NTSB Identification: LAX02LA230.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 18, 2002 in Tucson, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: Violet Dragonfly, registration: N48RV
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On short final approach between 50 and 75 feet above the ground, the pilot encountered wake turbulence from a MD80, which had just landed. During the wake turbulence encounter, the accident airplane suddenly rolled into a near vertical left bank, control was lost, and it crashed about 340 feet from the runway. While in the traffic pattern, the pilot had observed the approaching MD80. Air traffic control personnel advised the pilot that the local wind was from 060 degrees, at 7 knots, and the controller twice cautioned the pilot regarding wake turbulence. At 0947:24, the MD80 was about 1 mile from landing on a visual approach to runway 11L and it landed at 0948:29 . The accident pilot crashed at 0949:28, approaching parallel runway 11R. Tucson International Airport operations personnel reported that the impact site was about 340 feet short of the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's loss of control resulting from his improperly planned approach and an inadvertent encounter with wake turbulence.

Full narrative available

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