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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 183553
Last updated: 10 October 2019
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Date:14-JAN-2016
Time:14:05
Type:Flightstar II
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N82652
C/n / msn: 083
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Middlesex County, Wake, VA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Wake, VA (W75)
Destination airport:Gloucester, VA (92VA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The sport pilot was conducting a personal cross-county flight back to his home airport in visual flight rules conditions. While climbing through an altitude of about 1,000 ft msl, the airplane's left wing suffered a catastrophic failure, folding upward and rendering the airplane uncontrollable. The airplane descended to ground impact in heavily wooded terrain.

Examination of the left wing revealed that the forward wing spar likely fractured due to compression loading from wing loads combined with preexisting damage on the leading edge, leading to an overstress condition about 4 ft outboard of the fracture location. No indications of fatigue cracks were observed. Damage patterns indicated that the preexisting damage was likely due to an impact on the leading edge.

Examination of the wing did not reveal any bird strike residue, and a witness's observation made on the morning of the accident that an area of the left wing about 4 ft outboard of the wing root appeared to be deformed indicated that damage to the wing likely occurred before the accident flight. While it is possible that this damage occurred 5 days before the accident when the right landing gear wheel broke off and the right axle dug into the ground during landing at the end of the previous flight, the source of the damage observed by the witness could not be definitively determined.

The pilot had a history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and a coronary artery bypass. In addition, he had a pacemaker implanted. Atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering medication, and sotalol, an antiarrhythmic heart medication, were found during toxicology. However, there was no evidence that the pilot's heart disease or medications impaired his performance or incapacitated him.

Probable Cause: Failure of the left wing in flight due to compression loading from wing loads combined with preexisting damage.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20160114X73526&key=1
FAA register: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=N82652

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years 1 month
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Jan-2016 21:47 Geno Added
16-Jan-2016 05:06 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Jan-2016 22:35 Geno Updated [Time, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
19-Feb-2018 07:46 ASN Update Bot Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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