On June 28, 2004, approximately 2030 mountain daylight time, an unregistered single-engine APCO airplane was destroyed following a loss of control while maneuvering near Wolf Point, Montana. The non-certificated pilot and his sole passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from a private airstrip south of Wolf Point at approximately 2010.

In a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), a family member who had just been given a ride prior to the accident flight reported that the pilot made some turns that she didn't feel comfortable with. She further stated that she "vaguely remembered" the pilot relating to her previously that there was a way to make the aircraft "turn quicker" if he "pulled harder on some of the cables that control the parachute." The family member reported that while watching the next flight, which she estimated to be 500 feet above ground level, the aircraft began some tight turns and losing altitude before impacting the ground. Fire erupted and the aircraft was consumed.

In an written statement provided to the IIC, a flight instructor who was qualified to give instruction in the aircraft reported that he met with the pilot in November of 2003, " look at the aircraft and give him some basic [ground] instruction on how to fly the powered parachute." The instructor stated that he told the pilot that he needed more instruction before he would be able to fly the aircraft. The instructor further stated that some time in December of 2003, the pilot called him asking where he could buy a propeller, as he had rolled the plane and broken it. The instructor reported that the next time he saw the pilot he learned that he had been flying the plane since he had taken it home the previous November. The instructor stated that he again advised the pilot that he needed to get additional instruction, and that [the pilot] agreed. The instructor related, "He agreed and left. I talked to him several times during the winter to get more instruction, but it never happened." The instructor reported that the day after the accident a family member called and informed him that the pilot had given her a ride and was turning real sharp before the accident flight. The instructor reported that when you pull in too much steering line you collapse the side of the [parachute] the line is on.

An autopsy and toxicology testing of the pilot were not conducted due to insufficient samples.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page