NTSB Preliminary Report On Lancair Overrun Paints A Complex Picture


According to the just-released National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report (Accident Number CEN24LA037), the pilot of a pressurized Lancair LX7 was having a Wile E. Coyote-kind of day on Nov. 11, 2023. At 25,000 feet on a flight from Midland, Texas (KMDD) to Aero County Airport (T31) near McKinney, Texas, the turboprop-powered Lancair was about 250 miles west of Abilene, Texas, when, the pilot told the NTSB, a door seal failed causing a loss of cabin pressure. The pilot advised air traffic controllers he would descend to 10,000 feet to avoid hypoxia, and he and his passenger continued toward T31.

The pilot reported no further anomalies with aircraft systems until about five minutes after establishing cruise flight at 10,000 feet when, he said, a propeller RPM caution light appeared. After reducing RPMs slightly, the warning light extinguished. As he approached the destination airport, the pilot advised ATC he was unfamiliar with T31 and performed a touch-and-go to “see the field.” But on the subsequent downwind leg to Runway 17, he told the NTSB, the throttle-lever ball “came off in his hand”—and he handed it to his passenger. He continued his landing approach at idle power.

At this point, the pilot’s account diverges from the observations of the airport manager and video evidence. The pilot told the NTSB he touched down within the first 500 feet of the runway (listed as 4,352 feet “asphalt/turf” by AirNav) and, shortly thereafter, “hit the brakes gently” while unsuccessfully trying to shift the propeller into reverse thrust.

But the manager said the airplane was about halfway down the runway when it touched down, followed three seconds later by smoke from the tires. The NTSB report reads: “According to the T31 airport manager, who examined the runway surface after the accident, the first visible tire skid marks were about 200 feet past the [halfway] point of the runway. The skid marks remained visible for about 1,300 feet until the airplane departed the end of the asphalt surface.”

As the witness videos show, the aircraft overran the runway, crashed through a perimeter fence and skidded onto an adjoining road, where a motorist crashed into the cowling and right wing. Neither the pilot nor the passenger was injured, and the motorist sustained minor injuries. Both the aircraft and the automobile were substantially damaged.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. Nobody hurt, so it’s ok to picture successive “d’oh” memes of this misadventure. I’ve never heard an accident pilot say “I f*#ed up and this is what happened”, it’s always a self-validating reconstruction that omits or misrepresents one or more important facts. Landing a IVP on a half-grass strip and expecting a normal outcome does take some nerve though…

  2. Just love the part in the Pilot’s narrative and in communication with ATC that ” he was unfamiliar with T31 and was going to do a touch ‘n go first…”
    Unfamiliar…with the filed destination airport on an IFR flight plan ?

    The FAA will jam his throttle with FAR allegations of improper flight planning as PIC, improper preflight , non airworthy aircraft, and maybe even the catch all of reckless operation.

    I hope he has the AOPA Deluxe Supreme legal services plan ….🙄💥

  3. I am not surprised to see another “pilot” who can afford a complex airplane but can’t afford to be trained to operate it safely. There is almost never a reason not to do a short field landing and reasons to land long and hot escape me. There seems to be a lot of crashes lately where the number on the airspeed indicator is too small when airborne and too large when landing halfway down a short runway. I recommend that in clear weather that pilots shut off all those annoying screens and land by looking out the big window and cross checking the airspeed frequently and remember the notional value of runway behind you.

    • Probably the same types that drive expensive cars but have to hold their cell-phones in their hand because they can’t use a proper handsfree system…
      The best safety device is a well trained and current pilot.

  4. FINALLY ! It’s about time someone wrote “where a motorist crashed into the cowling and right wing” because from the beginning everyone was stating that the plane ran into a vehicle. The video and pictures are very clear.

    I agree that it seems to be just another case of having too much money for a plane but not spending enough for training in it.

    • Not sure there is a difference when the airplane appears in the middle of the road and there is no time or space to avoid it.

  5. My past experience has been that if you are touching down at the 1/2 way point on a runway, it had better be a 10K runway like at Rockford.

  6. If you’re having major mechanical problems, why not go somewhere that has major mechanical services and fire and rescue on the field? KDTO and KTKI (or even KADS) are not at all far away from Aero Country, have much longer runways, much better services, ATC, fire & rescue services, and more. I read that KTKI was closed, but KDTO is a major easy alternative.

    There’s a lot about this story that doesn’t hold water.

    And having spent a summer at Aero Country (T31), I watched many pilots who have no place behind a stick attempting landings waaay too fast. I also watched many pilots who needed to do extremely high speed low passes… with smoke on… “for safety”.

  7. I have been teaching for more than 50 years. I have never heard of a pilot intentionally doing a touch and go to get familiar with an airport. A flyover of course…. But an international touch and go…..I seriously doubt it.

  8. It looks like the ball could just have been screwed back into the lever. Righty tighty lefty loosey. You should be able to feel that the ball is getting loose and turn it until it is tight.

  9. I’d love to see the final accident report to determine with a higher probability of accuracy the events involved in this crash. However, in the meantime, it appears that “freedom to fly” is actually a bell curve with some flying occupying the lower reaches the definition–for multiple reasons

    • Some have a “far side” since of humor. Life can be like that. Enjoy this long forgotten poem.

      Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
      Weep, and you weep alone;
      For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
      But has trouble enough of its own.
      Sing, and the hills will answer;
      Sigh, it is lost on the air;
      The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
      But shrink from voicing care.

      Rejoice, and men will seek you;
      Grieve, and they turn and go;
      They want full measure of all your pleasure,
      But they do not need your woe.
      Be glad, and your friends are many;
      Be sad, and you lose them all,—
      There are none to decline your nectared wine,
      But alone you must drink life’s gall.

      Feast, and your halls are crowded;
      Fast, and the world goes by.
      Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
      But no man can help you die.
      There is room in the halls of pleasure
      For a large and lordly train,
      But one by one we must all file on
      Through the narrow aisles of pain.

      Merry Christmas all!