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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 43678
Last updated: 17 February 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic L39 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aero Vodochody L-39C
Registration: N139DK
C/n / msn: 934874
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Reno, NV -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Reno/Stead, NV (4SD)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot was racing his jet airplane in a scheduled race in a high speed, low-level, racetrack pattern around pylons. Videos were obtained from spectators of the race and reviewed. The videos showed that a Rockwell T-2B (Buckeye) airplane was leading the group of jets, with the accident airplane immediately behind as the group rounded pylon 8. As the accident airplane rounded the pylon, it banked to the left, and then banked to the right. The bank to the right continued through an inverted position as the airplane descended. Upon impact with the ground, the airplane was upright, in a nose low attitude. It is likely that due to the low altitude of the airplane during the accident sequence, there was limited time available for the pilot to recover from the upset. According to the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25), "All aircraft generate a wake while in flight. This disturbance is caused by a pair of counter-rotating vortices trailing from the wingtips. The vortices from larger aircraft pose problems to encountering aircraft. The wake of these aircraft can impose rolling moments exceeding the roll-control authority of the encountering aircraft."
Probable Cause: The pilot's encounter with wake turbulence while maneuvering over a race course. Contributing to the accident was the low altitude at which the encounter occurred.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
04-Dec-2017 18:52 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]

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