On November 22, 2000, at 1400 mountain standard time, a 2000 McCoy Genesis, N9931W, experimental homebuilt airplane was destroyed when it impacted the ground during a test flight approximately 4 miles south of Fort Collins, Colorado. The private pilot/builder received fatal injuries. The flight was operating in visual conditions under Title 14 CFR Part 91 and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Fort Collins/Loveland Airport (FNL) about 1330. The accident site was 103 degrees magnetic heading , 5.9 miles from the departure airport. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to witnesses, it appeared the aircraft was approximately 1,500 feet above the ground proceeding in a westerly direction. The witnesses said it appeared the wings folded up and the aircraft descended vertically to impact in an open field. The witnesses said the aircraft appeared to be trailing a parachute which did not blossom. There was no fire.
The pilot was the builder of the aircraft and held a private pilot certificate, single engine land, issued September 27, 1996. He did not possess an instrument rating. He also held a repairman-experimental aircraft builder certificate, issued April 28, 2000.
The pilot had 161 total flight hours, all of which was in single engine land airplanes. He had 44 hours flight time in the accident aircraft make and model. At the time of the accident, he was conducting the 28th test flight since building the aircraft.
The aircraft was a high wing, pusher propeller, reciprocating engine powered, fixed tricycle landing gear, two place airplane with a tubular frame, composite cabin, and fabric covered aerodynamic surfaces. It was equipped with a rocket deployed aircraft parachute recovery system.
The propeller was a composite fixed pitch, three-bladed design manufactured by Warp Drive, and the engine was a Stratus/Subaru model E81.
Examination of the wreckage and the accident scene revealed no lateral ground scar. The aircraft left a small crater at impact which contained the aircraft fuselage and engine. The wings were attached and extended outside the crater. Both wings were crushed. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers were bent over the top of the fuselage in "scorpion" fashion. The top left tubular frame member, which connected the fuselage to the stabilizers, was fractured at the horizontal stabilizer attach point. The other three tubes were bent up and to the left. The aircraft recovery parachute system was entangled in the wreckage. It was later identified as a BRS-5 manufactured by BRS, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The rocket launching system for the parachute had been activated and was located approximately 80 yards south of the impact site.
The fuselage was crushed longitudinally from the nose rearward and the engine was displaced toward the nose section of the aircraft. The engine remained attached to the airframe. The accessory section on the forward facing part of the engine was destroyed by impact forces.
All three propeller blades were sheared at the hub. Parachute shroud lines were wrapped around the propeller shaft and hub, and the Kevlar parachute retention strap was intact and anchored to the airframe forward of, and above the engine. It also was entangled in the propeller shaft and hub.
Detailed examination of the aforementioned tubular frame fracture, revealed that the horizontal stabilizer bolts to the tube at that point. Three holes had been drilled through the tube approximately 1/16 inch from each other. The facture extended through the three bolt holes. The bolt remained attached to the stabilizer. The opposing horizontal stabilizer attach point had only one hole and the stabilizer remained bolted to the tubular frame at that point. The fracture area was necked and exhibited shearing under tension.
Examination of the parachute system included the installation and activation instructions. The parachute was properly installed in the aircraft and the rocket firing lanyard had been activated. A placard in the aircraft and a warning in the instructions stated that in the Genesis installation, the propeller had to be stopped prior to activation.
An autopsy and toxicology ( #2000CA-123) were conducted on the pilot by the Larimer County, Colorado Medical Examiner. The toxicology showed a vitreous ethanol level of 143.3 mg/dl. Samples were also sent to the Civil Aeronautical Medical Institute (CAMI), reference number 200000326001. CAMI tested kidney and muscle for ethanol and found none.
The aircraft was released to the owner's representative on December 13, 2000. The retained airframe tubing was returned to the owner's representative following testing.