NTSB Identification: ERA12FA280
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 14, 2012 in Hudson, KY
Aircraft: MANZITTO MICHAEL A MWLANCAIR 235, registration: N235MW
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 April 14, 2012, about 1330 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Lancair 235, N235MW was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Hudson, Kentucky. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, which departed from Rough River State Park Airport (2I3), Falls of Rough, Kentucky, destined for Bowman Field Airport (LOU), Louisville, Kentucky.
According to a pilot who was a friend of the accident pilot, the pilot of the accident airplane flew from LOU to 2I3 the morning of the accident to have breakfast with some fellow pilots. He was having electrical issues, so he removed the battery from his airplane and returned to LOU with another pilot.
Once back at LOU the pilot lent him a battery charger. The pilot of the accident airplane then charged up two batteries and rode back to 2I3 in his friend's airplane.
The pilot of the accident airplane then installed one of the batteries in his airplane and stated that if he could get it started, he would fly it back to LOU with the landing gear down. His plan, if the radios and electrical system did not work, was for him and his friend to return as a flight of two to LOU.
The pilot of the accident airplane tried three times to start the airplane before it finally started. He then waved and gave a "thumbs up" to his friend. After taxing to the runway the pilot stopped the airplane for 6 to 7 seconds and then took off.
His friend then took off, 3 to 4 minutes behind him, and when climbing through 1,700 feet above mean sea level, heard the pilot of the accident airplane ask over the radio if he was still on the frequency. His friend stated that he knew due to the accident pilot's regular phraseology that something was wrong and advised him that he was coming. They were talking on the Unicom frequency for 2I3 and the accident pilot was using a handheld radio rather than the aircraft radios.
The accident pilot stated that he was 1 to 2 miles south of Breckinridge County Airport (I93), Hardinsburg, Kentucky and was going to land in a field. His friend responded “I’m coming as fast as I can”. The pilot of the accident airplane then stated “I’m going in hard”. His friend could hear the emergency locator transmitter transmitting. He then circled the area a few times but could not see the accident pilot or airplane, so he landed at I93 and called 911.
According to a witness, just prior to the accident, he observed the airplane traveling southeast in a straight line. It then disappeared behind a rise in the terrain and then reappeared. The airplane then climbed about 100 feet, turned right missing a barn, and then disappeared once again behind a rise in the terrain. Moments later he heard the sound of an impact.
Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane came to rest in a corn field where the corn had already been harvested. After striking the ground in a level attitude the airplane traveled approximately 63 feet before nosing over and coming to rest.
Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact malfunctions or anomalies.
Examination of the electrical system revealed however, that the airplane's battery exhibited evidence of outgassing from the side and top of the case and the inside of the battery box exhibited chemical and soot staining.
The battery, battery box, and portions of the airplane's electrical system were retained by the NTSB for further examination.
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