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On May 25, 2008 about 0730 mountain standard time, an amateur built Nolan RV-4 airplane, N6290F, registered to a private individual, and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Tolani Lake, Arizona. The cross-country flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, was killed. The flight departed from the Payson Airport, Payson, Arizona, about 0630 and was destined for Blanding, Utah.
An Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued on May 25, 2008, by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after being notified by the pilots family that the airplane was overdue at its intended destination. The wreckage was located around 1200 in an open sandy area by local cattle ranchers.
The 40 year old pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and airplane multi-engine land ratings. A third-class airman medical certificate issued on March 16, 2006, with no limitations stated. Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that as of the most recent logbook entry dated January 8, 2008, the pilot had logged a total of 257.4 hours of flight time.
Review of pilot records provided by the FAA revealed that the pilot was previously involved in an aircraft accident in October of 2006. During a subsequent reexamination conducted by the FAA, the pilot failed to demonstrate proficiency during the ground portion. The pilot's private pilot certificate was suspended on April 4, 2008, and was still under suspension at the time of the accident.
The two-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear amateur built airplane, serial number (S/N) 002, was manufactured in 1998. It was powered by a Lycoming O-320-E2D engine, rated at 150 horse power engine and equipped with a fixed pitch propeller.
Review of the airframe logbook record revealed that the airframe and propeller underwent a conditional inspection on November 12, 2007, at a tach time of 446.1 hours. Review of the engine logbook revealed that the most recent 100-hour inspection was performed on November 12, 2007 at a tach time of 446.1 hours. The tachometer was observed at the accident site, however, damage precluded determining the current readings.
The automated surface observation system located at the Winslow Airport, Winslow, Arizona, located about 29 miles south southeast of the accident site reported at 0756, wind from 120 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 11 degrees Celsius, dew point 3 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of Mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector who responded to the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted an open flat sandy area within the desert. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) with terrain was found to be consistent with the left wing. From the FIPC to the main wreckage was about 34 feet in length. The left wing, left horizontal stabilizer, and left elevator were crushed upwards. All primary flight controls were located at the accident site. Evidence of fuel was observed at the accident site and the ground was saturated by a liquid consistent with aviation 100 low lead fuel about one inch below the surface within the fine sand. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Coconino County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on the pilot on May 29, 2008. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was “Multiple Blunt Force Injuries.”
The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report, carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs were tested, and had negative results.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
Examination of the recovered airframe and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Examination of the engine revealed that the propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. One blade was straight and undamaged, however was cut by recovery personnel. The opposing blade exhibited torsional twisting, trailing edge “S” bending, and chordwise striations across the cambered surface. Examination of the recovered engine and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction.