While On Base Leg, Banked Sharply To The Left And Pointed Nose Down Before It Crashed
Location: Bay City, WI Accident Number: ERA22FA399
Date & Time: September 6, 2022, 13:25 Local Registration: N11HC
Aircraft: Conway Philip J Glasair Super II SFT Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional
On September 6, 2022, at 1325 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Glasair Super II SFT airplane, N11HC, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident in Bay City, Wisconsin. The flight instructor and a commercial pilot-under-instruction were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The flight departed from Rochester Regional Airport (RST), Rochester, Minnesota about 1218.
Following some air work, the flight proceeded to Red Wing Airport (RGK), Bay City, Wisconsin and entered left traffic for the visual airport traffic pattern to runway 9. According to Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, three circuits of the traffic pattern were flown (it is not known if the airplane landed during the approaches) and a fourth traffic pattern was initiated. The ADS-B data indicated that the airplane turned onto the base leg of the airport traffic pattern about 1 mile sooner than on the previous approaches. A witness reported that the airplane, while on base leg, banked sharply to the left and pointed nose down before it crashed. The airplane impacted the ground about 1/3 nautical mile west-northwest of runway 9.
An examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted terrain on a heading of about 045° and the main wreckage came to rest about 80 ft from the point of initial impact. There was no fire. All structural components of the airplane were located within the confines of the wreckage path. Both wing fuel tanks and a header tank were breached during the impact, and no fuel remained inside the tanks. The owner reported that he filled the tanks to their 50-gallon capacity before the flight.
The owner, who was the airplane builder, reported that the purpose of the flight was build time requirements for insurance purposes so that he could include the commercial pilot on his policy. This was the first flight to satisfy those requirements and the two accident pilots had not flown together previously. The flight instructor flew with the owner on September 1, 2022, and the owner stated that the flight instructor performed all tasks satisfactorily, including air work, stalls, patterns, and landings.
Other than the 2-hour flight on September 1, the flight instructor had no previous experience in the Glasair. The commercial pilot had flown with the owner as a passenger; however, he had no logged time in the Glasair.
The airplane was equipped with a Garmin G3X glass cockpit navigation system. The non-volatile memory card from the flight display recorded data from the entire accident flight, including engine and systems performance. The memory card was retained for further investigation.