Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Campo Verde: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 13, 2020 at 1300 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
PP-XLD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Campo Verde – São Paulo
MSN:
038SSW624
YOM:
2004
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Campo Verde Airstrip, while climbing, the pilot initiated a turn when control was lost. The aircraft crashed in a cotton field, bursting into flames. The pilot, sole on board, was killed.

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Ray

Date & Time: Oct 15, 2015 at 1810 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N224MS
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Ray - Anniston
MSN:
0652843
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
948
Captain / Total hours on type:
49.00
Circumstances:
The private pilot reported that, while on a left downwind in the airport traffic pattern after conducting a cross-country business flight, he extended the flaps 10 degrees. While on short final, he fully extended the flaps, and shortly after, the left wing dropped. The pilot attempted to correct the left wing drop by applying right aileron and rudder; however, the airplane did not respond. The pilot chose to conduct a go-around and increased engine power. The airplane subsequently pitched up, and the left turn steepened. The pilot subsequently reduced engine power, and the airplane began to descend. The airplane struck the ground short of the runway, and the left wing separated from the fuselage. The examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the trim system revealed that the right aileron trim and the left rudder trim were in positions that would have resulted in a right turn and a left yaw. Further, a witness reported that the airplane appeared to be in a cross-controlled attitude while on final approach to the airport. It is likely that the pilot’s improper use of the trim led to a cross-controlled situation and resulted in the subsequent stall during the attempted go-around.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper use of the trim, which created a cross-controlled situation and resulted in an aerodynamic stall during the attempted go-around.
Final Report:

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Jämijärvi: 8 killed

Date & Time: Apr 20, 2014 at 1540 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
OH-XDZ
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Jämijärvi - Jämijärvi
MSN:
01
YOM:
2008
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
10
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
8
Captain / Total flying hours:
1029
Captain / Total hours on type:
43.00
Aircraft flight hours:
809
Aircraft flight cycles:
3015
Circumstances:
The Tampere Skydiving Club (TamLK) organized the skydiving event “Easter Boogie” at Jämijärvi aerodrome, in the Satakunta region, on Sunday 20 Apr 2014. The event started on Maundy Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 and was planned to end on Easter Monday, 21 Apr 2014. The aircraft reserved for the event were Finland’s Sport Aviators’ Comp Air 8 airplane (CA8, OH-XDZ), which was intended to be used to take skydivers up to 4 000 m, and the Tampere Skydiving Club’s own Cessna U206F (OH-CMT), to be used for jumps from lower altitudes. On Sunday morning the cloud base hampered skydiving operations, which is why the activity started with student jumps from the Cessna. The pilot of the accident flight flew two flights on the Cessna. Once the weather improved he began to fly on the OH-XDZ. He flew two flights on it before he took a lunch break. Another pilot flew four flights on the airplane, following which it was topped up with 240 l of fuel. After refuelling the pilots changed duties again and the pilot of the accident flight flew yet another skydiving flight, landing at 15:25. Ten skydivers boarded the airplane for the accident flight. Takeoff occurred at 15:28 from northern runway 27 of Jämijärvi aerodrome. The airplane climbed to 4 230 m AGL by making a wide, left turn. The pilot steered the aircraft to the jump run, which was over the southern runway. Some of the skydivers sitting at the rear rose to their knees, and two of them cracked the jump door open so as to check the jump run. The skydivers then gave instructions to the pilot as regards correcting the jump run. The pilot adjusted the heading following which he reduced engine power to idle, reducing airspeed to approximately 70-75 kt. Nonetheless, the skydivers noted that they had overshot the jump line and requested that the pilot take them to a new run. The skydivers closed the door. The pilot increased engine power and, according to his account, simultaneously began to turn to the left at a 20-30 degree bank angle. He did not order the skydivers to return to their seats as he was homing in on the new jump run. At the end of the turn the occupants of the aircraft felt a downward acceleration which the skydivers experienced as a force pushing them towards the cabin ceiling. Approximately three seconds later the situation returned to normal. According to the pilot the airspeed was approximately 100 kt when they encountered the vertical acceleration. A moment later the pilot noticed that the airplane was in a descent and that the airspeed had suddenly risen to over 180 kt IAS. According to the pilot the airspeed peaked at 185 kt. He attempted to end the descent by pulling on the control stick. The aircraft levelled out or went into a shallow climb. He reduced engine power to idle to decrease the airspeed. The pilot said that the pitch control stick forces were relatively high. The aircraft returned to level flight, or to a gentle climb. The longitudinal control force suddenly decreased and the airplane suddenly flipped forward past the vertical axis. One of the surviving skydivers said that he heard a crushing sound roughly at the same time; how-ever, he was unsure of the precise point in time of the sound. The aircraft became uncontrollable and began to rotate around its vertical axis, akin to an inverted spin. According to eyewitness videos the aircraft was turning to the left. The videos show that the right wing was buckled against the fuselage and that a vapour trail of fuel was streaming from the damaged wing. While the aircraft was spinning its left wing, which was intact, was pointing upwards and the airplane was falling with its right side forward. Shouts of “open the jump door, bail out immediately” were heard inside the airplane. The pilot concluded that the aircraft was so badly damaged that it was no longer possible to recover from the dive. He unbuckled his seat belts and opened the pilot’s door on his left at approximately 2 000 m. The pilot jumped out at approximately 1 800 m and opened his emergency parachute. Even though twists had developed in the parachute’s lines, the pilot managed to untangle them. The skydiver sitting at the rear of the seat positioned next to the pilot (skydiver 3) noted that it would be impossible for him to make it to the jump door. Therefore, he chose the pilot’s door as a point of exit. It was extremely difficult to get to the door because the airplane was spinning. The skydiver sitting at the front of the seat positioned next to the pilot (skydiver 2) followed skydiver 3 on his way to the cockpit door and pushed skydiver 3 out of the door. Following egress, skydiver 3 immediately hit his head on airplane structures. The blow momentarily blurred his field of vision but he remained conscious. The Automatic Activation Device (AAD) opened the reserve parachute almost immediately after egress, at approximately 250 m. While skydiver 2 was still behind skydiver 3 he grabbed the control stick, intending to reduce the g-forces caused by the spinning and make it easier to bail out of the airplane. He soon realized that the airplane did not respond to stick movements and exited through the pilot’s door immediately behind skydiver 3. The skydiver who had occupied the furthest forward position (skydiver 1) assisted skydiver 2 in exiting through the door. The AAD of skydiver 2 opened his reserve parachute at approximately 200 m. After skydiver 2 had bailed out neither skydiver 1, situated closest to the pilot’s door, nor the remaining seven skydivers in the rear of the cabin managed to bail out. The airplane collided with the ground at 15:40 and caught fire immediately. The pilot landed approximately 300 m downwind from the wreckage. Skydiver 3 landed on a dirt road, some 60 m from the wreckage and skydiver 2 in the woods, approximately 40 m from the wreckage.
Probable cause:
The cause of the accident was that the stress resistance of the right wing’s wing strut was exceeded as a result of the force which was generated by a negative g-force. The force which resulted in the buckling of the wing strut was the direct result of a negative (nose-down) change in pitching moment, in conjunction with an engine power reduction intended to decrease the high airspeed. The buckling was followed by the right wing folding against the fuselage and the jump door. The aircraft entered into a flight condition resembling an inverted spin, which was unrecoverable. It was impossible to exit through the jump door.
The contributing factors were the following:
1. There was a fatigue crack on the wing strut. Because of the damage to the aircraft it was not possible to investigate the mechanism of the fatigue crack formation. It is possible that, in addition to the stress caused to the aircraft by short flights and high takeoff weights, the temperature changes caused by the exhaust gas stream as well as vibration contributed to the fatigue cracking.
2. The nature of skydiving operations generated many takeoffs and landings in relation to flight hours. A significant part of the operations was flown close to the maximum takeoff weight. These factors increased the structural stress.
3. The pilot’s limited flight experience on a powerful turboprop aircraft, his inadequate training as regards aircraft loading and its effects on the centre of gravity and airplane behavior, the high weight of the aircraft and the aft position of the CG in the beginning of a new jump line and, possibly, the pilot’s incorrect observation of the actual visual horizon contributed to the onset of the occurrence. During the turn to a new jump run the aircraft began to descend and very rapidly accelerated close to its maximum permissible airspeed. The pilot did not immediately realize this.
4. The structural modifications on the wing increased the loads on the aircraft and the wing struts. Their effects had not been established beforehand. The kit manufacturer was aware of the modifications. No changes to the Permit to build were applied for in writing regarding the modifications. Neither the build supervisor nor the aircraft inspectors were aware of the origin or the effects of the modifications.
Final Report:

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Sorocaba: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 29, 2013 at 1540 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
PP-XLR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Sorocaba - Jundiaí
MSN:
0204CA8
YOM:
2006
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after take off from Sorocaba Airport, while climbing, the pilot encountered technical problems and elected to return. While trying to land in a wasteland, the single engine aircraft crashed in a street and was destroyed by impact forces and a post impact fire. Both occupants were killed as a house was also destroyed.

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Merritt Island

Date & Time: Nov 28, 2012 at 1435 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N155JD
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Merritt Island - Merritt Island
MSN:
998205
YOM:
2001
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
5569
Captain / Total hours on type:
102.00
Aircraft flight hours:
923
Circumstances:
On November 28, 2012, about 1435 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Comp Air 8 (CA-8), N155JD, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a go-around, while attempting to land at the Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot sustained serious injuries and a passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot reported that he flew from Smithfield, North Carolina, to Marion, South Carolina (MAO), without incident. After refueling, he departed MAO for COI. While en route, approximately 150 miles north of Ormond Beach, Florida, the airplane began to experience a left rolling tendency, which required right aileron control inputs to counteract. He configured the fuel selector to the left fuel tank in an attempt to lighten the wing and compensate for the turning tendency; however, the force required to maintain directional control became greater as the flight progressed. The pilot subsequently entered the traffic pattern at COI for runway 29, a 3,601-foot-long, 75- foot-wide, asphalt runway. While maneuvering in the traffic pattern, full right aileron control was required to maintain straight and level flight, and only a slight relaxing of right aileron control was needed to turn left. The pilot had difficulty compensating for a northwest crosswind, which resulted in the airplane drifting to the southern edge of the runway. He performed a go-around and lined-up on the northern side of the runway 29 approach course for a second landing attempt, which again resulted in a go-around. When the pilot applied engine power, the airplane began to slowly roll to the left despite right aileron and rudder control inputs. He decreased engine power; however, the airplane's left wing struck the ground and the airplane flipped-over. The left wing, propeller, and empennage separated during the impact sequence. The airplane's flight controls were electrically actuated. On site examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions, which would have precluded normal operation. The fuel tanks were compromised during the accident. The airplane's rudder, elevator, and aileron control servos were removed for further examination. According to the FAA inspector, the rudder and elevator control servos functioned normally; however, the aileron control servo sustained impact damage during the accident sequence and could not be tested. The six seat, high-wing, tail-wheel, turboprop airplane, serial number 998205, was constructed primarily of composite material and was equipped with a Walter M601D series, 650 horsepower engine, with an AVIA 3-bladed constant-speed propeller. According to FAA records, the airplane was issued an experimental airworthiness certificate on April 26, 2001. The airplane was purchased from one of the builders, by the commercial pilot, through a corporation, on September 30, 2012. At that time, the airplane had been operated for about 925 total hours and had undergone a condition inspection. The pilot reported about 5,570 hours of total flight experience, which included about 100 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. In addition, the pilot had accumulated about 23 hours and 5 hours in make and model, during the 30 and 90 days preceding the accident, respectively. Winds reported at an airport located about 8 miles southeast of the accident site, about the time of the accident, were from 340 degrees at 16 knots.
Probable cause:
The pilot's improper decision to continue a cross-country flight as a primary control (aileron) system anomaly progressively worsened. Contributing to the accident was an aileron control system anomaly, the reason for which could not be determined because the aileron control system could not be tested due to impact damage, and the pilot’s inability to compensate for crosswind conditions encountered during the approach due to the aileron problem.
Final Report:

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Everglades City: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 6, 2012 at 1645 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N548SF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Everglades City - Merritt Island
MSN:
0585552921
YOM:
2006
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
1208
Circumstances:
Witnesses observed the airplane depart the airport to the north and make an abrupt right turn at an altitude of about 150 feet. One witness, who was also a pilot, described the wings as “shimmying,” appearing as if the airplane stalled before it banked to the right in a nose-down attitude. The airplane crashed and was nearly consumed during the postcrash fire. A postaccident examination was conducted with no preimpact mechanical anomalies noted. Records indicate that the pilot built the airplane from a kit about 6 years before the accident. The pilot and airplane logbooks were not located during the investigation; therefore, the maintenance history for the airplane, and the pilot’s recent (and total) flight experience could not be determined. Postaccident toxicological testing revealed metabolites of the drug diazepam (Valium) in the pilot’s blood and urine. Valium is a prescription benzodiazepine classed as a central nervous system depressant and tranquilizer, used as a sleep aid and to inhibit anxiety. The amount noted in the pilot’s blood suggested he took the drug 12 to 24 hours before the accident, and, as a result, it would not have affected his performance.
Probable cause:
The pilot’s failure to maintain sufficient airspeed during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and loss of airplane control.
Final Report:

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Mount Pleasant: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jul 19, 2010 at 1400 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N882X
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Merritt Island - Mount Pleasant
MSN:
0281020
YOM:
2003
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
1927
Captain / Total hours on type:
5.00
Aircraft flight hours:
150
Circumstances:
The pilot was conducting the first leg of a positioning flight in an experimental, amateur built, tail-wheel turboprop airplane. During landing, the airplane touched down to the right of the runway centerline and departed the right side of the runway. The pilot then added engine power to attempt an aborted landing. The airplane lifted off the runway, pitched up at a steep angle, stalled, and impacted the ground. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions; however, a postcrash fire consumed the majority of the wreckage. The airplane's pitch trim actuator was observed in the landing position, which was the full nose-up position and would have resulted in a steep nose-up attitude during climb-out, if not corrected by the pilot. The pilot had accumulated about 1,930 hours of total flight experience; however, he only had 5 total hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to retrim the airplane and maintain aircraft control during an aborted landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in the accident airplane make and model.
Final Report:

Crash of a Comp Air CA-8 in Cali

Date & Time: Mar 8, 2007 at 0653 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N2411B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Cali – Medellín
MSN:
S2000
Country:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crashed shortly after take off from Cali-Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport, bound for Medellín. Both occupants were injured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.