FTW02LA134
FTW02LA134

On April 30, 2002, approximately 2130 central daylight time, a Robinson Tierra II experimental airplane, N3960D, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Hooker, Oklahoma. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from a private grass airstrip located in Hooker.

According to a family member, the pilot departed from the airstrip approximately 2030. A witness reported that approximately 2100 he heard the airplane maneuvering in an area east of the accident site. At 2200, family members became worried when the pilot had not returned and a search was initiated. At 2310, the airplane was located by local authorities 1,000 yards east of the approach end of runway 18 in a field. There were no reported witnesses to the accident.

An FAA inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. Ground scars and wreckage distribution revealed that the airplane was traveling on a westerly heading; however, the airplane came to rest upright on an easterly heading. The nose of the airplane was crushed aft. The first components along the energy path were sections of the left wing strut. The entire wing structure was twisted, and the left wing leading edge spar was separated into three sections. The 2 cylinder Rotax engine remained attached to the airframe, and the wooden propeller blades were splintered. A minimum of five gallons of fuel was observed in the fuel tank. The FAA inspector did not discover any pre-impact anomalies with the airplane. The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not located.

The pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on December 15, 1976. The pilot's flight logbook was not located; however, the pilot reported on his last FAA medical application, dated September 5, 2001, that he had accumulated a total of 1,695 hours of which 38 were in the last 6 months. The pilot held a valid third class medical certificate that was dated September 5, 2001, and stipulated a limitation for corrective lenses.

At 2053, the weather observation facility at the Guymon Municipal Airport, Guymon, Oklahoma, (located 15 miles southwest of the accident site) reported clear skies, visibility 10 miles, wind from 220 degrees at 14 knots, temperature 81 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 22 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 29.53 inches of mercury.

An autopsy was performed by Cimarron Pathology, P.A. of Liberal, Kansas. A toxicological report from the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and drugs. The report revealed 176 (mg/dl, mg/hg) methanol detected in vitreous; however, the samples that were used for testing were received from the pilot's partially embalmed body.

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