Accident Dayton-Wright DH-4 N32517, Saturday 2 May 2020
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Date:Saturday 2 May 2020
Time:07:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic dh4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Dayton-Wright DH-4
Owner/operator:Saving Liberty DH4 LLC
Registration: N32517
MSN: 12459
Year of manufacture:1918
Total airframe hrs:5 hours
Engine model:Lincoln Liberty V12
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport (BWG/KBWG), KY -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Bowling Green-Warren County Airport, KY (BWG/KBWG)
Destination airport:Bowling Green-Warren County Airport, KY (BWG/KBWG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that, during the first flight test of the antique airplane, which was in the process of being restored, he had difficulty controlling the airplane in the roll axis. After takeoff, he noticed that the airplane required some right aileron to keep the wings level. After turning crosswind, the problem worsened and required that he apply more pressure to the control stick (in the right aileron direction). As he turned downwind, he used nearly full right aileron to maintain control, and the force on the control stick was so high that he was unable to hold it with one hand. When he removed his left hand from the control stick to adjust the throttle, the airplane would roll toward the left. As the airplane approached the base leg, the pilot was unable to keep the wings level; the airplane entered a slip and he was unable to prevent the airplane from turning left. The airplane descended, touched down in the grass to the right of the runway, and came to rest nose down.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the aileron control system was continuous. However, due to the airplane damage, the rigging of the aileron system could not be evaluated.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage, lower wing, and horizontal stabilizer.

Probable Cause: A primary control (aileron) system anomaly that progressively worsened during a test flight resulted in a loss of control. The reason for the anomaly was not determined due to impact damage.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA20CA168
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


FAA register:




Photo: FAA

Revision history:

02-May-2020 23:00 Captain Adam Added
03-May-2020 02:53 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Source]
03-May-2020 07:19 RobertMB Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
07-May-2020 07:29 wilda Updated [Aircraft type]
07-May-2020 07:31 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
07-May-2020 07:31 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]
26-Mar-2021 14:13 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]
26-Mar-2021 14:29 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative, Photo]

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