Saturday, December 12, 2020

Aircraft Structural Failure: Van's RV-8, N44LA; Accident occurred June 08, 2020 at Southland Field Airport (KUXL), Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Sulphur, Louisiana
Accident Number: CEN20CA220
Date & Time: June 8, 2020, 11:00 Local
Registration: N44LA
Aircraft: Vans RV8
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aircraft structural failure 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport 
Age: 76,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Unmanned (sUAS) 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: September 1, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 7650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 9898 hours (Total, this make and model), 7178 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 48 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans 
Registration: N44LA
Model/Series: RV8
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 82421
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 30, 2019
Condition Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 83 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 634 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Aero Sport Power
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O360-A1A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 180 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: 
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 250° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Leesville, LA (L39)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: Sulphur, LA (UXL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Southland Field UXL 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 10 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:5001 ft / 75 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A Aircraft
Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 30.133888,-93.377777(est)


  1. The report has no narrative text and the bracket circled is tapered, narrower length and includes a center fastener hole, none of which matches the wider, straight sided bracket that fractured.

    Was the failure overload, corrosion, or material defect? Have to wait and see.

  2. Looks a combination of 4 things.

    1)Not big enough radius (fillet) in the inside corner of the bracket, creating a stress riser

    2)Too much clearance between the bracket and the end of the landing gear leg allowing a hammering effect on each landing , pivoting around the outboard bracket. In the drawing photo it appears the bracket has a tapper to fit the end of the gear legs tapper. And no mounting hole in the center (as previously mentioned)

    3) I do not think that is 4130, it appears to be too corroded and pitted.

    4) The mounting bolt probably was lost earlier leaving only the ear of the barcket to absorb the torque.


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