NTSB Identification: CHI00LA226.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 26, 2000 in LAFAYETTE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/18/2001
Aircraft: Halsmer CRAZY 8, registration: N9034L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The airplane was performing high-speed taxi test when the airplane became airborne and entered a normal traffic pattern. A witness to the accident reported that the airplane flew an extended downwind with no anomalies noted. The witness stated that when the airplane was turning to final approach he heard a reduction in engine power and noticed the aircraft had a high rate of descent. The witness reported that the airplane descended into some trees located approximately 2,500-feet from the end of the runway. The aircraft had been issued an airworthiness certificate on the day of the accident and was on its first flight. Post-accident investigation revealed no anomalies with the airframe, including its flight control systems, which could be associated with any preexisting condition. Post-accident investigation of the aircraft engine, a Hirthmotoren 270CE180, serial number 895596, revealed that the piston of the rear cylinder had seized during the flight. Visual inspection of the piston and ring assembly revealed the piston skirt had been exposed to higher than normal operating temperatures and that the rings were seized in their respective groves. There was evidence of metal transfer from the piston onto the cylinder bore.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Aircraft control not being maintained by the pilot during the forced landing. Factors to the accident were the engine failure due to an overtemperature, the pilot's lack of familiarity with the aircraft, and the trees. Full narrative available
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