Friday, June 19, 2020

Loss of engine power (total): Aventura UL, N580TX; accident occurred, April 03, 2017 near Kitty Hawk Flying Field (TS67), Garden Ridge, Comal 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; San Antonio, Texas 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Garden Ridge, TX
Accident Number:CEN17LA149 
Date & Time: 04/03/2017, 1934 CDT
Registration: N580TX
Aircraft: Aero Adventure Aventura UL
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries:1 Serious 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 3, 2017, about 1934 central daylight time, an amateur-built Aero Adventure Aventura UL amphibian airplane, N580TX, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Kitty Hawk Flying Field (TS67), Garden Ridge, Texas. 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 the purpose of the local area flight was to simulate water landings by flying low passes over a grass area alongside the western edge of runway 14/32 at TS67. The pilot reported that the flight departed about 1915 and that he completed several uneventful low passes before the accident. The pilot stated that the engine began to "sputter" about 300 ft above the ground while on a right crosswind leg for runway 32. The engine subsequently had a total loss of power and the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot established best glide airspeed and made a forced landing in a nearby clearing among trees. The pilot stated that the airplane landed hard on the hull with the main landing gear retracted.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an examination of the airplane at the accident site. The hull and both wings were substantially damaged during impact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit inputs to the individual control surfaces. The airplane's landing gear were positioned for a water landing. The emergency ballistic parachute recovery system was armed but had not deployed. The three fuel tanks (1 main, 2 auxiliary) contained automotive gasoline premixed with engine oil. The fuel system contained ample fuel and the fuel shutoff valve was open. The fuel filter assembly and both carburetors contained fuel. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed by rotating the propeller. The spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and appeared undamaged. One of the three propeller blades had punctured the fabric-covered aft fuselage during impact. The propeller was removed from the engine to facilitate an engine test run. The engine, a 55-horsepower Hirth model 3202, serial number 901269, started and ran at various engine speeds without any hesitation or anomalies. The postaccident examination and successful engine test run revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

According to a carburetor icing probability chart contained in FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, entitled "Carburetor Icing Prevention", the recorded temperature and dew point were in the range of susceptibility for the formation of carburetor icing. The bulletin notes that if ice forms in the carburetor of a fixed-pitch propeller aircraft, the restriction to the induction airflow will result in roughness in engine operation and a drop in engine speed.

The airplane was not equipped with a carburetor heat system; however, the engine was equipped two Dell'Orto sliding carburetors. Carburetors that incorporate a variable-venturi design (e.g. sliding carburetors) are not generally prone to carburetor icing, according to Aircraft Powerplants, Fifth Edition by Bent/McKinley.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied:Single 
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/02/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/15/2016
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 17000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 47 hours (Total, this make and model), 16000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 150 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aero Adventure
Registration: N580TX
Model/Series: Aventura UL
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: UL0016
Landing Gear Type: Amphibian; Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/07/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 34 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 480 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Hirth
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 3202
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 55 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: RND, 761 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1958 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.69 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Garden Ridge, TX (TS67)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Garden Ridge, TX (TS67)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1915 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Kitty Hawk Flying Field (TS67)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 860 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 32
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 700 ft / 20 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern

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: 29.625278, -98.278056 (est)

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