HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On March 29, 2008, at 1320 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Rans S-12, N6189F, was substantially damaged following a loss of control and uncontrolled descent after takeoff from a private airstrip near Rincon, Georgia. The student pilot/owner was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the scene and interviewed the property owner, a friend of the pilot, who witnessed the accident. According to the witness, the airplane lifted off from the 1,000-foot strip prior to the midpoint, climbed "rapidly" to about 125 feet, where the airplane "stalled, and took a sharp left turn."
In a telephone interview, the witness stated that when the airplane reached about 125 feet above the runway, "the airplane stalled, and cart wheeled to the left. I never heard the engine slow down."
The left wing then struck a pine tree, and the airplane descended and collided with terrain. According to the witness, the engine was running smoothly without interruption throughout the takeoff roll, the flight, and the descent to ground contact.
According to FAA records, the pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued March 2006. He did not hold a pilot certificate. No pilot logbook was recovered, and law enforcement officers were unable to locate any pilot records. The student-rated pilot/owner's total flight experience and total experience in the Rans S-12 could not be determined.
The pilot's friend who witnessed the accident, stated that he thought the pilot had somewhere between 50 and 100 total hours of flight experience, and that the pilot had been flying for approximately 15 years. He added that he had "begged" the pilot to get flight instruction in the accident airplane.
According to FAA records, the airplane was an amateur-built Rans S-12 with a "pending" registration. No airworthiness certificate, no registration certificate, and no operating limitations were recovered from the wreckage. The data plate on the airplane showed July 7, 1994 as the date of manufacture. The empty weight placarded on the data plate was 652 pounds, and the gross weight placarded was 1,000 pounds.
The hobbs meter displayed 718 total aircraft hours.
The FAA and law enforcement officers were unable to locate any airframe or powerplant logbooks. Therefore, the airplane's maintenance and inspection history could not be determined.
At 1353, the weather reported at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), 15 miles south of the site, included few clouds at 4,500 feet with winds from 270 degrees at 10 knots. The temperature was 26 degrees Celsius, and the dew point was 8 degrees Celsius.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of photographs of the wreckage revealed that the airplane was a high wing, of a metal tube and fabric construction, with an aft-mounted engine and a pusher propeller. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers, with the rudder and elevators were attached to a tailboom.
The cockpit area and wing structures appeared to have been crushed in an aft direction consistent with a vertical descent. The structural tubing surrounding the cockpit area was crushed and cut in numerous places by rescue personnel.
The FAA inspector established control continuity from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces.