Sunday, December 27, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Ercoupe 415-C, N87173; accident occurred November 03, 2019 at The Flying Few Airport (66SC), Greer, South Carolina

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Old Time Aero LLC

Location: Greer, South Carolina
Accident Number: GAA20CA059
Date & Time: November 3, 2019, 17:43 Local
Registration: N87173
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while on final approach to land on a grass runway, he was suddenly unable to see the runway clearly, which caused him to flare the airplane late. The airplane bounced and drifted left. The left landing gear touched down in tall vegetation, and the airplane veered left and impacted a fence. The pilot further reported that he was unsure what caused his inability to see the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing, loss of directional control, and impact with a fence.


Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Abnormal runway contact
Landing Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing Runway excursion
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 62,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: Sport pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 8, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 124.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 101.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 33.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2.7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Ercoupe 
Registration: N87173
Model/Series: 415 C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 346
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 17, 2019 100 hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2062.8 Hrs 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C-85
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 85 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGSP,971 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 22:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 157°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Athens, GA (AHN) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Greer, SC (PVT) 
Type of Clearance: VFR; Traffic advisory
Departure Time: 16:17 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: The Flying Few PVT 
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1000 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 28 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1700 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 35.034168,-82.298889(est)

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