Accident Maule MX-7-180C Star Rocket N1043B, Monday 30 May 2022
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Date:Monday 30 May 2022
Type:Silhouette image of generic M7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Maule MX-7-180C Star Rocket
Registration: N1043B
MSN: 28003C
Year of manufacture:1997
Total airframe hrs:1486 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Ells Field/Willits Municipal Airport (O28), Willits, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Sonoma Airport, CA (0Q9)
Destination airport:Ells Field/Willits Municipal Airport, CA (O28)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On May 30, 2022, about 0840 Pacific daylight time, a Maule MX-7-180C airplane, N1043B, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Willits, California. The pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot and passenger were landing at the 1,600-ft-long private dirt runway at the conclusion of a cross-country flight. The pilot told the passenger as they approached the runway that he may need to perform a go-around. The airplane landed hard about halfway down the runway and bounced, and the pilot added engine power to abort the landing. The airplane lifted off the ground near the end of the runway and transitioned into a climb. As the airplane crossed trees and continued toward rising terrain past the end of the runway, the passenger observed the pilot curse while pulling or rotating a knob which she identified as the throttle control. The airplane subsequently entered a left turn and began to descend nose-down. The passenger thought that the airplane may have leveled out, possibly in a left-wing-low attitude, before impact.

Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies or malfunctions that could have precluded normal operation. Evidence revealed during the investigation suggests that the airplane’s uncommanded descent to the ground was either the result of an aerodynamic stall or excessive drag as the examination discovered that the flaps may have been in a fully deployed position at the time of the accident. However, there was no performance information on the airplane available or parametric data to determine if the airplane’s flight profile was consistent with an aerodynamic stall or whether the flap deployment contributed to the uncommanded descent. Based on these findings, the accident was result of an uncommanded descent during a go-around maneuver for undetermined reasons due to a lack of available evidence. Damage to the airplane was consistent with impact in an approximately level attitude. The wing flaps were found fully extended (48°), consistent with a landing position.

Although the pilot had about 8,000 hours of helicopter flight experience, he had received his airplane single-engine land rating about two weeks before the accident and his flight experience in the accident airplane make and model was unknown. The circumstances of the

accident suggest that the pilot likely failed to retract the flaps from the landing position during the attempted aborted landing, which resulted in a reduced climb performance. The pilot’s toxicology was positive for midazolam in his hospital blood and hydromorphone and fentanyl in his urine, which were likely administered after the accident. Thus, the medications detected in the pilot’s toxicology testing were not a factor.

Probable Cause: An uncommanded descent during a go-around maneuver for undetermined reasons.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR22LA192
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report




Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

30-May-2022 20:49 Captain Adam Added
31-May-2022 03:06 johnwg Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Country, Nature, Source, Narrative]
31-May-2022 15:13 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Phase, Source, Narrative]
22-Jun-2022 22:09 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative, Category]
10-Apr-2024 22:44 Captain Adam Updated [Location, Phase, Source, Narrative, Accident report, Photo]

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