ERA09LA506A
ERA09LA506A

On September 5, 2009, about 1230 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Lancair 235, N290W, was substantially damaged when it was struck by a taxiing Cessna 140, N3656V, at Louisa County Airport (LKU), Louisa, Virginia. The certificated private pilot of the Lancair, and the certificated private pilot of the Cessna, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Neither the Lancair pilot nor the Cessna pilot had filed flights plans for the personal flights, which were conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Both pilots were attending a fly-in event held at LKU, a non-towered airport with a single east-west oriented runway. Volunteer ground personnel were present on the day of the fly-in to assist marshaling aircraft out of the parking area.

According to the pilot of the Lancair, he started his airplane and was cleared by ground personnel to taxi to runway 27. While holding short of the runway, he conducted an engine run-up and was waiting for two airplanes to land before taxiing onto the runway for takeoff. He then felt "impacts that lasted approximately 3 seconds."

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Cessna reported that she was taxiing to runway 27, and following the Lancair in front of her at "a safe distance" while conducting "proper turns." As she taxied up to the runway hold short line, she lost sight of the Lancair, and felt her airplane's propeller "strike something." The pilot stated that she "stopped" as soon as she realized what had happened.

Following the collision, both pilots shut down their airplanes and exited without incident. They observed that the Cessna's propeller had struck the right horizontal stabilizer and empennage of the Lancair several times, resulting in substantial damage to the Lancair.

The pilot of the Cessna held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. She reported 1,875 total hours of flight experience, 1,600 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model. Her most recent third-class FAA medical certificate was issued in July, 2009.

The pilot of the Lancair held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine and multiengine land, and an instrument rating. He reported 3,570 hours total flight experience. His most recent third-class FAA medical certificate was issued in August, 2009.

The weather conditions reported at LKU, at 1220, included winds from 310 degrees at 4 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and clear skies.

The Federal Aviation Administration Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) states, "Since a tailwheel-type airplane rests on the tailwheel as well as the main landing wheels, it assumes a nose-high attitude when on the ground…Consequently, objects directly ahead of the airplane are difficult, if not impossible, to see. To observe and avoid colliding with any objects or hazardous surface conditions, the pilot should alternately turn the nose from one side to the other – that is, zigzag, or make a series of short S-turns while taxiing forward."

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