he thought that the left brake was somehow activated upon landing, and knew that his feet were nowhere near the brakes as he was planning a touch and go. After inspection of the brakes, the pilot stated that he believed that the passenger could have inadvertently had his foot on the brake pedal during the landing rollout.The pilot also stated that he had thoroughly briefed his passenger prior to the flight regarding the basic use of flight controls, emergency procedures, and flight plan. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/13/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 6490 hours (Total, all aircraft), 55 hours (Total, this make and model), 5098 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 74 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N47FP
Model/Series: PA 12 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12-2741
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/09/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1935 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2392 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320A33
Registered Owner: LINN JUDITH C DBA
Rated Power:150 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: LBX, 25 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1453 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  3 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Angleton, TX (LBX)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Angleton, TX (LBX)
Type of Clearance:None 
Departure Time: 1515 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: Texas Gulf Coast Regional (LBX)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 25 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.108611, -95.461944 (est)

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