Saturday, August 22, 2020

Ground Handling Event: Van's RV-8A, N7736T; accident occurred February 15, 2020 at Columbus-Lowndes County Airport (KUBS), Mississippi

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Columbus, MS
Accident Number: CEN20CA087
Date & Time: 02/15/2020, 0700 CST
Aircraft:Vans RV8 
Aircraft Damage:Destroyed 
Defining Event: Ground handling event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot reported that he planned a flight in a single-engine airplane. He conducted the pre-flight and then during the start sequence, the engine's starter would not engage. He turned off the switches, set the parking brake, and exited the cockpit. He rotated the engine by turning the propeller slowly by hand, so the starter would engage. The engine started unexpectedly, and the airplane moved forward.

The airplane collided with a hangar and an electrical transformer box, and a post-impact fire ensued. The airplane was consumed by the fire, which prevented any examination of the cockpit, brakes, or electrical system.

The accident is consistent with an inadvertent engine start when the pilot rotated the propeller. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 38
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: None
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/30/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  2300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 120 hours (Total, this make and model), 2000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N7736T
Model/Series: RV8 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 81302
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/30/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 400 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:200 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: KGTR
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1256 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):  
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: 
Wind Direction: 80°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.44 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Columbus, MS (UBS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Columbus-Lowndes County (UBS)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 188 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Unknown 
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  33.464444, -88.382500


  1. And this is why we do a dead-mag check after each flight just prior to shutdown!

  2. Treat every prop as live regardless,this kind of thing has happened too many times in the past,engines can fire even with the mags off !

  3. Over 6000 hours of flying non starter aircraft . Switch off, Throttle off advance to full open then pull to idle . " reason for this is if throttle is in say 1/2' and friction lock is tight you will THINK throttle is at Idle " Fuel selector off, Brakes set, and or chock wheels . I do the throttle in an inch or 2 thing and tighten the lock on students learning hand propping , I ask several times do you have the throttle Closed they walk back and give it a tug say yes , are you sure? they walk back tug on it again and say yes . I then ask them to loosen the lock and close the throttle again and hear that clunk as it closes fully and realize what could of just happened .. If you don't have a set procedure do not touch a propeller !!! In this case i would think he failed to know the actual position of the throttle .