Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Waco QCF, N11457; accident occurred May 03, 2020 at Brookhaven Airport (KHWV), Shirley, Suffolk County, New York

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Shirley, NY
Accident Number: ERA20CA175
Date & Time: 05/03/2020, 1550 EDT
Registration: N11457
Aircraft: Waco QCF
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot was landing the tailwheel-equipped airplane on a grass runway. After touchdown, the pilot applied light differential brake pressure to slow the airplane before exiting the runway; however, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. The rudder, vertical stabilizer, and upper wings sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported the airplane had no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/27/2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/18/2020
Flight Time:  700 hours (Total, all aircraft), 86 hours (Total, this make and model), 468 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Waco
Registration: N11457
Model/Series: QCF No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:1931 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3540
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/19/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 965.2 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: W670-6N
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 165 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: KHWV, 82 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1400 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 203°
Lowest Cloud Condition:Clear 
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.73 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bayport, NY (23N)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Shirley, NY (HWV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1515 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Dirt; Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 81 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft; Vegetation
Runway Used: 24R
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 2126 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

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: 40.828056, -72.865556 (est)

A small biplane overturned while landing at Calabro Airport in Shirley on Sunday with one person onboard, Suffolk County police said. 

No one was injured, police said. Suffolk police were called to the scene shortly before 4 p.m.

The plane overturned when it was already on the ground, according to Suffolk County Seventh Precinct.

Officials with the Mastic Fire Department reported in a news release that at approximately 4 p.m. they responded to a report of an aircraft emergency at Calabro Airport.

Chief Rudy Sunderman said that upon arrival firefighters found that the a biplane that had overturned just after landing. The lone pilot was out of the aircraft and uninjured.

The pilot was identified as Sean Martens, 40, of Garden City, police said.

Firefighters immediately secured the plane, cut off the fuel to the engine, and mitigated a minor fuel leak, according to the fire department.

Mastic Ambulance Company stood by at the scene. 

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and the scene was then turned over to the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal and the Suffolk police for investigation.


  1. look how many lookie loos- whats there to do? why dont they just flip it over so the fuel stops running out.duh

    1. More Ignorant "Official First Responders".
      New York = Enough Said.

    2. Obviously two wonderful genius's who never restored a taildragger of this type to it's landing gear.

      For one you need a boom crane.

      There are no hand holds that would allow anyone to lift or push on the airframe.

      Airframe is Silk Fabric & Wood skin with metal frame!

      Suggest one educate one's self before posting idiot comments!!

    3. "why dont they just flip it over"

      Not their job, Not trained, not insured...and they don't have the equipment.

      "so the fuel stops running out.duh"

      Gas tanks are sealed so fuel doesn't leak out unless violated (punctured)

      Finally...everyone has to follow the owners instructions and desire...since he owns the plane !

  2. Bummer looks like lot of work went into building that. Flip overs, ground loops goes with the risk of those glad he walked away didn't catch fire.

  3. Like church work, I guess they needed a committee to figure out the step of action to take. Nice paint on the bird. Bet he hit the brakes too hard.

  4. Darn shame I worked many hours restoring that airplane before it was finished in MN.