Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Midair Collision: Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros, N139UK and Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, N139PJ; accident occurred September 14, 2018 near Reno Stead Airport (KRTS), Washoe County, Nevada



   
Review of video that was captured by a witness revealed that race 37 appeared to be in a level attitude while nearing pylon 4, and race 13 appeared to be in a slight left bank, behind race 37. Shortly after, race 37 was observed initiating a left bank, while race 13 was rapidly approaching race 37 from behind. Just prior to the collision, race 13 was observed rolling out of the turn to an almost level attitude. 

Reality Czech, piloted by Nathan Harnagel of Friendswood, Texas.
September 14th, 2018.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

N139UK Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N139UK Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


https://registry.faa.gov/N139UK

Location: Reno, NV
Accident Number: WPR18LA267A
Date & Time: 09/14/2018, 1004 PDT
Registration: N139UK
Aircraft: Aero Vodochody L39
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show 

On September 14, 2018, about 1004 Pacific daylight time, a Aero Vodochody L39C, N139UK, operating as Race 13, and an Aero Vodochody L39, N139PJ, operating as Race 37 collided in midair about 3 miles north of the Reno Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The airline transport pilot of Race 13 and the airline transport pilot of Race 37 were not injured. Race 13 sustained minor damage to the left side of the fuselage and bottom of the left wing; race 37 sustained substantial damage to the right wing and empennage. Race 13 was registered to Black Rock Aero LLC and race 37 was registered to MPE Enterprises Corporation. Both airplanes were operated by the pilots as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 air race flights. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either airplane, which originated from RTS at 0950.

During an in person interview, the pilot of race 13 reported that he was observing the pilot of race 37 flying a tight line on the course and he was observing his line throughout the race, and announced on the race frequency that he was passing race 37 on the right. The pilot said that he had sight of race 37 at all times and that during the 5th lap, in an area of pylon 4, he thought the pilot of race 37 may have rolled right prior to the collision. Following the collision, the pilot of race 13 declared an emergency and landed uneventfully.

During an in person interview, the pilot of race 37 reported that during the 4th lap, while passing pylon 7, he recalled hearing the pilot of race 13 state that he was on his right. The pilot said that during the 5th lap, as he was passing pylon 4, it felt like a car crash and that he never saw race 13. Shortly after, he heard the pilot of race 13 declare a mayday and he decided to declare mayday as well, while noting sluggish control responsiveness. The pilot of race 37 was able to land uneventfully.

Review of video that was captured by a witness revealed that race 37 appeared to be in a level attitude while nearing pylon 4, and race 13 appeared to be in a slight left bank, behind race 37. Shortly after, race 37 was observed initiating a left bank, while race 13 was rapidly approaching race 37 from behind. Just prior to the collision, race 13 was observed rolling out of the turn to an almost level attitude.

Examination of Race 37 revealed that the outboard 24 inches of the right wing and right aileron were separated from the airplane. Additional damage to the bottom portion of the vertical stabilizer and the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer was observed. Examination of Race 13 revealed damage to two inspection panels and fairings on the forward left side of the fuselage. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Balloon; Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Glider; Helicopter; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/20/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  4137 hours (Total, all aircraft), 50 hours (Total, this make and model), 3835 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 51 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aero Vodochody
Registration: N139UK
Model/Series: L39 C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1982
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 031822
Landing Gear Type: Retractable -
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10028 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Turbo Fan
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Ivencheko
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: AI-25-TL
Registered Owner: Black Rock Aero LLC
Rated Power: 3792 lbs
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRTS, 5053 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1715 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 189°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 100°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Reno, NV (RTS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Reno, NV (RTS)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0950 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: RENO/STEAD (RTS)
Runway Surface Type:N/A 
Airport Elevation: 5050 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.713889, -119.866389 (est)


Race 37, piloted by Alexandre Eckmann of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
September 14th, 2018.


N139PJ Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N139PJ Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

https://registry.faa.gov/N139PJ

Location: Reno, NV
Accident Number: WPR18LA267B
Date & Time: 09/14/2018, 1004 PDT
Registration: N139PJ
Aircraft: Aero Vodochody L 39
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show 

On September 14, 2018, about 1004 Pacific daylight time, a Aero Vodochody L39C, N139UK, operating as Race 13, and an Aero Vodochody L39, N139PJ, operating as Race 37 collided in midair about 3 miles north of the Reno Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The airline transport pilot of Race 13 and the airline transport pilot of Race 37 were not injured. Race 13 sustained minor damage to the left side of the fuselage and bottom of the left wing; race 37 sustained substantial damage to the right wing and empennage. Race 13 was registered to Black Rock Aero LLC and race 37 was registered to MPE Enterprises Corporation. Both airplanes were operated by the pilots as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 air race flights. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for either airplane, which originated from RTS at 0950.

During an in person interview, the pilot of race 13 reported that he was observing the pilot of race 37 flying a tight line on the course and he was observing his line throughout the race, and announced on the race frequency that he was passing race 37 on the right. The pilot said that he had sight of race 37 at all times and that during the 5th lap, in an area of pylon 4, he thought the pilot of race 37 may have rolled right prior to the collision. Following the collision, the pilot of race 13 declared an emergency and landed uneventfully.

During an in person interview, the pilot of race 37 reported that during the 4th lap, while passing pylon 7, he recalled hearing the pilot of race 13 state that he was on his right. The pilot said that during the 5th lap, as he was passing pylon 4, it felt like a car crash and that he never saw race 13. Shortly after, he heard the pilot of race 13 declare a mayday and he decided to declare mayday as well, while noting sluggish control responsiveness. The pilot of race 37 was able to land uneventfully.

Review of video that was captured by a witness revealed that race 37 appeared to be in a level attitude while nearing pylon 4, and race 13 appeared to be in a slight left bank, behind race 37. Shortly after, race 37 was observed initiating a left bank, while race 13 was rapidly approaching race 37 from behind. Just prior to the collision, race 13 was observed rolling out of the turn to an almost level attitude.

Examination of Race 37 revealed that the outboard 24 inches of the right wing and right aileron were separated from the airplane. Additional damage to the bottom portion of the vertical stabilizer and the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer was observed. Examination of Race 13 revealed damage to two inspection panels and fairings on the forward left side of the fuselage.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 44, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/27/2018
Occupational Pilot:Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/18/2018
Flight Time:  6100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 70 hours (Total, this make and model), 4000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 24 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aero Vodochody
Registration: N139PJ
Model/Series: L 39
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1982
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 232226
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/02/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  Turbo Fan
Airframe Total Time: 2296.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Ivchenko
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: AL25TL
Registered Owner: MPE ENTERPRISES CORP
Rated Power: 3800 lbs
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRTS, 5053 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1715 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 189°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 100°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Reno, NV (RTS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:None 
Destination: Reno, NV (RTS)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0950 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: RENO/STEAD (RTS)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 5050 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.713889, -119.866389 (est)

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N734FT; accident occurred September 15, 2018 at St. Johns Industrial Air Park (KSJN), Apache County, Arizona



The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

https://registry.faa.gov/N734FT

Location: St. Johns, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18LA262
Date & Time: 09/15/2018, 1540 MST
Registration: N734FT
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 3 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 15, 2018, about 1540 mountain standard time, Cessna 172N airplane, N734FT was substantially damaged shortly after takeoff from St Johns Industrial Airpark (SJN), St Johns, Arizona. The commercial pilot, pilot rated passenger and one passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to R2D2 LLC and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident, with a reported destination as Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR), Goodyear, Arizona.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, left seat pilot-in-command reported that he initially attempted takeoff from runway 21, but when he noticed that the airplane was not accelerating [fast enough] he elected to abort the takeoff. He then decided to take off from runway 14, which had a longer runway. The pilot stated that after he took off from runway 14, the airplane ascended to about 100 ft above ground level, but then observed that the airplane was not continuing to climb. At this time the right-seat occupant, who was a rated pilot and owner of the airplane, advised the pilot to turn left, as the terrain was lower in that direction. The pilot opined that the airplane then began to sink before the airplane collided with a stand of trees in his flight path. The pilot mentioned that there were no mechanical anomalies with either the airframe or the engine which would have precluded normal operation. The pilot reported that the airplane's weight at the time of the takeoff was 50 pounds less than its maximum gross takeoff weight.

In a postaccident telephone interview with the pilot-rated owner of the airplane, he reported that during the initial climb from runway 14, and at a low altitude, the stall warning horn sounded. At this time the left seat pilot-in-command said to the right seat pilot/owner, "You better take it," which was almost immediately followed by the airplane colliding with a stand of cottonwood trees. The airplane subsequently came to rest inverted with substantial damage to both wings, the forward fuselage, and empennage. The owner stated that they had just "topped off" both fuel tanks prior to departing. The owner also stated that he thought the accident was the result of the high density altitude condition.

At 1554, the automated weather observation system located at SJN reported wind from 180° at 5 knots, sky clear, visibility 10 miles, temperature 31°C, dew point 3°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury. The SJN airport elevation is 5,737 ft. The calculated density altitude was about 8,600 ft at the time of the accident.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Koch Chart, considering the surrounding temperature and field elevation, the airplane would have likely experienced a 68% decrease in the normal climb rate. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s):  Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Airship; Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):  Airplane; Helicopter
Second Pilot Present:  Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:  No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/17/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/26/2017
Flight Time:  440 hours (Total, all aircraft), 59 hours (Total, this make and model), 332 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Co-Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age:  64, Male
Airplane Rating(s):  Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):  None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:  Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/12/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/08/2017
Flight Time:   547 hours (Total, all aircraft), 480 hours (Total, this make and model), 547 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N734FT
Model/Series: 172 N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 17268826
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  12/01/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:  20 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:  Lycoming
ELT:  C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: R2D2 LLC
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator:  On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SJN, 5737 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1554 MST
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:180° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: St. Johns, AZ (SJN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Goodyear, AZ (GYR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1540 MST
Type of Airspace: Class E  Airport Information
Airport: St Johns Industrial Airport (SJN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5737 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 14
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5322 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.513611, -109.370278

Loss of Control on Ground: Sopwith Baby, N41LR; accident occurred May 19, 2020 at Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (KLXT), Jackson County, Missouri

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


https://registry.faa.gov/N41LR


Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Accident Number: CEN20CA184
Date & Time: 05/19/2020, 1645 CDT
Registration:N41LR 
Aircraft: Rhoads, Larry E Sopwith Baby
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test 

The pilot departed on the airplane's initial test flight in a tailwheel-equipped biplane. At the speed when the tailwheel lifted from the runway, the airplane began an uncommanded left roll. The pilot attempted to arrest the roll moment but was unsuccessful. He aborted the takeoff but lost control of the airplane as the settled down in a crab resulted in the airplane exited the side of the runway, the failure of the left landing gear, and subsequent nose over of the airplane. Substantial damage was sustained to the lower left wing.

The airplane builder conducted a post-accident examination and reported that the right wing had a different "angle-of-attack" then the other wings, due to a construction error. This difference likely resulted in the uncommanded left roll during takeoff. This rolling tendency was not detected during the previous four high-speed taxi tests.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 72, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/15/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/12/2020
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2186 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0.1 hours (Total, this make and model), 1345 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rhoads, Larry E
Registration: N41LR
Model/Series: Sopwith Baby
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 001
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/31/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotec
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 3600
Registered Owner: Emerald Hills Farm LLC
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLXT, 997 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 83°
Lowest Cloud Condition:Clear 
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None /
Wind Direction: 10°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lee's Summit, MO (LXT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lee's Summit, MO (LXT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1645 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: LEE'S SUMMIT MUNI (LXT)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 1004 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 36
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5501 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 38.959722, -94.373889 (est)

Cessna 501 Citation ISP, N501KM: Accident occurred May 19, 2020 at William P Hobby Airport (KHOU), Houston, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 


https://registry.faa.gov/N501KM


Location: Houston, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA185
Date & Time: 05/19/2020, 1930 CDT
Registration: N501KM
Aircraft: Cessna 501
Injuries:1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 19, 2020, about 1930 central daylight time, a Cessna 501, N501KM, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in and accident near Houston, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

After a normal instrument flight rules (IFR), 2-hour flight from Gainesville, Florida (GNV), the pilot was setting up to land at his final destination (HOU). The pilot reported that during his final approach to runway 13 at HOU, he lowered the landing gear and received 2 of 3 green lights on his landing gear position indicators. The left main landing gear light was not illuminated and a warning horn sounded. The pilot recycled the landing gear with the same result. He reported the situation to HOU tower and asked if they could visually see whether all three landing gear were down. The pilot stated that the HOU tower affirmed that all three landing gear were down. The pilot also stated that a commercial airliner that was taxiing toward the main terminal radioed that they observed all three landing gear were down.

The pilot reported that according to the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), he initiated an aggressive bank right, followed abruptly by a bank left in an attempt to generate sufficient lateral G-force on the landing gear. The HOU tower asked the pilot his intentions, and the pilot informed them that he would proceed to land. Upon touchdown on runway 13R, the left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane veered left and came to a stop in a grassy area adjacent to runway 13R and Taxiway Lima, resulting in structural damage to the left wing tip and underbelly of the airplane. The pilot exited the airplane and airport emergency services responded. Recovery personnel manually lifted and locked the left main landing gear down, and the airplane was towed to a hangar facility. The pilot reported that his decision to land was made because the left main landing gear indicator light had malfunctioned in years past, and it was found that the light had malfunctioned, and not the landing gear.

Under the supervision of an FAA airworthiness inspector, the landing gear was examined at a certified manufacturer repair facility at HOU. The landing gear was cycled about 30-times with various hydraulic pressures, and the left main landing gear actuator did not lock in the full down position. The only way to attain a locked left main landing gear was to manually push the gear outward to the down and locked position. When the landing gear was pushed into the locked position, the left main landing gear down indicator light illuminated green, and it appeared that the internal locking mechanism of left main landing gear actuator was not functioning. According to the repair facility, the actuator was a component that is replaced at interval (37,000 cycles) or as needed. The FAA inspector reported that the airplane's logbooks did not show any recent entries concerning anomalies with the left main landing gear.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N501KM
Model/Series: 501 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HOU, 46 ft msl
Observation Time: 1932 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 200°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.76 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Gainesville, FL (GNV)
Destination: Houston, TX (HOU)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.645833, -95.276944