LAX02LA155
LAX02LA155

On May 9, 2002, at 0950 Pacific daylight time, an amateur built experimental Mueller Skyraider 1, N571AM, collided with the ground 3 miles north of Elko, Nevada. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and was destroyed in the accident sequence. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area personal flight that departed from the Elko airport, (EKO) at 0848, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to witnesses who saw the crash, the airplane was first spotted flying overhead, possibly as low as 200 feet. At this time, the airplane was completely "silent" and appeared to be "hovering in the air" with no apparent movement. A moment later, the airplane swiftly pitched down, gained speed, and impacted terrain.

Post accident investigation revealed evidence of a nose low impact. The nose and engine had been crushed back through the firewall and into the cockpit. Flight control system continuity from the control surfaces to the cockpit was present, the propeller was undamaged, and fuel was found at the accident location.

Neither the airplane's maintenance records nor the pilot's personal flight records could be located.

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