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On November 23, 2006, approximately 1550 central standard time, an amateur built Keesler Pulsar single-engine airplane, N115SE, was destroyed when it collided with trees shortly after take off from the Luscombe Acres Airport (6XS2), near Alvarado, Texas. The private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the pilot's son-in-law, the pilot was providing airplane rides to family members and friends, who were visiting for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The pilot had flown earlier that morning and began giving rides later in the afternoon. The pilot gave three rides prior to the accident flight, all of which, were conducted over a north-and-south aligned private airstrip that was under construction on the son-in-law's property. The son-in-law stated that he observed the pilot making high-speed, low altitude passes over the airstrip, at an altitude of 100 to 150 feet above the ground, followed by "a rapid pull-up" to gain altitude. On one of the last passes he observed, he said the airplane "was in a near stall attitude" before the nose of the airplane was lowered and the wings were leveled. The witness did not observe the accident, but grew concerned when the airplane failed to return.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. A review of his flight logbook revealed that the last entry was made on August 19, 2006. At that time, he had accrued a total of 573.6 hours, of which, 118.9 hours were in the accident airplane. His last FAA third class medical certificate was issued on May 27, 2003, and it would have expired on May 31, 2005.
The airplane was a two-seat high-performance airplane made of composite structure. The last annual inspection of the airplane was conducted on November 22, 2006, at an aircraft total time of 383.7 hours. The 115 horsepower Rotax 914 engine had accrued 266.1 hours at the time of the accident.
Weather reported at Fort Worth Spinks Airport, Fort Worth, Texas, located approximately 14 miles north of the accident site, at 1545, reported wind from 170 degrees at 15 knots gusting to 20 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and dewpoint 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
An on-scene examination of the airplane was conducted on December 6, 2006. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the site. The airplane came to rest in a stand of 40-foot-tall trees southeast of the private airstrip on a heading of approximately 360 degrees. Impact marks on the trees became progressively lower on the trunks of these trees and ended where the spinner collided with an oak tree, a total distance of approximately 22 feet. A portion of the tail section remained in the trees. The main fuselage and both wings sustained impact damage. Several broken tree limbs/branches were found at the base of the trees near the initial impact point. The ends of these branches exhibited flat, angular cuts and black paint transfer marks. In addition, one of the branches exhibited numerous slash marks consistent with the dimensions of the propeller blades.
Examination of the airplane revealed that the flaps appeared to be in the retracted position.
Examination of the fuel system revealed that both fuel tanks were breached, but some fuel remained in the right wing tank. In addition, there was some residual fuel in the fuel lines between the manifold and the engine. The manifold and both carburetors were removed and disassembled. Fuel was found in both components. All fuel screens and air filters were absent of debris. There was a pool of oil next to the engine and oil was also found in the sump. All four spark plugs were removed and appeared normal. The engine was rotated via a propeller blade and continuity was established to the starter. When the engine was rotated, compression was established on each cylinder. Examination of both propeller blades (one blade had separated from the hub) revealed that they were straight and undamaged. No mechanical deficiencies were noted with the engine.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
A toxicological examination was conducted by the FAA's Accident Research Laboratory, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results were negative for all items tested.
The wreckage of the airplane was released to a representative of the pilot's family on December 6, 2006.