LAX06LA266
LAX06LA266

On August 18, 2006, about 1655 mountain daylight time, an experimental Saloff Sonerai IILT airplane, N90420, veered off the runway during the takeoff roll and collided with a bystander who was 15 feet from the runway's edge at H.A. Clark Memorial Field Airport (CMR), Williams, Arizona. The commercial pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The airplane sustained minor damage to the propeller blades. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The bystander sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

A detective from the Williams Police Department interviewed the pilot. The pilot reported that he purchased the airplane within the last week. About 2 days prior to the accident, he conducted several fast taxi runs, and the accident flight was his first flight in the airplane. The airplane was about 1,000 feet down the runway, at 40 miles per hour (mph), when the airplane encountered a gust of wind. The airplane was pushed to the left and the pilot attempted to correct back to the runway. The airplane started to go to the right of the runway, and struck a runway light before he stopped the airplane. He had not realized that he had struck anyone, but saw that the propeller blades were shattered. The pilot reported that the winds were from the north about 5 knots, and that he was taking off to the north.

According to the responding sergeant, witnesses reported that they were standing 15 feet beyond the runway edge with the pilot's spouse, and that she was taking photographs of the pilot during the takeoff roll. When the airplane veered towards the right in their direction, the witnesses moved out of the airplane's path; however, the pilot's spouse was not able to move out of the way and was struck by the airplane.

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