Sunday, July 25, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Van's RV-8, N51LV; accident occurred May 12, 2021 at Colorado Air and Space Port Airport (KCFO), Adams County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Hartley Flying Service Inc

Location: Watkins, Colorado
Accident Number: CEN21LA227
Date & Time: May 12, 2021, 12:41 Local 
Registration: N51LV
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that on his third landing in his recently purchased tailwheel-equipped airplane and while decelerating through 40 knots, the airplane veered to the right and proceeded toward the edge of the runway. The pilot applied left brake to regain control and both brakes when he realized the airplane would depart the right side of the runway. The airplane departed the runway surface, the main wheels contacted the soft terrain, and the airplane tipped forward onto the nose and left wingtip. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 control of the airplane during landing.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion
Landing-landing roll Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial
Age: 57,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 12, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 16, 2020
Flight Time: 7320 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7 hours (Total, this make and model), 2816 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: VARNER DAVID L
Registration: N51LV
Model/Series: VANS RV-8 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 81871
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 6, 2021 Condition 
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 299.9 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Aerosport
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-B1B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:50 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 23.9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Watkins, CO 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Watkins, CO
Type of Clearance: VFR;VFR flight following
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5515 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08/26 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8002 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude:  39.775485,-104.59433(est)

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