Monday, November 23, 2020

Lancair Legacy FG, N3UH: Fatal accident occurred November 23, 2020 at North Perry Airport (KHWO), Pembroke Pines, Broward County, Florida

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida 
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Ottawa 
Aero Sport Power; Kamloops, British Columbia

Location: Hollywood, FL 
Accident Number: ERA21LA052
Date & Time: November 23, 2020, 15:23 Local
Registration: N3UH
Aircraft: Lancair Legacy FG
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On November 23, 2020, about 1523 eastern standard time, an amateur-built Lancair Legacy FG airplane, N3UH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at North Perry Airport (HWO), Hollywood, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane was based at HWO.

Prior to takeoff, the pilot established communication with the ground controller at HWO; he reported that he had the current automated terminal information service “Bravo” and requested to taxi to the active runway for a westbound departure. The ground controller then instructed the pilot to taxi to Runway1L via Taxiway B, cross Runway 10L, and hold short of Runway 10R, at Taxiway B. The pilot then established communications with the local controller who cleared the airplane for takeoff from Runway 1L at Taxiway M and instructed the pilot to make a left turn westbound. Track data indicated that the airplane departed Runway 1L about 1522. When the airplane was about 0.5 miles from the departure end of Runway 1L, the pilot reported that the airplane’s engine was running rough and he requested to return to the airport to land. The airplane then made a right turn towards the airport and the local controller cleared the pilot to land on any runway. The pilot then requested and was cleared to land on Runway 28R. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground about 200 ft before Runway 28R.

According to witnesses, just prior to impact the airplane was nearly parallel to the extended centerline of Runway 28R in a 45° nose-down attitude.

Examination of the wreckage revealed damage consistent with the airplane impacting in a nose and right-wing low attitude. The nose section, canopy, and both the left and right wings had separated during the impact sequence. The aft fuselage and empennage had remained intact. Flight control continuity was established from the ailerons, elevators, and rudder, to breaks in the flight control system, and then from the breaks to the control stick and rudder pedals. Both wing fuel tanks were breached and devoid of fuel. The electric fuel pump was “ON.” The fuel selector valve was in the “RIGHT” tank position, it moved freely and did not contain any blockages. Two of the three composite propeller blades were separated at the blade root, and the third blade was separated about 12 inches outboard of the blade root. 

Examination of the engine revealed that fuel was present in the fuel manifold and fuel servo. The electronic ignition system for the top sparkplugs was impact damaged and non-functional. The magneto for the bottom sparkplugs did not produce spark. Internal examination of the magneto revealed that the points had been impact damaged but there was no evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions of the magneto. Examination of the spark plugs revealed that all of the plugs were secured in their respective sparkplug holes with the exception of the top spark plug on the No.1 cylinder, which was not in its hole. The No.1 cylinder top sparkplug was still attached to its high tension lead and displayed thread damage on its two lower threads. Thumb compression and suction was attained on all cylinders, oil was present in the rocker boxes, and oil sump, and drivetrain continuity was established from the front to the back of the engine.

The airplane’s electronic flight instrumentation system was retained by the NTSB for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lancair 
Registration: N3UH
Model/Series: Legacy FG NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KHWO,9 ft msl
Observation Time: 15:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / , 340°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hollywood, FL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 26.002833,-80.234444 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Steven Mitchell Fontenot
1955 - 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Steve Fontenot, 65, on Monday, November 23, 2020 in Broward County Florida. The plane that he was flying developed engine trouble and crashed during an emergency landing. He was a devoted, loving, proud father and grandfather. Steve is survived by his son Mitchell and his wife, Chelsea of Kalispell Montana; grandson Hayden Frederick; sister Debbie Blackwell and husband Claude; Nephews and nieces; Tripp and Halley Blackwell, Jamie and Tony Langford) of Gonzales. He is preceded in death by Frederick and Dorothy Fontenot and grandparents; Clarence and Rose Fontenot, Homer and Nannie Monk. Steve was born in San Antonio, Texas on October 6, 1955. A resident of Hollywood Florida, Steve loved flying, fishing, boating, and traveling. He was a regional representative for Ridgid Tools. Steve will be greatly missed by family and friends. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Steven Mitchell Fontenot

PEMBROKE PINES, Florida (WSVN) - Authorities have released the identity of the pilot who died following a plane crash at North Perry Airport.

On Wednesday, Pembroke Pines Police identified the pilot as 65-year-old Steven Mitchell Fontenot.

Investigators said Fontenot attempted to land the experimental aircraft shortly after takeoff, Monday afternoon.

According to fire officials, the plane experienced engine trouble and crashed when attempting to return and land on Runway 28R.

Fontenot was the only person on board the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration continue to investigate the crash.

PEMBROKE PINES, Florida (WSVN) - A pilot has died after a plane crashed shortly after takeoff at North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines.

Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue crews responded to the airport in the area of Pines Boulevard and South University Drive at around 3 p.m., Monday.

Pilot Cesar Quintana said when he spotted the aircraft, it a few feet off the ground.

“We basically saw it about a second before impact, and it just hit the ground and a white puff of smoke,” he said. “It was too fast to see it, too fast to really understand what took place. We heard a loud bang. That’s what we saw. I actually contacted the tower to make sure they knew about it, that they were working on the emergency vehicles.”

According to fire officials, the plane experienced engine trouble on takeoff and attempted to return and land on Runway 28R.

Only one person was on board the Lancair Legacy FG. The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

“It’s a home-built, and I just quickly looked at it,” Ed, a pilot who has been flying out of the airport for over 30 years, said. “When it’s experimental, you can do almost anything you want as long as it’s safe to fly.”

Ed, who did not provide his last name, added that pilots are taught not to return to the airport if they encounter trouble after takeoff.

“We’re taught from the beginning you don’t try to turn and go back,” he said. “You’re not going to make it. As soon as you start that turn, you’re going to lose altitude quickly.”

The identity of the pilot is not yet known, but the crashed aircraft is registered to a person in South Florida.

Pembroke Pines Police Monday night were dispatched to an address linked to the aircraft’s owner, and neighbors said they are waiting for more information.

“He’s an amazing guy, wonderful guy,” a neighbor said.

“We’re pilots,” Quintana said. “I mean, it’s a human being. It’s a close community, and it’s tough to see this.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

A pilot was killed when a light plane crashed Monday at North Perry Airport in southern Broward County, aviation officials said.

The crash occurred at 3:25 p.m. as the single-engine aircraft sought to land due to engine trouble. A short time before, it had taken off from the airport, which is near University Drive and north of Pembroke Road in Pembroke Pines.

The plane was a Lancair Legacy FG, which had departed the airport and crashed while on approach to Runway 28 Right, said Maria Njoku, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta.

All but one of the airport’s four runways were closed, said Arlene Satchell, spokeswoman for the Broward County Aviation Department. No one on the ground was injured.

The pilot, who has yet to be identified, was the only person aboard. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate along with the FAA, Njoku said.

The Lancair Legacy FG is a two-seat light plane marketed in kit form, according to Lancair International, the plane’s manufacturer based in Texas. According to the company website, it is a “low-winged monoplane of composite construction, with side-by-side seating in an enclosed cockpit.”

“The family of aircraft are designed with speed as the primary focus,” the website says.

The plane has a top speed of 215 miles per hour and a range of slightly more than 1,000 miles. More than 2,100 Lancairs are owned and operated in 34 countries on 5 continents, according to the company.


PEMBROKE PINES, Florida – A pilot was killed after a small plane crashed a North Perry Airport in Broward County.

It happened at approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday, at the airport located off University Drive and Pembroke Road in Pembroke Pines.

Sky10 was over the crash, where first responders inspected the wreckage and were seen placing a yellow tarp over the damaged aircraft.

According to a spokesperson from the airport, the plane was attempting to take off and reported engine trouble before trying to turn around and land. At least one person has died as a result of the crash.

It is unknown if there were any other passengers on board.

According to records, the plane is a fixed wing, two seat, single engine aircraft built in 2007.

PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – The pilot of a small plane died Monday afternoon when the plane crashed on North Perry Airport property in Pembroke Pines.

According to a spokesperson for North Perry Airport, the pilot reported an engine issue shortly after taking off and asked to return back.  While attempting to land, the plane went down while approaching the runway, at 3:25 p.m.

In video from Chopper 4, there was a yellow tarp draped over the wreckage of the single-engine Lancair Legacy FG aircraft.

The FAA confirms the pilot was the only person aboard.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.


  1. Only flew twice since August, and both times were short 20 minute flights of roughly the same flight path.

  2. The impossible turn claims another victim.

  3. Sadly, this accident could have been prevented by landing aircraft straight ahead. Pilot made an error in judgement and did not fully utilize the operational risk management mindset to assess the takeoff.

    1. For you to say such a ridiculous statement like that is pathetic. Steve was a very good pilot and he has a great feel for this airport. Please keep your negative comments to your self

  4. Taking off east from North Perry, you overfly a densely populated area. If you're high enough, and even if you're not, the impossible turn may be the best option. From the pictures, it looks like he may have completed the turn but landed short, perhaps even within the airport boundary - the only grassy area around. Probably better to crashland on grass than on streets packed with infamous South Florida rush-hour traffic near that airport. The life he risked in making that choice was his alone, and not those of innocents he may have taken if he had chosen any other option.

  5. he didn't land he lawn darted- nose down airspeed take a road fly it to the
    ground easy to arm chair it though r.i.p. captain

    1. "Take a road" 9th Street residential lines up with his departure. Give the neighborhood a chance at replicating the West Jordan Utah N7677C experience.,-80.2313167,3a,75y,84.78h,78.09t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1si7wnVTtpTJig2rKKx8SbVQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    2. I agree. 1140am , Or crash into a tree

  6. I'm a little disgusted seeing that cop taking pictures or video of the body which I'm sure he has no business doing. Just a total lack of respect.

    1. On the surface, it does seem callous and disrespectful, but documenting the accident with photos is absolutely essential, and legal, to the investigation. The problem is some investigators don't have the integrity to keep it private for internal use only, and post it on social media, not legal in most jurisdictions. For example, Kobe Bryant photos. Sad

  7. I feel so sad that I lost my friend in this crash. Steve was an amazing man and such a dynamite pilot. I truly miss him.


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