NTSB Identification: ERA11FA374
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2011 in Calhoun, GA
Aircraft: BINKLEY RICHARD Sonex, registration: N566RB
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On July 2, 2011, about 1030 eastern daylight time, an experimental Binkley Sonex airplane, N566RB, registered to the pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground following a loss of engine power after takeoff from the Tom B. David Airport, Calhoun, Georgia. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight which was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
Three witnesses, who were standing outside the airport terminal observed the airplane taxi from the hangar area for a mid-field intersection takeoff on runway 17 toward the south. The run up sounded normal and they saw the airplane roll about 1,000 feet down the runway and then heard what they thought was a noticeable skip in engine power; however, the engine regained full power almost instantly. The witnesses saw the airplane rotate about 1,500 feet down the runway and begin a climb, which appeared to be normal. The airplane went out of the witnesses sight and two to three minutes later, they saw black smoke just south of the runway and called 911.
A witness who was driving along a road just south of, and perpendicular to the departure end of runway 17, saw the airplane rocking back and forth just over power lines and thought that the propeller was not turning. A resident located just south of the road saw the airplane for a few seconds. She stated that the airplane was flying erratically and saw it nose into the ground and erupt into flames.
The accident site was confined to a small area in a sparsely vegetated field about 1 mile south of the departure end of runway 17. The front cabin section and engine were severely damaged by a post impact fire. The leading edges of the wings exhibited crushing aft, consistent with a nose low impact. All of the pilot logs and airplane records which were onboard the airplane were consumed by fire.
Other than control continuity, on scene documentation was limited due to the extent of the fire damage, however, a memory chip from an onboard engine monitoring unit was found and sent to the NTSB laboratory for evaluation.
The pilot was well known to local pilots as an extremely professional pilot and meticulous about the care of his airplane. They all stated that he flew his airplane regularly several times a week and had not indicated that there were any mechanical issues with the airplane.
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