SEA04LA112
SEA04LA112

On June 20, 2004, about 1400 Pacific daylight time an unregistered Cosmos Phase II aircraft, owned and operated by the private pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with an airport sign during landing at Bandera State Airstrip, Bandera, Washington. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was destroyed by a post-crash fire and the pilot, the solo occupant, was seriously injured. The flight departed from Arlington, Washington, about one hour prior to the accident.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he was flying as a solo student for proficiency and to test radio equipment with the intent to fly down the Duval Valley to Snoqualmie Falls and return. The pilot stated that he decide to continue to Bandera State to check his fuel status before returning to Arlington. The pilot reported that the landing was uneventful, however, during the landing roll a sudden gust of wind from the right pushed the aircraft toward the left side of the runway and the "Welcome to Bandera" sign. The aircraft struck the sign, and shortly after the aircraft came to rest, the pilot heard a "whoomp" sound followed by the start of a fire. The pilot released his seatbelt and exited the aircraft sustaining serious burns to his lower legs and feet. The aircraft was then consumed by the fire.

The pilot reported that he believed that the fuel tank was ruptured when he collided with the sign and traveled over the rough terrain which splattered fuel onto the hot section of the engine.

The pilot reported that he holds a private pilot certificate for glider operations. The pilot also reported that he has accumulated 130 hours as pilot-in-command, as a student pilot, in the Cosmos Phase II.

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