Aircraft: RV-7A. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Laramie, Wyo. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot approached the non-towered airport for landing. The airport had two runways, 21/03 and 30/15. The winds at the time of the accident were reported to be 350° at 14 knots with gusts to 24 knots. The pilot entered a left downwind for runway 21.
A witness reported seeing the airplane while on final approach just east of the airport about 300 to 400 feet AGL, but when the airplane was on short final the wings began to rock.
When the plane was about 100 to 150 feet AGL, its left wing dipped a little, followed by the right wing dropping very fast, which was then followed by a spin to the right and impact with terrain. The airplane caught fire.
Investigators determined that the pilot landed with a significant tailwind, and his decision to attempt a downwind landing in gusting wind conditions likely resulted in his loss of airplane control and subsequent impact with terrain.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to attempt a landing with a gusting tailwind, which resulted in his loss of airplane control during final approach and a subsequent aerodynamic stall/spin.
NTSB Identification: WPR12FA432
This August 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.