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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA295
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Catlett, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2017
Aircraft: FAIRCHILD 24R, registration: N25329
Injuries: 2 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 in the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the approach to land on a grass airstrip, he avoided power lines and buildings that were located at the approach end of what he perceived to be the runway. Before the landing flare, he realized that what he perceived as the runway was a wheat field. The airplane’s main landing gear became entangled with the wheat stocks, and the airplane impacted the ground. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. Substantial damage was sustained to the engine mounts, the rudder, the vertical stabilizer, and the wing strut.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s selection of an unsuitable landing area, which resulted in the airplane impacting wheat stalks and a subsequent nose-over.