On January 12, 2005, at 1438 Pacific standard time, a Lancair 235, N124JH, collided with a fence while on final approach for landing at Gillespie Field, El Cajon, California. The commercial pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated in Yuma, Arizona, about 1330. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A witness driving a pickup truck told the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that she saw the airplane cross in front of her truck about 10 feet above the ground going very fast and low. Immediately after the airplane crossed her path, it struck the airport boundary fence with the right main landing gear, and impacted the dirt terrain beyond. The airport manager said that the wreckage was about 500 feet from the approach end of runway 27 right, and about 1,800 feet from the runway's displaced threshold.
The passenger of the airplane stated that this was her first flight with the pilot. She recalls that the flight was very pleasant, and the pilot did not express any concerns regarding the airplane or the environment. As they approached the runway for landing the pilot said to her "Do you see the runway? I will reduce some power for landing." Moments after that statement the airplane collided with the airport boundary fence.
On January 24, 2005, the Safety Board investigator and Textron-Lycoming technical representative examined the airplane and engine. The airplane's flight control cables and connections were traced from the cockpit to their respective control surfaces, demonstrating continuity. The right main landing gear sheared half off at mid strut, and the left main landing gear strut was intact. Seven gallons of fuel was recovered from the left fuel tank and 12 gallons were recovered from the right tank. During the engine exam, they achieved thumb compression on all cylinders, all valves lifted an appropriate amount and in firing order, and magneto timing on both magnetos was determined to be 25 degrees. The spark plugs were gray in color, which corresponded to normal service wear according to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart (AV-27), and they did not exhibit any mechanical damage.