On November 1, 1998, about 1600 central standard time, an experimental, Ferguson Rans S-10 Sakota, N383FF, registered to a private individual, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed while maneuvering overhead Pisgah Airstrip, Pisgah, Mississippi. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The amateur-built airplane was destroyed and the private-rated pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The flight originated from the private strip about 20 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to a witness, the pilot's father, the flight was performing a flyby maneuver at about 150 to 200 feet agl, on a heading of 180 degrees down the centerline of the runway, and at about the 2/3 point of the runway the flight entered an abrupt 45-to 50-degree left bank. During the left bank, the nose dropped and the ballistic recovery chute (BRS), was observed to deploy. The left bank continued for about 270 degrees, the nose dropped 25 to 30 degrees below the horizon trailing the partially deployed BRS, and the airplane impacted the terrain in a nearly vertical attitude. The engine sounded normal the whole time. The father mentioned that he thought the pilot had no acrobatic experience.
A friend of the pilot who helped build the airplane and who had given dual instruction to the pilot about 5 to 6 weeks previously in the same airplane stated they performed maneuvers and steep turns above 5,000 feet agl.
Examination of the airplane by FAA personnel revealed the airplane impacted the ground in a near vertical attitude, upright, heading about 180 degrees. The ballistic recovery system, (BRS) drogue chute was about 60-feet forward of the wreckage and the main canopy was deployed behind the left wing and both appeared undamaged. Severe fuselage crushing extended rearward to aft of the pilot's seat. The wings, aft fuselage and empennage were minimally damaged.
Flight control continuity from the cockpit control stick about the roll axis was impossible to confirm due to impact damage to rod ends under the cockpit floor, but was confirmed using control linkage outward of the damage to the flight controls. Pitch control continuity was confirmed from stick to elevator. Rudder control path continuity was confirmed from pedals to control surface. Engine control continuity was not possible due to impact damage. The Hobbs meter indicated 64.9 hours. The two composite fuel tanks had been compromised, and the wreckage smelled of fuel. The fuel lines and carburetors contained fuel and the pilot's father said the tanks were nearly full at takeoff. The main fuel valve and the right fuel valve were found in the "on" position and the left valve was in an intermediate position. Seat belts and harnesses were intact and still attached to their respective anchoring points. The pilot was found with seat belt and harness fastened. (For additional information see attached FAA Inspector's Statement).
Postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Steven T. Hayne, M.D., Deputy Coroner, Rankin County, Pearl, Mississippi, on November 1, 1998, and revealed cause of death to be attributed to multiple traumatic injuries suffered in the crash. No findings that could be considered causal were noted. Toxicological testing was conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The tests were negative for ethanol, carbon monoxide, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.