Friday, March 12, 2021

Low Altitude Operation/Event: American Legend AL18, N23TN; accident occurred March 10, 2020 in Social Circle, Georgia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Social Circle, GA
Accident Number: ERA20CA131
Date & Time: 03/10/2020, 1645 EDT
Registration: N23TN
Aircraft: American Legend Aircraft AL18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the pilot, he was conducting a low pass through an abandoned power line easement on a small lake peninsula. He was flying directly into the wind, and as the airplane approached hilly terrain, the wind changed. The airplane then encountered turbulence and impacted terrain. The airplane subsequently bounced, and the pilot applied "heavy braking",  the airplane then nosed over and came to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to the right-wing strut and rudder. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures 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 airplane control while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in the collision with terrain.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying Other weather encounter
Maneuvering-low-alt flying Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)
Other Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s):
Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/03/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/21/2019
Flight Time:  4553 hours (Total, all aircraft), 158 hours (Total, this make and model), 4125 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 62 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2.1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: American Legend Aircraft
Registration: N23TN
Model/Series: AL18
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: AL-1206
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/01/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 101 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: YO-233-B2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 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: D73, 867 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1635 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 339°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Terrain-Induced
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.27 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Monroe, GA (1GA9)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Monroe, GA (1GA9)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1600 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 33.685833, -83.648333 (est)


  1. "Wonder if I can get this sucker tween them trees"...?

  2. Should have read; I was attempting to land on an abandoned utility easement and once I realized I didn't have enough room to stop it was too late, I nosed over due to heavy braking.