On January 12, 2002, at 1430 central standard time, an amateur built, experimental Wolter Avid Flyer, N4047M, sustained substantial damage when it departed controlled flight from about 150 feet agl and impacted the terrain. The pilot received fatal injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight departed runway 16 (4,400 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at Rush City Regional Airport (ROS), Rush City, Minnesota, on a local practice flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A witness, who was a certified flight instructor and operated a flight school, reported the pilot had been practicing taxiing the airplane. The witness reported that he did not think the pilot intended to takeoff. He reported the pilot was taxiing on runway 34 when the wind caught the left wing of the airplane and it lifted off the runway. The witness reported the airplane turned sharply to the right and headed to the southeast. He reported the airplane had difficulty climbing, but it cleared the trees. Then the airplane turned into the wind and climbed to approximately 125-150 feet agl. The witness reported the airplane was making very little forward progress and that it "hovered" for approximately 15 to 20 seconds. The airplane then turned downwind. The witness reported the airplane stalled, but did not spin. He reported the airplane stalled and "pancaked" into the ground. The airplane wreckage came to rest about 175 feet from the initial point of impact.
The witness reported the surface winds at ROS were about 12-15 knots out of the west. He reported the wind above the trees was about 40 knots out of the northwest. He reported that he was not allowing his flight students to fly solo because of the high winds.
At 1415, the observed weather at ROS was: winds 350 degrees at 10 knots, winds variable from 270 degrees to 020 degrees, 10 sm miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 2 degrees C, dew point -7 degrees, altimeter 29.75.
The pilot of the airplane did not hold a pilot's certificate or student pilot certificate. The pilot had applied for a Third Class Medical Certificate and Student Pilot Certificate on July 24, 2001, but was denied. The pilot had been receiving flight instruction prior to applying for the medical certificate, but discontinued receiving instruction after being denied the medical certificate. The pilot's flight logbook was not recovered and it is uncertain how much flight time the pilot had acquired.
A witness reported the pilot had received about 20-25 hours of dual flight instruction in a Cessna 172. He reported the pilot had not been endorsed for solo flight because he did not have a medical certificate. The witness reported the pilot had not received any flight training in a tailwheel airplane. A witness reported the pilot had recently purchased the airplane and had flown it about three times.
The airplane was an experimental Wolter Avid Flyer, model A, serial number 91, manufactured in 1994. The empty weight was 450 pounds and the maximum gross weight was 1,000 pounds. The engine was a 65 horsepower Rotax 532 engine. The hobbs meter read 233.3 hours at the accident site.
The experimental airplane's original Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registered "N" number was N4047M. At the time of the accident, the airplane was found with the original N number painted over, and the number E 008DH was painted on the side of the airplane. A witness reported the pilot had purchased the airplane about a month prior to the accident flight.
An autopsy was performed at the Regina Medical Center, Hastings, Minnesota, on January 14, 2002.
A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was performed by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute. The results indicated that Verapamil and Norverapamil were detected in the urine, kidney, and liver. Verapamil is used in treating coronary artery disease.
The FAA was a party to the investigation.