Saturday, December 26, 2020

Loss of control on ground: Pitts S-1C Special, C-GMEE; accident occurred November 03, 2019 at Monument Valley Airport (UT25), San Juan County, Utah

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Monument Valley, Utah
Accident Number: GAA20CA056
Date & Time: November 3, 2019, 11:45 Local
Registration: C-GMEE
Aircraft: Pitts S1 
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 conducting a three-point landing, the biplane's lower right wing struck vegetation along the edge of the runway. The biplane then veered right off the runway. She decided to abort the landing and added power to go around, but the biplane ground looped to the left, and both lower wings struck the ground. The biplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both lower wings. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the biplane 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 directional control during landing after a wing struck vegetation, which resulted in a runway excursion and subsequent ground-loop.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 28, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land; Multiengine sea
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations Last FAA Medical Exam: August 30, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 1, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1700 hours (Total, all aircraft), 350 hours (Total, this make and model), 1500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 150 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Pitts
Registration: C-GMEE
Model/Series: S1 C 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1980 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic 
Serial Number: 7-0199
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 13, 2019 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 920 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: AEIO-360-B4A
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: KBDG,5865 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 48 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 45°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Page, AZ (PGA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Monument Valley, UT (UT25)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 11:20 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Monument Valley UT25
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5192 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough; Vegetation
Runway Used: 16 IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4000 ft / 75 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: 37.016666,-110.200553(est)

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