On July 26, 2000, at 2005 eastern standard time, an amateur-built Halsmer Crazy 8 airplane, N9034L, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with trees following a loss of control during an approach to Wildcat Air Landing Area, near Lafayette, Indiana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 flight and was not on a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight departed the Wildcat Air Landing Area at 2000 and was returning to the airport at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to a witness to the accident, the airplane had been inspected by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airworthiness Inspector and was issued an Airworthiness Certificate on the day of the accident. The witness reported that the pilot was performing high-speed taxi tests to determine the aircraft's controllability and target airspeeds for future test flights. The witness stated that on one of the high-speed taxi tests the airplane became airborne and climbed to traffic pattern altitude while turning to enter a downwind leg. The witness reported that the airplane flew an extended downwind leg prior to turning to the base leg. The witness stated that when the airplane was turning to final approach, he heard a reduction in engine power and noticed the aircraft had a high rate of descent. The witness stated that the airplane descended into some trees located approximately 2,500-feet from the end of the runway.
Post-accident investigation revealed no anomalies with the airframe, including its flight control systems, which could be associated with any preexisting condition.
Post-accident investigation of the aircraft engine, a Hirthmotoren 270CE180, serial number 895596, revealed that the piston of the rear cylinder had seized during the flight. Visual inspection of the piston and ring assembly revealed the piston skirt had been exposed to higher than normal operating temperatures and that the rings were seized in their respective groves. There was evidence of metal transfer from the piston onto the cylinder bore.
An autopsy was performed on the pilot on July 28, 2000, at the Tippecanoe County Morgue, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Toxicology samples were sent to the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (FAA-CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for toxicology testing. A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by FAA-CAMI, dated September 12, 2000.
The toxicology report indicated the following results:
* No Carbon Monoxide detected in Blood * No Cyanide detected in Blood * No Ethanol detected in Blood * 0.84 (ug/ml, ug/g) Lidocaine detected in Blood