On May 14, 1999, approximately 1330 mountain daylight time, a Bell/Mason RV-6, N107BB, was substantially damaged during a landing at Double Eagle II Airport, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The certificated commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The airplane was being operated by the pilot under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country personal flight which originated from Ft. Worth, Texas, 3.5 hours before the accident. No flight plan had been filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The airplane was on final approach for runway 22, at approximately 200 feet above ground level (agl), flying between 85 to 90 mph with full flaps. The pilot, a former military test pilot, said that the airplane suddenly yawed to the right approximately 35 to 45 degrees. He applied full power, raised the flaps, and executed a go-around. He said the airplane sideslipped to the left, then sideslipped to the right, and repeated this pattern for 3 to 4 cycles. The pilot said that "attempts to dampen the oscillation by leading the yaw were unsuccessful." He said that the sideslipping oscillations caused the airspeed to decrease to approximately 65 mph. During the 4th cycle of oscillations, the "aircraft made a rapid left roll to near inverted attitude," and he managed to continue to roll the airplane to the upright position. The airplane immediately impacted the ground "in a generally flat attitude with the left wing striking the ground first." He stated that the whole sequence extended for over a mile, or 30 to 45 seconds.
The pilot said that he heard on the airport's Common Traffic Advisory Frequency that the wind was 260 degrees at 22 knots with gusts to 31 knots. A witness on the ground reported that moments before the accident, the wind had shifted around to the right approximately 90 degrees.
A pilot flying a helicopter approximately 1 mile behind the accident airplane reported seeing the airplane "dutch roll" approximately 3 or 4 times with bank angles of approximately 35 to 40 degrees. The airplane appeared to "snap roll to the left," and stall/mush to the ground with the left wing tip impacting first.