NTSB Identification: CEN12FA010
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 06, 2011 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/2013
Aircraft: BRINKERHUFF GERALD G Q200, registration: N2935R
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was landing the airplane when it contacted a 14-foot 8-inch tall approach light stanchion that was located about 460 feet from the approach end of the runway. The airplane crashed and came to rest inverted. Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be operating normally as the pilot performed touch-and-go landings before the accident. Another witness reported the airplane was low as it approached the runway on the final approach. The pilot had about 2 hours of flight time in the newly built tandem wing airplane. A postaccident examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The examination found the throttle in the retarded position and noted that its location required the pilot to reach his left hand across his body to control it while his right hand was on the control stick. According to sun and moon data for the day of the accident, the landing approach would have been in the direction of the setting sun, which likely would have obscured the pilot’s vision as he approached the runway, making it difficult to judge the airplane’s height above the ground and clearance from the approach lights.

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

The pilot failed to maintain sufficient altitude during the landing approach, which resulted in the airplane contacting an approach light. Contributing to the accident was the setting sun, which most likely obscured the pilot’s vision.

Full narrative available

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