Accident Van's RV-12IS N123RR,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 276130
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Date:Sunday 27 February 2022
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV12 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Van's RV-12IS
Registration: N123RR
MSN: 121166
Year of manufacture:2020
Engine model:Rotax 912 IS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:off Key West, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Palm Beach-Palm Beach County Airport, FL (LNA/KLNA)
Destination airport:Key West International Airport, FL (EYW/KEYW)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On February 27, 2022, about 0958 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-12IS, N123RR, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident about 20 miles northwest of Big Pine Key, Florida. The sport pilot and passenger have not been located. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The sport pilot did not obtain a weather briefing before departing on a day visual flight rules cross-country flight over open water to an island airport along with a friend, who was flying a second airplane. The pilot of the second airplane reported that he had to descend from 6,500 ft mean sea level (msl) to 1,500 ft msl to remain below a broken cloud layer, diverted, and encouraged the accident pilot via radio several times to do the same. However, the accident pilot stated that he was descending from 6,500 ft msl to 4,500 ft msl and continuing to the original planned destination. No further communications were received from the accident pilot.

Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane was in the vicinity of moderate precipitation, which had been forecast, when it entered a descending right spiral before the flight track ended. Only the airplane’s vertical stabilizer and the right portion of the horizontal stabilizer were recovered after the accident. The pilot received his sport pilot certificate about one month before the accident. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 88 hours; of which, 24 hours were as pilot-in-command and 0 hours were instrument experience. Given the pilot’s limited overall experience and lack of instrument flight experience, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the airplane after encountering limited visibility conditions in the moderate precipitation while flying over open water.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s inadequate preflight and in-flight weather planning and his improper decision to continue visual flight rules flight into an area of limited visibility in moderate precipitation, which resulted in a loss of airplane control due to spatial disorientation.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA22LA142
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

03-Mar-2022 15:27 gerard57 Added
04-Mar-2022 04:28 RobertMB Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Mar-2022 20:37 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative]
07-Mar-2022 17:00 johnwg Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Category]
17-Apr-2022 12:37 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Source, Narrative, Category]

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