On September 26, 2007, about 1515 eastern daylight time, an amateur built, Comp Air XL 10 airplane, N880FS, registered to Fly By Sea Co. and operated by an individual, made a forced landing onto a marsh terrain, while on a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, near Rockledge, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The commercial rated pilot reported no injuries and the airplane incurred substantial damage. The flight originated from the Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida, earlier that day, about 1430. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he was to deliver the airplane to its owner in Portugal. The pilot flew the airplane with an instructor to get familiarized with the airplane and its systems. A few discrepancies were noted during the flight and the airplane was return to the factory at COI to have the discrepancies corrected. He elected to conduct the post maintenance flight by himself. He departed from COI and climbed to about 3,000 feet. At that altitude, he reduced power to 95 percent N1 to verify the 40 gallons per hour of fuel consumption. About 30 minutes into the flight the pilot decided to return to COI. The airplane was about 7 miles southwest of the airport when the engine quit suddenly. He descended from 3,000 to 2,000 feet to intercept the inbound course for the GSP runway 11 approach at COI. He went through the engine restart procedures but was unsuccessful. The pilot communicated with Federal Aviations Administration (FAA) Orlando Approach Control of his situation. He landed the airplane on terrain that was dividing a canal; the main landing gear separated at impact. The airplane slid sideways before it came to a stop at the water’s edge. He exited the airplane without injuries.
An examination of the wreckage was conducted by a FAA inspector. The engine incurred damage to the propeller flange and turbine case. The turbine case buckling prevented the rotation of the turbine section. Examination of the turbine blades showed no discrepancies. The accessory section was rotated with no discrepancies noted. No discrepancies were noted with the fuel control units power lever, condition lever, and idle cutoff detent. The power lever was set for full power. The wreckage recovery crew defueled the airplane utilizing the airplane’s fuel pumps. Fuel was present in the main fuel filter and no water or contaminates were noted. The engine condition lever could be moved to the idle cutoff position without interference; the lock-out was not operational.
The airplane’s designer stated that the owner of the airplane hired an instructor to have the pilot checked out on the airplane prior to a ferry flight to Portugal. The instructor informed the designer the pilot received about an hour of dual instruction on the airplane and its systems; more so, that the pilot inadvertently shutdown the engine several times while taxiing during the training.