Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: Comp Air 6, N12LF; accident occurred July 14, 2020 at Central Jersey Regional Airport (47N), Manville, Somerset County, New Jersey

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Manville, New Jersey 
Accident Number: ERA20CA252
Date & Time: July 14, 2020, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N12LF
Aircraft: FURLONG CA-6 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The private pilot had just flown his tailwheel equipped airplane into the airport to purchase fuel, where the flight was uneventful. After purchasing fuel, the pilot performed another flight control check and initiated the takeoff. During the takeoff roll, as the tail came off the ground, the airplane began to pull to the left. The pilot continued with the takeoff but as the airplane climbed to about 40 ft above the ground, it continued to pull left despite right rudder and aileron input. The pilot was unable to stop the turn and attempted to land the airplane. The airplane struck a chain link fence adjacent to airport property and flipped over resulting in
substantial damage to both wings, right horizontal stabilizer and elevator, vertical stabilizer and rudder. A post-accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintenance inspector confirmed flight control continuity between the cockpit controls and all primary flight controls, including the rudder. Further inspection revealed that the right rudder pedals were displaced full right; however, impact damage of the rudder precluded the ability to conclusively verify proper system operation. The pilot reported that he had no previous operational or mechanical issues with the rudder prior to the accident.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of directional control on takeoff for undetermined reasons.


Aircraft Heading/course - Attain/maintain not possible
Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Ability to respond/compensate

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 22, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 19, 2019
Flight Time: 455 hours (Total, all aircraft), 48.4 hours (Total, this make and model), 8.5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: FURLONG 
Registration: N12LF
Model/Series: CA-6 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility; Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 001
Landing Gear Type: 
Tailwheel Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 15, 2020 
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2490 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-CIA
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 260 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: LDJ,22 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:35 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
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: 320° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Manville, NJ (47N) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Erwinna, PA (9N1) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 17:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Central Jersey Rgnl 47N 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 85 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: 25 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3507 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced 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: 40.524444,-74.598335(est)

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