Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer, N93AB: Accident occurred August 25, 2020 at Rawlins Municipal Airport (KRWL), Carbon County, Wyoming

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Casper, Wyoming 

Location: Rawlins, WY
Accident Number: WPR20LA301
Date & Time: August 25, 2020, 07:00 Local 
Registration: N93AB
Aircraft: Lake LA4 
Injuries: 3 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 25, 2020, about 0700 mountain daylight time, a Consolidated Aeronautics Inc., Lake LA-4-200, N93AB, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Rawlins, Wyoming. The pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries, and one passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The day prior to the accident, the pilot conducted a cross-country flight from Ogallala, Nebraska to Rawlins, Wyoming. According to the pilot, about 83 miles into the crosscountry flight, the airplane experienced a malfunction of the hydro-electrical trim position selector that required the pilot to apply back pressure to the yoke, to arrest the nose down pitch attitude. He recalled that, he had to reset the trim position selector, by physically moving the trim selector from a nose down trim position to a trim position suitable for straight and level flight, every 5-8 seconds, which occurred for the duration of the 166 nautical mile flight, which continued for about 1 hour and 50 minutes.

The pilot completed an uneventful but hard landing at Rawlins Municipal Airport and began to troubleshoot the trim anomaly by calling the mechanic that maintained the airplane prior to the purchase. The pilot checked the trim actuator and the hydraulic servo condition, security, and interference of components, yet he did not see any anomalies, leakage, or seepage. The pilot and passengers deviated from their planned schedule and secured a hotel for the night in Rawlins with the intention of departing to Paris, Idaho the next morning.

The passenger in the right from seat further reported that after an uneventful run-up, the pilot aligned for making a departure from runway 29. The passenger recalled that during takeoff, the airplane did not appear to be gaining altitude and in response, the pilot banked the airplane left in an attempt to turn back toward the airport. During the turn, the left wing collided with an approximate 10-foot high mound of asphalt/dirt and the airplane came to rest inverted. 

The accident site was located on a flat, hard dirt surface road, outlined by burns of asphalt and dirt on both sides of the road. The burns were constructed from the debris excavated from the old runway asphalt surface and were about 10 feet high. The main wreckage, consisting of the engine, fuselage, empennage, and both wings came to rest inverted on the hard surface dirt road, between the 10-foot berms.

The first identifiable point of impact consisted of disrupted dirt and asphalt on the north side of the 10-foot berm, located on the north side of the hard dirt surface access road, making up the far northwest end of the debris field. The west side of the berm revealed about a 3-foot wide depression that gradually ascended the west side of the berm and continued to the south. The landing gear was retracted and remained attached to their respective wings.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lake
Registration: N93AB
Model/Series: LA4 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRWL,6743 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Rawlins, WY (RWL)
Destination: Rawlins, WY (RWL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 41.805831,-107.20027 (est)

Rawlins Police Department
At 07:02 this morning the Rawlins Police Department received a report of a plane crash in the construction area between the runway at the Rawlins Municipal Airport and Beechcraft Street.

The plane was observed by witnesses to have just taken off from the airport.

The Rawlins Police Department, Rawlins Fire Department, Wyoming Highway Patrol and several ambulances from Carbon County Memorial Hospital responded.

Once on scene, emergency personnel located three occupants trapped inside the plane.

The Rawlins Fire Department extricated the occupants from the plane.

Two of the occupants were transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital of Carbon County and one occupant was transported by Classic Air to Casper, Wyoming.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified and are investigating the crash.


  1. Nice video of N93AB, including inflight looking out forward:

  2. Flightaware shows multi-leg trip from home base in Florida:

    1. Social media posts by people who know the accident pilot include initials that don't match the Florida pilot. Looks like it was a relocation flight by new owner.

  3. KRWL Weather conditions on 25 August @ 6:53 am:
    MDT / Temp / DP / RH / Wind / Gust
    6:53 AM 55 F 46 F 72 % NE 8 mph 0 mph

    A runway 4 takeoff into the NE wind would start at 6,744 feet elevation, rising to 6,816 feet at the far end. Runway 4/22 is 7,008 feet in length.

  4. News article says pilot was en route to the San Juan Islands, in Washington State.

    Link (scroll down, find "Plane crashes in Rawlins"):

  5. 3 passengers with fuel fuel at that DA is more than an LA4 can handle. He couldn't climb and tried to turn back to the runway and stall/spun it into the ground. Sad all the way around.