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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 204544
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Type:Silhouette image of generic VELO model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Velocity XL-RG
Registration: N787SB
MSN: 3RX097
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Santa Fe County south of Santa Fe, NM -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Liberal, KS (LBL)
Destination airport:Santa Fe, NM (SAF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On January 15, 2018, about 1935 mountain standard time, an experimental Velocity XL-RG airplane, N787SB, was substantially damaged during an accident near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal cross-country flight.
The pilot departed from Rosecrans Memorial Airport (STJ), St. Joseph, Missouri, earlier in the day and landed at Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport (LBL), Liberal, Kansas, between 1515-1530 to refuel. The pilot stated that he was "extremely cold" upon landing at LBL because the airplane had inadequate cabin heat during cold weather operations. The pilot immediately went inside the fixed based operator (FBO) facility to warmup for several minutes next to a space heater. After warming up, he used the FBO's courtesy car to drive into town to purchase some food. The pilot stated that he normally avoided flying over mountainous terrain at night, especially during the winter months due to his concerns about airframe icing. The pilot inquired about local motel room availability and nightly rates; however, he eventually decided to depart LBL for Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico, after he compared the cost difference to hangar the airplane overnight at the two airports. The pilot stated that he was traveling on a tight budget and noted that his focus on keeping costs low had likely contributed, in part, to his "making bad decisions" before the flight. He further suggested that his being physically cold likely contributed to his poor decision making before the flight; specifically, that he did not review any weather data before departure.
The airplane was topped-off with fuel and a half quart of oil was added to the engine before the flight. The pilot stated that the engine started normally, and that he did not observe any airframe ice while he taxied to the runway. The flight departed LBL about 1732. The pilot established contact with air traffic control (ATC) after takeoff and requested visual flight rules (VFR) flight following to SAF. The pilot stated that he did not ask the air traffic controllers about the weather conditions ahead of the airplane, despite having available time while en route toward SAF.
The pilot does not recall any significant details of the flight until the airplane entered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) during cruise flight. The pilot reported that he would normally have diverted toward visual meteorological conditions (VMC) after inadvertently entering IMC; however, he believed that his being extremely cold, due to the inadequate cabin heat, had negatively affected his judgment and decision making. He recalled that the airplane began accruing ice less than 5 minutes after the airplane entered IMC. The experimental airplane was not equipped for flight in known icing conditions. He initially saw a 1 ft diameter "gelatinous supercooled water mass" on the windshield, and then entire windshield crystalized with ice about 5 seconds later. The pilot stated that the airplane entered an uncommanded dive within a few seconds of the crystalized windshield ice. The pilot was able to recover from the dive after the airplane descended between 500 and 1,000 ft. The pilot reported that he declared an icing emergency with the air traffic controller and his inability to maintain altitude. The pilot does not recall the final sequence of events before the forced landing, and his next memory is following the accident when emergency first responders were approaching the accident site.




Revision history:

16-Jan-2018 16:46 Geno Added
17-Jan-2018 02:43 Geno Updated [Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Jan-2018 07:09 flightwriter Updated [Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
18-Jan-2018 21:34 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
26-Aug-2020 08:40 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Aug-2020 08:56 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]

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