Thursday, July 14, 2022

Abnormal Runway Contact: Van's RV-6A, N447P; accident occurred March 17, 2022 at Delta Airport (FD84), Lake City, Columbia 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; Herndon, Virginia

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lake City, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA22LA164
Date & Time: March 17, 2022, 15:38 Local 
Registration: N447P
Aircraft: HARTZ PAUL RV-6A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot stated he was previously aware of the nose-over issue of the various models of the aircraft, and as such was very cautious during landing. He attempted to recover after bouncing on a grass runway but on the second touchdown with aft elevator control input, the nose landing gear dug in and the airplane nosed over, which resulted in substantial damage to the rudder. He indicated that he should have done an immediate go-around as a result of the bounced landing, and not attempted to recover.

According to the photographs and information provided by airplane owner/pilot, the nose gear leg was bent aft about 60° beginning about 2.25 inches from the landing gear mount. Equipment that was attached to the nose gear leg was permanently deformed.

The airplane was equipped with upgraded nose gear leg and nose wheel fork that were specified by Van’s Aircraft Service Bulletin (SB) 07-11-09. Those components were designed to reduce the likelihood of fork axle-to-runway surface contact during nose gear overload conditions.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in overload bending of the nose landing gear leg and subsequent nose-over.


Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Landing flare - Incorrect use/operation
Aircraft Nose/tail landing gear - Capability exceeded

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight engineer
Age: 84,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 8, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 11, 2020
Flight Time: 29802 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11 hours (Total, this make and model), 18414 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HARTZ PAUL
Registration: N447P
Model/Series: RV-6A NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 108
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: November 1, 2021 Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 37 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 160 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: KLCQ,201 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:35 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 67°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 260° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Light
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lake City, FL 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lake City, FL
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Canon Creek Airpark 15FL
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 32025 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Wet
Runway Used: 27 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2600 ft / 50 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 30.150734,-82.661017 (est)

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