On November 23, 2002, at 0950 eastern standard time, a Hickman, Murphy Rebel experimental airplane, N14UJ, registered to and operated by a private owner, collided with a ditch on the departure end of runway 03 during a landing at the Hilton Head Airport, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the commercial pilot and his passenger were not injured. The flight departed Hilton Head, South Carolina, at 0900, on November 23, 2002.

According to the pilot, he and the previous owner were completing a required five-hour block of flight time in the Murphy Rebel when the accident occurred. The pilot further stated that following the landing on first third of the 4300-foot long runway, the airplane veered off the left side of the runway into the grass. The pilot applied full power in an effort to correct the left drift and to establish a climb. The airplane plunged into a nearby canal as the pilot attempted to establish a climb.

The pilot did not report a mechanical problem with the airplane. The pilot had purchased the airplane the day before the accident and had flown three hours total time in the Murphy Rebel. The pilot reported that the winds were out of the northwest at about 5 knots.

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