LAX05LA242
LAX05LA242

On July 19, 2005, about 1700 Pacific daylight time, a two-seat unregistered airplane, a Quicksilver MXLII 101 Sport, lost engine power during cruise and impacted the ground near the second fairway at the Dry Creek Ranch Golf Course, Galt, California. The pilot/owner operated the unregistered airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed the Lodi Airport (1O3), Lodi, California, at an undetermined time. No flight plan had been filed. The flight was scheduled to return to 1O3.

A witness, on the golf course, looked up and saw the accident airplane flying east over the number 2 fairway. It appeared that there was "some sort of engine problem," and that the pilot was attempting to restart the engine. The witness stated that as he watched the airplane, he saw the propeller turn two times, but that the engine did not start. The airplane banked to the north and then made a 180-degree turn to south. As the airplane was headed south over the number 2 fairway, it appeared to the witness that the pilot lost control of the airplane. The witness then watched the airplane nose-dive to the ground.

According to the pilot's long-time girlfriend, she received a phone call from the pilot at 1647, saying that he was returning to 1O3. The pilot had owned the airplane for about 10 years and had recently rebuilt it. The pilot had not made any comments to her that there were any mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident flight.

No personal flight records were located for the pilot, and the pilot did not hold a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued pilot's certificate or FAA issued medical certificate. There were no airplane or maintenance logbooks located for the unregistered accident airplane.

The unregistered airplane was a tricycle-geared airplane with a metal frame, open-air cockpit, one main airfoil, the wing, where the engine attaches to the trailing edge, and a tail section. The airplane came to rest with the tail, engine, main landing gear, and trailing edge of both wings on the ground. The cockpit area and nose landing gear remained connected to the airframe, but were suspended in the air. The first identified point of contact, divets in the ground, were located about 20 feet forward of main wreckage. Recovery personnel indicated that fuel was recovered from the airplane.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator examined the four-cylinder Rotax-engine. The investigator noted mechanical damage throughout the entire engine. There was no visible external damage to the engine. A borescope of the engine revealed no internal damage to the pistons. Partial manual rotation of the propeller produced thumb compression in both cylinders with the front cylinder weaker than the rear cylinder. There was no restriction of movement observed from the connecting rods or piston pins. The spark plugs were removed and had similar gaps, and were a light brown coloration. Both the carburetors separated from the engine. No further discrepancies were noted with the engine.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 103 titled Ultralight Vehicles, in part states that an aircraft is considered an ultralight if it weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, does not exceed 5 gallons of fuel, does not exceed 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight, and has a power-off stall speed that does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.

A search for Quicksilver MXLII 101 Sport information indicated that the empty weight of the airplane was 335 pounds (information was obtained from the following website: http://www.uflyit.com/quicktwoperform.htm). Per FAR Part 103, the airplane would not be considered an ultralight. According to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), there were no FAA exemptions for the accident airplane.

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