Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Birdstrike: Thatcher CX4, N254RM; accident occurred January 18, 2022 at Fuquay/Angier Field (78NC), Wake County, North Carolina











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; Greensboro, North Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket


Location: Angier, North Carolina
Accident Number: ERA22LA110
Date and Time: January 18, 2022, 13:15 Local 
Registration: N254RM
Aircraft: MILLER ROGER THATCHER CX4 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Birdstrike
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot reported that following a local flight, on final approach to land, about ¼ mile from the runway, he glanced down at the airspeed indicator, and then glanced up and “all of a sudden” a flock of birds flew into the airplane. He stated it was “like a wall” or like a “machine gun” going off in his flight path. He reported that the birds collided with the airplane and after that point he “was a passenger”. He recalled the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall and spin and subsequently descended and impacted trees and terrain. The fuselage and wings sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s encounter with a flock of birds on final approach, which resulted in a loss of control, an aerodynamic stall and spin, and impact with trees and terrain.

Findings

Environmental issues Animal(s)/bird(s) - Effect on equipment
Environmental issues Animal(s)/bird(s) - Effect on personnel
Aircraft Angle of attack - Capability exceeded

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Birdstrike (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern final Aerodynamic stall/spin
Approach-VFR pattern final Loss of control in flight

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private
Age: 78,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Glider
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Sport pilot
None Last FAA Medical Exam: February 16, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 2, 2020
Flight Time: 2057 hours (Total, all aircraft), 110 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MILLER ROGER 
Registration: N254RM
Model/Series: THATCHER CX4 NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2011 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special) 
Serial Number: 398
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 24, 2021 Condition 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 278 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Hummel
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 2180
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: HRJ,198 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:35 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 177°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 310° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Angier, NC 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Angier, NC 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: FUQUAY/ANGIER FLD 78NC
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 349 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 14-32
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2780 ft / 90 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

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: 35.539246,-78.7458


Location: Angier, North Carolina
Accident Number: ERA22LA110
Date and Time: January 18, 2022, 13:30 Local
Registration: N254RM
Aircraft: MILLER ROGER THATCHER CX4
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MILLER ROGER 
Registration: N254RM
Model/Series: THATCHER CX4 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: HRJ,198 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C /-5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Angier, NC 
Destination: Angier, NC

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: 35.539246,-78.7458





ANGIER, North Carolina (WNCN) – The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a small plane crash that happened Tuesday afternoon off N.C. 55 near the Wake/Harnett county line.

The pilot was the only person on board and survived.

The plane went down just after 1:15 p.m. behind a Dollar General store near the intersection of N.C. 55 and Maude Stewart Road, just north of Angier.

The FAA told CBS 17 Tuesday evening that the crash happened as the pilot was trying to land at Fuquay/Angier Airfield Tuesday afternoon. The crash scene is about a half-mile from the airport.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol identified the pilot as 78-year-old Rodney Whipple, who federal records show, lives in the Angier area. Medics took Whipple to WakeMed with what troopers described as non-life threatening injuries.

Troopers told CBS 17 Whipple reported hitting birds and said he had to take evasive action. Whipple’s plane hit several trees as it descended.

Investigators will ultimately determine the circumstances.

JaQuaun Dupree was at the Dollar General near the crash scene for work when he heard the plane, and then saw the crash.

“When he hit the tree, the plane went down kind of slowly behind the store,” Dupree said, adding he was relieved to see the pilot emerge from the plane.

“(Others) helped get him out of the plane,” Dupree said. “He didn’t look like he was too hurt or whatever — said he hit a flock of birds.”

Fellow pilots said Whipple is a member at the Fuquay/Angier Airport.

The plane involved in the crash is a single-engine Thatcher CX4, according to the FAA. A decal on the plane indicates it is an “experimental” plane, a category of aircraft that can include planes built at home.

Federal records indicate the plane was up to date on its certification – which expires in late 2024 – and that the plane’s first flight was in mid-2011.

Despite markings on the plane that said “U.S. Air Force,” records show the plane is registered to Whipple.

The FAA said the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation moving forward.

4 comments:

  1. You don’t need an Operating Certificate for a personal operation under Part 91. That is what this is referring to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is the same plane that just went down 2/14? Bird strike with fatalities over the Outer Banks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilatus PC-12/47E, N79NX fatal accident on February 13, 2022.

      Delete

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