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Roll oscillation causes trike turnover

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Incident Details

August 5, 2019
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Pilot was flying trike in a mountainous valley area. This was during a fly-in so observer effect could be at play. I observed the pilot coming in for a landing with severe roll oscillation. Pilot did not appear to be attempting to null it, but came in for a landing anyway. Contributing factor would be a severely constrained landing area, so nulling might have caused him to turn out of the acceptable field available. Pilot made contact with the ground at a severe roll angle, the trike turned over, but he was saved by a very rigid cage which prevented his head from impacting the ground as it rolled. One side of the rear axle was completely disconnected at the weld point (home made). While that weld didn’t hold up, the cage did, and this prevented additional injuries while he rolling across the ground. Pilot should have gone around and attempted another pass while managing roll, or if unable, until he had a pass with acceptable stability. Possible additional contributing factor could be that the air was very bumpy due to location, he might have wanted to be on the ground, but this is unknown.

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