Pilot Injured Landing A Vans RV-10 In Colorado
Limon, Colorado/Injuries: 1 Minor
The pilot reported that, during a night approach, the runway precision approach path indicator lights indicated that the airplane was on a proper glidepath. Shortly after, the airplane encountered a “strong gust of wind” and “lost significant altitude.” He added engine power and raised the airplane’s nose to intercept the glidepath. A few seconds later, he felt a slight bump and heard a scraping noise to his right. He looked to the right, and when he returned his focus to the approaching runway, he noticed that the airport lights were no longer lit, and the airport was in “complete darkness.” He added that he “couldn’t really see anything and wasn’t sure exactly where the runway was, [but he] knew [he] was going to have a hard landing.” He then pulled the power back, moved the mixture to idle cut off, and turned the fuel selector off. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard off the runway, bounced, slid sideways, struck a tree, and then came to rest. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and empennage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Following the accident, it was discovered that, during the approach, the airplane struck a power line that supplied the airport power. The automated weather observation system at the accident airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 330° at 6 knots. The pilot was on a visual approach for runway 34. According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector assigned to the accident, the power line was estimated to be 75 ft above the ground and 1/2 mile from the runway threshold. The power line crossed perpendicular to the runway.
Probable Cause(s): The pilot’s unstabilized approach and failure to go around at night, which resulted in the airplane impacting a power line and a subsequent hard landing.
Note: The report republished here is from the NTSB and is printed verbatim and in its complete form.