Plane crash map Find crash sites, wreckage and more

N229WC accident description

Go to the Wisconsin map...
Go to the Wisconsin list...

Tail numberN229WC
Accident dateJuly 23, 2006
Aircraft typeShaw Europa XS
LocationOshkosh, WI
Near 43.984444 N, -88.556944 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On July 23, 2006, at 0845 central daylight time, an amateur-built Shaw Europa XS, N229WC, collided with the runway following a loss of control while on final approach to runway 27 (6,178 feet by 150 feet, dry asphalt) at the Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight originated from the Portage Municipal Airport (C47), Portage, Wisconsin, at approximately 0815.

According to the pilot's family, he began the trip to OSH by departing Paine Field in Everett, Washington, on Thursday, July 20, 2006. It is unknown where the pilot landed after taking off until Saturday, July 22, 2006, when he landed at C47.

The airport manager at C47 stated the airplane landed at his airport during the afternoon on the day prior to the accident. He remembered the airplane by the Wile E. Coyote, which was painted on the tail. In addition, he remembered having a rather lengthy conversation with the pilot and passenger. He reported they landed at C47 to wait out thunderstorms, which were popping up in the area. He stated the pilot and passenger eventually decided to spend the night at a local hotel. The airport manager recalled seeing the pilot fueling the airplane, but he did not know how much fuel was added since it was a self-service pump.

The pilot was flying to OSH for the 2006 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Fly-In. Once N229WC changed to the air traffic control tower frequency at OSH, there were three transmissions from air traffic control to the airplane. The first transmission was when N229WC was on a downwind leg for runway 27. The controller instructed the "light-colored" low wing airplane to start its descent and advised that they were following a twin Cessna, which was on a mile and a half final approach. The second transmission was when the low wing "white" airplane on base was cleared to land. The third and final transmission was when the low wing airplane was instructed to land past the "Green Dot" and was again cleared to land. Two controllers, who were in the tower at the time, reported seeing the airplane "stall" on final approach.

There were several witnesses to the accident. Most of the witnesses described the airplane as being "slow" when they first saw it on base and final. One of the witnesses, a certified flight instructor, stated the airplane had full flaps extended, and it remained slow as it overshot final approach. Four of the witnesses reported seeing the right wing drop as the airplane was turning onto final approach. Three of the witnesses reported the airplane stalled during the turn. Several of the witnesses reported seeing the airplane begin to spin in a nose down attitude just prior to it contacting the runway. One witness reported hearing the engine operating prior to the impact.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. A review of the pilot's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airman's Certificate records show the pilot did not pass his first private pilot check ride on September 28, 2000. The reason for the failure was listed as "Inadequate Application of Aeronautical Knowledge." The pilot was re-examined and received his private pilot certificate on May 11, 2001.

FAA records also show the pilot was involved in a landing incident on September 24, 2003. The records indicate the pilot misjudged the landing and landed hard, damaging the airplane. As a result of this incident, the pilot was re-examined on January 4, 2004. The FAA records also indicate the pilot received an Experimental Aircraft Builder certificate on March 31, 2005.

FAA records indicate his last medical examination was completed on June 6, 2006, when he was issued a third-class medical certificate with the following restriction: "Must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision."

The pilot's family provided copies of parts of his pilot logbook. The first entry listed on the copies was dated December 16, 2005. The last entry was dated July 15, 2006. The pilot's total time at the last entry was listed as 384.5 hours, of which 222.2 hours were logged in a Europa.


The accident airplane, N229WC, serial number A229, was an amateur-built two-place composite, tail wheel airplane. The accident pilot was also the builder of the airplane. The airplane was issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate classifying it as experimental on June 26, 2003. The first flight for the airplane was on July 5, 2003. The airplane had originally been built as a monowheel, but had subsequently been converted to tricycle landing gear.

Records indicate the last Condition Inspection on the N229WC was performed in March 2006, at a total aircraft time of 192 hours. The pilot's logbook showed he had flown N229WC an additional 33.8 hours between April 1, 2006 and July 15, 2006.

The engine was an 80-horsepower, Rotax 912S, serial number 4427032. Records indicate the last Condition Inspection on the engine was performed in March 2006, at a total engine time of 192 hours.

The airplane was equipped with an Airmaster CS 3-bladed propeller.


The local weather recorded at OSH at 0848 was: wind 110 degrees at 3 knots; 10 statute miles visibility; broken ceiling at 10,000 feet; temperature 21 degrees Celsius; dew point 11 degrees Celsius; and altimeter 30.02 inches-of-mercury.


The control tower at OSH was operational at the time of the accident. During the EAA AirVenture Fly-In the air traffic controllers identify aircraft by type and color. Aircraft registration numbers are not used. Pilots acknowledge air traffic control instructions by rocking their wings instead of communicating with controllers over the radio.

Runway 27 at OSH has a total length of 6,178 feet. The runway length remaining at the displaced threshold is 5,647 feet. While landing on runway 27, pilots are frequently requested to land on or beyond either the "Orange Dot" or the "Green Dot" which are colored circles painted on the runway. Landing on the "Orange Dot" provides for 4,678 feet of remaining runway and landing on the "Green Dot" provides for 3,178 feet of runway remaining. The accident pilot was instructed to land past the "Green Dot."


The airplane came to rest on the paved displaced threshold for runway 27. This location was just west of the intersection of runway 27 and taxiway Echo. The airplane came to rest on a heading of approximately 110 degrees.

The propeller was separated from the engine and the engine was separated from the airframe. Two of the three propeller blades were intact. The third blade was separated at the butt end of the blade. Fragmented pieces of this blade were located at the accident site. The propeller spinner was flattened and rotational scoring was noted.

Impact forces destroyed the forward portion of the cockpit. The instrument panel was separated from the remainder of the airplane. The center section of the fuselage, which was located in between both wings, remained attached to the wings but was separated from the remainder of the empennage. Both main landing gears were attached to this center fuselage/wing section. The nose gear was separated from the airplane. With the exception of the rudder, the remainder of the empennage was intact.

Both wings exhibited scratches on top of their leading edges. The right wing aileron remained attached at the inboard hinge, but was separated from the wing at the outboard hinge. The outboard three feet of the leading edge of the left wing exhibited impact damage. Continuity of the ailerons was established up to the cockpit area.

The rudder separated from the vertical stabilizer and it was located under the empennage. The right stabilator trim tab was separated from the stabilator and it was located near the main wreckage. Control continuity to the rudder and stabilator were established up to the point where the empennage was separated from the aft fuselage area. All of the separations of the flight control tubes and rods were indicative of overload failures.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot at the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner's Office on July 25, 2006.

A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared for the pilot-in-command by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results of the tests were as follows: Metoprolol present in liver Metoprolol detected in blood 0.092 (ug/ml, ug/g) Diphenhydramine detected in blood Diphenhydramine detected in liver Diphenhydramine detected in lung Naproxen detected in blood

Metoprolol is a Beta-blocker that is commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, but it is also used for several heart conditions. Diphenhydramine is an over-the-counter antihistamine (commonly known by the trade name Benadryl) with sedative effects. Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory medication available by prescription (often known by the name Aleve) and used to reduce pain and inflammation.


A party to the investigation was the FAA.

The wreckage was released to a representative of the owner on July 28, 2006.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.