ERA11LA028
ERA11LA028

On July 19, 2009, approximately 1200 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Brown Thorp T-18, N33TB, was substantially damaged when it impacted fence posts after landing at Thunderbird Air Park (2FA5), Lake Como, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed around the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries. The personal local flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the passenger reported that the pilot attempted to land "at a high rate of speed." The airplane departed the end of the runway and impacted fence posts with both wings. Photographs provided by the passenger to the FAA revealed buckling and twisting of both wings.

In an interview with an FAA inspector, the pilot stated that the winds were variable at the time of the accident, he observed the airport's wind sock and attempted to land with a headwind. During the landing the wind shifted from a headwind to a tailwind and the airplane departed the end of the runway.

In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) the pilot reported that when the wind shifted to a tailwind, a go-around would not have been possible "due to the rising terrain and power lines at the departure end." He further stated that "an earlier decision to go around would have prevented this accident." The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failures with the airplane.

According to the pilot and FAA records, the pilot, age 65, held a commercial pilot and certificated flight instructor certificates with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on October 1, 2008. He reported 5,025 total hours of flight experience and 300 total hours of flight experience in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was constructed from a kit in 1981 and was issued a special airworthiness certificate on June 17, 1988. The airplane was registered to the accident pilot/owner on May 2, 2001. According to the pilot, it was equipped with a Lycoming O-360-A4K engine and the airplane had accrued 640 flight hours at the time of the accident.

The 1145 recorded weather observation at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport (OMN), Ormond Beach, Florida, located approximately 26 miles to the southeast of the accident location, included winds from 110 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 8 miles, few clouds at 2,000 feet, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C; altimeter 30.08 inches of mercury. In a review of airports within an approximate 50 mile radius of the accident airport, with weather recording equipment, revealed that the winds were variable in direction from the west to the southeast. Airports located to the south and southeast of the accident airport recorded thunderstorm activity within their vicinity around the time of the accident.

The airport was a private use airport with a single turf runway designated as runway 4/22. The runway was 2,870-feet-long by 80-feet-wide and was noted as having trees 100 feet from both ends of the runway.

The NTSB was notified of the accident on October 21, 2010.

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