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On October 10, 1993, at 0805 Pacific daylight time, a Varga 2150A, N5074V, collided with the terrain shortly after takeoff from a private airstrip located 70 miles south of Burns, Oregon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The airplane was destroyed and the certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured.
Some witnesses at the fly-in reported that the airplane had just taken off, while others stated that the airplane had made a few low passes over the airstrip. During the last pass, all of the witnesses stated that the airplane was travelling at a high rate of speed (approximately 100 miles per hour) and low level, when it suddenly pulled nearly straight up and attained an altitude of several hundred feet. The witnesses stated that it kept climbing at a high angle of attack until it seemed to stop climbing. The nose of the airplane then dropped and the attitude of the airplane momentarily leveled off horizontal to the ground. The nose of the airplane then dropped near vertical to the horizon and the airplane spun to the left. The airplane collided with the terrain in a nose down attitude. One witness reported that the engine was at idle power during the descent, while another reported that the engine was "wide open."
The pilot's flight logbook indicates that the first flight in the Varga was on October 8, 1991, and all flights since that date were in the Varga. The last logged flight was on October 1, 1992. At that time, the logbook indicates a total flight time of 302 hours in all types of airplanes. The total flight time in the Varga was listed as 42 hours.
In a written statement, a friend of the pilot's stated that in the past year he had flown with the pilot approximately 20 to 25 hours, with 10 hours in the last 90 days prior to the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration Medical records indicate that the pilot held a Class III medical certificate dated October 22, 1990, with a limitation for corrective lenses. On October 23, 1992, the pilot was denied the reissuance of a medical certificate due to evidence of coronary artery disease. The FAA does not show an update to the October 23, 1992, medical records.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector from the Hillsboro, Oregon, Flight Standards District Office inspected the airplane and reported that control continuity was established from the elevator to the cockpit controls. The tubing was bent and one break in the system was noted near the center of the airplane. The elevators were free to move and unobstructed.
The engine was examined and found that the propeller broke away as a unit from the crankshaft in the area of the front main bearing. The propeller blades were straight. Further examination did not reveal evidence to indicate a mechanical failure or malfunction.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The autopsy was performed by the Central Oregon Pathology Consultants, Bend, Oregon. The report stated that the heart was severely damaged and evaluation of the coronary arteries was not possible.
Toxicological samples were sent to the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for analysis. The result of the analysis was negative findings.