Tuesday, August 24, 2021

LiteFlite Dragonfly, N799HG: Accident occurred July 31, 2021 at Randall Airport (06N), Middletown, Orange County, New York

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; Teterboro, New Jersey

Location: Middletown, NY
Accident Number: ERA21LA310
Date & Time: July 31, 2021, 09:53 Local
Registration: N799HG
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Glider tow

On July 31, 2021, about 0953 eastern daylight time, a Liteflite Dragonfly Model C airplane, N799HG, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Middletown, New York. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 glider tow flight.

According to the tow pilot, the first flight of the day to check for convective activity at Randall Airport (06N), Middletown, New York, was uneventful. He parked the airplane; a hang glider was hooked up and he performed a normal takeoff. He reported that the airplane’s engine lost total power about 50 ft above ground level. He immediately lowered the airplane’s nose; however, “there was too much drag from the tow line and the airplane stalled and pancaked to the ground,” at which time the engine restarted and caused the airplane to ground loop into a snowplow parked on the ramp.

A witness reported that during the climb out, the engine sputtered, the airplane "stalled" and full engine power was restored before the airplane struck the ground.

The pilot of the hang glider being towed stated that when it became apparent to him that the tow airplane was stalling, he disconnected the hang glider.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuselage boom tube sustained substantial damage.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N799HG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
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: MGJ,365 ft msl
Observation Time: 09:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C /9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Middletown, NY
Destination: Middletown, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.431912,-74.391561 (est)

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