Sunday, March 07, 2021

Nose Over: CubCrafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub SS, N78BK; accident occurred March 07, 2020 in Mack, Mesa County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Mack, Colorado 
Accident Number: CEN20CA116
Date & Time: March 7, 2020, 11:00 Local
Registration: N78BK
Aircraft: Cub Crafters CC11-160 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Nose over/nose down
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


According to the pilot, he was conducting an off-airport landing to a river sandbar when he noticed wires in his approach path. He pushed forward on the stick to lower the nose and avoid the wires; however, the airplane touched down in the river just short of the sand bar and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing strut. The pilot reported that the accident could have been avoided if he had reconnoitered the area for obstacles before beginning the approach. The pilot added 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 reconnoiter the approach area in preparation for an off-airport landing on a sandbar, which necessitated an evasive maneuver to avoid wires and resulted in an unintentional landing in the river short of the sandbar and a subsequent nose-over.


Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Pilot
Personnel issues Flight planning/navigation - Pilot
Environmental issues Soft surface - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach Abrupt maneuver
Landing Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Nose over/nose down (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 36,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 21, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 24, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 3113 hours (Total, all aircraft), 72 hours (Total, this make and model), 3046 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 73 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cub Crafters 
Registration: N78BK
Model/Series: CC11-160 100
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental light sport (Special)
Serial Number: CC11-00222
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 13, 2019
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 305 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CUB CRAFTERS
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: CC340
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: KGJT, 4839 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 112°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 130° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Moab, UT (UT97) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Mack, CO
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 07:15 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.264999,-108.950279(est)


  1. And that, folks, is why my Cub insurance keeps going up. Learn to play before you make others pay for your mistakes.

    1. We all pay for these kinds of unnecessary mistakes even if not being a Cub owner.

  2. Just buzzing along the river like those youtube videos.
    Got hoisted out by chopper:

    Photo of wire and associated shore side poles/small building: