On May 31, 1996, at 0915 central daylight time, a Gray Miniplane DSA-1-G, N611SU, operated by a commercial instrument rated pilot collided with the terrain while maneuvering in Astoria, Illinois. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The pilot received fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed. The flight originated from Lacon, Illinois, at approximately 0830 cdt. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A friend of the pilot's stated that the pilot had called him at 0800 stating that he was going to fly down to visit and that he would fly over his residence to notify him of his arrival in the area. This friend reported to an Officer at the Fulton County Sheriff's Police Office that upon the pilot's arrival in the area, he was performing "some stunts" over his house. He stated that when the pilot performed a loop he came to close to the ground and the airplane crashed in a bean field. This witness stated the pilot "liked to perform the stunts and he had performed the stunts before."
Two other witnesses stated they heard the airplane in the area for 15-20 minutes prior to going outside to watch it. They stated they watched the airplane for approximately 5 minutes prior to the accident. They stated that during this time the pilot was performing stunts approximately 50 to 75 feet above a treeline which surrounded an open field. One of these witnesses stated that it appeared the pilot was attempting an "upside down loop" when he "crashed nose first into the field, close to the fence row."
Post accident inspection of the airplane wreckage was conducted by Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office in Springfield, Illinois. Their inspection of the airframe and engine failed to reveal any anomalies which would have resulted in the accident.
A review of excerpts from the pilot's logbook indicated that he had performed aerobatic maneuvers at least nine times. These logbook entries include notations for Aileron Rolls, Hammerheads, Snap Rolls, Loops, and Rolls. Five of these entries are logged as being flow in the accident airplane.
A post mortem examination of the pilot was conducted by the Fulton County Coroner's Office on June 1, 1996. Toxicological tests were performed by the State of Illinois and the FAA Civil Aeronautical Medical Institute.