Monday, March 14, 2022

American Aviation AA-1 Yankee Clipper, N5774L: Fatal accident occurred March 11, 2022 at Bay Minette Municipal Airport (1R8), Baldwin County, Alabama

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 traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama

Location: Bay Minette, Alabama
Accident Number: ERA22FA153
Date and Time: March 11, 2022, 02:30 Local
Registration: N5774L
Aircraft: Grumman AA1
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 11, 2022, about 0230 central standard time, a Grumman AA1, N5774L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Bay Minette, Alabama. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a family member, the pilot purchased the airplane about 6 months prior and had not flown it previously. He departed his residence in Mobile, Alabama about 0030 and traveled to Bay Minette Municipal Airport (1R8), Bay Minette, Alabama to run the airplane’s engine and taxi around the airport property.

At 1309 a US Coast Guard helicopter conducting a training flight approached runway 8 at 1R8 and observed an airplane inverted west of the taxiway leading to runway 8. The flight crew contacted Mobile Approach Control who contacted local law enforcement.

The airplane was found inverted in grass, 130 ft from the west end of the taxiway; additionally, tire marks consistent with left and right main landing gear tire braking were observed on the asphalt taxiway for 20 ft up to the edge of the taxiway.

The airplane came to rest on a heading of 082°. The top surface of the right wing was separated from the bottom surface near the wing tip. The left wing was impact damaged near the wing tip. The fuselage cabin roof was crushed near the sliding canopy frame and the rudder tip was crushed consistent with impact damage. The engine showed signs of impact damage and the engine mounts were broken. The
caster nosewheel and strut separated from the airplane and were located about 20 ft east between the airplane and taxiway.

All engine structural components, fuselage and flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit. Steering control continuity was confirmed.

The engine was removed from the airframe and the propeller was rotated. Compression was attained on all four cylinders. Both right and left wheel brakes were manually operated while applying brake pressure at the rudder pedals, both brakes functioned normally. Fuel was observed while disassembling the fuel line from the engine and near the wing fuel vent.

According to Federal Aviation Administration airmen records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Grumman
Registration: N5774L
Model/Series: AA1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: 1R8,26 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:07 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 300 ft AGL 
Visibility: 2 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 30.8706,-87.828138 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Robert Doyle Hickman, 75, of Mobile died Friday when his airplane went down in Baldwin County. He is survived by the love of his life and widow Marie-Helene Hickman; daughter Pascale Francoise Hickman of Bozeman, Montana; sons Robert Doyle Hickman Jr. of Mobile, Gregory James Hickman of Charleston. South Carolina, and Bernard Philippe Hickman of Bordeaux, France; brothers James Gressett Hickman III (Patricia Kay) and Gregory A. Hickman, both of Mobile. He was preceded in death by his sister Catherine Theresa (Kay) Hickman. The retired Research Director of the Alabama Education Association was loving, composed, encouraging and generous and had a passion for flying and sailing. The family will gather on his birthday March 28 for a celebration of his life.

Bay Minette Police Department - 

Updated Media Release: Monday, March 14, 2022

The victim in Friday’s airplane accident has been identified as Robert Doyle Hickman of Mobile, Alabama. 

Hickman died as the result of his airplane taxiing off the end of the airport tarmac during the early morning hours of March 11, 2022.

After the airplane taxied off the tarmac onto rough terrain the airplane overturned. 

The victim’s dog was also onboard but was not injured in the accident. 

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.

Bay Minette Police Department has no further information to release regarding this accident.

Media Release: Friday, March 11, 2022

Bay Minette Police and fire are on scene of a single-engine plane crash at the Bay Minette Municipal Airport. 

We have confirmed the single occupant of the plane is deceased. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and is in route to the crash site to investigate the crash. 

The crash site is not accessible by public right away. 

No further information will be released at this time. 


  1. A commercial pilot whose medical had been expired about 6 years prior leaves the house at 12:30am to go taxi around the airport until he crashes off the taxiway at around 2:30am? Something doesn't seem quite right. Why on earth would you do taxi tests and engine runups alone at the dead of night at a small airport when it was unattended? That's the sort of thing you should do in broad daylight and bring a buddy with you to watch so they can at least call for help if things go south.

  2. He was positive for THC - end of story.