Friday, April 08, 2022

American Aviation AA-1 Yankee Clipper, N623W: Accident occurred occurred April 07, 2022 and Incident occurred December 18, 2021

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 did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Location: Kennesaw, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA22LA182
Date and Time: April 7, 2022, 10:15 Local
Registration: N623W
Aircraft: AMERICAN AA-1 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 7, 2022, at 1015 eastern daylight time, an American AA-1, N623W, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Kennesaw, Georgia. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. 

The pilot reported that he performed a preflight inspection, engine run-up and instrument checks before the flight with no anomalies noted. After takeoff, when the airplane reached an altitude of 500 ft, the engine speed momentarily decreased by about 800 RPM then “abruptly” increased back to full power RPM. The pilot turned back toward the airport and the engine power reduced to idle before “quitting entirely.” He attempted to troubleshoot the problem; however, the engine did not restart. He determined the airplane would not reach the runway and selected a nearby road for a forced landing site. During the approach to the road, the airplane impacted a wire before it came to rest in the grass median.

Examination of the airplane at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the right elevator and horizontal stabilizer, and the rear section of fuselage forward of the horizontal stabilizer.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AMERICAN
Registration: N623W
Model/Series: AA-1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RYY,1040 ft msl 
Observation Time: 09:50 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.79 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Kennesaw, GA 
Destination: Cartersville, GA (VPC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.021,-84.622 (est)

April 07, 2022:  Aircraft departed, experienced engine issues and landed on a highway near Cobb County International Airport (KRYY), Kennesaw, Georgia. 

Date: 07-APR-22
Time: 14:15:00Z
Regis#: N623W
Aircraft Make: AMERICAN
Aircraft Model: AA-1
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

Kennesaw Police Department - 

Yesterday was a wild one, but we got through it!

THANK YOU to Cobb County Police Department, Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services, Marietta Wrecker Service, Georgia Power, and Cobb County International Airport for their much needed assistance.

All involved agencies were quick in response, provided crucial help, displayed professionalism, and fantastic work ethic.

Many people have asked about the pilot. We spoke with him on the phone today and he is doing well!

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

December 18, 2021:   Aircraft during landing encountered ice and slid into the grass at St. Cloud Regional Airport (KSTC), Sherburne County, Minnesota.

Date: 18-DEC-21
Time: 03:21:00Z
Regis#: N623W
Aircraft Make: AMERICAN
Aircraft Model: AA-1
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91


  1. The Clipper clipped a power line on its way down:

    1. From looking at the video, it appears the plane snagged the power line with its right rear landing gear, causing the plane to yaw to the right and pitch down slightly. It seems the pilot then overcorrected for this with left rudder and pulling up, which yawed the plane strongly to the left and pitched it up. The left wing, now at a high angle of attack and retreating due to the left yaw, stalled and dropped, causing the plane to cartwheel.

    2. my take is PIC lined up his clipper best he could, clipped a power line yet stayed his line and only pulled up at the last moment to avoid landing on traffic.

    3. Scene video and photos show how well the outcome was from that wing-high air-brake effect that he got for free after the left wing dropped. Finished without exiting the median turf, hit no cars, no fire.

      Notice the remnant of power cable with frazzled insulation draped across the right gear strut with other end apparently crimped into the nosegear area as seen while on the recovery trailer, even though the nosegear sheared away during ground contact (AJC article photo 7 shows recovered nose gear).

      Overhead scene video:

      Photo of plane on recovery trailer:

      You get a good view of that cable remnant dangling off the right gear leg after the 40 second mark in the recovery lift/loading video available at the bottom of the AJC news article linked below. (The web strap seen on the left wing in the lift video is not a power cable remnant).

    4. Someone said: "my take is PIC lined up his clipper best he could, clipped a power line yet stayed his line and only pulled up at the last moment to avoid landing on traffic."

      Um, no. "Stayed his line??" you can clearly see the aircraft did a massive yaw to the left after hitting the power line, going from pointing down the road to pointing about 45 degrees to the left.

      And the only traffic ahead of him was the light gray car which was in the slow lane and was far enough ahead to be no factor and definitely not a reason to drop your left wing and cartwheel the plane. The dark car was behind him and pulling up would have put that car more at risk of being part of the accident.

      I agree with the original analysis.

    5. Stepping through one frame at a time from just before the flash of electrical arcing through to the immediate aftermath doesn't show any yaw in that interval. Glide descent continued straight ahead, yaw developed later as airspeed petered out into a stall.

      If the original "analysis" was correct, the track would have immediately deviated to the pilot's right after hitting the power line. Not a lot of pixels even on laptop viewing, maybe a Kenosha pinch-zoom interpolation on a phone is misleading commenters to see something that didn't happen.

  2. Editor:
    You have this accident listed in two posts. Please combine.

    1. Yeah, I'll get right on that, Sparky.

    2. Persnickety. I'll get to it when I get to it.

    3. 1st post is for the incident of December 18, 2021;
      2nd post is April 7, 2022.
      The archive will remain as is... there will be no "combining", love.