Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Collision During Takeoff/Landing: Quad City Challenger II, N6138Z; accident occurred March 22, 2020 in Lettsworth, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N6138Z


Location: Lettsworth, LA 
Accident Number: CEN20LA131
Date & Time: 03/22/2020, 1630 CDT
Registration: N6138Z
Aircraft: BOWER Challenger II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 22, 2020, about 1630 central daylight time, amateur-built Bower Challenger II airplane, N6138Z, was substantially damaged when it collided with a tree and impacted the ground near Lettsworth, Louisiana. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that he purchased the airplane about 1-1/2 weeks before the accident flight. This was his first flight. He had no previous flight time, nor had he received any flight instruction. He noted some familiarization with flying obtained from the internet. He had planned only to taxi; however, a wind gust caused the airplane to become airborne, and he ultimately flew for about 25 minutes "to get the hang of things." He attempted to land several times but was unable because of the turbulence. After another landing attempt, he again decided to go-around due to the turbulence. He thought the airplane had cleared trees near the flight path; however, the airplane was momentarily overcome by the continuing turbulence which resulted in it striking a tree. He stated there were no issues with the airplane; it was "performing flawlessly."

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 36, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
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:
Flight Time:  0 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BOWER
Registration: N6138Z
Model/Series: Challenger II
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1999
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: CH2-0997-R-1657
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:2 
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 960 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: 503 DCDI
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 50 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: HZR, 39 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1637 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 129°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 170°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lettsworth, LA (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lettsworth, LA (PVT)
Type of Clearance:None 
Departure Time: 1600 CDT
Type of Airspace:Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Private (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 39 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around 
Wreckage and Impact Information
Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 30.938333, -91.793056
 
Location: Lettsworth, LA

Accident Number: CEN20LA131
Date & Time: 03/22/2020, 1631 CDT
Registration: N6138Z
Aircraft: BOWER Challenger II
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On March 22, 2020, about 1633 central daylight time, amateur-built Bower Challenger II airplane, N6138Z, was substantially damaged when it collided with a tree and impacted the ground near Lettsworth, Louisiana. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness reported the pilot attempted to land but decided to execute a go-around due to the wind conditions. During the initial climb, the right wing struck a tree and the airplane descended to the ground.

The airplane sustained damage to the fuselage, wings and empennage. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BOWER
Registration: N6138Z
Model/Series: Challenger II
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: HZR, 39 ft msl
Observation Time: 1637 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Lettsworth, LA (PVT)
Destination: Lettsworth, LA (PVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 30.938333, -91.793056

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