On April 16, 2005, at 1815 eastern daylight time, an amateur built Flightstar, N125KM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Middleboro, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, about half an hour into the flight, while returning to the airport for landing, the engine "came to a rapid stop." The pilot then performed a forced landing to a field, and during the landing rollout, the airplane impacted a fence.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the Rotax engine was test run on the airframe, after the accident, and no abnormalities were noted. Additionally, "sufficient" fuel was observed in the fuel tanks and fuel lines running to the engine.
Weather reported at Taunton Municipal Airport, approximately 5 nautical miles to the west of the accident site, at 1752, included wind from 040 degrees at 6 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 54 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 18 degrees Fahrenheit, and altimeter setting of 30.44 inches of mercury.
According to the pilot, the engine had accumulated approximately 50 total hours of flight time.
Review of the operator manual for the Rotax engine revealed, "Danger! This engine, by its design, is subject to sudden stoppage! Engine stoppage can result in crash landings. Such crash landings can lead to serious bodily injury or death. Never fly the aircraft equipped with this engine at locations, airspeeds, altitudes, or other circumstances from which a successful no-power landing cannot be made, after sudden engine stoppage."
The manual further stated, "Warning! This is not a certified aircraft engine. It has not received any safety or durability testing, and conforms to no aircraft standards. It is for use in experimental, uncertificated aircraft and vehicles only in which an engine failure will not compromise safety. User assumes all risk of use, and acknowledges by his use that he knows this engine is subject to sudden stoppage."