LAX07LA137
LAX07LA137

On April 27, 2007, about 1800 mountain standard time, an experimental Riesland Fly Baby 1, N3124L, collided with a fence during a precautionary landing, subsequently coming to rest inverted in a field 18 miles east of the Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN), Grand Canyon, Arizona. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The airplane sustained substantial damage after it struck a fence. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot's written statement, his intent was to fly in the area for about an hour. He departed to the south and then turned to the east; this kept the sun out of his eyes. He was over flying an open field when he decided to turn back for the airport. The airplane was at 500 feet above ground level (agl), and he made a 180-degree turn, with a 30-35 degree bank angle. After rolling out of the turn, the airplane began to sink. The pilot stated the throttle was full-in, and the airplane had "plenty of airspeed," but he decided to make a precautionary landing in a field. During the landing, the landing gear wheels clipped a barbed wire fence that he had not seen until he was "right on top of it." The wheels seized up, and after the airplane touched down, it immediately nosed over, structurally damaging the fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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