Friday, June 19, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: North Wing Navajo, N360XL; accident occurred November 19, 2016 near Greater Morris County Airport (8F5), Daingerfield, Morris County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Daingerfield, TX
Accident Number: CEN17LA042
Date & Time: 11/19/2016, 1600 CST
Registration: N360XL
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 19, 2016, about 1600 central standard time, a Northwing Navajo, N360XL, impacted trees during an unintentional takeoff from Greater Morris County Airport (8F5), Daingerfield, Texas. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The non-certificated pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight.

Witnesses told a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper that the airplane took off from 8F5. Immediately after takeoff, the airplane turned hard to the left and collided with trees next to the runway.

Two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors went to the accident site and found the airplane on the west side of the airport in a tree line about 400 ft from the runway centerline. The airplane was lying on its left side and pointed in a southerly direction. Broken tree branches about 40 ft above the ground were noted. There was a strong odor of fuel smell at the accident site. Fuel was noted in the fuel filter bowl. There was substantial damage to the wing structure and fabric. The FAA inspectors did not report any mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

The inspectors interviewed the owner, who stated that he had recently purchased, but had not registered, the airplane. He stated that he had purchased the airplane to learn to fly. He stated that he was unaware that the airplane needed to be registered. He told the inspectors that he asked a friend to look at the airplane and check it out. His friend told him he was unfamiliar with this particular airplane and did not think it was a good idea for him to fly it. His friend boarded the airplane with the intention of making a high-speed taxi. The owner observed the airplane move down the runway, lift off the ground, then turn to the left and crash into the trees.

The inspectors interviewed the friend, who told them he had received a telephone call from the owner, who asked him to come out to the airport to look at the airplane that he had recently purchased. Upon arrival, the friend said that he was unfamiliar with the airplane and did not want to fly it. The friend stated that he intended to do a high-speed taxi only and had no intention to fly. He stated that during the taxi test, the airplane "must have experienced a gust of wind" and the airplane lifted off. It then turned hard to the left and crashed into the trees. He told the FAA inspectors that he was not a certificated pilot although he had received some flight training and had some experience flying ultralights. He said that the controls in the ultralights were different than the controls that were installed in accident airplane.

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age:61, Male 
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Center
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:  (Estimated) 10 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: NORTHWING
Registration: N360XL
Model/Series: NAVAJO
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 7940
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1060 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: Steven Eberhart
Rated Power: 65 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: kosa
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time:1615 CST 
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 320°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 30.5 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Daingerfield, TX (8F5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Daingerfield, TX (8F5)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1900 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Greater Morris County (8F5)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 402 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 33.148056, -94.700278 (est)

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