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On March 30, 1997, approximately 1240 Pacific standard time, a homebuilt Rose VP-1, N89PR, being flown by a private pilot, was destroyed during a collision with an unoccupied house following a loss of control during climbout. The aircraft crashed near Gardiner, Washington. The pilot was airlifted to Harborview Hospital in Seattle with serious injuries and subsequently expired. Visual, windy meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal, was to have been operated under 14CFR91. The destination of the flight was believed to be Port Angeles, Washington.
Several witnesses who were interviewed by Clallam County Sheriff's Deputies, and who were located at the departure airport (Diamond Point) reported advising the pilot against attempting to takeoff in the strong, gusty winds. They observed the aircraft takeoff on runway 10, become airborne and then execute a descending left turn out of view to impact.
A witness near the ground impact site reported winds "gusting at approximately 35 to 40 miles per hour when I heard the sound of an aircraft taking off at the Diamond Point airport." He also reported that the aircraft was "in the air for less than a minute when I heard a loud crash" and "the airplane engine stopped at that point."
According to records maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot-in-command had been issued a private pilot certificate on December 16, 1994. He possessed an airplane single-engine land rating and showed a total of 60 hours of flight experience on the date of his most recent FAA third class medical examination, conducted December 28, 1995. The pilot's total flight experience at the time of the accident, as well as his total time in the make/model of the accident aircraft, were not known. Additionally, it was not known whether or not the pilot had completed a bi-annual flight review and in what aircraft.
No aircraft logs or records were recovered following the accident. The aircraft, a single-engine, Rose VP-1 "Volksplane" was initially registered to Patrick W. Rose on June 18, 1991, and subsequently re-registered to the pilot on July 18, 1996. The aircraft is a single-seat, fixed conventional-gear, wood frame, low-wing model and was equipped with a Volkswagen engine.
Surface wind direction and speed, as well as barometric pressure were recorded at the following sites and times (refer to CHART I for the location of these sites with respect to the Diamond Point airport):
LOCATION & TIME: WINDS + PRESSURE:
Port Angeles: 1245 wind from 160 degrees at 5 knots, gusts to 10 knots, 29.48 in. Hg. REMARK: Pressure rising rapidly
Arlington: 1254 wind from 180 degrees at 12 knots, gusts to 25 knots, 29.47 in. Hg.
Boeing Field: 1245 wind from 170 degrees at 15 knots, gusts to 28 knots, 29.52 in. Hg.
Bellingham: 1248 wind from 160 degrees at 13 knots, gusts to 21 knots, 29.41 in. Hg.
Friday Harbor:1254 wind from 100 degrees at 28 knots, gusts to 35 knots, 29.38 in. Hg.
Hoquiam: 1250 wind from 130 degrees at 34 knots, gusts to 47 knots, 29.55 in. Hg.
Olympia: 1256 wind from 160 degrees at 15 knots, 29.57 in. Hg. REMARK: Peak wind from 170 degrees at 37 at 1213, wind-shift at 1142
Everett: 1245 wind from 170 degrees at 13 knots, 29.49 in. Hg.
Everett: 1345 wind from 200 degrees at 23 knots, gusts to 42 knots, 29.49 in. Hg. REMARK: Pressure rising rapidly
Bremerton: 1254 wind from 180 degrees at 19 knots, gusts to 27 knots, 29.60 in. Hg.
Renton: 1245 wind from 180 degrees at 25 knots, gusts to 41 knots, 29.50 in. Hg.
Seattle: 1256 wind from 210 degrees at 24 knots, gusts to 38 knots, 29.53 in. Hg. REMARK: Pressure rising rapidly
McChord AFB: 1249 wind from 180 degrees at 33 knots, gusts to 41 knots, 29.60 in. Hg. REMARK: Pressure rising rapidly
Tacoma: 1250 wind from 200 degrees at 25 knots, gusts to 35 knots, 29.59 in. Hg. REMARK: Pressure rising rapidly
Quillayute: 1223 wind from 120 degrees at 12 knots, gusts to 24 knots, 29.40 in. Hg. REMARK: Peak wind from 180 degrees at 27 knots at 1154
Quillayute: 1253 wind from 140 degrees at 20 knots, gusts to 32 knots, 29.41 in. Hg. REMARK: Peak wind from 140 degrees at 34 knots at 1243
Winds at Port Angeles, Washington, 23 nautical miles west, were reported at 160 degrees magnetic, 5 knots gusting to 10 knots, and station pressure was reported as "rising rapidly." One witness reported the winds gusting 35 to 40 miles per hour at the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
On-site examination of the wreckage was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, who reported that the aircraft came to rest partially inside the first floor of a two story residence. He also indicated that a small fruit tree southeast of the aircraft's final resting place had been uprooted and reported evidence that the left wing tip had contacted this tree.
Additionally, he reported evidence that the right wing leading edge impacted the side of the house at a slightly more than 90 degree attitude (refer to photograph 1 and 2). He reported that the engine, fuel tank (including evidence of fuel), and the pilot were all located within the ground floor of the residence (refer to photograph 3). The engine was observed separated from the airframe and both wooden propeller blades were observed to be shattered just outboard of the hub assembly, which remained attached to the engine crankshaft just aft of the spinner (refer to photograph 4).
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Post mortem examination of the pilot was conducted at 0700 local time on April 1, 1997, by Richard C. Harruff, M.D., Ph. D., Associate Medical Examiner at the facilities of the King County Medical Examiner, Seattle, Washington. The examination report number was KCME 97-0368. Toxicological evaluation of samples taken from the pilot subsequent to his admission to Harborview Medical Center revealed only morphine in blood and kidney fluid, and Lidocaine in blood and lung fluid (refer to attached Toxicology report).