Accident American Aviation AA-1 Yankee Clipper N5774L, Friday 11 March 2022
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Date:Friday 11 March 2022
Type:Silhouette image of generic AA1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
American Aviation AA-1 Yankee Clipper
Registration: N5774L
MSN: AA1-0174
Year of manufacture:1969
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Bay Minette Airport (1R8), Bay Minette, AL -   United States of America
Phase: Taxi
Departure airport:None
Destination airport:None
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On March 11, 2022, about 0230 central standard time, an American AA1, N5774L, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an incident in Bay Minette, Alabama. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot purchased the airplane about 6 months before the incident; however, he did not have a current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate and had not previously flown the airplane. A family member reported that the pilot often went to the airport at night to run the airplane’s engine and taxi around the airport property. In the early morning hours on the night of the incident, the airport was unattended and the weather conditions were conducive to low visibility in mist. Later that day, the airplane was found inverted in the grass off the end of a taxiway and down an embankment. The pilot was fatally injured.

Examination of the incident site revealed that the airplane likely traveled off the end of the taxiway and went about 130 ft down an embankment before it came to rest inverted, sustaining substantial damage to the airframe in the process. Tire (skid) marks consistent with the left and right main landing gear tires braking were observed leading up to the edge of the taxiway at the top of the embankment. The postincident examination of the airplane also revealed that it was not configured for takeoff. Even the pitot tube cover had remained installed on the pitot tube. During the examination, no evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions of the airplane or engine were discovered that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot had moderate to severe atherosclerosis of two coronary arteries. While this condition placed him at an increased risk for a sudden cardiac event, the autopsy findings indicated that the pilot initially likely had initially survived the impact. Thus, the pilot’s cardiovascular disease was not a contributing cause to the incident. Toxicology testing revealed that the pilot had used cannabis. THC and 11-OH-THC were detected in his blood at low concentrations. While the pilot was found to have cannabis in his system, it could not be determined if the concentration would have been impairing and influenced his ability to control the airplane on the taxiway.

The late-night taxiing of his airplane was typical behavior for the pilot. All evidence indicated that there was no intent for flight as the airplane was not configured for, or in a position to conduct a takeoff. It is likely that, with the pitot cover still on the pitot tube, which would have prevented use of the airspeed indicator, the pilot did not realize how fast he was taxiing. He also may not have realized in the darkness and reduced visibility due to mist that he was quickly approaching the end of the taxiway. This was supported by the presence of the skid marks leading up to the edge of the taxiway and the top of the embankment. Based on this information, it is likely that the pilot lost control of the airplane while taxiing and overran the taxiway edge, after which the airplane traveled down the embankment and came to rest inverted.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s loss of control during taxi, which resulted in a taxiway overrun and subsequent impact with terrain. Contributing to the incident were the low visibility conditions that existed at the airport around the time of the incident.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA22FA153
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years
Download report: Final report

Sources: (update)



Photo: NTSB


Revision history:

11-Mar-2022 21:08 Captain Adam Added
12-Mar-2022 01:15 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Nature, Source, Embed code]
12-Mar-2022 19:30 harro Updated [Narrative]
14-Mar-2022 13:26 johnwg Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Phase, Source, Narrative, Category]
14-Mar-2022 17:40 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Mar-2022 18:47 johnwg Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
15-Mar-2022 00:21 johnwg Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Source, Narrative]
15-Mar-2022 19:50 aaronwk Updated [Time, Phase, Source, Narrative]
15-Mar-2022 19:51 harro Updated [Registration, Destination airport]
25-Mar-2022 23:49 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Location, Source, Narrative, Category]
21-Mar-2024 09:59 Captain Adam Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, Photo]

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