Sunday, February 28, 2021

Collision During Takeoff/Landing: Quad City Challenger II, N6138Z; accident occurred March 22, 2020 in Lettsworth, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Factual 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; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lettsworth, LA 
Accident Number: CEN20LA131
Date & Time: 03/22/2020, 1630 CDT
Registration: N6138Z
Aircraft: BOWER Challenger II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Factual Information 

On March 22, 2020, about 1630 central daylight time, amateur-built Bower Challenger II airplane, N6138Z, was substantially damaged when it collided with a tree and impacted the ground near Lettsworth, Louisiana. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that he purchased the airplane about 1-1/2 weeks before the accident flight. This was his first flight. He had no previous flight time, nor had he received any flight instruction. He noted some familiarization with flying obtained from the internet. He had planned only to taxi; however, a wind gust caused the airplane to become airborne, and he ultimately flew for about 25 minutes "to get the hang of things." He attempted to land several times but was unable because of the turbulence. After another landing attempt, he again decided to go-around due to the turbulence. He thought the airplane had cleared trees near the flight path; however, the airplane was momentarily overcome by the continuing turbulence which resulted in it striking a tree. He stated there were no issues with the airplane; it was "performing flawlessly."

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 36, 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: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  0 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BOWER
Registration: N6138Z
Model/Series: Challenger II
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1999
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: CH2-0997-R-1657
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 960 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
Engine Model/Series: 503 DCDI
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 50 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: HZR, 39 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1637 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 129°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 170°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lettsworth, LA (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lettsworth, LA (PVT)
Type of Clearance:None 
Departure Time: 1600 CDT
Type of Airspace:Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: Private (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 39 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 30.938333, -91.793056


  1. Wow. Everything. The wreckage, the spelling, the names. Can't believe anyone survived that.

  2. He gave it the ol' college try in spite of a third grade education.

  3. ya' just can't make this stuff up even if you tried!

  4. Winner of the Wrong Brother's award!

  5. Learned how to "fly" based on information on the internet. No mention if he had Microsoft Flight Simulator (current or previous versions). Didn't know about checking weather, didn't know about needing an LSA license for this aircraft. It weighs more than the max empty 253 pound requirement of a non-licensed UL and is much faster than a UL's max rated speed of 55kts. As Bugs Bunny used to say, what a Maroon. Hope he didn't (and doesn't) breed. Our stupid people stadium in the US is filled to max capacity.

  6. Passion is obvious....but patience and training are a requisite or "serious injuries" will follow.

  7. All avoidable. You wish to fly,get the proper training

  8. In Cajun French, you call someone a Couyon, when they are a really dumb, stupid person. They should substitute Couyon in the narrative above everywhere the word pilot is used. The French spelling of the word is Couillion and in French I can't put what that means in a post here, but look it up on the internet. Perfect description.

  9. When looking at the two narratives of the accident it appears that they were both written by the same person. Perhaps one is the transcript of a dictation.

  10. He learnt how to fly on an episode of ROADRUNNER by watching Coyote getting his training from ACME school for Dummies.

  11. Now he knows that taking off is easy. Landing actually takes skill.

  12. The Pilot Information is wrong. He actually had .4125 hours logged and not 0.

  13. Think he knows about aircraft insurance ?