Friday, June 19, 2020

Nose Over: Aviat Aircraft A-1B, N71JA; accident occurred May 26, 2017 on Lake Tomahawk, near Woodruff, Wisconsin

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tomahawk Lake, WI
Accident Number: CEN17LA204
Date & Time: 05/26/2017, 1025 CDT
Registration: N71JA
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Nose over/nose down
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 26, 2017, about 1025 central daylight time, an Aviat Aircraft A-1B float-equipped airplane, N71JA, sustained substantial damage when it nosed over upon landing on Tomahawk Lake near Woodruff, Wisconsin. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that the accident occurred during her first landing after she departed Rhinelander Airport, Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The pilot stated that the airplane's wheels and water rudders were up for the intended water landing. She stated that the winds were calm to 6 knots and the water surface exhibited some minor ripples. The landing was made toward the northwest, with the flaps retracted, at a landing speed of 70-80 mph. The pilot did not recall the landing or the airplane nosing over after it touched down. The pilot's next recollection is after the accident and being upside down under the water. She was able to unlatch her seat restraint and exit the airplane with a minor head cut. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane during the flight. The pilot noted that the accident could have been prevented had she "been sitting up higher on the pilot's seat."

A witness reported seeing the airplane on landing approach to the lake while on a north/northwest heading. He did not observe or hear anything abnormal with the airplane as it descended toward the lake. He turned his attention away from the airplane when it had descended to within a few feet of the lake surface (he did not observe the airplane impact the water).

Another witness reported seeing the airplane come within 5 ft of the lake surface, then climb to 15 ft above the lake before it descended and touched down on the lake. The witness stated that the airplane nosed over shortly after it touched down on the lake. The witness did not recall if the airplane pitch was level or nose low before it landed.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at Lakeland Airport/Noble F. Lee Memorial Field (ARV) about 7 miles northwest of the accident site. Based on available weather data, the surface wind was from the southeast at 3-4 knots.

A postaccident examination of the wreckage established that both wings and the support struts were substantially damaged during the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 62, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/24/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/03/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 4000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 700 hours (Total, this make and model), 3500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N71JA
Model/Series: A-1B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2284
Landing Gear Type: Float; Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/17/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 649 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A1P
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: ARV, 1630 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1015 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 330°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rhinelander, WI (RHI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tomahawk Lake, WI
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0950 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 45.832778, -89.651389 (est)

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