Sunday, August 30, 2020

Flight Control System Malfunction / Failure: Kitfox 532, N87TJ; accident occurred August 30, 2019 at Nampa Municipal Airport (KMAN), Canyon County, Idaho


Missing Nut


Bolt Hole

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Nampa, ID
Accident Number: WPR19TA248
Date & Time: 08/30/2019, 0837 MDT
Registration: N87TJ
Aircraft: HALL Kitfox
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Flight control sys malf/fail
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 30, 2019, about 0837 mountain daylight time, an amateur built Hall Kitfox 532 airplane, N87TJ, was substantially damaged during the landing roll at the Nampa Municipal Airport (MAN), Nampa, Idaho. The private pilot was not injured, and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to an individual and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Caldwell Industrial Airport (EUL) about 0800.

The pilot reported that, during takeoff from EUL, the airplane had a hard shimmy right before liftoff. After an uneventful flight, the pilot landed the airplane smoothly onto the main landing gear. When the tailwheel touched down, the airplane immediately became uncontrollable and unresponsive to any pilot corrections. The airplane was rolling towards the right side of the runway, so the pilot braked in an attempt to slow the airplane. The propeller contacted the runway surface before the airplane exited the runway, nosed over, and came to rest inverted.

The pilot further reported that, about 6-8 weeks before the accident, the owner put a larger tailwheel on the airplane because he was prepping the airplane for backcountry airports. The original tailwheel was about 3-4 inches in diameter and about 1 inch wide. The new tailwheel was about 6 inches in diameter and much sturdier.

An onscene examination of the airplane was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. The inspector reported that the airplane was equipped with a 1 ¼ inch tailwheel leaf spring. The new tailwheel, which was designed for a Maule airplane, was designed for a 1 ½ inch tailwheel leaf spring. Therefore, a shim would have needed to be installed in between the tailwheel and tailwheel leaf spring to ensure a proper installation. In addition, a longer bolt would have needed to be installed to ensure the bolt would properly secure within the locking nut. The examination revealed that the bolt was still present in the leaf spring, but the locking nut was not present and was not located along the runway. The washer was found underneath the tail, and there were no indications that a shim was installed. The bolt was removed from the leaf spring and measured; it was not long enough to reach the locking portion of the locking nut.

The mechanic reported to the FAA inspector that during the airplane's last condition inspection, which was conducted on November 24, 2018, the original tailwheel was installed on the airplane. He never inspected the new, larger, tailwheel after it was installed, nor was he required to until the next condition inspection.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/09/2019
Flight Time: 2203 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Total, this make and model), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HALL
Registration: N87TJ
Model/Series: Kitfox 532
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1988
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 158
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/24/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 25 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 502 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Jabiru
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 2200
Registered Owner: Ken Marrs
Rated Power: 85 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: MAN, 2537 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0815 MDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Caldwell, ID (EUL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Nampa, ID (MAN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0815 MDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Nampa Municipal Airport (MAN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2537 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 11
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.575556, -116.520556 (est)

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