Friday, June 19, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Waco YMF-F5C, N323TX; accident occurred June 13, 2020 at Kline Kill Airport (NY1), Ghent, Columbia County, New York

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ghent, NY
Accident Number: ERA20CA214
Date & Time: 06/13/2020, 0930 EDT
Registration: N323TX
Aircraft: Waco YMF F5C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped bi-plane was performing practice takeoffs and landings on a 75-foot-wide turf runway following an uneventful local flight. During the fourth takeoff, the airplane accelerated down the runway and after the pilot raised the tailwheel off the ground, the airplane suddenly drifted toward the left side of the runway. The left wing tip contacted trees and brush near the runway's left edge, and pivoted the airplane left into the trees. Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that both wings and the fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported that that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot also reported that "modest but variable and gusty winds" prevailed at the time of the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/19/2019
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/17/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1150 hours (Total, all aircraft), 16 hours (Total, this make and model), 960 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Waco
Registration: N323TX
Model/Series: YMF F5C No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: F5C-8-124
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/14/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 24 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 296.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Jacobs
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: R755A2M
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 300 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: PSF, 1188 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0954 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 73°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 18 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ghent, NY (NY1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Ghent, NY (NY1)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Kline Kill (NY1)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 386 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used:01
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 42.347222, -73.635556 (est)

GHENT, New York (NEWS10) — The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported crash that involved a small airplane at the Kline Kill Airport Saturday morning.

Police say just after 10 a.m. Columbia County dispatched Deputies to a privately owned airport with a grass runway for a reported plane crash that was heard by a nearby resident.

Police say Sgt. Heath Benansky was on scene and found the plane which had crashed into the woods along the side of the runway. The Waco YMF-F5C aircraft, was being piloted by Stephen Clearman, 69, of Ghent. One passenger was in the plane at the time of the crash, a 73-year-old man also from Ghent.

Police say the initial investigation revealed that Clelarman was trying to take off when the left wing of the place clipped a tree alongside of the runway causing the plane to spin around and crash into several other small trees before stopping in the woods.

Police say Clearman and his passenger were not injured in the crash. The FAA was notified and will be sent out to further investigate the accident and inspect the plane.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office on scene investigating the crash along with Sgt Benansky were Undersheriff John Davi, Lieutenant Louis Bray, Investigator KC Bauhoff, Deputy Steven Rose and Deputy Ryen Boehme. The Ghent Fire Department was also on scene to help.

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