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N44EU accident description

Connecticut map... Connecticut list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Oxford, CT
41.430096°N, 73.134833°W
Tail number N44EU
Accident date 01 Aug 2001
Aircraft type Moran Europa Monowheel
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 1, 2001, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Europa Monowheel, N44EU, was substantially damaged when it veered off a runway during an aborted landing at Waterbury-Oxford Airport (OXC), Oxford, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries, and visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file for the local flight, which originated at Oxford. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he and his wife towed the airplane to the airport on its trailer, attached the wings, unloaded it, and attached the tailplanes. The preflight inspection was normal and fuel samples were "clean."

The pilot started the engine, taxied to runway 36, completed an engine runup, and made a normal departure. The pilot then flew the traffic pattern, and during an approach to a practice landing on runway 36, noted a "very slight" crosswind from the right.

The pilot continued a "normal" approach, and the airplane touched down 5 to 6 feet left of centerline. "The landing had a moderate bounce, so I added slight throttle to cushion the expected second touchdown (the engine responded normally to this), judged how large the bounce was, and decided to add full power to go around instead of allowing it to bounce again."

The pilot rapidly moved the throttle forward, to the full power position, added right rudder and lowered the nose of the airplane to a near-level attitude. He noted that the right rudder resulted in a "very slight right turn." The pilot felt, in hindsight, that the engine was not producing full power, since he was "familiar with the amount of rudder needed to maintain straight ahead when full power is applied," as well as "the sort of howling sound from induction air that it makes at full power."

The pilot noted that the airplane leveled, but did not accelerate as it usually did when full power was applied. "The Europa normally flies straight ahead instantly from a bounce when full power is applied." The airplane turned slowly to the left but still did not gain altitude or accelerate.

The pilot remembered seeing a parking lot ahead, so he knew the airplane was still level or "slightly up." Then, either the mainwheel or the left outrigger contacted the ground, the airplane began to slide, and it veered further to the left before coming to a stop. The pilot then shut off the engine, which was still operating at low power.

The pilot also noted that the airplane was fitted with electronic engine monitor with an optional fuel pressure sensor. There were no annunciator alarms during the flight, so the pilot felt that all engine readings had been normal.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that when the airplane touched down approximately 6 feet to the left of centerline it bounced. The pilot added a small amount of power to cushion the next touchdown, but as he did so, the airplane began to veer to the left. The pilot corrected with right rudder and coordinated stick inputs, and leveled the airplane's nose. The pilot then decided that he did not like what he saw, and initiated a go-around. He opened the throttle fully; however, the airplane continued to veer to the left, and touched down in the grass to the left of the runway.

The airplane came to rest about 1,700 feet from the approach end of the runway and 200 feet to left of it. All three composite propeller blades were broken off at the hub. The airframe was buckled at the instrument console, and the monowheel was collapsed aft. The rudder was functional but the ailerons could not be checked due to the position of the airplane on the ground. Once the wings were removed, the ailerons moved freely.

Subsequent to submitting his original accident statement, the pilot felt that he may have had a problem with the throttle block in that he advanced the throttle so quickly that it caused the throttle cables to go slack and kink within the block. The kink then locked the throttle at a low power setting. The FAA inspector had the pilot operate the throttle lever through part of its range (the throttle slot was distorted during the accident and prevented full range) and the throttles were actuated. The throttle block itself was inaccessible following the accident, so the pilot could not verify conclusively that kinking occurred.

The Europa kit was manufactured in England. The United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was contacted, and the throttle kinking information forwarded for further investigation. Inquiries should be made to:


Berkshire Copse Road



GU11 2HH

Winds, reported at the airport 25 minutes after the accident, were from 040 degrees true, at 6 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during an aborted landing.

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