Sunday, October 18, 2020

Collision During Landing / Takeoff: BRM Aero Bristell S-LSA, N438BL; accident occurred October 18, 2020 at Carlisle Airport (N94), Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; New Cumberland, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania 
Accident Number: ERA21LA025
Date & Time: October 18, 2020, 14:00 Local 
Registration: N438BL
Aircraft: Aero Bristell Bristell LSA 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land 
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was approaching the airport for landing, and while on short final approach he noticed that the airplane was too high and that there were variable and gusty crosswinds. The pilot decided to conduct a go-around. The pilot added power and pressed the control stick forward to prevent the airplane from pitching up as it gained airspeed. The pilot’s next recollection was seeing tree branches and the airplane descending in a nose down attitude into the woods. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of 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 failure to maintain adequate clearance from trees during an attempted go-around in gusty crosswinds.


Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR go-around Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 24, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 9, 2020
Flight Time: 460 hours (Total, all aircraft), 31 hours (Total, this make and model), 387 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Age: Male
Airplane Rating(s):
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aero Bristell 
Registration: N438BL
Model/Series: Bristell LSA 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Special light-sport (Special)
Serial Number: 438
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 6, 2020 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 16 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 44 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 912
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 100 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CXY,346 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:50 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 12 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 150° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Reedsville, PA (RVL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carlisle, PA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 13:30 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Carlisle Airport N94
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 510 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 10 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4008 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go around

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.188573,-77.178235(est)

The National Transportation Safety Board is in the early stages of investigating the plane crash at the Carlisle Airport on Sunday afternoon that sent two people to the hospital.

The NTSB had no further information Monday beyond the initial crash report from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson, but would aim to issue a preliminary report within two weeks.

Local emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, according to fire call records, after a small plane crashed into a wooded area just north of the airport, located in South Middleton Township just outside of Carlisle Borough. First responders on the scene reported that two people were transported to the hospital by Life Lion helicopter.

In an initial statement, the FAA said a single-engine Aero Bristell crashed into trees 500 feet north of the airport’s Runway 28 with two people aboard. The agency’s crash reported listed two “serious” injuries; local authorities did not have an update on the victims’ condition as of Monday.

The plane, a single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft, was built in 2019 and is registered to a name and address in Carlisle Borough, according to FAA records.

Mustapha Mouhacht, who lives near the airport, told ABC27 News he heard a loud sound and was the first at the scene.

“I just started running over there,” Mouhacht said. “When I got there, I found two people inside. I saw two people injured, their faces with blood coming out. So I talked to them to try to open the door inside.”

Mouhacht said there wasn’t smoke, and that he was able to get directly to the plane.

The NTSB typically won’t dispatch investigators to the scene of a nonfatal aircraft crash, Knudson said, given that the aircraft’s pilot usually knows what caused the crash. The plane is typically recovered by the aircraft’s insurance company and taken to a secure location, where FAA and NTSB personnel may examine the wreck if warranted.

The NTSB is legally required to investigate accidents involving a serious injury to a person and/or substantial damage to the aircraft; roughly 1,300 such accidents occur each year, Knudsen said, with 250 to 300 of them involving fatalities.

CARLISE, Pennsylvania – Two men were airlifted to the hospital after their small plane crashed in Cumberland County this afternoon shortly before 2:30 p.m.

According to FlightAware, the flight was slated to last approximately 15 minutes, but was in the air for nearly an hour and a half instead.

Residents of the neighborhood alongside the runway, Mustapha Mouhacht and wife, heard an unusual noise and called 911.

“And I stared running over there,” Mouhacht said. “When I got there, I found two people inside. I saw two people injured. Their faces with blood coming out. So I talk to them to try to open the door inside.”

In an effort to rescue the men, Mouhacht attempted to break the windows of the aircraft without success.

He then worked with them to try to pry the door open. “And I open it just like this space, and I took the first guy outside and then the second guy, I took him outside,” he said.

Mouchacht described two men of the aircraft and said their injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The severity of their injuries is unknown at this time.

The National Transportation Safety Board is not expected to investigate the site of the crash until tomorrow.

There was no fear in Mustapha Mouhacht when he saw a plane sticking out of the trees behind his house.

Instead, Mouhacht said he wanted to help, so he ran across the tarmac to help get two men out of the plane.

The plane appeared to have missed the runway at the Carlisle Airport in the 200 block of Petersburg Road around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Instead, it came down at a harsh angle against trees next to the runaway.

For the neighbors in the Spring Green Estates mobile home park, they are used to planes coming down, since Meals Drive runs parallel to the runway. Their backyards face the runaway and, in this case, the crash.

Kathy Swope said in 10 years she’s gotten so used to the planes she can now sleep through them, which is why she wasn’t that alarmed when she first heard the crash.

Her dog alerted her that something might be more wrong, so she went outside and saw the plane sticking out of the trees. Mouhacht already was running over to the plane.

“It’s scary to look out there. I would have never thought that,” Swope said. “That’s why I didn’t pay that much attention to it.”

Swope called 911 and relayed what Mouhacht was seeing as he tried to get into the plane. She also heard a dispatch that there was a suspected fuel leak.

Mouhacht said when he got there he found two men who were alert and able to talk to him while he tried to pull open the door.

Swope said the whole time she was shouting to Mouhacht, who was relaying information that she was able to give to dispatchers about the men and their conditions.

Mouhacht said it took almost 15 minutes to get the door open, but once he got permission from one of the men to break the door and get it open, he was able to help the two men out.

Mouhacht’s wife even got involved when she brought him a hammer to use to break into the plane.

Though able to speak, Mouhacht said one was incoherent and the other appeared to have a broken leg. Both men were eventually life-flighted from the scene.

Once the men were out of the plane, ambulances and paramedics were able to begin helping them.

“When we were able to take them outside, the people from the ambulance told us to get them far from the airplane because they [could] smell the fuel,” Mouhacht said.

Mouhacht said even though he knew there was the threat of the plane exploding, he didn’t see smoke so he thought “it’s the opportunity to take them out, just like that."

Fear was the furthest thing from Mouhacht’s mind.

“No I’m not scared, because I like [to] help,” Mouhacht said. Being able to get them out made him happy, he said.

Officials have not made any additional comments on the crash as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

Two people were transported to the hospital via Life Lion after a plane crash at the Carlisle Airport Sunday afternoon, according to Ron Hamilton, emergency services administrator for South Middleton Township.

Reports from the scene indicate the plane was nose down off the runway in the wooded section of the airport. Union Fire Company Assistant Fire Chief Matt Hinken, who had command of the scene, said the crash is still under investigation by Pennsylvania State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Hinken said the crash was reported both to NTSB and FAA.

Hinken said emergency crews were dispatched at 2:29 p.m. to the airport in South Middleton Township, and there were two injured people in the plane, though he did not know the severity of the injuries.

One Life Lion helicopter was already at Carlisle Airport and transported one person. Hinken said another Life Lion helicopter was called in from another station, and that arrived shortly after the other's departure to transport the second injured person.

SOUTH MIDDLETON TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania  — Two people were injured when a plane crashed Sunday at the Carlisle Airport.

Emergency dispatchers say the plane missed the runway around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The plane landed on its nose in the woods next to the runway.

Two people were onboard. According to Emergency Dispatch Services, both were seriously injured and were airlifted by Life Lion to Hershey Hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the crash.


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