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N12JV accident description

Kansas map... Kansas list
Crash location 39.348889°N, 95.692777°W
Nearest city Mayetta, KS
39.338885°N, 95.722483°W
1.7 miles away
Tail number N12JV
Accident date 08 May 2004
Aircraft type Villeneuve RV-3
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 8, 2004, at 1230 central daylight time, an amateur-built Villeneuve RV-3, N12JV, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with trees while on final approach to a private east/west airstrip (1,800 feet by 50 feet, dry turf) near Mayetta, Kansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated from the Phillip Billard Municipal Airport (TOP), Topeka, Kansas, at 1200 and was landing at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot's written statement, he obtained weather information from the TOP automatic terminal information service (ATIS) and the winds were reported to be from the south at 15 knots, gusting to 20 knots. The pilot reported that the wind conditions were at his "upper personal limitations" and that he had previously landed in similar conditions. The pilot stated that after flying over the private airstrip he decided the winds favored a landing to the east.

The pilot reported that when he was on final approach, approximately 100-200 feet above ground level (agl), the airplane "suddenly and abruptly rolled approximately 30 degrees right and then left while the nose maintained the same pitch attitude." The pilot stated he was able to level the wings, however, the "controls felt abnormally mushy." The pilot also reported that the "rate of descent also suddenly increased to a dangerous level."

The pilot stated he added full engine power, but the aircraft kept descending. The pilot reported, "Given the mushy controls and rate of descent I was afraid to pull up too much and risk a stall. The aircraft was already at a nose high angle of attack... It already felt like it was on the edge of a stall. [The] aircraft continued to feel unstable with a dangerously high sink rate." The pilot reported the airplane was unable to "build up enough speed to break out of wind currents before contacting trees."

Surface wind data was collected from a nearby weather observation facility. The collected wind data, along with the location of the facility was:

Topeka, Kansas (TOP)

(17 nm, 165 degrees magnetic)

1153: Wind 180 @ 9 knots, gusting 18 knots

1253: Wind 200 @ 11 knots

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot failed to maintain airspeed and aircraft control during final approach, which resulted in a stall/mush flight condition. A factor to the accident was the crosswind and the trees.

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