On April 22, 1995 at 1700 Pacific daylight time, a homebuilt Baxter-Wilson C W Champ-3, N4232L, experienced a loss of engine power near Forks, Washington. During the landing roll on a road, the airplane collided with a chain link fence. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the airline transport pilot and his passenger were not injured. The flight had departed from Port Angeles, Washington, on April 22, 1995, at 1630, and was en route to Forks. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot stated that all indications were normal for the start, taxi and take off. About 25 minutes after take off and ten minutes after initiating fuel transfer from the wing tank to the nose tank, the flight approached a friend's house. The pilot stated that the intention was to "waggle" the wings over the house, then proceed to the Forks Airport. The pilot stated that he reduced power and altitude over the house. When power was added to climb out, the engine began to run rough. The pilot trouble-shot by applying the carburetor heat and stopping the fuel transfer. The pilot stated that by leaning the fuel flow, the airplane would maintain altitude with 2,100 rpm. The pilot checked the magnetos and noted that the right magneto was inoperative. The pilot continued straight and headed for the Forks Airport. Approximately five miles from the airport, the engine lost all power. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a road, where during the landing roll, the airplane collided with a fence. Shortly after the pilot and passenger evacuated the airplane, a fire started which consumed the airplane.
During an engine examination, it was noted that the engine had suffered heat distress as a result of the post-crash fire. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. The crankshaft rotated easily, with compression developed in each cylinder. Rocker arm, valve train and accessory gear continuity was established. All spark plugs displayed normal operating signatures. The carburetor float bowl was inspected and found to contain a trace of water. All fuel lines from the fuel tanks to the engine were destroyed. Both magnetos suffered heat distress and could not be tested.
In March 1983, the airplane was completed and ready for FAA inspection and test flights. The airplane was signed off with a special certificate of airworthiness on March 27, 1984. The aircraft and engine logbooks indicate that, from 1987 until the last condition inspection on October 5, 1994, the airplane had accumulated a total flight time of approximately 43.3 hours.