On February 7, 2005, about 1545 eastern standard time, an unregistered, amateur built Air Creation Clipper 912, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Woodbine Municipal Airport (1N4), Woodbine, New Jersey. The non-certificated flight instructor and non-certificated student pilot/owner were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local instructional flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter was performing practice takeoffs and landings at the airport, when the crew observed the accident.
In written statements, the crewmembers reported that they entered the right base leg of the traffic pattern, and landed on runway 01. They then observed the accident airplane taxiing to runway 12, and subsequently elected to taxi to and depart from runway 12. The crew watched the airplane take off and turn for a left traffic pattern. The helicopter departed about 1 minute later, and entered a right traffic pattern.
The crew continued to watch the airplane, and while it was on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, at a point abeam the runway threshold, it began flying "very erratically." The airplane was diving and banking at bank angles reaching about 80 - 100 degrees. It then regained slight control, abruptly "lost control," and spiraled to the ground near vertically. The entire sequence lasted about 25 seconds.
The helicopter then landed in a nearby field, and a crewmember responded to the accident site. He reported that there was no smoke at the site, nor did he smell the odor of fuel.
According to an investigation report filed by the New Jersey State Police, inspection of the wreckage shortly after the accident revealed that the fuel tank was about 1/2 to 3/4 full, and the throttle was positioned slightly below half power.
An aeronautical operations specialist with the New Jersey Department of Transportation also performed an inspection of the wreckage at the site. The fuel tank installed on the airplane was marked as having a 15-gallon capacity. A subsequent inspection of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any pre-impact failure of the flight controls.
The Air Creation Clipper 912 was a 2-seat, ultralight-type airplane that could be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an amateur built experimental airplane. It could also be operated without registration as an ultralight training vehicle, provided it complied with the criteria of FAA exemption 6080G.
The accident airplane was equipped with a fully functional dual control system that would allow an individual seated in the front or the rear seat to control the airplane in-flight.
During a telephone interview, the wife of the student pilot, and co-owner of the accident airplane, stated that she had flown in it with the accident flight instructor on the day prior to the accident. During that flight she did not note any mechanical anomalies.
A search of the FAA Airman Database revealed that neither the flight instructor nor the student pilot possessed any FAA medical certificates, pilot certificates, or flight instructor certificates.
According to Aero Sports Connection, a "light aviation" organization, the flight instructor was a current member and possessed a current basic flight instructor certificate with a rating for powered weight shift. The basic flight instructor certificate was issued on October 2, 2003, and at that time the flight instructor reported 90 total hours of flight time, with 88 hours being in ultralight aircraft. The flight instructor renewed his membership on June 25, 2004, at which time he reported that he had given flight instruction to eight individual students, and had accrued 88 additional total flight hours.
A flight instructor from the ultralight flying club to which the student belonged, stated during a telephone interview that he had provided the student pilot with 3 hours of flight instruction. The training, which was not conducted in the accident airplane, consisted of about 2 hours of general familiarization, and 1 hour of in-flight maneuvers. The instructor also stated that the student pilot had a tendency to turn too steeply, or "over-bank".
The flight instructor further stated that the accident airplane was a heavier, and was a "higher performance" airplane than the one in which the student had received his previous flight training. The flight instructor also stated, that to his knowledge, the accident flight instructor did not have much, if any, flight experience in the accident airplane model, but he owned a similar "lower performance" model.
According to another member of the ultralight flying club, on the day before the accident, he and the student pilot flew the accident airplane. During that flight, the member noted that the student pilot would tend to dive when entering a turn. He also described the accident airplane as being "high performance" when compared to other aircraft of similar type.
On February 8, 2005, autopsies were performed on the student pilot and the flight instructor by the State of New Jersey, Southern Regional Medical Examiner Office, Cape May, New Jersey.
Toxicological testing was performed by the State of New Jersey, State Toxicology Laboratory, Newark, New Jersey.
The weather reported at Cape May County Airport (WWD), Wildwood, New Jersey, located 13 nautical miles southwest, at 1555, included winds from 090 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies below 12,000 feet, temperature 41 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.29 inches of mercury.