Accident Falconar F12A Cruiser ZS-UJM, Saturday 14 October 2023
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Date:Saturday 14 October 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic D11 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Falconar F12A Cruiser
Registration: ZS-UJM
Year of manufacture:1977
Total airframe hrs:366 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Springs Airfield (FASI), Ekurhuleni, Gauteng -   South Africa
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Springs Airfield (FASI)
Destination airport:Springs Airfield (FASI)
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On Saturday morning, 14 October 2023, a group of photographers gathered at Springs Aerodrome (FASI) for the Central East Rand Photographic Society congress. The event, which was aimed at offering a unique experience, included professionals from various industries. Prior to the commencement of the congress, several photographers took the opportunity to photograph the aircraft that were on static display, as well as several aircraft that were conducting fly passes. This was pre-arranged with different aircraft owners and pilots.

The owner/pilot of the Jodel F12 aircraft registered ZS-UJM was amongst the aircraft that were conducting fly passes in a south-easterly direction over the grass-covered Runway 14 at FASI. The pilot was accompanied by a passenger during this private flight. The aircraft flew straight and level before the pilot pulled up. Shortly after the pilot initiated the pull-up, the main spar which is composed of a wooden structure, failed and both wings folded upwards and separated from the fuselage. Due to the gyroscopic effect of the propeller which was turning in a clockwise direction (looking at it from inside the cockpit), the fuselage rolled in the opposite direction (left) and impacted the grasscovered area next to Runway 14.

The wreckage spread in a straight line over a distance of 98 metres (m). The right-wing structure first impacted the ground, followed by the left wing and then the main fuselage. The aircraft was destroyed and the two occupants on-board the aircraft were fatally injured.

- Aircraft:
The Falconar F12A Cruiser is a Canadian amateur-built aircraft, designed by Chris Falconar and originally produced as a kit by Falconar Avia. It is a development of the Falconar F11 Sporty which is, in turn, a variant of the Jodel D11.

The F12 features a cantilever low-wing, two-seats in side-by-side configuration, an enclosed cockpit that is 112 centimetres (cm) wide, fixed conventional landing gear or, optionally, a tricycle landing gear and a single engine.

The aircraft is made from wood, with its flying surfaces covered in doped aircraft fabric. It has an 8.5 metres (m) (28 feet) span wing, with a wing area of 13m2 (140 sq ft). The aircraft’s recommended engine power is 112 to 134 kilowatts (kW) (150 to 180 hp), and engines that have been used include a 112 kW (150 hp) Lycoming O-320 and the 134 kW (180 hp) Lycoming O-360 four-stroke powerplants. Construction time from the supplied kit is 1 200 hours.

According to available information, the two-leaf springs that are part of the main landing gear were removed from the aircraft after the annual inspection was certified on 24 August 2023. They were taken to a service provider for bending. On 25 September 2023, the two-leaf springs and the main wheels were reinstalled to the aircraft. This work was performed by persons who did not possess aircraft maintenance qualifications of either being an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) or an approved person (AP) as per the provisions of Part 44.01.4. Also, there was no dual check that was conducted by an aircraft maintenance organisation (AMO), AME or AP on the aircraft as required by Subpart 4 of Part 66 of the CAR 2011.

There was no flight folio entry with reference to the work that was performed as per the provisions of Part 44.01.13 of the CAR 2011.

- Wreckage:
Following the in-flight structural failure, the wreckage was spread in a straight line on the grass surface on the right of Runway 14 at FASI. The right wing was the first structure in the sequence of break up, it was followed by the left wing and the main fuselage, empennage structure and the engine. The wreckage was spread over a distance of 98m.

- Preliminary Findings:
The pilot had a Private Pilot Licence (PPL). The pilot was initially issued the licence on 28 November 1983 by the Regulator. His renewed licence was issued by the Regulator on 7 September 2023. The pilot had the aircraft type endorsed on his licence.

The pilot was issued a Class 2 aviation medical certificate on 5 September 2023 with an expiry date of 30 September 2024.

According to available evidence, the pilot was involved in two previous aircraft accidents with the same aircraft.
CA 12-14a 07 March 2022 Page 15 of 19 The aircraft

The last annual inspection that was conducted on the aircraft prior to the accident flight was certified on 24 August 2023 at 361.16 airframe hours by an AP.

The aircraft was re-issued an Authority to Fly (ATF) on 14 September 2023 with an expiry date of 30 September 2024.

The aircraft was issued a Certificate of Registration (C of R) under the present owner on 15 April 2002.

The aircraft was issued a Certificate of Release to Service (CRS) on 24 August 2023, which was valid until 23 August 2024 or at 461.16 airframe hours, whichever comes first.

According to the Tachometer, the aircraft had flown 5.23 hours since the last annual inspection. The last entry in the flight folio was when the pilot flew from FASI to New Tempe Aerodrome (FATP). There was no date entered in the flight folio for the accident flight.

The main landing gear on this aircraft was removed after the last annual inspection was certified. The work was conducted by persons who had no aircraft maintenance qualifications. Also, no dual inspection was conducted by an AMO, AME or AP as per the provisions of Part 44.01.4.

There was no flight folio entry with reference to the removal of the landing gear as required by the provisions of Part 44.01.13.

The aircraft was involved in two previous accidents. During the accident on 8 July 2004, the aircraft sustained extensive damage, but was reconstructed. During the second accident on 29 July 2017, the aircraft came to rest in an inverted attitude next to the runway, and was again repaired.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: 
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report

FlyAfrica (photo)




Revision history:

14-Oct-2023 13:14 Captain Adam Added
14-Oct-2023 18:14 RobertMB Updated
15-Oct-2023 06:31 Anon. Updated
15-Oct-2023 08:09 RobertMB Updated
15-Oct-2023 09:46 Captain Adam Updated
17-Oct-2023 17:09 harro Updated
15-Nov-2023 20:29 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Narrative, Accident report]
15-Nov-2023 20:38 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities, Narrative]
18-Nov-2023 20:32 Captain Adam Updated [Destination airport, Narrative, Photo]

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