NTSB Identification: ERA09LA231
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 04, 2009 in Valdosta, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: Howard William C KR-2, registration: N456CH
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 experimental amateur-built airplane was on its third flight, which was the first flight for the pilot/owner. About 20 minutes after departure, the pilot reported to air traffic control (ATC) that he had smoke in the cockpit and was approximately 9 miles from the airport. Subsequently, the pilot notified ATC that he had a fire in the cockpit. No further communications were received from the pilot and the airplane descended into trees. The airplane structure, which was comprised of wood and foam/fiberglass, exhibited extensive fire damage and was consumed by both in-flight and postimpact fire. The two previous flights were conducted by another pilot, who reported after the second flight there had been a blue staining around the fuel valve for the 15-gallon header tank. The accident pilot had installed a cigarette lighter in the airplane about 1 week prior to the accident; however, it could not be determined where the lighter was installed or if the leaking fuel valve was repaired. Due to the extensive fire damage, the fire's ignition source was not located.

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

An in-flight fire for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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