Airplane Cleared The Airport Perimeter Fence And Continued To Bank Right Until It Was Out Of Sight

Location: Hawthorne, CA Accident Number: WPR21LA003
Date & Time: October 4, 2020, 09:35 Local Registration: N449WB
Aircraft: Evolution Revo Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 4, 2020, about 0935 Pacific daylight time, a weight shift control (WSC) light sport airplane, commonly referred to as a “Trike,” N449WB, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hawthorne, California. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness was driving his vehicle near the Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR), Hawthorne, California, when he observed the airplane depart the runway and turned right at a height of about 500 ft above the ground (agl). Another witness and friend of the accident pilot was performing a preflight on his airplane when he saw the airplane takeoff from runway 25 and climb to about 30-40 ft agl before banking right. The airplane cleared the airport perimeter fence and continued to bank right until it was out of sight. Another witness watched the airplane depart the runway and soon after began a right banking turn. He watched as the pilot “pushed the steering to the right and banked harder to the right before flying into the drainage ditch.” The witness also stated that the engine was running the entire time that it was in flight.

The pilot established communication with a controller and was cleared to depart runway 25 with left closed traffic. Preliminary flight track data shows the airplane depart from the runway and veer slightly left of centerline then began a right turn before dropping off of radar. There were no other airplanes departing or arriving during the time of the accident. The last aircraft that departed the runway was 15 minutes prior to the accident flight.

The airplane impacted trees and two rows of fencing before impacting the wall of a drainage ditch north of the airport, about 1/4-mile northwest of the departure end of runway 25.