MIA08LA090
MIA08LA090

On April 17, 2008, at 1925 eastern daylight time, an experimental light sport aircraft (E-LSA) E.B. Wood Phantom X1 airplane, N2692P, crashed into wooded terrain during touch-and-go landings at the Warrenton Air Park, Warrenton, Virginia. The student pilot was killed, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The airplane was registered to and operated by the student pilot, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A witness stated that the student pilot was conducting touch-and-go landings prior to the accident. He said that he heard the engine running, however, within a few minutes, he lost sight of the airplane and shortly thereafter, he heard the engine “quit.” The witness immediately drove in the direction where he heard the engine stop. He located the downed airplane and called the local authorities.

The pilot, age 63, held a student pilot certificate, which was updated on February 8, 2008. The student pilot's logbook was not recovered, and a determination of endorsements and total flight experience could not be made. The student pilot did not hold a sport pilot certificate.

The single-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number (S/N) 040299013, was manufactured in 2003. It was powered by a Rotax 503 DCDI, 50-horsepower engine and equipped with three-bladed Precision propeller C28A. Review of the application for an airworthiness certificate revealed that on January 28, 2008, the airplane had an airframe total time of 94.4 hours.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane descended through trees into a field. The airframe and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. The cockpit section of the airplane was crushed. The left wing was impact damaged, and the empennage was twisted to the right side. Examination of the fuel system revealed fuel leakage around the airplane. The rudder was slightly trailing edge right and both elevators were slightly trailing edge up. The left and right ailerons were impact damaged. Two of the three propeller blades were shattered.

Examination of the flight control cables by a FAA inspector revealed continuity throughout the aircraft to all flight control surfaces. The engine remained partially attached to the fuselage. An assessment of the throttle control could not be determined due to the damaged cockpit. The airplane was equipped with a ballistic parachute system but it was not deployed. The examination of the engine and system components by the FAA inspector revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on April 8, 2008 by the Department of Health Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Fairfax, Virginia, as authorized by the Virginia State Police. The cause of death was reported as “blunt force head and neck injuries."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no ethanol was detected in the liver or muscle, and no drugs were detected in the liver. Pseudoephedrine was detected in his blood.

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