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NTSB Prelim: Scoda Aeronautica LTDA Super Petrel LS

As The Airplane Approached The Powerlines, It Appeared To Take A “Sudden” Nose Down Attitude

Location: Hickory, NC Accident Number: ERA23LA334
Date & Time: August 13, 2023, 11:28 Local Registration: N239WD
Aircraft: Scoda Aeronautica LTDA Super Petrel LS Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 13, 2023, at 1128 eastern daylight time, a Scoda Aeronautica Ltda Super Petrel LS, N239WD, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Hickory, North Carolina. The private pilot and the student pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, the flight originated from Hickory Regional Airport (HKY) Hickory, North Carolina about 1120 and flew to the northeast at an altitude of 1,600 ft mean sea level (msl) and a groundspeed of about 98 knots.

After arriving over Lake Hickory, the airplane turned left to the west and descended over the lake to 900 ft msl before the ADS-B data ceased. About that time a witness recorded the airplane performing a touch-and-go landing on the water until the airplane disappeared out of the video frame and a short time later. Several witnesses also described that the airplane was flying “unusually low” and that it was flying a southern heading over the water. A witness, who was on his boat dock located about 100 yards northwest of powerlines that spanned the lake, reported that the airplane was flying level about 100 to 200 ft agl. As the airplane approached the powerlines, it appeared to take a “sudden” nose down attitude before it impacted the middle of the electrical transmission lines. There was a large “explosion” and the airplane then “tumble[ed]” into the water.

The witnesses described that the engine sounded like it was operating, and the airplane appeared to be flying normally up until the moment of impact.

The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

FMI: www.ntsb.gov 


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