CHI05CA161
CHI05CA161

On June 30, 2005, about 1915 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Mueller Stewart Headwind B airplane, N64MF, piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain during a forced landing following an in-flight loss of engine power on initial climb from the Clover Knoll Airport, near Cloverdale, Indiana. The personal flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot reported that he sustained minor injuries. The local flight was originating at the time of the engine power loss.

The pilot's accident report stated:

At [approximately] 250 [feet above ground level] on the climb and
over the departure end of the runway, the engine cut out. I
immediately leveled off, applied carb heat [and] reduced throttle; the
engine 'caught' and I began a left bank turn to provide room for a
right turn to land back on our strip; simultaneously, I attempted to
gain altitude; the engine cut out again. I entered a right gliding turn
attempting to make the strip: the engine briefly 'caught' again but
immediately began running rough in the glide and quit 1/2 to 3/4 of
the way around the turn. I had overshot runway centerline which put
a large advertising billboard (my strip is adjacent to and parallels I-70)
between my glide path and the runway; I had insufficient altitude and
airspeed to make it over the sign and could not increase my right bank
angle, so I went to the left (north) of the sign and impacted the ground
at minimum airspeed next to the sign. [Aircraft] nosed over on its
back; I immediately exited the [aircraft]

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage. The engine was test run. No pre-impact anomalies were found with the engine or airframe.

The pilot's safety recommendation stated:

This [aircraft] was a recently purchased 'experimental' [aircraft]. During
the investigation, we discovered the fuel tanks had only one outlet - in
the center on the end of each tank, meaning 1/2 fuel level or less was
insufficient in a climb or glide attitude. Had that info been available, the
accident could have been avoided!

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page