NTSB Identification: CHI04CA115.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 08, 2004 in Mayetta, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: Villeneuve RV-3, registration: N12JV
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted trees while on final approach. The pilot reported that when he was on final approach, approximately 100-200 feet above ground level, the airplane "suddenly and abruptly rolled approximately 30 degrees right and then left while the nose maintained the same pitch attitude." The pilot stated he was able to level the wings, however, the "controls felt abnormally mushy." The pilot also reported that the "rate of descent also suddenly increased to a dangerous level." The pilot stated he added full engine power, but the aircraft kept descending. The pilot reported, "Given the mushy controls and rate of descent I was afraid to pull up too much and risk a stall. The aircraft was already at a nose high angle of attack... It already felt like it was on the edge of a stall. [The] aircraft continued to feel unstable with a dangerously high sink rate." The pilot reported the airplane was unable to "build up enough speed to break out of wind currents before contacting trees."

The pilot reported that the winds were from the south at 15 knots, gusting to 20 knots. The pilot stated the wind conditions were at his "upper personal limitations" and that he had previously landed in similar conditions. Surface wind data was collected from nearby weather observation facilities. The collected wind data indicated the winds at the time of the accident were from the south-southwest, between 9 and 18 knots.

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

The pilot failed to maintain airspeed and aircraft control during final approach, which resulted in a stall/mush flight condition. A factor to the accident was the crosswind and the trees.

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