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On November 29, 1993, approximately 1700 central standard time, a Quicksilver MX II, unregistered homebuilt airplane, was substantially damaged during takeoff near Newark, Texas. The pilot was fatally injured and the passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight.
Witnesses reported that the pilot had made a series of takeoffs and landings prior to boarding the passenger. Witnesses further reported that the winds were out of the southeast at four knots and the airplane took off downwind.
The passenger stated that he asked the pilot about the weight capability of the aircraft and if the aircraft could clear the wires at the north end of the field. The pilot told him the aircraft could carry 500 pounds and they would clear "well" above the wires. The passenger further stated that on the takeoff roll he observed that they were approaching the end of field before the aircraft became airborne. He added that "as soon as we left the ground I could tell if we didn't start climbing real fast we was going to hit the wire."
The pilot was not issued a written letter of exemption to FAR Part 103 to fly the aircraft for the purpose of giving flight instruction. He was not a certificated pilot, nor was he issued a medical certificate.
The person who sold the aircraft to the pilot stated the pilot had flown a one seat ultra light aircraft for five months and had not been checked out in a two seat aircraft. He further stated the pilot owned the aircraft for approximately a week and a half and had never flown the aircraft with a passenger.
The aircraft was not marked or placarded in accordance with exemption 4274D to FAR Part 103. The aircraft was equipped with a high thrust kit and had an empty weight of 300 pounds with a maximum takeoff weight of 700 pounds.
This aircraft could either be constructed as a single place ultralight, or a 2-place aircraft. It could also be constructed and operated under exemption 4274D to FAR Part 103 if the aircraft was used solely for instruction purposes.
Examination by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the aircraft was considered to be in the airplane category and should have been operated under Title 49 CFR Part 91.
Weight and balance calculations were performed using figures provided by the kit manufacturer. An estimate of the weight of the aircraft at the time of the accident was 707 pounds. Performance data indicated the aircraft had a rate of climb of 350 feet per minute and required a takeoff distance over a 50 foot obstacle of 350 feet.
The takeoff direction was to the north. Takeoff distance from the south end of the field to telephone wire was 480 feet. The telephone wire was approximately 20 feet above the ground. The terrain rose approximately one degree with a grassy, uneven surface. An ultra light pilot who built and sold the aircraft to the pilot stated the field was too small for the aircraft to takeoff with two persons on board.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION:
The aircraft came to rest on a measured magnetic heading of 300 degrees. Examination of the airplane and engine at the accident site did not disclose any mechanical problems. A piece of fabric with reddish brown transfer marks was torn out of the left wing. An aluminum structural tube of the left wing had scrapping marks. The telephone wire also had evidence of scrapping marks.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION:
The autopsy was performed by the Office of Medical Examiner, Tarrant County, Texas. Toxicological result was positive for Marihuana. In the opinion of Dr. Canfield, CAMI, the levels of 0.008 ug/ml Tetrahydrocannabinol (Marihuana), 0.084 ug/ml Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) detected in blood, and 0.650 ug/ml Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid (Marihuana) detected in urine, would have caused impairment. Additionally, Dr.Canfield stated that their presence indicated the ingestion of Marihuana within two hours prior to death.
The aircraft was released to the deceased pilot's wife following the investigation.