Sunday, March 29, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Orlican L-60 SF Brigadýr, N71GC; accident occurred February 21, 2020 at Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK), Maryland

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Frederick, MD
Accident Number: ERA20CA107
Date & Time: 02/21/2020, 1215 EST
Registration: N71GC
Aircraft: Orlican L60
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he was practicing landings as part of a check-out flight. During the final approach, the airplane ballooned slightly, which the pilot attributed to a wind gust. He flared the balloon and then touched down, and the airplane began to veer left. He attempted to correct with full right rudder, right brake, and left aileron. As the airplane came to a stop on the runway, the right main landing gear buckled, and the right wing struck the runway. The airport's automated weather observation station reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was calm; however, the pilot reported that, after he egressed from the airplane, he saw that the windsock indicated a crosswind. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during the approach, which resulted in the airplane ballooning and then veering left upon landing and the right wing impacting the runway.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Crosswind - Not specified

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Other weather encounter
Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-landing roll Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
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 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/20/2010
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/04/2019
Flight Time:  1024 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1 hours (Total, this make and model), 1003 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Orlican
Registration: N71GC
Model/Series: L60 SF
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:1958 
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 150827
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/17/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3492 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3925 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Walter
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: M462RF
Registered Owner: Deutsch American Trading Llc
Rated Power: 315 hp
Operator: Deutsch American Trading Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FDK, 303 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1223 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 266°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.55 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C / -13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Frederick, MD (FDK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Frederick, MD (FDK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 EST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Frederick Muni (FDK)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 306 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5219 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go

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: 39.417500, -77.374167 (est)

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