CHI05LA026
CHI05LA026

On November 6, 2004, about 1115 central standard time, an experimental amateur-built Bruce Protech PT2B, N46WT, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with terrain near Anita, Iowa. The flight was being operated under 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The flight departed Anita Municipal Airport (Y43), Anita, Iowa, approximately 1100.

The pilot's wife informed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors that her husband had recently bought the aircraft and was conducting high-speed taxi work the week prior to the accident. She stated that on the day of the accident, prior to the flight, he conducted approximately 12 taxi runs on the runway. He reportedly called her on the radio inquiring if everything looked alright. She replied that everything seemed normal. She reported that her husband started what she thought was another taxi run, but this time he took off. She stated that the aircraft subsequently made a sharp bank and nose-dived. She noted that as far as she knew, this was her husband's first flight in the aircraft.

A witness reported that the airplane was in a turn when the engine "stalled or quit." He stated the aircraft subsequently "headed in a nose dive" and impacted the ground.

A second witness reported that the aircraft was in a turn when it sounded as if the engine "stalled." He noted this was followed by either a "sputter sound or a sound like he was trying to start it." He stated that this occurred twice and at the end of the second time, the "nose came down and the plane went into a spin and crashed."

A post-accident inspection did not reveal any anomalies associated with a pre-impact failure. The engine was dislocated rearward into the firewall and cockpit area. Both wings exhibited leading edge crushing damage. Elevator and rudder flight control continuity was verified from the control surfaces to the cabin area. Aileron control continuity could not be determined due to wing impact damage. Engine control continuity was verified. The spark plugs were removed and their appearance was consistent with normal wear. The carburetor, carburetor fuel strainer and induction air intake were unremarkable. The magnetos were free to rotate, however, spark generation could not be tested due to impact damage.

FAA records indicate that the accident pilot purchased the aircraft on July 12, 2004. According to the maintenance logbooks, an aircraft conditional inspection was completed on September 14, 2004, at a total airframe time of 198.2 hours. The engine maintenance logbook contained an entry for an annual inspection completed on May 14, 2004, at a total engine time of 1,753.2 hours.

FAA records indicate that the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating. Those records also indicate the pilot was issued a third-class airman medical certificate in November 1997. However, the pilot's logbook contained a notation of a third-class medical certificate issued April 3, 2004. FAA records noted that two experimental aircraft builder repairman certificates had been issued to the pilot. Both were dated January 15, 1998. One applied to a Merk T-Bird TBT06 aircraft and the other to a Merk-Zodiac CH601HD aircraft.

The pilot's logbook contained entries for flights dated through August 20, 2002. He had a total logged flight time of 310 hours. His most recent flight review endorsement was dated November 26, 1997.

An autopsy of the pilot was performed at Broadlawns Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa, on November 7, 2004. The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute toxicology report was negative for all tests performed.

The temperature and dew point recorded by the Atlantic Municipal Airport (AIO) Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at 1115, located about 13 miles west of Y43, were 18 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius, respectively. Data provided by Transport Canada indicated a possibility of moderate carburetor icing at cruise power and serious icing at descent power existed under those conditions.

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