Saturday, November 28, 2020

Controlled Flight into Terrain/Object: Aviat A-1C-200 Husky, N327MN; accident occurred August 08, 2020 in Kernville, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Vlok Aviation LLC

Location: Kernville, California
Accident Number: WPR20CA261
Date & Time: August 8, 2020, 10:45 Local 
Registration: N327MN
Aircraft: Aviat A1 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj
(CFIT) Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, during short final, just before he initiated a landing flare, he lost sight of the dirt airstrip and initiated a go around. Shortly after, the pilot turned right, but he quickly realized that he would not be able to outclimb several treetops, so he lowered the nose attitude. Subsequently, the right wing struck a tree, the airplane impacted the ground at a steep angle and came to rest inverted. The airplane's wings and fuselage were substantially damaged.

The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane or engine 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 clearance from trees during a go-around, which resulted in an impact with terrain. 


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR go-around Miscellaneous/other
Approach-VFR go-around Attempted remediation/recovery
Approach-VFR go-around Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 47,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 29, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 5, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1481 hours (Total, all aircraft), 40 hours (Total, this make and model), 1304 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aviat 
Registration: N327MN
Model/Series: A1 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 3241
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: August 14, 2019 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2250 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 39 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 170 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1D6
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 200 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: KPTV,442 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 31 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 243°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Santa Ana, CA (SNA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Kernville, CA (PVT) 
Type of Clearance: VFR flight following
Departure Time: 08:45 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: PVT Burnt Corral Meadow PVT
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 6300 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Soft
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Go around;Traffic pattern; Valley/terrain following

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 36.224166,-118.497779(est)


  1. How does one recover a aircraft from the Sequoia National Forest?
    Burnt Corral Meadows
    Coordinates: 36.2238315°N, -118.4984217°W
    Approx. Elevation: 6,165 feet (1,879 meters)
    USGS Topo Map Quad: Hockett Peak
    Feature Type: Flat
    Burnt Corral Meadows Permission-To-Land Request and Release of Liability
    Burnt Corral Meadows is a private airstrip for fly-in use ONLY in accompaniment with a member pilot. IF YOU ARE A GUEST ACCOMPANYING ONE OF THE MEMBER PILOTS, YOU MUST READ AND SUBMIT THIS FORM TO LAND AT THE AIRSTRIP:

  2. Any helicopter service that does construction lifts can ferry it out. Won't be cheap. Probably ought to consider the recovery aspects before landing in remote areas.


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