Sunday, April 11, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-20 Pacer, N1598A; accident occurred April 26, 2020 at Meadow Lake Airport (KFLY), Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Accident Number: CEN20CA161
Date & Time: 04/26/2020, 0845 MDT
Registration: N1598A
Aircraft: Piper PA 20
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 


The flight instructor reported that, while demonstrating a three-point, full-stall landing with a 4-knot right-quartering crosswind, the airplane bounced slightly but that it "seemed minor and controllable." The airplane touched down again, and he pulled the yoke further aft, which resulted in another small bounce. Once the airplane was on the runway, he pulled the yoke full aft, and the airplane immediately veered right off the runway. The instructor attempted to correct by applying full left rudder to no avail. The left wingtip and nose struck the ground, and the airplane came to rest upright. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and aileron. A Federal Aviation Administer inspector and the pilot examined the airplane and found no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 flight instructor's improper landing flare, which resulted in a bounced landing, and his subsequent loss of directional control.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Instructor/check pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Other weather encounter
Landing Abnormal runway contact
Landing Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing Runway excursion
Landing Attempted remediation/recovery

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/15/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/22/2019
Flight Time:  3658 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 3297 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 109 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N1598A
Model/Series: PA 20 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1952
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 20-836
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/06/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1799 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2381.4 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-290
Registered Owner: Dodd Wesley D
Rated Power: 125 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: FLY, 6877 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0845 MDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Colorado Springs, CO (FLY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Colorado Springs, CO (FLY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0820 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Meadow Lake (FLY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6877 ft
Runway Surface Condition:  Dry
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 6000 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 38.864444, -104.768611 (est)

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