On November 13, 1999, about 1330 eastern standard time, a Grumman AA-5B, N4542P, was destroyed during an aborted landing at Fayetteville Airport (I89), Fayetteville, West Virginia. The certificated private pilot and the two passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed for the flight, from Virginia Tech Airport (BCB), Blacksburg, Virginia, to Fayetteville. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he had taken two friends on a sightseeing trip, and planned to have lunch in Fayetteville. He had never landed at the Fayetteville Airport before the accident flight. About 6 miles south of Fayetteville, the passenger sitting in the right front seat became sick. The pilot checked the sectional chart and saw that the airport's single runway was 2,000 feet long. He circled the airport, and saw a dog-leg in the runway.
He further stated:
"What I did not see from the air was the vertical elevation of the runway - there is no line of sight from end to end, and therefore no way to gauge how far down the runway one is during an approach. With no experience at that airport, I did not have the visual clues to indicate the distance down the runway."
The pilot stated that he checked the weather at Charleston, West Virginia, and that the winds were reported as variable, at 4 knots. He then opted to land on Fayetteville's Runway 03 for better obstacle clearance.
As the pilot turned the airplane downwind, the passenger became sick again. The pilot made a "normal" full-flap approach, but the airplane was slightly fast on final, and it touched down twice before reaching the crest of the runway. The pilot applied hard braking after the second touchdown, and the airplane skidded forward. It then went over the crest, and the pilot knew that he could not stop it before reaching the end of the runway. The pilot then added full power, and the airplane became airborne. However, the right wing struck a tree, and the airplane swung around 180 degrees before it fell to the ground.
According to the Airport/Facility Directory, "Airport Remarks" section for Fayetteville, "No line of sight between rwy ends. Rwy 03-21 slopes upward from thld Rwy 21 to dsplcd thld." The Runway 21 displaced threshold was 62 feet from the threshold.
Twenty-four minutes after the accident, weather recorded at Charleston, located 30 nautical miles to the northwest, included winds from 240 degrees magnetic, at 3 knots.