This is a fantastic “I was there” accident narrative.  Anyone flying or getting ready to fly a KR (or most probably any aircraft) can learn from “Zipper’s” experience.  

I am sure I speak for the entire KRNet family; Dave, thank you for sharing this incident report.




-----Original Message-----
From: David Goodman
Sunday, September 05, 2010 8:14 PM
To: 'John Bouyea'
Subject: Update on N522PC mishap (long)




Thank you for the call to Tina yesterday and talking with me this morning.  It means a lot to us.  Now that I am home and do not have calls to make or things to get accomplished my body is letting me know just how sore it is!  My dog dropped me this afternoon by running into my left shin where the instrument panel gouged it.  That is the worst pain I have felt in a few years!  Anyway, here is the rundown on the mishap, with lessons learned up front.  Please feel free to distribute these to the KR-net, because the lessons learned may save someone’s plane and/or life down the road.


N522PC was a standard KR-2 with a Revmaster VW engine.  The h-tail had small extensions on it for stability, and had a trim tab that worked extremely well.  The instrument panel was a purely VHF-only set-up, with traditional steam gauges, and it was well thought out.  The workmanship was first rate, and actually made me a bit envious.  I had 12.6 hours on this airframe, and it flew great.  The total time on the plane was around 25 hours.  2PC flew very well, with a stall speed around 53 MIAS, and was very easy to trim up and fly hands off.



1.      NEVER, EVER RESET THE NOSE FORWARD ON A BOUNCED LANDING.  The result will be a landing on the nose, with a high probability of nose gear collapse.  My first “flight” in N191PZ (My own KR-2S) was inadvertent on a high speed taxi test, and I did what Jim did, but not as severe.  The result in my plane was a destroyed nose gear that had to be replaced.  I probably only moved the stick forward 1/4”, but it was enough to bring the nose through.  Jim moved the stick more than that and we came through much faster as a result.

The proper procedure for a bounced
landing is to add full power and hold the nose attitude.  If you contact the ground again, you will still be in a good nose high position.  If not, you are flying again and can execute a go around.


2.      FLY THE PLANE TO STOP.  I do not know if Jim got the brakes on or not, but I do know if we had more speed on when we flipped, we would probably have been killed.

3.      WITH TWO PEOPLE IN THE KR, UPSIDE DOWN THERE IS NO ROOM TO MANEUVER.  Our feet were stuck under the instrument panel when we came to rest.  I managed to get mine free of the panel, but once I got my belt off, there was almost no room to maneuver under the plane.  I might have been able to get out of the plane eventually, perhaps a ten minute effort, but if the plane had been on fire it would have been doubtful I could have gotten out before the flames reached the cockpit.

4.      BRIEF EVERYTHING YOU ARE GOING TO DO BEFORE YOU FLY.  Even if you are flying by yourself, go over what you will do in an emergency.  We did this, and having a plan in your mind when things go bad will help you solve the problems as they present themselves.

5.      BRIEF UP, STRAP IN, AND THINK THROUGH WORST CASE SCENARIOS.  Jim suffered some bad lacerations to his face and forehead.  When the plane stopped, I checked myself, hands move, feet move, nothing feels broken.  I was hanging with my head about three or four inches from the ground.   I looked over at Jim and his face was in contact with the ground /canopy.  When I examined the aircraft in the hangar that afternoon, Jim’s lap belts were about eight inches longer than mine.  While Jim is a bit thicker than I am, I did strap in very tightly using the seat straps first, then the shoulder harness.  My lower back was immobile.  Additionally, when I saw the plane begin to tip, I pulled my hands to my lap and tucked my head down and full forward.  Maximize your survival chances by thinking out what you will do, then keep thinking as events unfold.




The day of the mishap, Jim and I flew for 1.1 hours in the morning, with him flying from the right seat most of the time.  We did nine landings, and other than a tendency to line up right and accept right drift in close, Jim flew very well. In fact, it was clear to me he was ready to fly from the left seat based on how he had done on the right, so we talked about line-up, power, missed approaches, and bounced landings.  I stopped just before we got in and said a quick prayer, “Lord, thank you for the great day to go flying, give us a safe flight, and watch over us, amen.”  We hopped in and were airborne ten minutes later.


Takeoff was unremarkable, and we headed to the downwind.  The first pass was tight on the field so we went around.  Jim did drop the nose on the first pass at about 400 feet and I talked to him about it as we climbed out, that he had to not let the nose drop drastically on approach or on final.  This was something we had talked about the day before.


On the mishap approach, Jim had the lineup well under control.  We were a bit high, but KRIU is 3800 feet long, so landing 1000 feet down was not something I was worried about.  As we came in and began to flare, Jim had the plane well under control and it looked like an excellent first landing was in the works.  Touchdown was at about 68 MIAS, well within the norm for 2PC.  The plane bounced, my estimate was five to eight feet, and I called for power to remind him to get power on the plane.  I saw Jim move the control stick forward in my peripheral vision.  Immediately, the nose came through and we hit nose-first on the runway.  A second bounce followed and the nose gear collapsed.  The prop disintegrated and we began a fast drift to the left side of the runway.  I called out “brakes!” which Jim later said he heard, but we went off the asphalt to the left of the runway edge at about a 15 degree angle at about 40 MPH .  Approximately 30 feet later the nose dug in and we flipped over onto the plane’s back.  The flip itself was slow, taking about 2-3 seconds (by my count and a pilot eyewitness) which took a good deal of the energy off the plane.  The vertical tail cracked on impact but did not break off, and the canopy and turtle deck broke.  The plane slid another foot to two feet by the gouges on the ground.  When the plane stopped, I was sitting upside down with about three to four inches between my head and the ground.  Jim’s face was in contact with the ground/canopy bow on his side of the plane.  He was cut and bleeding from the point his head was in contact, but he was conscious and talking.


Rescuers lifted the plane off us using the tail.  It only took one person.  The others helped me out first, then Jim came out my side.


The first rescuer showed up 40 seconds after we stopped.  The fire department was there in two minutes.  One minute after that the paramedics called for an AIRVAC for Jim due to the injuries he had to his face and head.  The helo called “two minutes out” a minute later, and landed after a 360 of the field.  Jim was in the helo and on his way to UC Davis eight minutes after we came to a stop on 2PC’s last landing.


If you are involved in a mishap, NTSB and the FAA will want to talk to you.  I had called the FAA before my own ambulance ride, and the NTSB called while I was in the ambulance.  Talking to them is another story for another time.


Jim’s injuries, after flipping a KR were:  Facial lacerations, closed by 3 hours of plastic surgery at UC Davis.  They did an awesome job by the way.  He looks like he was in a bar fight, but might have won.  He also suffered various lacerations and bruises, mostly to his arms.  I am sure he is sore, but the man is made of iron!  If you see him in the future, I strongly recommend you NOT arm wrestle with him.


My injuries:  Bruised shins (Jim’s plane is a bit small for me) from the instrument panel, some good cuts to my knuckles on the left hand and a possible jammed left pinkie and ring finger.  Both ears got cut as my headset disintegrated around my grape, and I had a few scrapes (no cuts) to my scalp.  There are a few bruises / cuts on my right arm, and my shoulders are sore, most likely from the fast stop and hanging upside down (Jim’s straps are the narrower variety.  My straps on 191PZ are the four-inch size, which may or may not have saved the bruising to our shoulders).  I have had a few headaches, which are coming from the strained muscles in my neck and shoulders.


I hope this short overview answers some questions on what happened.  If you have questions, feel free to call.




 David Goodman