Thursday, April 23, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight : American Legend AL3, N1115; accident occurred April 22, 2020 at Athens/Ben Epps Airport (KAHN), Clarke County, Georgia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Athens, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA20CA158
Date & Time: April 22, 2020, 17:00 Local
Registration: N1115
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, during the landing roll, the airplane started to veer left and that, because he was concerned that it may ground loop, he decided to abort the landing and applied full engine power. The airplane became airborne, continued to drift left, and impacted trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. 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 after an aborted landing, which resulted in collision with trees.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Effect on operation

Factual Information
History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground 
Landing-aborted after touchdown Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-aborted after touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-aborted after touchdown Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
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: BasicMed Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/10/2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/15/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 245.1 hours (Total, all aircraft), 35.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 245.1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N1115
Model/Series: AL3
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: AL-1042
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/01/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 675 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200
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: AHN, 802 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1651 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 251°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Athens, GA (AHN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Athens, GA (AHN)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1600 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Athens/Ben Epps (AHN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 812 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6122 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

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: 33.948611, -83.325833 (est)

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