On June 15, 2005, about 1710 Pacific daylight time, an experimental Rash Vans RV-6A, N330CJ, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, experienced a loss of engine power shortly after liftoff from a private airstrip located about two miles south of Palouse, Washington. The aircraft subsequently collided with rising terrain and was destroyed by a post-crash fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The flight was departing to Lewiston, Idaho. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to accumulate flight time to satisfy the 40 hour test flight requirements for the newly completed aircraft. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 36 hours at the time of the accident. The pilot stated that he initially took off from Moscow, Idaho, and flew various flight maneuvers for about one hour before landing at the private airstrip south of Palouse. After stopping for dinner, he then started, taxied and accomplished a run-up before takeoff. The pilot reported that everything was normal up to this point. During the takeoff roll from runway 22, the aircraft accelerated, however, when the aircraft rotated and lifted off, the engine lost partial power. The pilot continued to fly the aircraft, however, it would not climb or accelerate and was on the edge of a stall. The aircraft traveled toward rising terrain, eventually colliding with the ground about one mile from the airstrip. A post-crash fire consumed the wreckage.
The Subaru EJ 2500, 210 hp engine was severely heat distressed during the post-crash fire. The engine was subsequently transported to Arlington, Washington, for inspection and teardown. During the inspection, the propeller hub was disassembled and impact marks were noted. It was determined that the propeller appeared to be in high pitch at impact. The composite propeller blades were broken off. It was also noted that the hub electric motor was impact damaged and would not turn. Disassembly found one brush damaged. At the end of the inspection, there was no conclusive evidence to determine the reason for the loss of engine power.