Saturday, July 16, 2022

Van's RV-7, N283S: Fatal accident occurred July 16, 2022 at Buena Terra Airport (33KS), Topeka, Kansas

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. 

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Gutierrez, Eric

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

Wake Turbulence Corporation 
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Accident Number: WPR22FA254
Date and Time: July 16, 2022, 11:53 Local
Registration: N283S
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 16, 2022, about 1153 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-bult, RV-7, N283S, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Topeka, Kansas. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness reported that, he observed the airplane depart from runway 19 at Buena Terra airport (33KS) and entered a near vertical climb. The airplane’s nose dropped with a turn to the right and entered a nose-low near vertical descent until it impacted terrain at the departure end of runway 19. Other witnesses reported that the airplane attained an altitude of about 150-200 feet above ground level before the nose dropped.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane came to rest upright after it impacted in an open grass field about 375 ft southwest of the departure end of runway 19. The wreckage came to rest on a heading of about 340° magnetic, at an altitude of 1,023 ft mean sea level. No visible ground scars were observed in the area near the wreckage. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident location.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: STUCKY STEVEN D 
Registration: N283S
Model/Series: RV-7 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: KTOP, 880 ft msl 
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C /20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Topeka, KS (33KS) 
Destination: Gardner, KS (K34)

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: 39.14609,-95.61038 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Date: 16-JUL-22
Time: 17:30:00Z
Regis#: N283S
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV7
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

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.

Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Steven D. Stucky

190th Air Refueling Wing - Kansas Air National Guard 

We lost a beloved member of our 190th Coyote family this past weekend.  Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Steven D. Stucky, tragically lost his life in a small airplane crash in north Topeka on Saturday 16 July 22.  As we mourn our loss, we ask that you take a moment to honor and remember Chief Stucky's service. 

Stucky began his military career with the 190th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in April 1967. During his initial enlistment, he served as a flight simulator technician and in 1970, he moved into the avionics maintenance career field. In 1977, as the 190th converted to the KC-135 aircraft, Stucky attended Combat Crew Training School at Castle Air Force Base. He was an Inflight Refueling Instructor for 20 years. Stucky served as the Chief Boom Operator for the Operations Group and in January 2001, he was named the 190ARW Command Chief Master Sergeant, he served in that capacity until he retired in 2004.

He logged more than 5000 hours to include combat support missions during Desert Storm, Operation Northern Watch, Allied Force and combat missions over Bosnia.

Rest in peace Chief Stucky!

TOPEKA, Kansas  - The Kansas Air National Guard says the pilot killed in plane crash in Shawnee Co. last weekend had logged more than 5,000 hours in the air.

In a social media post published at 11:20 a.m. Monday, the 190th Air Refueling Wing asked followers to honor and remember the service of Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Steven D. Stucky.

Stucky died Saturday after his small airplane stalled, then crashed shortly after takeoff at a private airfield in Northeast Shawnee Co.

According to the post, Stucky joined the 190th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in April 1967. Stucky attended Combat Crew Training School at Castle Air Force Base in 1977 and served as an Inflight Refueling Instructor for 20 years. He also served as the Chief Boom Operator for the Operations Group.

Stucky was named the 190th’s Command Chief Master Sergeant in 2001 and served in that role until his retirement in 2004.

The post says Stucky logged more than 5,000 hours in the air, including combat support missions during Desert Storm, Operation Northern Watch, Allied Force and combat missions over Bosnia.

The private air strip where Stucky died has been the site of two other fatal plane crashes. In Aug. 2003 Col. Michael O’Tolle was killed in an accident involving a small airplane, and Ivan Hittle died in June 2006 when his ultralight went down.

Steven D. Stucky was among pallbearers in 2003 for his friend, Michael J. O'Toole, who had died in a plane crash on takeoff from the private Buena Terra Airport in northeast Shawnee County.

Stucky, 72, died Saturday after the small plane he was piloting crashed soon after taking off from that airport at 5919 N.E. Shaffer Road, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported.

The fatality was the third linked to that airport since 2003. It occurred about 11:53 a.m. at 5501 N.E. Shaffer Road, according to an accident report posted on the KHP website.

Stucky was alone flying a Van's RV-7 airplane, the report said.

"The pilot took off heading south," it said. "The pilot went to incline and turn west when the plane stalled. The plane flipped and went nose first into the ground."

Stucky was wearing safety restraints, the report said.

The Federal Aviation Administration was expected to take over the investigation.

Buena Terra Airport primarily serves people who have personal hangars on private property along the airstrip.

Stucky lived along that strip, according to Shawnee County Appraiser's Office records.

Buena Terra Airport has seen two other fatalities over the past 20 years.

Ivan L. Hittle, 82, was killed June 27, 2006, when the ultralight plane he was flying fell from the sky after lifting off from a grass runway there.

O'Toole, 51, a colonel with the Kansas Air National Guard, was killed Aug. 8, 2003, when the single-engine private plane he was flying crashed on takeoff from that airport, according to Topeka Capital-Journal archives.

Stucky, a master sergeant with the Kansas Air National Guard at the time, was among the pallbearers as 1,300 people gathered at Topeka's Grace Episcopal Cathedral to attend the funeral for O'Toole, who had been commander of its 190th Air Refueling Wing.

1 comment:

  1. Steve was a gentleman's gentleman, literally best of the best. Beloved by all, and one of very few to wear a Distinguished Flying Cross from the USAF on his chest (article below). He will be missed by any lucky enough know him.