National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

 

 

Location:

Firebaugh, CA

Accident Number:

WPR17LA104

Date & Time:

05/15/2017, 1630 PDT

Registration:

N846PM

Aircraft:

EVOLUTION AIR LLC LANCAIR EVOLUTION

Injuries:

3 Minor, 2 None

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

 

On May 15, 2017, about 1630 Pacific daylight time, an Evolution Aircraft, Lancair Evolution, N846PM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing attempt at Firebaugh Airport (F34), Firebaugh, California. The private pilot and one rear seat passenger did not sustain any injuries. A front seat passenger and two rear seat passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK), Livermore, California at approximately 1400. The personal flight was destined for Marana Regional Airport (AVQ), Marana, Arizona.

The pilot reported that he and 4 family members were en route to their home airport following a recent stay in Northern California. The departure, climbout, and most of the cruise flight was smooth and uneventful; however, further into the flight, at an altitude of 25,000 feet, the windshield "exploded" instantaneously without any pre-indication. The airplane instantly lost cabin pressure and the pilot's headset departed the airplane, so he activated the ancillary oxygen and donned his oxygen mask. During his subsequent steep descent, the pilot found a nearby airport with the requisite landing distance. He entered the airport's identifier into the onboard global positioning system and followed the course line. At 12,000 feet, the pilot leveled off and made visual contact with the airport. He was unable to locate the airport's windsock during the descent, but chose to land on runway 12. While on the downwind leg, the pilot deployed one notch of flaps and attempted to maintain a target airspeed of 110 knots. After he turned to the final leg of the airport traffic pattern, the pilot deployed the landing gear, but the left main landing gear did not show a green indication. The pilot recycled the landing gear, but received the same indication. He then decided to land with the landing gear in the UP position, as his available flight time was decreasing. According to his recount, although the airplane made contact with the runway at a high rate of speed, the touchdown was smooth and level. The airplane then overran the runway, impacted a fence, and traversed a road before it came to rest in a field.

Postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to both wings.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

EVOLUTION AIR LLC

Registration:

N846PM

Model/Series:

LANCAIR EVOLUTION NO SERIES

Aircraft Category:

Airplane

Amateur Built:

Yes

 

 

Operator:

EVOLUTION AIR LLC

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

None

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

MAE, 255 ft msl

Observation Time:

1453 PDT

Distance from Accident Site:

18 Nautical Miles

Temperature/Dew Point:

23°C / 4°C

Lowest Cloud Condition:

 

Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:

8 knots / , 340°

Lowest Ceiling:

Overcast / 9000 ft agl

Visibility

10 Miles

Altimeter Setting:

29.84 inches Hg

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

IFR

Departure Point:

LIVERMORE, CA (LVK)

Destination:

MARANA, AZ (AVQ)

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 None

Aircraft Damage:

Substantial

Passenger Injuries:

3 Minor, 1 None

Aircraft Fire:

None

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

3 Minor, 2 None

Latitude, Longitude:

 

 

Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

Stephen R Stein

Additional Participating Persons:

Michael Coberly; Federal Aviation Administration; Fresno, CA

Robert Wolstenholme; Evolution Aircraft LLC; Redmond, OR

Note:

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.