NTSB Identification: LAX95LA176.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 30, 1995 in WHEATON SPRINGS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1995
Aircraft: KNAPP PACKARD SPECIAL, registration: N55851
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
WITNESSES REPORTED SEEING THE AIRCRAFT OVER A DRY LAKE BED AT 20 FEET AGL. THE AIRCRAFT THEN DESCENDED ABRUPTLY AND IMPACTED IN NOSE-LOW ATTITUDE. AFTER IMPACT, THE AIRCRAFT NOSED OVER AND SKIDDED ABOUT 150 FEET BEFORE COMING TO REST IN AN INVERTED POSITION. A POSTCRASH INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED BOTH MAIN LANDING GEAR HAD BEEN SPREAD TO THE POINT OF FAILURE. THE PILOT TOLD ASSOCIATES THAT HE WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY IN JUDGING HIS HEIGHT ABOVE TOUCHDOWN. THE AREA OF THE ACCIDENT SITE IS FLAT WITHOUT TREES, FOLIAGE, OR GROUND OBJECTS. THE PILOT HAD ONLY RECENTLY RESUMED FLYING AFTER 17 YEARS OF INACTIVITY. FAA INSPECTORS REPORTED THAT THE PILOT'S FIRST FLIGHT SINCE 1978 WAS ON APRIL 3, 1995. BETWEEN APRIL 3 AND 7, HE RECEIVED INSTRUCTION AND A BIENNIAL FLIGHT REVIEW IN A CESSNA 205 EQUIPPED WITH TRICYCLE LANDING GEAR. DURING THAT PERIOD HE LOGGED A TOTAL OF 8.9 HOURS. HIS ESTIMATED TOTAL TIME IN THE ACCIDENT AIRCRAFT WAS 10 HOURS.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's misjudged altitude and landing flare timing which resulted in a hard landing and nose over. Full narrative available
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