Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Abnormal Runway Contact: Manta 503, N980WC; accident occurred July 09, 2020 at Ramona Airport (KRNM), San Diego County, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  San Diego, California

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ramona, CA
Accident Number: WPR20CA255
Date & Time: 07/09/2020, 1100 PDT
Registration: N980WC
Aircraft: Air Creation/Sides Rick A MANTA 503
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal Runway Contact
Injuries:1 Minor 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The solo student pilot of a weight shift control aircraft reported that, while on final approach to land, turbulence increased with a moderate crosswind. The student pilot increased the approach speed to compensate for the turbulence. On touch down the aircraft bounced about 3 ft and he attempted to compensate for the turbulence and crosswind and forced the aircraft down. The aircraft was not aligned with the runway heading on the second touch down and the nose wheel dug in. The aircraft subsequently nosed over.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage to the wing.

The student pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine 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 solo student pilot's improper landing flare, which resulted in a bounced landing and subsequent nose over.


Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach Turbulence encounter
Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-flare/touchdown Nose over/nose down

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age:58, Male 
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front 
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):None 
Second Pilot Present: No 
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: No 
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 278 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12 hours (Total, this make and model), 180 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Air Creation/Sides Rick A
Registration: N980WC
Model/Series: MANTA 503 No Series
Aircraft Category: Weight-Shift
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: M503-08-002
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 344 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 503DCSI
Registered Owner:On file 
Rated Power: 65 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: KRNM, 1393 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1816 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 207°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 300°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Hemet, CA (HMT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Ramona, CA (KRNM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1015 PDT
Type of Airspace:Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: Ramona (KRNM)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1386 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5001 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.039167, -116.915278 (est)

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