Airplane Impacted Terrain About 500 Ft Short Of The Runway And Came To Rest Inverted

Location: Tucson, AZ Accident Number: WPR21FA288
Date & Time: July 27, 2021, 07:13 Local Registration: N966EZ
Aircraft: Borom Long-EZ Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On July 27, 2021, about 0713 mountain standard time, an amateur-built experimental Long-EZ airplane, N996EZ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Tucson, Arizona. The pilot was fatally injured, and the pilot rated passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A preliminary review of ADS-B data indicated that the airplane departed from Ryan Airfield Airport (RYN), Tucson, Arizona, on a northerly track. Subsequently, the airplane turned left to the west and after a few miles, to a southerly heading. About 12 miles from the airport, the airplane maneuvered and completed three 360° turns. The airplane then turned to an easterly heading toward RYN. The last recorded data was at 0713, consistent with the airplane on approach to runway 6R.

The pilot contacted the RYN tower controller about 12 miles southwest of the airport and requested a practice power off landing. The pilot was instructed to make a straight in approach and report a two-mile final. The pilot reported a two-mile final and was cleared to land on runway 6R. Subsequently, the airplane impacted terrain about 500 ft short of the runway and came to rest inverted.

The rear seat pilot rated passenger stated that the pilot extended the speed brake during the approach because he was high in altitude. He further stated that the pilot became fast on several occasions on final and then became slow on short final. He told the pilot to add power but could not determine if the airplane would make the runway because of the poor visibility from the rear seat. He stated that the airplane sank, struck the ground hard, and then nosed over.

Witnesses stated that the airplane looked low on the approach. Additionally, review of surveillance video from nearby businesses revealed that the airplane impacted terrain in a relatively flat attitude but shortly thereafter, nosed over and flipped inverted.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.