On May 20, 2007, about 1435 Pacific daylight time, a Siai-Marchetti FN-333 amphibious airplane, N95DR, impacted a building and terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Minden, Nevada. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was killed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal cross country flight. The flight originated from the North Las Vegas Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, about 1207, and the intended destination was the Minden-Tahoe Airport, Minden, Nevada. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Review of a recording of the Unicom frequency at the Minden-Tahoe Airport revealed that at 1431:10, the pilot transmitted that he was "southeast of the field, 10 miles, at 8,000 feet inbound for [runway] three zero." At 1432:50, the pilot transmitted, "I do straight in for three zero, I have problems with fuel so please stay away from three zero. I go straight in." No further transmissions from the pilot were recorded.
The accident site was located about 3 miles southeast of the airport. Several witnesses were interviewed by Douglas County Sheriff Department personnel. One witness stated that she saw the airplane when it was 1/4 to 1/2 mile away, she heard no engine noise, and she noticed that the airplane's wings were "wobbling." This witness saw the airplane begin a right turn toward her horse arena, "like [it was] going to land," then it veered left and the wingtip impacted the roof of a neighbor's recreational vehicle garage. The airplane then tumbled to the ground.
Another witness observed the airplane and stated that it was "gliding (no motor). The pilot appeared to attempt a dead stick landing in the field but in trying to miss the residence, stalled the aircraft." This witness reported that the airplane's left wing struck the garage roof, which inverted the airplane, and it then struck the ground in a nose down attitude, nosed over and came to rest inverted.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and examined the airplane. He reported that there was no fuel in the left fuel tank; however, the right fuel tank contained an unspecified amount of fuel. The airplane was recovered from the accident site and transported to the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Further examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector and a representative of Teledyne Continental Motors revealed that the fuel selector was in the "LEFT" tank position. The engine, a Continental IO-470-P, was partially disassembled and visually inspected. The inspection did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation and production of power.
The pilot, age 64, held a foreign based pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. According to FAA records, the pilot's certificate was issued on the basis of a United Kingdom pilot license. Review of the pilot's personal flight logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total of 510.6 hours with 22.1 hours in the accident airplane. The hours logged in the accident airplane were accumulated from May 7 to May 19, 2007, and included 4.5 hours of dual instruction on May 7 and 8.
An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Washoe County Medical Examiner in Reno, Nevada. The cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt force injuries. Toxicology tests conducted by the FAA's Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol and drugs.