On September 25, 1994, at 1337 central daylight time, an experimental Thomas E. Georges Z-Max, N4592M, operated by a private pilot on a pleasure flight, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff near Palmyra, Illinois. The airplane was destroyed and the pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 CFR Part 91 flight and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, while climbing through an altitude of approximately 150 feet, the engine lost power. He attempted to turn to pick a landing site. The airplane stalled and lost altitude.


Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The temperature was 56 degrees and the dew point was 55 degrees. The carburetor icing probability chart contained in DOT/FAA/CT-82/44 specifies the potential for "serious icing at cruise power" under these conditions.


Examination of the wreckage disclosed no evidence of preimpact malfunction. The left wing was shattered. The engine and firewall were torn from the fuselage. The fuselage center section was severely damaged.

The fuel tanks contained fuel. Fuel was found in the fuel lines, filter, and carburetor. The ground wire for the ignition unit was burned resulting in a "hot mag" condition. The ignition unit was examined and functioned normally during an operational test. Carburetor heating was not installed on the airplane. All engine and flight controls were intact.

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