LAX07LA156
LAX07LA156

On May 10, 2007, about 0945 Pacific daylight time, an experimental Teague Rans S-6ES Coyote II, N220GT, descended into a field about 5 miles northeast of Nyssa, Oregon. The homebuilt airplane was substantially damaged, and the cockpit was destroyed. The commercial certificated pilot operated the airplane and was killed along with his passenger, who held an expired student pilot certificate. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the personal flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and it originated at an undetermined time from a private airstrip located a few miles from the accident site.

Several witnesses reported observing the airplane overfly the accident field. One witness, who flew model airplanes, indicated that the airplane commenced a steep right bank and descended straight down into the ground. The engine's rpm increased as the airplane descended. The witness further reported that when he observed the airplane maneuvering he initially thought the pilot was attempting to perform a stunt, but was too low. Another witness reported seeing the airplane roll over just before it descended straight down.

A Malheur County, Oregon, sheriff's deputy and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) coordinator responded to the accident site. The deputy provided the National Transportation Safety Board investigator with a report of his observations and photographs of the airplane wreckage. In pertinent part, the deputy indicated that the entire debris area was slightly larger than the aircraft, and "it looked as if the aircraft nose dived into the ground." Fuel was observed in at least one of the fuel cells. The nose of the airplane and cockpit sustained severe damage. The empennage did not exhibit obvious signs of damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) coordinator examined the airplane. The FAA coordinator stated that he only observed evidence of ground scar in the immediate vicinity of the airplane. Based upon his observations of the ground scar, it appeared the airplane had been at or near its stall speed when it impacted the ground. No evidence of a ground swath was found in the alfalfa field surrounding the wreckage. The FAA coordinator opined that the airplane impacted the ground while in a steep nose down attitude.

An additional examination of the dual control airplane revealed that the engine's spinner was flattened in an aft direction. Also, compressive deformation of the fuselage was also evident in an aft direction. No evidence of fire or any preimpact oil leak was found with the Rotax model 582LC engine. Fuel was observed in both carburetors. Also, an estimated 5 to 10 gallons of fuel was noted in the ground surrounding the wreckage.

The FAA coordinator additionally reported that he was able to rotate the engine's crankshaft through about 270 degrees of arc, but he was unable to complete the rotation because of ground interference. During rotation of the crankshaft, compression was noted in the cylinders and the continuity of the gear train was established. The cylinder head temperature gauge was observed indicating between 450 and 490 degrees Fahrenheit. All of the flight control surfaces were found with the airplane. The continuity of the control system was confirmed from the flight control surfaces to the vicinity of the impact damaged cockpit.

Additional Information

According to the FAA, the commercial pilot was last issued an aviation medical certificate in January 2001. On the date of application for the second-class medical certificate he reported that his total flight time was 300 hours. In December 2002, the pilot indicated in correspondence with the FAA that his total flight time was 350 hours.

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