FTW02LA050
FTW02LA050

On December 9, 2001, at 1430 central standard time, a Heard RV-6A, experimental homebuilt airplane, N61AZ, sustained substantial damage during a hard landing on runway 32 at the Comfort Airpark Airport, Comfort, Texas. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot received minor injuries, and the passenger received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed Sonora, Texas, approximately 1330.

The pilot reported that during the initial touchdown on the grass runway, the airplane bounced. Subsequently, the airplane touched down again, the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. The pilot stated that the winds were from 300 degrees at 3 to 4 knots.

The FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, stated the nose landing gear strut failed "due to an excessive aft-ward force occurring on final touchdown location." The vertical stabilizer and rudder were crushed. The fuselage was wrinkled and the canopy destroyed. The propeller blades were bent. A 5-point restraint system was installed in the airplane.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), in the Recommendation (How could this accident have been prevented) section, the pilot wrote: "redesigned and stronger nose gear assembly."

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