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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 236966
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Type:Silhouette image of generic RV8 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Van's RV-8
Registration: N836JC
MSN: 81012
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mandan Municipal Airport (Y19), ND -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Mandan Municipal Airport, ND (Y19)
Destination airport:Stanton Airport, ND (PVT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On June 13, 2020, about 1400 central daylight time, a Vans RV8 airplane, N836JC, was destroyed when
it was involved in an accident near Mandan, North Dakota. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
One witness had a meeting with the pilot and others just before the accident flight. The witness walked over to the airplane after the meeting and noticed that the aft cockpit seatbelt was strapped around the control stick. The pilot said that this was done to hold the airplane's flight controls while parked with windy conditions present. This witness reminded the pilot to remove the belt from around the rear seat controls before departure. The witness walked away from the parking area on the ramp and saw the pilot turn around while in the cockpit, but could not see what he was doing.
The witness noticed that the airplane's elevator was up as the airplane departed. The airplane became airborne quickly, flew straight up, rolled left, and then went straight down before impacting the ground; a fire ensued. The witness observed that the elevator was in an up position at the accident site and slowly lowered as the fire continued.

Another witness stated that it was very "windy," and he noticed that the wind swung the airplane around during its taxi for departure. The pilot continued a 360° turn on the ramp and then taxied the airplane to the runway for departure. The witness noticed that the airplane's elevator was up during this time and it stayed up throughout the takeoff. Upon lifting off the runway, the airplane "immediately" went straight up to about 50 ft above the ground, entered a left bank, then entered a nose-down, vertical descent to impact. The witness along with another witness tried to pull the pilot out, but the airplane was engulfed in flames.
The airplane was a low-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane with a tandem seating configuration. Both forward and aft seating positions were equipped with seatbelts and flight controls.

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined and documented the wreckage site. The inboard portions of both wings, the engine, and sections of the fuselage were thermally damaged consistent with a postimpact fire. A ground scar was present south of the wreckage. Linear gouges were observed within the ground scar. The propeller blades exhibited leading edge nicks and chordwise abrasion. The trim tab on the left elevator was displaced downward, consistent with nose-up trim. The cockpit interior was discolored, deformed, and charred. The seatbelt webbing was not identified.

Additional Information
The airplane kit manufacturer had a stated policy in place for all its company pilots that only the pilot’s stick is to be wrapped around the control stick whenever an airplane's controls are secured by wrapping . The copilot/passenger stick is not to be used to secure the controls under any circumstances.
Postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. The seat belt webbing was not identified in the charred cockpit. Given the available information, it is likely that the pilot, seated in the front cockpit of the tandem-configured airplane, failed to remove the seat belt from the aft control stick before departure, resulting in a loss of control during the initial climb and subsequent impact with terrain. The elevator likely lowered as the webbing material melted due to the fire.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to remove the seat belt used as a flight control lock from the aft cockpit control stick before takeoff, which resulted in a loss of control during takeoff and collision with terrain.

NTSB (photo)

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: NTSB

Photo(c): NTSB

Revision history:

13-Jun-2020 23:39 Captain Adam Added
14-Jun-2020 06:15 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Embed code]
15-Jun-2020 17:00 RobertMB Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Jun-2021 17:14 aaronwk Updated [Time, Destination airport, Narrative]
26-Jun-2021 17:18 harro Updated [Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, Photo]
05-Mar-2022 20:08 Captain Adam Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Category, Photo]

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