The Track Then Made A Second, Tighter, 360-Degree Turn At 49 Knots And Decreasing

Location: Berwyn, NE Accident Number: CEN21FA150
Date & Time: March 6, 2021, 06:10 Local Registration: N166WW
Aircraft: Aviat A-1B Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On March 6, 2021, about 0610 central standard time, an Aviat A-1B airplane, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Berwyn, Nebraska. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The purpose of the flight was to fly from the pilot’s private runway to Holyoke, Colorado, for an annual inspection. About 0555, the airplane was first observed on primary radar about 1/2 mile south of the private runway. The airplane track proceeded generally west-southwest about 87 knots. About 11 miles from the runway, it made a left turn toward the south. The track then made right 360-degree turn and the speed of the airplane increased to about 114 knots. The track then made a second, tighter, 360-degree turn at 49 knots and decreasing. The track then zig zagged generally eastbound between 20-30 knots until the track terminated at 0609.

When the airplane did not arrive at its destination, an ALNOT was issued; shortly thereafter, it was located about 1,000 ft from the last radar point. The airplane impacted a field perpendicular to a gully in a very rural area; the debris field was about 300 ft long. The first identified point of impact was a long narrow area of disturbed dirt with the right wingtip nearby. Followed by two slash marks consistent with propeller blade slices, then a large area of disturbed dirt with propeller blade fragments. The main wreckage came to rest at the bottom of a gully, and the last piece of debris was the engine. There were no witnesses to the accident.

At the time of the accident the moon was 22.97 degrees above the horizon, and at third quarter phase. Its illumination was 45.1% of the moon’s full potential. There were no high-altitude cloud layers. Dawn started at 0636 and sunrise was at 0704.