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On October 10, 1995, at about 1020 eastern daylight time, a Travel Air R, N614K, operated on a local post-maintenance flight, was destroyed when it nosed over during the landing roll at Youngstown Elser Metro Airport, in Youngstown, Ohio. The Airline Transport Rated pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, no flight plan was filed. The local flight was operated under 14 CFR Part 91, and originated from Youngstown, Ohio, at approximately 1010.
According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, the experimental airplane had recently been rebuilt, and the pilot was performing a series of test flights. He stated that the pilot took off on runway 10, and remained in the traffic pattern for the accident test flight. Witnesses told the FAA Inspector that the pilot was high and fast on the first approach to land on runway 10, so he added power and performed a go around. The witnesses stated that the pilot's second approach to the runway appeared normal, but shortly after touchdown, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. One witness videotaped the accident flight. Examination of the videotape did not reveal any audio or visual evidence of preimpact anomaly. A copy of the videotape is appended to this report.
The FAA Inspectors reported that postaccident examination of the airframe, engine and accessories revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. They stated that flight control and engine continuity were established. One FAA Inspector described the physical marks on the runway after the accident. He stated that it appeared that the airplane initially touched down slightly right of the runway centerline, about 1400 feet from the approach end of the runway. The FAA Inspector reported that there were rubber skid marks and wheel pant paint transfers on the runway, and marks consistent with propeller blade strikes leading up to the point where the airplane nosed over. An FAA Inspector statement, and a record of telephone conversation are appended.
The pilot held an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate with an airplane multi engine land rating, and a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He held type ratings for McDonnell Douglas DC-3, a Lockheed L-1011 and L-1049, and a Boeing B-707 and B-720. FAA records indicated that the pilot was a retired airline pilot with approximately 27,130 hours of total flight experience, and was a military pilot during World War II. The pilot's civilian log book was not recovered. FAA records revealed that the pilot had accomplished a Biennial Flight Review on August 18, 1994. The pilot held a second class medical certificate that was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on February 7, 1994. The medical certificate contained the limitation that the pilot "Must have available glasses for near vision."
The accident airplane, a Travel Air R, serial number RB0001, was recently rebuilt, and operated under an experimental/exhibition airworthiness certificate. The certificate was issued by the FAA Flight Standards District Office in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 4, 1995. Maintenance logbooks indicated that the airplane was "...inspected...in accordance with...Part 43 and found to be in condition for safe operation. Functional test flight of all systems by appropriately rated pilot is required." Copies of the certificate letter and excerpts from the maintenance logbooks are appended.
An autopsy examination of the pilot was performed on October 10, 1995, by Dr. Jesse C. Giles, Deputy Coroner, at the Mahoning County Coroner's Office, 2801 Market Street, Annex Building, Suite 221, in Youngstown, Ohio, 44507-1649. The telephone number for the Coroner's Office is (216) 740-2175. A toxicological examination was conducted by Dr. Dennis V. Canfield, of the FAA's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center laboratory, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Autopsy and toxicology examinations revealed no evidence of preimpact anomaly.