Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Flight Design CTLS, N521CT: Accident occurred May 17, 2021 near Batten International Airport (KRAC), Racine County, Wisconsin

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2825 Golf LLC

Location: Racine, WI
Accident Number: CEN21LA222
Date & Time: May 17, 2021, 20:00 Local
Registration: N521CT
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On May 17, 2021, at 2000 central daylight time, a Flight Design GMBH CLTS, N521CT, was involved in an accident near Racine, Wisconsin. The airplane was destroyed. The student pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was operated by Racine Sport Flyers under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a Part 91 instructional flight.

The student pilot stated that she departed from Batten International Airport (RAC), Racine, Wisconsin, at 1741, enroute to Burlington Municipal Airport (BUU), Burlington, Wisconsin, for a student solo cross-country flight. The flight to BUU was uneventful until the pilot reduced engine power in the BUU airport traffic pattern and encountered a severe engine vibration. The student pilot continued the approach and then performed a go-around due to a coyote on the runway. The student pilot returned to RAC and attempted three landings on runway 14 but initiated go-arounds due to the vibration that occurred when engine throttle was reduced and due to an excessive airspeed. The student pilot stated that during the fourth landing attempt, the airplane touched down with too much energy and bounced several times on the runway 14. The student pilot then aborted the landing and attempted a climb by adding full engine power, but the airspeed decreased. The student pilot then headed toward a field to land the airplane, but it hit trees, a powerline, and a house.

The airplane was destroyed by impact forces that resulted in numerous fractures through the composite fuselage, damage to the wings, and damage to the empennage. 

Postaccident examination revealed a throttle cable leading to one of the two engine carburetors had fractured through. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N521CT
Model/Series: CTLS 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRAC,674 ft msl 
Observation Time: 19:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C /11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Wind
Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Burlington, WI (BUU)
Destination: Racine, WI

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 42.753705,-87.804785 

RACINE — The pilot of a single-engine plane survived after crashing into a building near Batten International Airport, 3239 N. Green Bay Road, at about 8 p.m. Monday, the Racine Fire Department reported.

Few details have been released, but Racine Fire Battalion Chief Alex Felde told The Journal Times that:

Only one person was in the plane; he suffered a "minor injury" and was taken to the hospital but is expected to be OK.

A small fuel leak was "secured" by first responders.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, and representatives from both  agencies are expected to be at the scene of the crash Tuesday morning.

Photos posted on social media show that the plane crashed into an industrial/warehouse building at 1901 William St., which is less than 2,000 feet southeast of one of Batten's runways. That building previously housed Ad-Tech Medical Instrument, a manufacturer that has since moved its operations to Oak Creek. The photos show the plane upside down and in pieces near the building's entrance.

Felde said he doesn't think the Racine Fire Department has responded to a plane crash in at at least 15 years.

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