SEA97LA089
SEA97LA089

On April 19, 1997, about 1315 mountain daylight time, an experimental Langston Hawk, N627K, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with the terrain 18 miles southwest of Howell, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was destroyed by a post crash fire and the commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight had departed from Ogden, Utah, about five and a half hours prior to the accident.

Documentation noted at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector from the Salt Lake City, Utah, Flight Standards District Office, reported that the aircraft collided on a grassy area in a near vertical nose down and left wing low attitude next to a 40-foot high rock wall. Red paint transfer and pieces of wing material was noted on the lava type rock near the right wing tip.

The leading edge of the wings were positioned along the ground with the trailing edge positioned near vertical to the terrain. The cockpit area had been consumed by fire. The empennage was intact and laying in an uphill position on the lava rock wall. Both right and left side ailerons remained attached to their respective hinges. The inboard section of the wing material had burned away exposing the structural tubing of the wing. The rear mounted engine had been exposed to thermal heat. The three propeller blades remained attached to the hub and were straight.

The rock wall traveled in a north/south direction. An area of dry grass and small rocks paralleling the rock wall extended to the west about 40 yards, then turned into a mud flat which is around the Great Salt Lake. Information obtained from friends and family of the pilot reported that the pilot frequently flew in this area and would land on the grassy area.

The responding deputy from the Box Elder County Sheriff's Department reported that while en route to the accident site, traveling in a westerly direction, he encountered heavy rain and strong gusting winds ranging from 25 to 40 knots from the northwest. After several minutes, the rain and wind began to decrease. By the time the deputy reached the accident site, the storm had passed. The rain stopped and the wind was calm. The deputy reported that the sky was partly cloudy the rest of the day.

The FAA inspector, who is a local resident of Salt Lake City, reported that rapidly moving isolated storm cells with heavy rain and strong winds are common to the area for this time of year.

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