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Mon, Feb 19, 2024

NTSB Prelim: Swanson R/Swanson S RV-6

After The Final Take-Off, The Airplane Entered A Nearvertical Nose-Down Descent

Location: Concord, CA Accident Number: WPR24FA080
Date & Time: January 30, 2024, 10:29 Local Registration: N30AK
Aircraft: Swanson R/Swanson S RV-6 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 30, 2024, at 1029 Pacific standard time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-6, N30AK, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Concord, California. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A review of preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration disclosed that the pilot departed from runway 19L at Buchanan Field Airport (CCR), Concord, California, at 1019. The data showed that the airplane remained within the airport traffic patten for a series of five touch-and-go take-offs and landings. During the sixth take-off, the airplane climbed to approximately 300 ft mean sea level (msl) and began a descending left turn. The last ADS-B target was at 1028:06, about 100 ft east of the main wreckage.

A review of security camera footage revealed that after the final take-off, the airplane entered a nearvertical nose-down descent. Numerous witnesses reported that they observed the airplane climbing and then heard the engine suddenly quit. The engine sound momentarily resumed, and the airplane started a brief climb. Seconds later, the engine noise stopped again, and the airplane banked left. As the airplane descended, the left bank increased.

The accident site was located at the intersection of two streets about 1,830 ft from the departure end of runway 19L. The airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of 270° and all major components of the airplane remained within about 72 ft of the main wreckage. About 4 ft south of the main wreckage there was a crater in the pavement, about 1 ft in diameter, which and contained pieces of the propeller spinner. The engine was displaced to the left and compressed aft into the fuselage. The leading edges of both wings were crushed aft throughout their span. Both the left and right fuel tanks exhibited signatures consistent with hydro deformation and were breeched. The empennage was intact and undamaged.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination. 

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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