Friday, March 18, 2022

Loss of Control on Ground: Vans RV-7A, N275PL; accident occurred March 17, 2022 at Flanders Field Airport (4FD7), Polk City, Polk County, Florida

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; Orlando, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Polk City, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA22LA165
Date and Time: March 17, 2022, 14:38 Local
Registration: N275PL
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that his approach to landing was normal. He said that during the landing roll he felt nose gear “dig in” just before the nose gear collapsed, and the airplane nosed over inverted onto the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe. After exiting the airplane, the pilot observed that the grass/turf landing surface was loose and uneven. Inspection of the grass runway surface revealed the dirt was soft, and a ground scar was created by the nose wheel. A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed a fractured wheel pant and scarring on the lower right-wing skin. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies prior to landing.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of control during landing due to the loose and uneven landing surface. 


Environmental issues Rough terrain - Effect on operation
Aircraft (general) - Not specified

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private; Recreational
Age: 67, 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: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 15, 2022
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 19, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 462 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11 hours (Total, this make and model), 402 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Age: Female
Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Second 
Pilot Present: No
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

Registration: N275PL
Model/Series: VANS RV7 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 70788
Landing Gear Type: 
Tricycle Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 1, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 55 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 930 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A1A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 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: GIF,145 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 170°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction:  
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 0°C / 0°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Mascotte, FL (06FD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Polk City, FL (4FD7)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 14:00 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Flanders Field Airport 4FD7
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 131 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Holes; Rough
Runway Used: 18 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1800 ft / 135 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Traffic pattern

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: 28.206402,-81.827856 (est)

Aircraft landed on a grass strip, lost control, veered off the runway and rolled over. 

Date: 17-MAR-22
Time: 19:26:00Z
Regis#: N275PL
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV7
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

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