Saturday, December 25, 2021

Ground Handling Event: Aeronca 11AC, N9149E; accident occurred July 05, 2021 at Neil Armstrong Airport (KAXV), Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio

In a follow-up to this accident, the damaged Aeronca 11AC, N9149E, has been sold and Ted Bergstrom, airport manager, said the anticipated removal date is October 14, 2021. The original aircraft owner had elected to take the insurance settlement rather than repair the damaged wingtip. Since the auction was done as a blind bid, he had no figures on what the successful bid was. The airport manager said the airplane owner’s insurance was billed for $545 for hangar rental and $900 for repair of the hangar door.

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; Columbus, Ohio

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Wapakoneta, Ohio
Accident Number: CEN21LA310
Date and Time: July 5, 2021, 12:00 Local 
Registration: N9149E
Aircraft: Aeronca 11AC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Ground handling event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The airplane was not equipped with an electrical system and the engine was started by hand propping. The pilot reported that he did not have a passenger to hold the brakes in the cockpit during engine start, nor did he use wheel chocks and/or tether the tail to a fixed object because he thought using the airplane’s parking brake would keep the airplane stationary after the engine had started. Before the engine was hand propped, the pilot set the throttle about ¼” to ½” forward of the idle position, but the engine’s speed was much higher than he had expected after the engine started. The unoccupied airplane initially moved forward before it entered a left turn on the ramp in front of a row of hangars. Although the pilot was able to reach into the cockpit to move the throttle to idle, the airplane continued in the left turn and struck a closed hangar door, resulting in substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot did not report any mechanical 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 inadequate engine hand propping procedure resulting in the unoccupied airplane’s unintended movement and subsequent impact with a hangar.


Aircraft Tie-down/mooring - Not installed/available
Aircraft Landing gear brakes system - Capability exceeded
Personnel issues (general) - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Standing-engine(s) start-up Ground handling event (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: None
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: None
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 16, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 12, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 3205 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 3150 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 26 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aeronca
Registration: N9149E
Model/Series: 11AC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11AC-783
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 6, 2020 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1250 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 40.9 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2252.17 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: A65-8
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 65 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: KAXV, 913 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:55 Local
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 220° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wapakoneta, OH
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bay City, MI (3CM) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Neil Armstrong Airport AXV 
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 913 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.49355,-84.298 (est)

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