ATL01LA077
ATL01LA077

On July 07, 2001, at 1217 eastern daylight time, a Kenneth West, ARV582 experimental airplane, N3395H, registered to and owned by the student pilot, collided with the ground shortly after takeoff at Sebring Regional Airport, in Sebring, Florida. The personal flight was conducted by the student pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot received fatal injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damaged. The flight departed Sebring Regional Airport, in Sebring, Florida, at 1217.

According to witness, he saw the airplane departing runway 18, and remarked that the airplane did not seem to be climbing out very well. He stated that the airplane only reached approximately 50 feet in altitude at the midfield of the runway. The witness then stated that he saw the airplane in a right wing low, nose down steep attitude. The experimental airplane collided with the ramp adjacent to the runway, and skidded approximately 125 feet.

Examination of the accident site disclosed that the wreckage of the airplane was located on runway. The cockpit and instrument panel was displaced aft towards the pilot station. The right wing showed signs of wrinkling and buckling. The right wing aileron and flap assembly was still attached to the wing. The fuselage section was compressed forward towards the pilot station. The empennage section was broken at the fuselage section. The rudder was still attached to the vertical stabilizer, and elevator was still attached to the horizontal stabilizer. The tail wheel was still attached to the empennage section. The right main landing gear float was separated from the fuselage. The left landing gear float was still attached to the fuselage. The left wing showed signs of wrinkling and buckling. The left wing aileron and flap assembly was still attached to the wing. Examination of the engine revealed that the Rotax 618 power plant operated normally during the functional check. No evidence of mechanical malfunction or any flight control problems were reported prior to the flight.

The pilot held a student pilot certificate. His total flight time was 239 hours in the ARV 582. The pilot held a third class medical certificate, dated January 25, 2000. The medical certificate was valid when wearing corrective lenses.

The Sebring 1253 eastern daylight weather observation, reported visibility 10 statute miles, wind 010 at 7 knots, temperature 32 Celsius, dew point 22 Celsius and daylight conditions.

Sebring airport has two runways: 36/18 and 34/14. At the time of the accident, runway 18 was in use.

Postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Dr. Melamut at the office of the County Medical Examiner in Lakeland, Florida. The reported cause of death was blunt force trauma. The Forensic toxicology was performed by the FAA Toxicology and Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicological examination showed 0.203(ug/ml, ug/g) fluoxetine in the blood, also 0.715 (ug/ml, ug/g) of norfluoxetine in the blood sample. According to the Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 26th edition, fluoxetine is an antidepressant. The pilot did not report norfluoxetine or fluoxetine as a prescribed medication on his last physical examination application.

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