On April 18, 2004, about 0811 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Glasair III, N333ZZ, registered to a private individual, nosed over during the landing roll at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL), Lakeland, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot was not injured, while one passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight originated about 0725, from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the night before departing, he downloaded the NOTAM for arrival and departure procedures at Lakeland during Sun 'n Fun. The flight departed and before arrival to KLAL, he and his pilot-rated passenger monitored the KLAL Automated Terminal Information Service (ATIS) which was broadcasting information "A." He recalled ATIS information "A" indicated landings would be performed on runway 09, but he couldn't recall left or right designator. He heard on the frequency a controller advise for a "white low wing" airplane to turn base two times. He was not sure the controller was referring to his airplane due to the fact that he could not slow down to landing speed on a short base to final from his position, and he "surmised" the controller was not referring to his airplane. He continued on the downwind leg thinking he was going to land on runway 09 (9R), turned base, then while on final approach to runway 9R, he noted activity at the middle of the field and noted airplanes departing from that runway. He later reported that was not unusual during Sun 'n Fun.
While on final approach to runway 9R at 200 feet mean sea level with a descent rate established, the controller advised him, "white low wing do not land on runway 9R sidestep over to the skinny runway to the left." He added almost full power to arrest the sink rate but in doing so, the angle of attack reached the critical angle almost immediately and he could no longer see the landing site in front of him. He maneuvered the airplane to the taxiway (9L), and touched down 5 feet too far to the right straddling a row of taxiway lights. The airplane continued on the ground and the nose landing gear hit one of the taxiway lights causing the nose landing gear wheel to separate. The airplane then nosed over. He and his passenger were trapped until they were rescued from the airplane. He further reported that he should have gone around, and there was no problems with the airplane or engine. He also reported that he first flew into Sun 'n Fun, in 2003, and had landed a total of six times. In all those occasions, he landed on runway 9R, and he expected to land on that runway during the accident flight.
Examination of the taxiway revealed rubber transfer within 24 inches from the south edge of the taxiway, approximately 650 feet past the intersection of that taxiway and taxiway designated "A4." Two other marks were noted in grass south of the taxiway edge associated with the mark made on the taxiway surface. The mark on the taxiway surface continues then travels off the surface onto grass. Three distinct marks on the grass were then noted; the mark from the middle of the two marks contacted a taxiway light concrete pad, and a heavy gouge and segments of shattered propeller blades were noted on the ground 80 feet past the taxiway light concrete pad. The airplane came to rest inverted on grass adjacent to the south edge of the taxiway, approximately 570 feet past the point of contact on the taxiway surface made by the left main landing gear.
At the time of the accident, runway 9R was being used for departing aircraft only, and the taxiway (9L) was being used for landing traffic only. The automated terminal information service (ATIS) indicated close base for the taxiway (9L) and runway 9R, and the taxiway (9L), was 75 feet wide.
Review of the voice tape of communications from the air traffic control tower revealed that the accident airplane was described as "low wing", but no color was mentioned. The "low wing" airplane was advised three times to turn base to land on the "skinny runway", designated 9L. The pilot was advised to maneuver the airplane to land on the taxiway (runway 9L).
Review of the Notice to Airman (NOTAM) in effect for Sun 'n Fun revealed, "DO NOT land on the main, wide, Runway 9R/27 unless specifically instructed by the Control Tower."