Saturday, December 12, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Van's RV-3, N24DE; Accident occurred April 23, 2020 at Independence Municipal Airport (KIIB), Buchanan County, Iowa

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Independence, Iowa 
Accident Number: CEN20CA155
Date & Time: April 23, 2020, 09:25 Local 
Registration: N24DE
Aircraft: Vans RV 3 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot practiced taxiing the airplane for about 1/2 hour before he attempted a takeoff and landing. After landing, he decided to practice a runway "speed up and down" to become more comfortable with engine settings. During the first "runup," he applied "very light throttle input," but the engine power increased "very fast." The airplane suddenly turned left, and the left wing dropped close to the ground with the airplane between about 35 and 40 mph. The pilot applied right rudder and changed the engine power but was unable to gain control of the airplane. The airplane veered left off the runway, went up an incline, struck the airport perimeter fence, and impacted terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. A quartering tailwind prevailed at the time of the accident.

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 a high-speed taxi with a quartering tailwind, which resulted in a runway excursion and impact with a fence and terrain. 


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Tailwind - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Effect on operation
Personnel issues Total experience w/ equipment - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Takeoff Attempted remediation/recovery
Takeoff Runway excursion
Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 54,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 20, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 16, 2019
Flight Time: 1057 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3 hours (Total, this make and model), 1032 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans 
Registration: N24DE
Model/Series: RV 3 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special) 
Serial Number: 1
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 19, 2019 Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1180 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 386 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
Engine Model/Series: O-290-D-2
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 135 Horsepower
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: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 09:15 Local 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 800 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 100°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.68 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Independence, IA (IIB) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Independence, IA (IIB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 09:25 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Independence Municipal Airport IIB 
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 979 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 36 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5500 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 42.456943,-91.947776(est)

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