SEA96LA023
SEA96LA023

On November 24, 1995, at 1228 Pacific standard time, N4166Q, a Hardesty/Hays Quickie Q2 homebuilt airplane, operated by the owner/pilot, collided with terrain in Puyallup, Washington, while turning to reverse direction during a forced landing. The forced landing was precipitated by a total loss of engine power during initial climbout. The airplane was destroyed and there was a ground fire. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot later succumbed 42 days after the accident because of the injuries he received in the accident. He is listed as a serious injury by the Safety Board in this report as per Part 830.1, Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, because he survived the accident beyond 30 days from the date of the accident

According to two eyewitnesses (statements attached), the airplane began to take off to the south from runway 16 at the Pierce County Airport in Puyallup. The witnesses reported that as the airplane climbed up to an altitude of about 150 feet above the ground, the engine began "cutting out." The airplane was then observed to initiate a left turn back toward the runway. Witnesses reported that the airplane "stalled" and "crashed nose first" into terrain and caught fire about 200 yards short of the departure end of runway 16.

The terrain surrounding the Pierce County Airport and the departure end of runway 16 consisted of level, open fields.

The aircraft was homebuilt by the pilot in 1984 from composite materials. It was a single-seat kit airplane that utilized a canard design. The airplane was powered by a 78 horsepower, four-cycle Rotax 912 engine. An examination of the maintenance logbook revealed that the airplane had received an inspection by the pilot in April of 1995. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had a total of 137.4 hours of flight time logged. No unresolved discrepancies were noted in the logbook.

According to FAA aviation safety inspectors from Renton, Washington, the entire wreckage scatter path was about 100 feet in length. Pieces of the left canard and aileron marked the initial impact point, followed by the engine cowling, nose, and fuselage. The cabin area and engine were damaged by the ground fire.

An additional examination of the wreckage was performed by the Safety Board on December 7, 1996, after the wreckage had been removed from the accident site and placed in a hangar at the Pierce County Airport.

No evidence of pre-impact flight control malfunctions were found. An examination of the engine revealed the following: Verification of ignition and engine controls was impossible due to thermal damage. The magnetic plugs were removed and were found to be clean. The water pump, oil pump, and fuel pump were all correctly attached and functional. No signs of internal rub marks were found. The gear box was removed and its integrity was verified. The crankshaft and camshaft rotated freely with no evidence of seizure. Valve train continuity was verified.

The fuel line of the pressure side of the fuel pump had non- standard abrupt bends on it as it exited the fuel pump nipple fitting. The bend was adjacent to the air baffle system. A non-standard air baffle system was noted. Fuel pump function was verified; the pump was then disassembled and inspected with no evidence of debris or blockage found.

An examination of the exhaust system revealed several non- standard abrupt bends. Function and efficiency of the exhaust system could not be verified. The mufflers were found to be installed in close proximity to the carburetor. Fire damage precluded verification of the engine induction system routing.

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