NTSB issues preliminary report on Vaneo accident

NTSB issues preliminary report on Vaneo accident

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released preliminary findings in its investigation into the crash involving popular country pilot David “Dolly” Vagno, 59.

Vanio was killed in his amateur-built CubCrafters Carbon Cub near Twisp, Wash., last month. Twisp is located 112 miles north of Moses Lake in an area known for outdoor recreation.

What happened

According to the NTSB, on the morning of October 1, Fanio was taking a flight with a friend who also owned a Carbon Cub, a popular backcountry aircraft known for its STOL capabilities.

The two planes took off from a private airport and flew directly to a hill located about 2 nautical miles away. The friend rappelled up the hillside and positioned his plane to the west of a tree.

Using the radio, the friend advised Vanyu that he should land between the parked plane and the tree. According to the friend, Fanio made two low passes over the ridge, reconnaissance over the landing zone, and then the friend observed “the plane landing on the slope to the east of his position (on the wrong side of the tree) and the slope of the ground.” After a short landing roll, Fanyu appeared to abort the landing. During the take-off attempt, the aircraft’s left wheel struck a large rock, folding the left landing gear under the fuselage.

The damaged cub continued to walk over the hills to the east, and then the friend lost sight of the plane. He called Fanyu on the radio to ask if he was okay, and Fanyu replied: “I’m flying, but I’m having problems.” The plane struck terrain shortly afterwards. Rescuers reported finding Fanyu dead at the scene.

Debris was scattered about 90 feet, starting at “contact points made up of torn up dirt on the hillside.” Investigators found Flakes of silver paint and small pieces of fabric, along with several vortex generators in the fairing and outer wing tip. A large portion of the forward left wing tip was found 25 feet from the main wreckage, as well as pieces of plexiglass and propeller fragments that led into the main fuselage, which was found on its left side with the right wing folded forward over the engine. .

The tires came to rest near the belly chamber. The left tire was flat and had several gouges and scratches on the rubber, and the metal axle was bent and folded in on itself. The landing gear struts had collapsed, the lower part of the left struts had separated and appeared to have been worn away by being dragged across the terrain.

The left wing was crushed and came to rest upside down. The left lift wing struts separated fore and aft but remained attached to their respective mounts on the fuselage and wing.

The fuselage frame behind the left lift strut fork and gear strut connection fittings were distorted. The left aileron pulley, located next to the deformed frame, could not be moved because the aileron cable was trapped between the frame and the pulley. Freedom of cable movement is essential for aileron activation and aircraft control.

An approximate 1.5-foot-long piece of the left rear lift strut remained attached to the airframe, with black marks on the trailing edge of both portions of that strut consistent with tire rubber. It appeared that the flaps were partially down and the fuel selector was in the off position. However, it cannot be determined whether this action was carried out by Vanyo or the rescue personnel who responded to the accident.

Investigators could not pinpoint the point of the first impact with certainty, but they found tracks in the dry grass on the slope consistent with the direction of the descent. In addition, there was a large rock with many impact marks on the saddle of the hill. In the surrounding area, several silver paint chips and a tie that could have been located on the landing gear were found

The NTSB is continuing its investigation, and will likely release a final report in several months.

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