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N53DB accident description

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Crash location 42.717223°N, 84.062500°W
Nearest city Fowlerville, MI
42.660589°N, 84.073014°W
3.9 miles away
Tail number N53DB
Accident date 11 Oct 2010
Aircraft type Drake Ronald A Acro Sport 1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 11, 2010, about 1516 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Drake Acro Sport 1 biplane, N53DB, impacted trees and terrain at the Maple Grove Airport (65G), Fowlerville, Michigan. The pilot had been conducting takeoffs and landings on runway 27 (3,050 feet by 110 feet, turf) and was attempting a go-around at the time of the accident. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight departed from 65G at an undetermined time.

A witness reported that the pilot had overshot the runway and executed a go-around prior to the accident. On the accident approach, the airplane touched down hard and bounced. He heard the sound of the engine increase, but not to a level consistent with takeoff power. He noted that the nose of the airplane was high. The airplane began to "waffle" and turn to the left, low over the trees. He commented that the airplane was rolling as he lost sight of it. He then heard the sound of the crash.

The pilot did not have any recollection of the events leading up to the accident.

The airplane impacted a wooded area south of the airport. Sections of the wings were separated from the fuselage. They were located adjacent to the fuselage. The ailerons were dislocated from the wings and were located with the wreckage. The aft fuselage was deformed. The elevators and rudders remained attached to the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, respectively. Control continuity was confirmed from the elevators and rudder to the cockpit controls. A postaccident examination of the airframe did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure. A detailed examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies which would have precluded the production of full power. The airplane recording hour meter indicated 10.7 hours.

The accident airplane was issued an amateur-built, experimental airworthiness certificate on April 9, 2010. Maintenance records included an entry noting the issuance of the airworthiness certificate. One additional entry, dated April 23, 2010, indicated the successful completion of the transponder and altitude reporting equipment testing. There were no subsequent entries in the maintenance records provided.

A review of pilot's logbook indicated a total flight time of 695.5 hours, with 20.6 hours in tailwheel equipped aircraft. The available logbook information included 3 entries related to the accident airplane. The first was dated June 4, 2010, and noted a local flight of 0.7 hours, with 1 landing. The entry also included the comment, "Prop strike on landing." The second entry was dated October 1, 2010, and indicated a flight duration of 1.6 hours, with 1 landing. This entry included the notation, "First successful flight by R. D." The third entry was dated October 6, 2010, and indicated a flight duration of 1.1 hours, with 1 landing. This was the final entry in the available records. A logbook endorsement indicated the satisfactory completion of a flight review on May 25, 2010.

Weather conditions recorded at the Livingston County Airport (OZW), located about 7 miles southeast of 65G, at 1515, included clear skies and northwest winds at 6 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's loss of control during a go-around maneuver following a bounced landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's limited experience in the make and model airplane.

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