NTSB Identification: NYC08WA014.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 2007 in Great Harbor, Bahamas
Aircraft: Sullivan Lancair IV, registration: N95HS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.
On October 13, 2007, at 1036 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Lancair IV, N95HS, was destroyed when it encountered turbulence over Bahamian waters near Great Harbor Cay, Berry Islands. The certificated commercial pilot was presumed to be fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, from Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Nassau, Bahamas, to Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI), West Palm Beach, Florida. The airplane was operating under Bahamian flight rules.
An air traffic control transcript, and radio transmissions recorded between the pilot and Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center, revealed that, about 1023, the pilot first contacted the controller, "climbing through...ten thousand four hundred for twelve thousand." The controller then cleared the airplane to flight level 200, which the pilot acknowledged.
At 1032, the controller advised the pilot that there were intermittent areas of precipitation, "from moderate to extreme along your route of flight, deviations for the weather approved, when able cleared direct isaac [intersection]." The pilot responded, "i'm not showing any of that on my nexrad, i'm not sure where that area is, and ah, can you give me a better idea?" The controller then stated, "no sir, i really cannot, we don't have reliable reporting weather and our nexrad is inoperative today, and i'm just reporting this because we had an aircraft at eight thousand along your route of flight run into some moderate to extreme turbulence and heavy rain." The pilot then responded, "belay that, my , my nexrad is working out here, i'm going to deviate to the east now to get around that." The controller approved the deviation, which the pilot acknowledged.
At 1036:02, the pilot contacted the controller to tell her that he was in "severe, severe turbulence right here and heavy rain." The controller then cleared the pilot to make "evasive maneuvers," including changing altitude or "make a three-sixty, that's approved, just keep me advised." The pilot did not respond, and although there were a number of additional queries from the controller, there were no further transmissions from the airplane.
Radar data indicated that the airplane was on a northwest track, at 20,500 feet, and subsequently made a right turn, toward the southeast. The last radar contact occurred at 1036:13, at 25 degrees, 33.3 minutes north latitude, 77 degrees, 58.3 minutes west longitude, with the altitude indicating 14,100 feet. Weather radar indicated that the airplane was in an area of moderate to heavy precipitation.
According to a representative from the U.S. Coast Guard, a cutter subsequently recovered an inflated raft with the airplane registration number on it, in the vicinity of 25 degrees, 38 minutes north latitude, 78 degrees, 02 minutes west longitude. There were also smaller pieces of debris in the water, but neither the pilot nor any substantial parts of the airplane were found.
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with airplane single engine land and sea, multiengine land and sea, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a repairman certificate for his airplane. The pilot's latest FAA third class medical application was issued in February 2006.
According to FAA records, the airplane, which was built by the pilot from a kit, was certificated in November 2004. According to airplane maintenance records, the pilot performed a "100 hour/annual conditional inspection" on March 21, 2007, and as of September 7, 2007, the airplane had 242 hours of operation.
The investigation is under the direction of the government of the Bahamas. For further information, contact:
Department of Civil Aviation
Flight Standards Inspectorate
P.O. Box AP-59244
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas
This report is for informational purposes, and only contains information released by or provided to the government of the Bahamas.
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