DFW06LA097
DFW06LA097

On April 7, 2006, about 1500 central daylight time, a single-engine Rocket Flyers Turbine Legend turbo-prop experimental airplane, N724TL, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while on final approach to the Hammond Regional Airport (HDC), near Hammond, Louisiana. The airline transport rated pilot, sole occupant of the experimental airplane, was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to Rocket Flyers LLC and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from the DeLand Municipal Airport (DED), near DeLand, Florida, with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), near Austin, Texas, as the final destination.

According to the 23,240-hour pilot, while approaching HDC to land, the airplane's nose landing gear would not extend. The pilot departed the traffic pattern to attempt to extend the nose landing gear to no avail. The pilot then elected to return to the airport with the intention of touching down on the airplane's main landing gear in an attempt "to jar the nose landing gear down." While on final approach for Runway 18, while at 100 to 200 feet above ground level (AGL), the engine reportedly lost complete power. The pilot elected to land in an open field short of the airport. The airplane landed hard before coming to rest in an upright position.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector responded to the accident site and reported that the airplane's lower fuselage and wings sustained structural damage. According to the inspector, the reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined. The airplane was powered by a single 725-horsepower Walter 601D engine.

The pilot further reported that maintenance personnel had reinstalled the cowling prior to the accident flight. He suspected that the cowling was installed incorrectly which resulted in the failure of the nose landing gear to extend. When asked how this accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated that "one would consider a more thorough pre-flight."



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