ATL07LA129
ATL07LA129

On September 22, 2007, at 1411 central daylight time, an amateur-built Kolb MK II, N43046, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain shortly after departing West Wind Airpark Airport (TN64), Sweetwater, Tennessee. The non-certificated pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a witness, he observed as the pilot towed his airplane to the airport with a trailer. The witness assisted the pilot in removing the airplane from the trailer, and watched as the pilot assembled the airplane. He noted that the pilot seemed "rusty" or unfamiliar with the assembly. Additionally, the pilot also seemed "rusty" in his handling of the airplane as it departed. The witness watched as the airplane "wobbled" during climbout.

When the airplane was approximately 1 mile away, it suddenly pitched upward as if the pilot was attempting a "stall." The airplane then leveled off briefly, and shortly thereafter, descended straight down until it disappeared behind trees.

No radio distress calls from the pilot were heard by the witness, or anyone else at the airport.

The pilot, age 73, held a state of Tennessee driver's license. He did not hold a pilot certificate or a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate. The pilot's logbooks were not recovered, and his total flight hours were not determined.

The two-seat, high-wing, tail wheel equipped airplane, was powered by a Rotax 582, 64-horsepower engine. The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not recovered.

The airplane was examined at the scene by an FAA inspector. The airplane came to rest on its left side. The left wing was buckled under the fuselage, and the right wing was oriented vertically. The empennage of the airplane was broken from the fuselage. The airplane was equipped with a ballistic recovery parachute, which was deployed. The "T" handle that fired the parachute was found in the pilot's hand. Although the parachute was deployed, it did not inflate.

The airplane was equipped with two 5-gallon fuel tanks. The fuel supply lines were impact damaged and disconnected from the bottom of both tanks. One of the tanks was breached, and there was a strong smell of fuel at the accident site.

Examination of the engine confirmed crankshaft and valve train continuity throughout the engine, and that the propeller was intact. At the completion of the examination, no mechanical or flight control anomalies were found.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on September 25, 2007, by the Center for Forensic Medicine, as authorized by the deputy coroner of Nashville, Tennessee. The cause of death was listed as "multiple blunt force injuries."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report noted:

Omeprazole was present in the urine
Omeprazole was not detected in the blood.

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