MIA97LA091
MIA97LA091

On March 2, 1997, about 1646 eastern standard time, a Windex 1200C, N1201G, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed while maneuvering in the vicinity of Wauchula, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed and the private pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Wauchula about 48 minutes before the accident.

Friends of the deceased pilot stated the pilot departed Wauchula at about 1558 for the local flight. The pilot was going to conduct a stall test at 3,000 feet. They talked to him periodically throughout the flight. The last communication was at about 1545. The pilot stated he had completed the stalls and everything was okay. About 30 minutes later, a Hardee County Sheriff's Deputy arrived at the airport and informed them that there had been an airplane accident. They departed the airfield for the crash site, and upon arrival identified the deceased pilot.

A witness stated she was driving south when she observed the airplane on the east side of the road flying westbound at a very low altitude. She thought the airplane was a remote control airplane due to its size and altitude. She looked down towards the ground to see if she could find the operator and didn't see anyone. She looked back up and observed the airplane make an abrupt turn to the east. The airplane then started rotating to the left in a vertical descent until it disappeared from view below the tree line. She continued driving and observed the airplane in a pasture with the pilot laying motionless beside the airplane. She stopped her car, went to the fence and called the pilot. There was no response. She engaged the assistance of a passing motorist to call for help and notify the authorities.

The wreckage of N1201G was located in a pasture due east of Danby Road and Ander Marsh Road in the vicinity of Wauchula, Florida.

Examination of the crash site revealed the airplane collided with the ground in a near vertical descent, 10-degree nose-up attitude, with no evidence of forward motion rotating around its vertical axis to the left. The engine and propeller assembly were displaced downward. One composite propeller blade had separated and was located by the left wing. No evidence of chordwise scarring was present. The remaining propeller blade was found in the feather position with no evidence of chordwise scarring. Buckling damage was present on the upper surface of the left wing near the fuselage. The left wing flap was folded under the left wing and attached at the most inboard hinge. The right flap had separated and was laying below the trailing edge of the right wing oriented in a chordwise direction. The fuel tank was not ruptured and about 2 1/2 gallons of fuel was present in the fuel tank. The canopy had broken in four pieces. Examination of the canopy emergency jettison handle revealed the red release wire was functional and had not been activated. The right hand canopy attachment frame assembly was torn away from the fuselage. The left-hand canopy release mechanism was functional and revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction.

Examination of the airframe, flight control assembly, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. All components necessary for flight were present at the crash site. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw. Postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Stephen J. Nelson, Medical Examiner, District Ten, Bartow, Florida, on March 3, 1997. The cause of death was multiple blunt force traumatic injuries. Postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot were forwarded to Wuesthoff Memorial Hospital, Rockledge, Florida, for analysis. The studies were negative for alcohol, neutral, acidic, and basic drugs.

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