Sunday, May 23, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Pietenpol Air Camper, N9863Z; accident occurred May 23, 2020 at Jack Barstow Airport (KIKW), Midland 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: Midland, MI
Accident Number: CEN20CA191
Date & Time: 05/23/2020, 1749 EDT
Registration: N9863Z
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that the airplane "bounced twice" as he was attempting to land on the asphalt runway. He decided to execute a go-around and applied full engine power. However, the airplane "did not lift out of ground effect" and a wheel "caught the grass" causing a ground loop. The pilot noted that the accident might have been prevented by leveling off to allow the airspeed to increase before attempting to climb. He reported a variable wind at 10 knots with gusts to 15 knots. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and left wing.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of control during an aborted landing.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing
Landing-aborted after touchdown Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-aborted after touchdown Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
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: 08/23/2018
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/30/2018
Flight Time: 500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 152 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIETENPOL
Registration: N9863Z
Model/Series: AIRCAMPER
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: Yes 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: JW4352
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/31/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 152 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: A-65
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 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: IKW, 635 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1755 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: 
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Midland, MI (IKW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Midland, MI (IKW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1702 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Jack Barstow (IKW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 635 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 06
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3801 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Go Around

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.663056, -84.261389 (est)

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