Sunday, February 21, 2021

Collision with Object (Non-Controlled Flight into Terrain): American Champion 8GCBC Scout, N133PJ; accident occurred August 19, 2020 at Three Rivers Municipal Dr. Haines Airport (KHAI), St. Joseph County, Michigan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

American Liquid Concentration Operations LLC

Location: Three Rivers, Michigan 
Accident Number: CEN20CA358
Date & Time: August 18, 2020, 22:00 Local
Registration: N133PJ
Aircraft: Champion 8GCBC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he was in a hurry after landing and exited the runway early (before the taxiway). He stated that he was not paying attention and the airplane collided with a taxiway sign. The airplane nosed over, substantially damaging the vertical stabilizer and rudder. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane 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 pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a taxiway sign after landing.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Sign/marker - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi Miscellaneous/other
Taxi-from runway Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)
Taxi Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 30, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 867 hours (Total, all aircraft), 47 hours (Total, this make and model), 829 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion 
Registration: N133PJ
Model/Series: 8GCBC No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 486-2006
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HAI
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 08:15 Local 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Mendon, MI 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Three Rivers, MI (HAI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Three Rivers Muni Dr Haines HAI
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 822 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used:
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Unknown

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: 41.958889,-85.592224(est)

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