On August 15, 2007, at 0700 central daylight time, a single-engine Ruggles Sonex experimental airplane, N557SX, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control shortly after take off from the Jones Field Airport (F00), near Bonham, Texas. The private pilot, who was also the registered owner and the sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A witness reported that he observed the airplane take off and begin to climb. Shortly after, he observed "...the plane take a sharp (hard) right and do a nose-dive straight to the ground." When the airplane collided with the ground, there was a loud "boom" followed by smoke and fire.
A second witness also observed the airplane take off and climb out at "...what appeared to be full power...and at what appeared to be a good rate of climb and speed." He then heard what sounded like a "normal" power reduction. The witness did not see the airplane impact the terrain and was not aware the airplane had crashed until he heard the sound of emergency vehicles.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination of the wreckage of the airplane. According to the inspector, the airplane came to rest in a grassy area adjacent to Runway 35. The cockpit and fuselage sustained extensive post impact fire damage. However, the tail section was relatively undamaged and no mechanical deficiencies were noted. The pilot was reported to have purchased the airplane during April 2007, and had recently purchased wing skin and rivets for the airplane's left wing. The aircraft maintenance logbooks were not made available for review and it could not be determined if any maintenance had been performed to the airplane's left wing prior to the accident. The airplane had accrued a total of approximately 50 hours at the time of the accident.
The pilot was issued a Sport Pilot certificate on March 14, 2007. A review of his logbook revealed that he only logged flight time in the accident airplane, which was approximately 22 hours. The pilot's total flight time was unknown.
An autopsy was performed on the pilot on August 15, 2007, by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, in Dallas, Texas. According to the report, the cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries."
Toxicological testing was conducted by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The test revealed negative results for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and drugs. However, 6200 mg/dl of Glucose was detected in the urine, 0 mg/dl of Glucose was detected in vitreous fluid, and 9 percent of Hemoglobin A1C was detected in the blood. According to the toxicological report, "Elevated postmortem urine glucose levels could be caused by diabetes mellitus or several other medical conditions, which may or may not have been a factor in the accident." According to the FAA's Regional Flight Surgeon, an elevated A1C Hemoglobin above 6 percent is considered abnormal. If the medical condition had been reported to the FAA, they "...would have reviewed the case for consideration of a special issuance for diabetes."
Weather at the Eaker Airport (DUA), near Durant, Oklahoma, about 23 miles northwest of the accident site, at 0755, was reported as calm wind, visibility 7 miles, broken clouds 6,500 feet, temperature 81 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.95 inches of Mercury.