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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 175009
Last updated: 8 May 2019
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Type:Bede BD-22
Owner/operator:Bedecorp Llc
Registration: N224BD
C/n / msn: BD22-010
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:East of St Lucie County Internationl Airport (KFPR), Fort Pierce, FL -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Fort Pierce, FL (FPR)
Destination airport:Fort Pierce, FL (FPR)
The commercial pilot was tasked with performing high-speed taxi tests and familiarization with the experimental airplane. After performing two high-speed taxis, the pilot requested taxi clearance to the active runway, received a takeoff clearance, and departed from the runway. Witnesses reported that, after departure and while in the traffic pattern, the airplane’s pitch oscillated and that, when it turned onto the final leg of the traffic pattern, it continued to pitch up and down. The airplane subsequently descended and impacted terrain about 1 mile from the approach end of the runway.
Images captured by an onboard video recorder provided information about where the pilot’s attention was directed, his interaction with the flight controls, and the status of cockpit instruments and engine indicators. The information indicated that the pilot did not pin his left arm to the armrest and that he used his entire forearm to move the airplane’s sidestick flight control. In addition, the pilot released and re-gripped the sidestick several times, which exacerbated the negative g maneuvers. These control inputs were indicative of the pilot overcontrolling the airplane. As the pilot flew the right-hand traffic pattern, he repeatedly turned his head right and/or reached right. These movements and distractions resulted in the airplane beginning to oscillate. In each of the pitch excursions, except for one that occurred during the takeoff, the pilot’s left arm moved fore and aft, and negative gs were present. During the flight, as the speed increased, each pitch oscillation increased; the final adjustment of the flight control by the pilot resulted in an overstress of the airframe and its subsequent in-flight breakup.
A postaccident examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Although the pilot reported a high level of total flight experience, he had accumulated less than 1/2 hour of total flight experience in the accident airplane make and model at the time of the accident. The airplane manufacturer’s flight test policy indicated that, to gain experience, pilots should first taxi the airplane, then perform high-speed taxis, then perform high-speed taxis with the nose gear off the ground, and finally, after the pilot was comfortable with the airplane, to perform a takeoff. The pilot decided to perform the takeoff without the requisite experience; therefore, he was operating contrary to the manufacturer’s flight test policy.

Probable Cause: The pilot's excessive pitch control inputs to the airplane’s sidestick control, which resulted in an overstress of the airframe and its subsequent in-flight breakup. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to operate the airplane contrary to the manufacturer's flight test policy.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

01-Apr-2015 16:10 gerard57 Added
01-Apr-2015 18:20 harro Updated
02-Apr-2015 02:32 Geno Updated
14-Apr-2015 16:00 Geno Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated
01-Dec-2017 13:02 ASN Update Bot Updated

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