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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA16CA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in Grass Valley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2016
Aircraft: VAN B ANTHONY ZODIAC, registration: N99SZ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of an experimental amateur built airplane reported that he felt pressured by a trailing airplane while in the traffic pattern; he further reported that this pressure caused him to turn base, and then final sooner than expected, which resulted in an increased airspeed and higher than expected altitude on final approach.

The pilot reported that he decided to proceed with the landing with the intent of utilizing the length of the runway to reduce the airspeed. He further reported that the landing flare was effected by the higher than normal airspeed, and resulted in a hard landing.

During the landing roll, the pilot reported that the airplane began to veer to the left and right which progressively increased, resulting in a runway excursion to the left. During the runway excursion, the airplane impacted a taxiway sign, which disabled the brake(s). The airplane continued across the airport until it impacted a parked airplane on the ramp. As a result of the impact, a post-impact fire ensued and the airplane was destroyed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to maintain a stabilized approach and landing, which resulted in a hard landing, loss of directional control, runway excursion, and collision with a parked airplane.