NTSB Identification: SEA04LA110.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 18, 2004 in Mountain Home, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Quicksilver MXL, registration: None
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to the accident, the pilot landed at a road-side truck stop to take on automobile fuel for the operation of his unregistered two-place ultralight-like aircraft. Records show that he refueled at 0910, and witnesses said that he took off from a road beside the truck stop about 0930. After takeoff, the pilot flew past a private airstrip about a mile from the truck stop, and then headed in the direction of his destination, where a gathering of ultralight-like aircraft was taking place. About 30 minutes later, an individual on the ground came upon the wreckage of the aircraft near some hilly terrain. There were no witnesses to the impact, and there was no fire. The entire aircraft structure was located together, and there were no ground scars indicating any movement across the terrain after the initial impact. An examination of the aircraft structure did not find any indication of an in-flight structural failure, nor any evidence of an engine malfunction. It was determined however that the wing washout angle had been changed by the pilot so that the aircraft would cruise at a faster speed. It was also determined that since the pilot had made the washout angle change, and added a large windshield to the airframe, the aircraft's cruise speed was only about 10 knots greater than its stall speed. The investigation also revealed that there had been very strong gusty winds (to 20 knots) and turbulence in the area the pilot was flying through. It was the opinion of the FAA Inspector who responded to the scene that the pilot had lost control of the aircraft while trying to continue his flight in the windy/gusty conditions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during an undetermined in-flight operational phase resulting in an uncontrolled descent into the terrain. Factors include strong gusty winds in the area of the accident.

Full narrative available

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