CHI95LA323
CHI95LA323

On September 17, 1995, at 1710 central daylight time (cdt), a Haugen-Kolb Firestar II, N42996, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed during a collision with the ground while maneuvering about 100 to 200 feet above the ground. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot was fatally injured. One passenger received serious injuries, a second passenger received minor injuries. The flight departed a restricted landing area near Souris, North Dakota, at 1700 cdt.

Witnesses reported observing the airplane flying at a low altitude and begin a right turn. A witness said N42996 "...dropped nose first, like it was in slow motion." Another witness said he observed the airplane in a "...sharp descent..." before it collided with the ground. Both passengers were children who were seated in the rear seat.

According to the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 submitted by the pilot's family, he had a total time of 154.6 hours. The form showed he had a total time of 37.7 hours in the accident airplane. The form shows he had 8.6 hours in the accident airplane during the last 24 hours. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records showed the pilot had received his private pilot certificate on December 7, 1994. His FAA Third Class Medical Certificate was issued on October 10, 1994.

The homebuilt airplane had two seats in a tandem configuration. Records for the airplane were not made available for inspection by the family of the pilot. The electric hobbs meter found in the wreckage showed 25.7 hours on it.

An FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) conducted the on-scene investigation. The PMI reported he observed no evidence of airframe failure before its collision with the ground. He said he established flight control continuity for all the control surfaces. He reported the airplane had not been issued a Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A), but it did have a Certificate of Registration issued on December 20, 1994. An application for the C of A was received by the PMI's office on March 1, 1995.

The pilot's autopsy was conducted by Pathology and Imaging Consultants, P.C., of Minot, North Dakota, on September 18, 1995. The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted a toxicological examination on specimens provided by the pathologist. Their report showed negative results.

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