Aviation safety investigations & reports

Accredited Representative (State of Manufacture (engine)) - Engine failure and collision with terrain involving Mathias Lightning aircraft registered N59JL, Franklin, Virginia USA, on 10 December 2016

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


On 28 December 2016, the ATSB was advised that the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had commenced an investigation into a partial power loss and collision with terrain involving a Mathias Lightning aircraft registered N59JL. The Aircraft was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while maneuvering in the traffic pattern at Franklin Municipal-John Beverly Rose Airport, Franklin, Virginia. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger sustained a serious injury.

The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal, local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the flight which was originating at the time of the accident.

As Australia is the State of Manufacture of the engine, on 9 January the ATSB appointed an accredited representative to the NTSB investigation in accordance with clause 5.18 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation. An ATSB investigator was appointed as accredited representative to the NTSB investigation on 9 January. To facilitate support to the NTSB investigation, the ATSB also initiated an investigation under the Australian Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident. Details are available on the NTSB website

The NTSB’s final report is available on the NTSB website. 

Any enquires relating to the investigation should be directed to the NTSB at : www.ntsb.gov.

General details
Date: 10 December 2016   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1715 UTC   Investigation level: Defined - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Franklin Municipal-John Beverly Rose Airport (KFKN), Virginia, USA    
State: International   Occurrence type: Engine failure or malfunction  
Release date: 11 December 2019   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Amateur Built Aircraft  
Aircraft model Lightning  
Aircraft registration N59JL  
Type of operation Unknown  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Last update 11 December 2019