On October 28, 2001, about 1711 central standard time, an experimental Rans S-6 airplane, N1173R, operated and registered to an individual, impacted with trees 5 miles south of Wyatte, Mississippi. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The aircraft was destroyed. The private rated-pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The flight had originated about 21 minutes earlier from a private airstrip, near Wyatte. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to one witness when he first heard the airplane "...it sounded to be flying lower than most planes in the area." When it came into his view he first saw the airplane between trees at the back of his house, and it appeared to him as though the airplane was "running about half throttle...…not at full rpm." As it came into a clearing he said, "...…it appeared to start to turn toward the house (west), it was headed northeast." The airplane then "straightened up and the front end started to rise." Before it went behind the trees again the witness saw what appeared to him to be about a "10 to 15 degree [nose] up angle." He lost sight of the airplane for about 5 seconds and he said he heard the "engine stall." When the airplane came back into his view he saw it in a "roll," the nose "turned down," and there was "no" engine sound. In addition, as the airplane started down it made about a "50' to 75' spiral," disappeared behind trees, and as it went out of his sight, he heard the engine "rev up....high rpm." Within 3 to 5 seconds he heard it hit the ground. He said, ".…..the plane did not seem to be having engine trouble, missing or sputtering at any time, it did seem to be flying low and slow."
The other witness said the airplane passed over him between "20 and 25 feet...with the motor making excessive noise, popping, misfire sound, and banked toward the left." The airplane was flying away from him and it was making a type of "fluttering sound," the engine seemed to "choke down and stopped." He then heard the sound of the airplane hitting the trees, and then black smoke.
According to the FAA inspector's statement upon his arrival on scene he found the airplane resting nose down against a tree heading generally in a northerly direction. He stated that most of the airplane had burned, destroying the cockpit and instrument panel. It appeared that the airplane had impacted with the top of a 40-foot tree and continued to the ground nose first. The right wing was found 25 feet to the left of the aircraft, and had completely separated from the airframe. The right wing did not display any fire damage. Control continuity was established to the elevator and left wing aileron. The right wing had some fuel, and a "small" portion was drained and checked for clarity. The fuel "exhibited a blue/green color of 100LL, and was clear with no signs of contamination." The engine had burned, but the case "was still intact." The oil tank had separated from the engine and was "empty" of oil. The engine could not be rotated by hand at the propeller. The two bladed carbon fiber blades were found "torn off," and the carbon fibers were "spread out and exposed." The engine was removed from the crash site for further examination and teardown. The right wing fuel tank was removed and displayed no damage or holes. About 2 quarts of 100LL fuel were drained from the tank. The fuel was clean and no contamination was found.
The engine was disassembled in the presences of the FAA, at the facilities of South Mississippi Light Aircraft, Lucedale, Mississippi, on November 16, 2001. The examination of the engine did not reveal any discrepancies. (See the Rotax teardown report, an attachment to this report).
According to a note in the FAA inspector's statement, about the time of the accident the temperature was reported as 16 degrees C, and the dew point was 0 degrees C. The inspector's statement said, "…..the carburetor icing chart curve shows this to be a condition for encountering 'serious icing' at glide power."
The airframe, engine, and pilot's personal logbooks were not found. FAA records showed that the pilot had a total of 380 flight hours, in all aircraft, as of his last flight physical on October 31, 2000. There were no records found to give any history about the airframe or engine.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
Dr. Steven T. Hayne performed an autopsy on the pilot, at the Medical Examiners Office, Brandon, Mississippi, on October 31, 2001. According to the autopsy report the cause of death was "...airplane crash...acute traumatic injuries...." No findings, which could be considered causal to the accident, were reported.
Toxicological tests were conducted at the Federal Aviation Administration, Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and revealed, "No ethanol or drugs detected." (See the Federal Aviation Administration's Toxicology Report, an attachment to this report).