Monday, September 06, 2021

Collision During Landing / Takeoff: BRM Aero Bristell S-LSA, N438BL; accident occurred October 18, 2020 at Carlisle Airport (N94), Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

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; New Cumberland, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania 
Accident Number: ERA21LA025
Date & Time: October 18, 2020, 14:00 Local 
Registration: N438BL
Aircraft: Aero Bristell Bristell LSA 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land 
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was approaching the airport for landing, and while on short final approach he noticed that the airplane was too high and that there were variable and gusty crosswinds. The pilot decided to conduct a go-around. The pilot added power and pressed the control stick forward to prevent the airplane from pitching up as it gained airspeed. The pilot’s next recollection was seeing tree branches and the airplane descending in a nose down attitude into the woods. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of 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 adequate clearance from trees during an attempted go-around in gusty crosswinds.


Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR go-around Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 24, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 9, 2020
Flight Time: 460 hours (Total, all aircraft), 31 hours (Total, this make and model), 387 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Age: Male
Airplane Rating(s):
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aero Bristell 
Registration: N438BL
Model/Series: Bristell LSA 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Special light-sport (Special)
Serial Number: 438
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 6, 2020 Continuous airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 16 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 44 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 912
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 100 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: CXY,346 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:50 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 12 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 150° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Reedsville, PA (RVL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carlisle, PA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 13:30 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Carlisle Airport N94
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 510 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 10 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4008 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go around

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.188573,-77.178235(est)

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