Friday, January 01, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Glasair II, N238SH; accident occurred January 26, 2020 at Majors Airport (KGVT), Greenville, Hunt County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Greenville, Texas
Accident Number: CEN20CA067
Date & Time: January 26, 2020, 16:40 Local
Registration: N238SH
Aircraft: GLASAIR 1 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The flight was the pilot's initial flight in the airplane make and model. The pilot reported that, during the landing, he had no forward visibility. About 10 ft above the runway, he was unable to arrest the descent rate even with the control stick full aft. The airplane touched down hard, and the pilot added power for a go-around. He felt the airplane accelerate and attempted to maintain the airplane in a level attitude; however, the airplane began an uncommanded left roll. The pilot could not regain control of the airplane and reduced power to idle before the airplane touched down again, this time off the edge of the runway. The main landing gear dug into the soft ground, and the airplane spun around backward. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Before the flight, the pilot adjusted the linkage of the elevator to match design specifications. During the flight, he tested the stall characteristics of the airplane. Each time, the airplane stalled about 40 knots. The pilot reported that, at the time of the accident, the airplane was flying about 60 knots.

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 a proper descent rate, which resulted in a hard landing, and his subsequent loss of airplane control during an attempted go-around.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Descent rate - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Lateral/bank control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Soft surface - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Miscellaneous/other
Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Attempted remediation/recovery
Approach-VFR go-around Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Runway excursion
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 15, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: October 15, 2019
Flight Time: 230 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: GLASAIR 
Registration: N238SH
Model/Series: 1 TD
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 238
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 24, 2019 Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 500 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: ECI
ELT: Installed 
Engine Model/Series: OX-360
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: KGVT,535 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:30 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 169°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2200 ftAGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 350°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dallas, TX (ADS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Greenville, TX (GVT)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 16:20 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 534 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35 IFR 
Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8030 ft / 150 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 33.069168,-96.065277(est)

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