Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Maule MXT-7-180A Sportplane, N772TW; accident occurred July 26, 2020 in Hillsboro, Montgomery County, Illinois

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hillsboro, IL
Accident Number: CEN20CA308
Date & Time: 07/26/2020, 1931 CDT
Registration: N772TW
Aircraft: MAULE MXT7
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he conducted a visual approach to land at a grass airstrip with tall crops adjacent to the runway. As he was landing a deer jumped out of the crops onto the runway. The pilot pulled the nose up to avoid hitting the deer and the airplane stalled. The airplane hit the ground and "flipped" two times, substantially damaging the tail, wings, and fuselage. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack while attempting to avoid a deer during landing, resulting in an aerodynamic stall.


Environmental issues Animal(s)/bird(s) - Response/compensation
Aircraft Airspeed - Attain/maintain not possible
Aircraft Angle of attack - Capability exceeded

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Low altitude operation/event
Landing-flare/touchdown Abrupt maneuver
Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Unknown Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/13/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/07/2020
Flight Time: 335 hours (Total, all aircraft), 24 hours (Total, this make and model), 311 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MAULE
Registration: N772TW
Model/Series: MXT7 180A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built:No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 21075C
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/03/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 983 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 360
Registered Owner:On file
Rated Power:
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: 3LF
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1845 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 229°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Hillsboro, IL (1LL5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hillsboro, IL (1LL5)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: CDT
Type of Airspace: Class A

Airport Information

Airport: Justison Airport (1LL5)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 650 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach:None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 39.242500, -89.550833 (est)

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