HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On October 15, 2002, at 0916 Pacific daylight time, a Lancair IV, N599L, registered to and operated by IV, Inc., and being flown by a commercial pilot, was substantially damaged during an aborted landing at a non-airspaced private landing site approximately four nautical miles east-southeast of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The pilot and rear seat passenger sustained fatal injuries and the front right seat passenger (non-flying pilot) sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions with light winds existed at the time and no flight plan had been filed. The business flight was operated under 14CFR91, and originated from Boise, Idaho, approximately 0755, destined for the intended landing site.
A deputy from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office and an inspector assigned to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Spokane Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) interviewed a witness (the owner of the landing site). The witness reported that he owned a Lancair IV and a Bonanza, which he operated in and out of the landing site. He reported observing the aircraft at a higher than expected altitude and with a higher than expected nose attitude just prior to the accident and indicated the aircraft was not centered (too far south of the runway). He also reported the aircraft touched down, bounced and then settled after which there was an application of power followed by the sound of tree impacts.
The surviving (front right seat) occupant reported that the pilot over-flew the landing site northbound and made a left downwind entry preparing the aircraft for landing. Immediately after crossing the west end of the pavement the survivor perceived the aircraft's altitude to be "excessively" high, and the pilot initiated a flare. The flare (pitch attitude) continued to increase to a "...very nose high, uncomfortable attitude..." and the survivor sensed the aircraft drifting right as the pitch attitude continued to increase. The aircraft landed very hard and the survivor reported the aircraft continued drifting right leaving the runway and eventually impacting trees. The survivor also remarked "...Immediately after crossing the approach end of the strip, I peripherally viewed our height above the ground to be "excessively" high..." and "...After the nose dropped..." "...we were indeed left [sic] of centerline..." (refer to Attachment SP-I).
The pilot held a commercial certificate with airplane single/multi-engine land and instrument ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate and his most recent Class II medical was without waivers/restrictions. A copy of the pilot's personal flight log for the period beginning one year before the accident and up through October 14, 2002, was reviewed. The pilot's total flight time was 1,915 hours of which 1,759 hours were pilot in command. The log showed 810 hours of flight instructor time and 72 total hours in the previous 90 days with 4 hours logged within the previous 30 days to the accident. The pilot's total time in the Lancair IV could not be assessed, however, a copy of the Lancair Fleet Policy Renewal form, dated 07/01/2002, showed the pilot as having a total of 100 hours of flight time in both the Lancair IV and IVP aircraft.
Deputy J. Shaw of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department interviewed the surviving (right front seat) occupant following the accident (Incident Report Number 02-26048). The occupant reported that he was familiar with the airstrip and had "landed there numerous times" and that the pilot was making his first approach to this landing site.
N599L, a Lancair IV, serial number LIV-469-SFB, was equipped with a Continental TSIO 550-B2B engine. The aircraft underwent its last inspection on September 10, 2002, at a total time of 293 hours. The aircraft was equipped with a Chelton Flight Systems "Sierra SV" Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS).
The aviation surface weather observation for Spokane (Felts Field) located 25 nautical miles west of the accident site at 0853 reported in part clear skies, visibility of 10 miles and winds variable at 3 knots. The witness at the accident site reported light to calm winds at the time of the accident.
The landing site was an asphalt runway measuring 2,206 feet in length and 40 feet in width, and was a private facility not open to the public requiring prior permission for usage. Information on the landing site was available on the Internet (refer to Attachment RD-I). The approximate magnetic bearing line of the runway centerline was 070/250 degrees. The landing site was not airspaced and did not have an associated identifier. The runway had no markings (side stripes, threshold bars, runway numbers) and was unlighted. The approximate elevation of the runway was 2,680 feet above mean sea level (MSL). Heavy growth of moderate conifer trees was noted on either side of the runway and within 30 feet of the south edge of runway 07 (refer to photograph 01).
The terrain immediately south of the runway 07 edge began to slope downward significantly approximately 1,000 feet beyond the west end of the runway, and was estimated to be five feet lower than the runway surface at a distance of approximately 20 feet south of the runway edge. The down slope outboard (south) of the runway edge consisted of loose gravel and dirt (refer to photograph 02).
The approach to the east is over rising terrain. The distance from the shoreline of the lake to the west edge of the asphalt paving was approximately 3,400 feet and the terrain rose from 2,150 feet above mean sea level (MSL) to 2,680 feet MSL (refer to CHART I).
FLIGHT AND COCKPIT VOICE RECORDERS
Flight data from Chelton Flight Systems EFIS was downloaded and reviewed. A total of 68 parameters were recorded for each 5-second increment. The first 13 parameters were time (universal), latitude, longitude, altitude, pitch, bank, heading, course, indicated airspeed, true airspeed and ground speed. The last 10 minutes of recorded data was examined (refer to Table FDR-I). At 1616:24 (0916:24 local) the altitude, pitch, bank, heading, course, indicated airspeed and true airspeed all became constant.
At 1616:19 pitch was recorded at +9.7 degrees, heading was recorded as 72.6 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 59 knots.
At 1616:14 pitch was recorded at +13.9 degrees, heading was recorded as 60.2 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 72 knots.
At 1616:09 pitch was recorded at +9.1 degrees, heading was recorded as 55.6 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 81 knots.
At 1616:04 pitch was recorded at +7.8 degrees, heading was recorded as 58.4 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 86 knots.
At 1615:59 pitch was recorded at +2.7 degrees, heading was recorded as 62.6 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 87 knots.
At 1615:54 pitch was recorded at +3.5 degrees, heading was recorded as 98.5 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 91 knots.
At 1615:49 pitch was recorded at +2.3 degrees, heading was recorded as 128.5 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 97 knots.
At 1615:44 pitch was recorded at +1.4 degrees, heading was recorded as 153.4 degrees and indicated airspeed was recorded as 103 knots.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The aircraft crashed in a wooded area just south of the south edge of the east/west runway at a private ranch located approximately four nautical miles east-southeast of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The accident site coordinates were determined using a hand held GPS unit and were reported to be 47 degrees 38.587 minutes north latitude and 116 degrees 42.070 minutes west longitude. The elevation of the accident site was approximately 2,680 feet MSL (refer to CHART I).
The first evidence of ground impact was a single tire mark on the runway surface 501 feet beyond the threshold end of runway 07 and 3 feet inboard of the right edge of the pavement (refer to photograph 03). The track from this tire mark progressed toward a point 607 feet beyond the threshold at which point wheel marks appeared in the down sloping gravel along the south edge of the runway. The first evidence of tree impact was observed 756 feet beyond the threshold end of runway 07 and approximately 25 feet outboard of the right edge of the pavement (refer to photograph 04). This impact left approximately 18 inches of the right wingtip embedded in a tree trunk (refer to photograph 05).
The aircraft was observed having come to rest approximately 890 feet beyond the threshold end of the runway and approximately 35 feet south of the edge of the runway (refer to photograph 06). Both wings had separated from the fuselage and the fuselage separated from the empennage just aft of the cabin. The nose landing gear was observed in a near fully extended position. The left main gear had separated from the fuselage and the right main landing gear was observed within its wheel well. The engine/cabin came to rest in an inverted position (refer to photograph 07). There was no post-crash fire.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
George Lindholm, M.D., conducted post-mortem examination of the pilot at the facilities of the Kootenai Medical Center, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on October 15, 2002, (report number 02-115-FA).
The FAA's Toxicology Accident and Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological evaluation of samples from the pilot. All findings were negative (refer to attached TOX report number 200300112001).
On-site examination of the wreckage was conducted on October 15, 2002, under the oversight of an inspector assigned to the FAA's Spokane FSDO.