Saturday, July 16, 2022

Collision with Object (non-CFIT): Glasair II S-FT, N727DF; accident occurred April 02, 2022 in Saline Valley, California

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; Las Vegas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Saline Valley, California
Accident Number: WPR22LA141
Date and Time: April 2, 2022, 11:45 Local
Registration: N727DF
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while on final approach, he reduced airspeed which resulted in a higher angle of attack and blocking his visibility of the approach threshold. The glide path steepened, and the airplane touched down short of the airstrip. The right main landing gear collided with a rock and sheared off. Shortly thereafter, the left main landing gear sheared off and the airplane slid down the runway substantially damaging the fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to establish a controlled descent rate during landing which resulted in the airplane touching down short of the runway.


Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Descent rate - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-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: November 9, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 16, 2021
Flight Time: 1718 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1318 hours (Total, this make and model), 1673 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 29 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: FERNANDES DALE R 
Registration: N727DF
Model/Series: GLASAIR II S-FT
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 2126
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1750 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO360-B1E
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180
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: KBIH,4111 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 44 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:56 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 321°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: San Carlos, CA (SQL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Saline Valley, CA 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 10:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Saline Valley Warm Springs Airfield N/A
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 1360 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1350 ft / 30 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 36.802403,-117.77346

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