Wednesday, May 18, 2022

American Aviation AA-1A Trainer, N6409L: Fatal accident occurred May 17, 2022 near Cleburne Regional Airport (KCPT), Johnson County, Texas

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 Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Joshua Bo Kirkpatrick

Location: Cleburne, Texas
Accident Number: CEN22FA203
Date and Time: May 17, 2022, 17:51 Local
Registration: N6409L
Aircraft: American Aviation AA-1A
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 17, 2022, about 1751 central daylight time, an American Aviation AA-1A, N6409L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Cleburne, Texas. The student pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A review of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane departed Cleburne Regional Airport (CPT) about 1309 and flew to Clifton Municipal Airport (7F7), Clifton, Texas. The pilot departed 7F7 with a passenger and flew to Roger M. Dreyer Memorial Airport (T20), Gonzales, Texas. The airplane was refueled at T20 and flown back to 7F7, where the passenger disembarked. About 1734, the pilot departed solo from 7F7 to return to CPT.

About 5 miles south of CPT, the airplane made a left turn about 200 to 300 ft above ground level (agl) to the west of the pilot’s house while on a south heading and a groundspeed of about 70 knots. The airplane subsequently turned right and flew to the west of the pilot’s house about 200 to 300 ft agl while on a north heading and a groundspeed of about 90 knots. The airplane continued turning right and then rapidly descended. Witnesses reported very strong and gusty wind from the south at the time of the accident.

The airplane impacted a grassy field with a nose down attitude and minimal forward momentum. The airplane came to rest upright on a northwest heading, with both wings crushed downward. The tail section was twisted slightly to the right of the fuselage as viewed from the rear of the airplane. Two propeller strike ground scars about 3 ft apart were located immediately in front of the wreckage.

All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site, and continuity was confirmed from the control surfaces to the cockpit. The wing flaps were in the retracted position. The wing fuel tanks were breached but fuel was observed in each tank. The carburetor was disassembled and one of the brass floats exhibited hydraulic crushing. No evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunctions were observed during examinations of the engine and airframe.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: American Aviation
Registration: N6409L
Model/Series: AA-1A
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: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCPT,854 ft msl
Observation Time: 17:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C /14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 16 knots / 27 knots, 170°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.83 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Clifton, TX (7F7)
Destination: Cleburne, TX (CPT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.266722,-97.424446 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in a field.

Date: 17-MAY-22
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N6409L
Aircraft Model: AA-1A
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
State: TEXAS

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.

Joshua Bo Kirkpatrick

Joshua "Bo" Kirkpatrick, 41, of Cleburne, TX unexpectedly began his journey in heaven on May 17, 2022 at 5:52p.m. doing what he loved!
Bo was born on June 6, 1980 in Arlington, TX to Ann and Mike Kirkpatrick. He graduated Joshua HS in 1998. He was known to be adventurous during his teenage years; just ask his older brothers.

Bo was blessed with a loving family. He met Hilary, the love of his life in 2002 and they married on June 28, 2003 in Burleson. Their love granted them with two beautiful children, Camden Bo and Kamree Anne who were his greatest joys.

One of his many passions was his partnership with Justin McIntosh with Seco Creek Services where his business acquaintances and employees were more like family. He worked hard over the years to provide for his family and recently settled in "their dream home" on 5 acres where they spent time together making memories to last a lifetime.

Bo was always the life of the party and lived his life to the fullest. He had the biggest heart and would do anything he could to help those in need. He loved cooking, hunting, fishing and the great outdoors. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

Bo was preceded in death by his mother, Ann Kirkpatrick; Grandparents, Bob Carter and Sonny & DeeDee Kirkpatrick; Uncle, Pat Kirkpatrick and Aunt, Jan Rose.

He leaves behind his wife, Hilary; Son, Camden; Daughter, Kamree; Father, Mike Kirkpatrick; Grandmother, Theresa Carter; Brothers, Trey (Hope) and Bucky (Lisa) Kirkpatrick, Nieces & Nephews, Blayne, MacKenzie, Allie, Hayden, Rafe & Lukas; In-Laws, Patrick (Terri) Wiggam; Sister-in-law, Kristen Caldwell; and many other friends and family.

A "Celebration of Life" will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Bethel Temple Assembly of God, 600 S. Colonial Dr., Cleburne, TX. Flowers may be sent to Rosser Funeral Home, 1664 W Henderson St., Cleburne. Thereafter, contributions may be made in honor of his children via VENMO @KirkpatrickBenefitFund.


  1. PIC appears not have been under stress, as 09Ls 2nd last ADS-B ping @ "Pos.: 32.230, -97.420, Groundspeed: 133 kt, Geom. Altitude: 2325 ft, Track: 348.7°" position was 2.39 west of 51F Smith Ranch-First State Bank @ 32.2334807, -97.3811273, elevation: 740 ft. per ADS-B.

  2. Stall/Spin. Aircraft went straight in. Sad!!

  3. "AGAC AA-1. With fighter-like handling and a sharp stall, this slick little sportster was a handful for its intended mission. Published: February 26, 2001 Updated: October 29, 2019 @ AVIATION CONSUMER

  4. A terrible little airplane. Stalls too abruptly, difficult to recover if you don't act quickly and intelligently. My father bought one of these little monsters to teach me to fly and I nearly killed us in it on my first try at the controls. He took it up himself for a few practice stalls and put it up for sale the next day. Grumman claims not to have marketed it as a trainer, but they knew better, and were perfectly happy to sell them to flying schools. "Fighter-like handling" is not a desirable quality in a widely-used GA aircraft IMO.

    1. The company built 8 'Cat' military aircraft, the last entering svc in 1974; the WWII Grumman F4F Wildcat likely its most notable. Toward the end in the Pacific, Navy pilots were entering the fight with a min of 600 hours.

    2. I instructed in AA-1's in the early 70's in a flying school. We never had any problems as long as it was flown by the numbers and students were trained to respect the limitations of the plane compared to C-150's.

    3. Only good CFi's could survive on an AA-1. We used to do aerobatics on them as a PPL. Fun. But knew a few that died. School had to close. 1970's

    4. The Yankee has nothing to do with the Grumman 'cat' lineage. It was designed by Jim Bede originally intended as a homebuilt

    5. "Terrible little airplane" ... really?! I own/fly one and it's a teddy-bear! You fly it within its design envelope knowing that it is an underpowered sports car and you'll never have a problem. It teaches you how to manage energy and as long as you respect its limitations there are no surprises. I stall mine and as long as the ball is in the centre as the wing breaks she behaves with no nasty outcomes.

    6. Great aircraft, particular for learning to fly advanced aircraft like the Cirrus line. Not designed for low and slow. Pilot error

    7. I owned this nimble, willing little aircraft for almost 6 years/500 hours. Purchased it with 60 hours in my log and built most of what skills I have in its cockpit. Supurb x-wind performance. Do you have to pay attention in an AA1/A and fly strictly by the numbers? Yes. Is the stall quick? Yes. Does it recover obediently? Yes, if you address the stall immediately. Pontification about these "terrible little airplanes" says more about the pilot speaking than it does about the plane/type.

  5. Many of the early school accidents were related to spin-training. Once the AA-1 entered a fully developed spin and exceeded three turns, it was usually not recoverable. The AA-1 had been spin-tested as part of its certification, but in 1973 the FAA issued Airworthiness Directive 73-13-07 ordering the aircraft placarded against spins

    1. Speaking of training, the accident pilot owned this aircraft since Fall 2020 and Airmen Registry shoes a student certificate issued in 2018.

      Makes you wonder whether his certification training was disrupted by having to work through the various impacts of Covid compliance instead of going straight through without significant gaps in time between flight days.

  6. Accident happened right next to the pilot's house. Hope this isn't another sightseeing stall/spin :(

    1. Checking for right next to the pilot's house:
      If the news report's location of 4000 block of South Nolan River Road is correct, that is where South Nolan River Road crosses over Nolan River, about 2.5 miles from the owners registration address.

      Yep, could have been orbiting the neighborhood.

    2. ^Woops - 4800 block, not 4000. So, 4 miles from house.

    3. Thanks for checking, I should have confirmed the news article. Not quite as close as I thought.


    4. Hi. We are close friends with the pilot and I just wanted to confirm that yes, it was 2 houses down from his house in the neighbors front yard. He always flew some circles around his house to let his family know he was back before landing at Cleburne airport.

  7. Hi. We are close friends with the pilot and I just wanted to confirm that yes, it was 2 houses down from his house in the neighbors front yard. He always flew some circles around his house to let his family know he was back before landing at Cleburne airport.