On September 14, 1995, at 1150 central daylight time (cdt), a Bede BD-12, N112BD, piloted by a commercial pilot, was substantially damaged during a hard landing onto runway 26 (7,005' X 150' dry asphalt) at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport, Chesterfield, Missouri. The 14 CFR Part 91 test flight was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight departed Chesterfield, Missouri, at 1150 cdt. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot said he was doing high speed taxi tests on the airplane with the intent of a lift off and landing. As the airplane reached a speed where the nose wheel could be lifted off the ground the airplane lifted off. The pilot said N112BD had a constant airspeed profile during the short flight that reached a maximum of 15 feet above the runway.
During the flight the pilot said the "...longitudinal handling qualities were found to be undesirable and a proper 'flare' aircraft attitude was not achieved prior to touchdown." When the airplane touchdown occurred, the landing gear failed.
The pilot said the center of gravity (C.G.) calculations placed the C.G. at the mid-range point on the C.G. envelope before flight. He said that he and engineering personnel from the company decided that the airplane had an aft C.G. during their analysis of the accident. The pilot also said that the airplane's fuselage had a forward aerodynamic center due to its elliptical shape. According to the pilot both factors created a longitudinal control problem with the amount of up stabilator deflection available.
An FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) examined N112BD and reported that its fuselage was cracked and buckled at the wing root area. The composite fuselage had a circumferential crack from one side of the cockpit opening to the other side. The main landing gear legs were buckled outward from the fuselage centerline and resting against the bottom of N112BD's wing. The nose gear assembly had separated from the airplane.