NTSB Identification: CHI05LA257.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 07, 2005 in Bloomfield, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Hildebrant Rutan Defiant, registration: N219DF
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.
The amateur-built airplane overran the end of the runway during an aborted takeoff attempt and subsequently nosed over in a corn field. The airplane was destroyed during a post accident ground fire. The pilot died three days after the accident. Witnesses to the accident reported that the pilot performed a high-speed taxi on the runway prior to attempting a takeoff run. One witness reported that he advised the pilot "to use the grass before the threshold for max takeoff length." Witnesses reported that the airplane overran the end of the runway during a subsequent takeoff attempt. A witness reported that the pilot had evacuated himself from the wreckage and told him that he "couldn't get [the airplane] off the ground." The combined distance to accelerate to rotation speed and then stop was 2,820 feet and 3,960 feet for gross weights of 2,500 and 3,000 lbs, respectively. The runway (2,160 feet by 150 feet, turf) had a 485 foot stopway after the departure threshold. The wreckage was found 222 feet past the end of the stopway and 2,867 feet from the beginning of the runway. According to the Rutan Defiant owner's manual, the airplane was a heavy wing-loading aircraft that required longer runways than typical general-aviation twin engine airplanes. The pilot had flown less than 50 hours as pilot-in-command in the accident airplane. No discrepancies were noted that could be associated with any pre-impact condition or malfunction during the post accident examination.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning which resulted in the airplane overrunning the end of the runway during the aborted takeoff. A factor to the accident was the pilot's lack of familiarity with the airplane and the corn crop.
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