Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vans RV-7A, BBK Aircraft LLC, N705RP: Accident occurred February 18, 2016 near TavernAero Park Airport (FA81), Monroe County, Florida


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA135
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 18, 2016 in Tavernier, FL
Aircraft: PINKSTON RANDY T RV 7A, registration: N705RP

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Date: 18-FEB-16
Time: 23:55:00Z
Regis#: N705RP
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV7
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19
State: Florida


A North Carolina man unfamiliar with the Upper Keys crash landed his small plane on a Tavernier street thinking it was the runway Thursday evening.

James B. Chapman, 59, from Denver, N.C., was looking for the landing strip at TavernAero Park, a neighborhood with a small airport off mile marker 90. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Chapman mistook nearby Plantation Avenue for the runway.

He was flying about 15 feet off the ground going east when he descended and struck three mail boxes, a basketball hoop and telephone lines. The Van’s RV-7A single-engine plane then hit a parked car at 114 Plantation Avenue, causing the Chapman’s aircraft to flip over.

Chapman was the only person onboard and did not suffer any injuries. 

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TAVERNIER, Fla. - A small plane crashed Thursday night in a Florida Keys yard while trying to land at a nearby airport.

The crash was reported about 6:40 p.m. in Tavernier.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Rans RV 7 crashed into a Tavernier subdivision while attempting to land at TavernAero Park Airport.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, wasn't injured in the crash, and there were no reported injuries on the ground. 

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said the plane struck some telephone lines on Plantation Avenue.

Carol Houtzel was at home when the plane crashed into her front yard, damaging her sport utility vehicle parked in the driveway.

"We just all looked at each other like, 'What happened?' And I ran out on the deck and I looked over the edge and there was a tail of a plane in my front yard," Houtzel told Local 10 News reporter Derek Shore.

A neighbor said she saw the plane fly by low to the ground and then circle back, as if the pilot "thought this was the landing strip." She said the wing of the plane clipped a mailbox and a basketball hoop.

Neighbors and first responders helped free the pilot, who was hanging upside down.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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