Sunday, March 28, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Champion Aeronca 7FC Tri-Traveler, N3JZ; accident occurred April 02, 2020 at Albert J. Lindberg Airport (5Y1), Mackinac 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:

Location: Hessel, MI
Accident Number: CEN20CA138
Date & Time: 04/02/2020, 1830 EDT
Registration: N3JZ
Aircraft: Champion AERONCA 7FC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot of a tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that he attempted a three-point, full-stall landing with a right-quartering headwind of about 10 to 15 knots. During the landing roll, the airplane encountered an unanticipated wind gust that raised the right wing and turned the airplane about 30° to the right. The pilot attempted to correct, but the airplane exited the right side of the runway and impacted a snowbank. The airplane then decelerated rapidly and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and wing strut. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 loss of directional control during landing in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a runway excursion and impact with a snowbank.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Snow/ice - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Other weather encounter
Landing Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing Runway excursion
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Landing Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
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: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/07/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/14/2019
Flight Time:  122 hours (Total, all aircraft), 51 hours (Total, this make and model), 72 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion
Registration: N3JZ
Model/Series: AERONCA 7FC No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1958
Amateur Built: No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 7FC-212
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/07/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2560 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200-A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 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:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hessel, MI (5Y1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hessel, MI (5Y1)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1825 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Albert J Lindberg (5Y1)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 760 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3700 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

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: 46.035556, -84.417778 (est)

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