On May 21, 1994, about 1315 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Acro Sport II, N5181V, owned and piloted by Carmen J. Scoppa, was substantially damaged while landing at the Hornell Airport, Hornell, New York. The pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the flight operating under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot was landing on runway 35 at the Hornell Airport. The surrounding terrain at the approach end of runway 35 is 25 feet lower then the runway. The airplane touched down 200 feet short of the paved runway and struck the rising terrain on which the runway is constructed.

In the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 the pilot stated that he "landed short" and ground looped the airplane.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector's report stated that during a flight and oral re-examination, Mr. Scoppa disclosed that his experience in bi-planes was limited to the 7 hours that he has flown in N5181V. The Inspector's report further stated:

"Mr. Scoppa had purchased the Acre Sport II just two days before the accident and had been unable to receive any dual instruction in the aircraft due to the lack of a qualified instructor. (The previous owner and builder of the aircraft was to large to fit into the front hole of the cockpit and had only briefed Mr. Scoppa on the aircraft). During the re-exam it became apparent that Mr. Scoppa was not cognizant of the limited forward visibility afforded to the pilot of a bi-plane during the final stages of an approach to a landing. Additionally, Mr. Scoppa was not aware of the high drag and corresponding high sink rates of most bi-planes during power off approaches at air speeds below 1.3 Vso. It is the opinion of this inspector that Mr. Scoppa did not possess the skills and experience needed on May 22, 1994 to successfully complete the landing at Hornell, New York."

In a telephone interview with the pilot, he stated that of the 7 hours in the Acro Sport, 3 of the hours were during the cross country from Ohio to New York, after he purchased the airplane. Mr. Scoppa further stated that forward visibility was lost during the approach to landing and the drag was greater than he had previously experienced in other airplanes.

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