According to the pilot, he was returning to his home airport after purchasing the Glasair SH-2F. Before returning home, he received a two-hour checkout in the airplane.
Upon arrival at the airport in State College, Pa., the weather had deteriorated. Rain made it hard to see and the wind was gusting.
The pilot had to go around during the first landing due to the wind.
During the second landing he undercompensated for the wind and the airplane landed hard, bounced and touched down again off the left side of the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
During both approaches he said he had trouble manipulating the throttle. It appeared to stick and unstick at times, making engine performance and power application erratic, resulting in an unstabilized approach, and compensation for the gusting wind difficult.
The wind at the airport at the time of the accident was reported as 310° true, 18 knots, with gusts to 35 knots. The pilot landed on Runway 24, but said he should have chosen another airport with a crosswind runway.
Following the accident, the pilot realized he was not familiar enough with the airplane’s Vernier type throttle, as his past experience was with a lever type throttle.
An FAA inspector who examined the airplane after the accident reported that the Vernier throttle operated normally.
Probable cause: The pilot’s hard landing in gusting wind conditions. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s unfamiliarity with the newly purchased airplane’s throttle resulting in an unstable approach, and the pilot’s ability to compensate for the wind.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA315
This June 2016 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.