ATL00LA037
ATL00LA037

On March 7, 2000, at 1500 central standard time, an unregistered Titan Tornado, experimental airplane, was destroyed by fire following a loss of engine power during cruise flight and subsequent forced landing in a private field near Springfield, Tennessee. The unqualified operator received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from a private airstrip in Springfield, Tennessee, at 1445.

Reportedly, the operator had recently purchased the Titan Tornado from an airplane builder in Maumee, Ohio. The airplane was transported to Springfield, Tennessee, where the operator readied the experimental airplane for flight. The operator departed a private airstrip for his first flight in the Titan Tornado. The operator reported that, shortly after takeoff, the engine lost power and the "airplane did not fly well". He further stated that, the engine RPM fluctuated followed by a complete loss of engine power. The operator also noted that the exhaust gas temperature (EGT) was in the over-temp range prior to the total loss of engine power. The operator selected a nearby field for an emergency landing. The airplane collided with trees on a wooded hill as the operator maneuvered for the forced landing. After the collision, the operator was assisted from the accident site by a local resident. The resident did not observed the accident, but heard what he thought was a collision. The airplane was consumed by a post-crash fire.

The examination of the airplane disclosed that the entire airframe had been consumed by the post-crash fire. The engine assembly also sustained extensive fire damage and prevented a functional examination of the assembly and the installed sub-components. Efforts to rotate the engine assembly were unsuccessful.

According to the operator, there were no engine or airframe maintenance log books for this airplane. The airplane was equipped with a Hirth, model 2704, 60 horse power, two-cycle engine. The airplane was also equipped with a 10-gallon fuel tank. The original builder also stated that the airplane empty weight was 420 pounds; the gross weight of the airplane was not determined. However, according to the original builder of the airplane, the engine had a total of 12 flight hours. The flight time on the airframe was not determined. According to the original builder and the operator, the airplane was never certificated or registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A review of FAA pilot certification records failed to reveal airmen certifications or pilot rating information for the operator of the unregistered experimental airplane involved in the accident.

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