FTW93LA233
FTW93LA233

On August 6, 1993, at approximately 1740 central daylight time, an Aero Falcon International, Inc., Knight Falcon, N502AF, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground near Mineral Wells, Texas, following a loss of control. The loss of control occurred during the initial climb immediately after liftoff. The experimental prototype, pilot optional, airplane was being flown by a commercial pilot with an ATP rated pilot aboard as a passenger on the test/orientation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot received minor injuries while the pilot rated passenger was not injured.

The pilot stated that the initial flight of the day had been delayed due to an autopilot malfunction during run up and interrupted after about 30 minutes of flight due to an electrical malfunction. Maintenance was performed and the airplane was prepared for a second flight. The pilot further stated that the engine run up and systems checks were normal prior to his beginning the second takeoff. He said the airplane responded normally during the takeoff roll and liftoff, but that it immediately assumed a right yaw and roll attitude as it passed through about 50 feet AGL. His efforts to correct were not successful and the yaw and roll rate increased and the airplane began to descend. The pilot said it impacted the ground in a nose down, right wing down attitude after three 360 degree turns.

The pilot also stated that at the same time the uncommanded roll manifested itself, the cockpit communications system ceased functioning. The passenger's statement confirmed the pilot's observations. The pilot, who was also a design engineer on the project, said it was his opinion that the airplane experienced an autopilot commanded rudder hard over, similar to one experienced earlier in the day. According to the FAA coordinator and the pilot's statement, the takeoff was made with a right cross wind of between 5 and 20 knots.

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