The Pilot Pulled Back The Power Lever And The Lever Ball Came Off In His Hand
Location: McKinney, TX Accident Number: CEN24LA037
Date & Time: November 11, 2023, 12:41 Local Registration: N751HP
Aircraft: RDD Enterprises, LLC Lancair LX7 Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal
On November 11, 2023, about 1241 central standard time, a RDD Enterprises, LLC, Lancair LX7 airplane, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near McKinney, Texas. The pilot and passenger were not injured, and an occupant in an automobile sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
According to the pilot, while at flight level 250 west of Abilene, Texas, a door seal failed, and the airplane experienced a loss of pressurization. The pilot contacted air traffic control for an immediate descent due to the depressurization. The pilot descended the airplane to 10,000 ft mean sea level and continued the flight to Aero Country Airport (T31), McKinney, Texas. Following the emergency descent, the pilot noted no aircraft systems anomalies. About 5 minutes after establishing cruise flight at 10,000 ft to T31, the pilot noted an amber caution light for the propeller RPM, which was indicating 1,920 RPM. The pilot reduced the propeller RPM to 1,800 and the caution light turned off. The pilot continued the flight to T31.
The pilot reported he had not previously landed at T31 and performed a touch and go landing on runway 17 “to see the field.” The pilot climbed the airplane to the traffic pattern altitude and flew a normal traffic pattern to land on runway 17. During the downwind leg, the pilot pulled back the power lever and the lever ball came off in his hand. The pilot handed the ball to the passenger and continued the landing at the flight idle power position.
The pilot stated the airplane touched down in the first 500 ft of the runway without a float or a bounce in ground effect, and he immediately “hit [the] brakes gently” and maintained the runway centerline. For about 5 to 10 seconds, the pilot unsuccessfully attempted to move the power lever into beta-reverse. The pilot applied maximum braking; however, the brakes faded and stopping power decreased. The airplane exited the end of the runway, went through an airport perimeter fence, and struck a moving vehicle on a roadway. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the forward fuselage and right wing.
A witness, located on a general aviation ramp on the east side of T31, video recorded the pilot’s landing on his cellular telephone. A review of the video showed the airplane touch down and bounce near the ½ point of the 3,002 ft asphalt runway. All three landing gear came to rest on the runway surface and evidence of braking action (smoke from main landing gear wheels/tires) occurred about 3 seconds later. The wheel/tire smoke continued until the airplane exited the runway surface.
According to the T31 airport manager, who examined the runway surface after the accident, the first visible tire skid marks were about 200 ft past the ½ point of the runway. The skid marks remained visible for about 1,300 ft until the airplane departed the end of the asphalt surface. The airplane continued 14 ft to the perimeter fence and then traveled 93 ft before contacting a moving automobile in a roadway.