Airplane Subsequently Turned Right And Flew To The West Of The Pilot’S House About 200 To 300 FT AGL

Location: Cleburne, TX Accident Number: CEN22FA203
Date & Time: May 17, 2022, 17:51 Local Registration: N6409L
Aircraft: American Aviation AA-1A Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On May 17, 2022, about 1751 central daylight time, an American Aviation AA-1A, N6409L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Cleburne, Texas. The student pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A review of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane departed Cleburne Regional Airport (CPT) about 1309 and flew to Clifton Municipal Airport (7F7), Clifton, Texas. The pilot departed 7F7 with a passenger and flew to Roger M. Dreyer Memorial Airport (T20), Gonzales, Texas. The airplane was refueled at T20 and flown back to 7F7, where the passenger disembarked. About 1734, the pilot departed solo from 7F7 to return to CPT.

About 5 miles south of CPT, the airplane made a left turn about 200 to 300 ft above ground level (agl) to the west of the pilot’s house while on a south heading and a groundspeed of about 70 knots. The airplane subsequently turned right and flew to the west of the pilot’s house about 200 to 300 ft agl while on a north heading and a groundspeed of about 90 knots. The airplane continued turning right and then rapidly descended. Witnesses reported very strong and gusty wind from the south at the time of the accident.

The airplane impacted a grassy field with a nose down attitude and minimal forward momentum. The airplane came to rest upright on a northwest heading, with both wings crushed downward. The tail section was twisted slightly to the right of the fuselage as viewed from the rear of the airplane. Two propeller strike ground scars about 3 ft apart were located immediately in front of the wreckage.

All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site, and continuity was confirmed from the control surfaces to the cockpit. The wing flaps were in the retracted position. The wing fuel tanks were breached but fuel was observed in each tank. The carburetor was disassembled and one of the brass floats exhibited hydraulic crushing. No evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunctions were observed during examinations of the engine and airframe.