Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Landing Area Overshoot: Zenith CH 650 Zodiac, N149WF; accident occurred May 16, 2020 at Gilliam McConnell Airfield (BQ1), Carthage, North Carolina

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Carthage, North Carolina 
Accident Number: ERA20CA189
Date & Time: May 16, 2020, 10:45 Local
Registration: N149WF
Aircraft: Zenith ZODIAC CH 650
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing area overshoot 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot of the airplane reported that, while landing, a gust of tail wind pushed the airplane and he landed long. The airplane then exited the end of the runway and impacted vegetation.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

An airport's automated weather observation station located 7 miles to the south-east, reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was variable at 4 knots.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to attain the proper touchdown point during landing with a tail wind, which resulted in a runway excursion.


Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Tailwind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Landing area overshoot (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion
Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot 
Age: 79,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 25, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 440 hours (Total, all aircraft), 395 hours (Total, this make and model), 403 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenith
Registration: N149WF
Model/Series: ZODIAC CH 650 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2013 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 65-8434
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 28, 2019 Condition 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 368 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Viking Aircraft Engines
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: 130
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 130 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SOP,461 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 10:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 160°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / Turbulence Type
Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gold Hill, NC (NC25)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carthage, NC (BQ1)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 10:15 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Gilliam - Mc Connell Airfield BQ1 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 445 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 13 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2538 ft / 36 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop;Straight-in

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: 35.341667,-79.436943(est)

A small plane with two people onboard crashed while landing at Gilliam McConnell Airfield Saturday morning. The pilot and passenger were uninjured.

The aircraft was attempting to land when it ran off the end of the runway crashing into a wooded area.

Bystanders witnessed the crash and called 911. The occupants were out of the plane when emergency crews arrived on the scene.

Both people are reportedly from the Albemarle area and were flying in to eat at the Pik-n-Pig restaurant. They were flying in with friends on another plane that had already landed.

Roland Gilliam, owner of the airfield, brought out heavy equipment to clean the trees from the area of aircraft and pulled it back up the bank.

The Zenith CH 650 Zodiac plane suffered extensive damage.


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