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On September 8, 1995, approximately 1138 Pacific daylight time, a homebuilt Gift Challenger II, N838TG, being flown by a private pilot, was destroyed during collision with terrain following a loss of control in flight shortly after takeoff at the Scappoose Industrial Airpark, Scappoose, Oregon. The pilot and his father were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal, was to have been operated under 14CFR91, and was destined for Vancouver, Washington.
Two pilot witnesses reported observing the aircraft. One witnessed the aircraft's takeoff on runway 15 and stated that he observed the "aircraft climbing straight ahead and he reached an estimated altitude of about 900 feet." He reported that he observed the aircraft perform "what looked like a wingover to the left turning 180 degrees" and that the aircraft made several rotations and descended to the ground (refer to attached statement).
The second pilot witness observed the aircraft takeoff, diverted his attention from the aircraft, and then observed it again. He reported observing the aircraft above the tree line in the distance (looking south) and then saw it begin a turn and "then fall straight down." He also reported that the aircraft "was in a nose low attitude and entered a counter clockwise spin" (refer to attached statement).
Both pilots stated that they heard a radio transmission from the accident aircraft indicating that the pilot intended to return to land on runway 33 and that the individual making the transmission sounded normal and did not sound excited, panicked, or overly concerned.
Two additional witnesses located near the ground impact site reported that the engine was making a high pitched sound as the aircraft passed overhead.
An Aviation Safety Inspector from the FAA's Hillsboro Flight Standards District Office reviewed the pilot's flight log and reported a total of 120 hours of recorded flight time with only one flight logged in the Challenger II aircraft.
Interviews with family members by the inspector indicated that the aircraft had not been flown in excess of 10 hours since the issuance of its airworthiness certificate on July 28, 1995. Additionally, the inspector estimated that the aircraft's weight equalled or slightly exceeded the maximum gross takeoff weight at the time of the accident (refer to attached FAA report).
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The aircraft crashed approximately 1 mile south of the approach end of runway 33 at the Scappoose Industrial Airport (refer to photograph 1). On site examination of the wreckage was conducted by the FAA inspector. He reported that he found no evidence of any control discontinuity or malfunction and no evidence of any powerplant malfunction (refer to attached FAA report). He also reported that the aircraft's recovery parachute system had been deployed but did not open fully before ground impact.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Post mortem examination of pilot Gift was conducted by Karen Gunson, M.D., at the facilities of the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, 301 N.E. Knott Street, Portland, Oregon, 97212, on September 9, 1995. Toxicological evaluation of samples from the pilot was conducted by the FAA's Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory. All tests were negative (refer to attached reports).