NTSB Identification: ERA11LA263
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 23, 2011 in Starke, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/23/2012
Aircraft: SOLO WINGS WINDLASS AQUILLA, registration: N94370
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 pilot had not previously flown the weight-shift-control airplane that he had purchased about 2 months before the accident and was practicing high-speed taxiing at a grass airstrip oriented on a west-northwest/east-southeast heading. The airplane subsequently became airborne and impacted the ground in a steep nose-down, left-wing-low attitude just short of a tree located about 500 feet north of the runway. The airplane's direction of travel along the runway could not be determined; however, if the airplane was transitioning from west to east, the surrounding terrain would have resulted in the airplane being more exposed to a reported southeast wind. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The pilot's total weight-shift-control airplane flight experience consisted of 5.7 hours flown with a flight instructor in another model airplane.

Toxicological testing revealed volatiles related to alcohol; however, since the tissue specimens tested had undergone putrefaction and the pilot's wife stated that he did not consume any alcohol, the findings were likely the result of post-mortem production.

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

The pilot's loss of airplane control while taxiing, which resulted in the weight-shift-controlled airplane becoming inadvertently airborne and subsequently impacting the ground. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in the make and model of the accident airplane.

Full narrative available

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