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On May 25, 2008, about 0949 mountain daylight time, an amateur built Kolb Kolbra airplane, N49KK, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near the Skinner Ranch Airport (12OR), Jordan Valley, Oregon. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, was killed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The personal local flight departed from a private airstrip near Jordan Valley at an undetermined time.
Witnesses located adjacent to the accident site reported observing the airplane over flying the runway at a low altitude and entered a steep right turn. As the turn progressed, the airplane descended below a hill and impacted rocky terrain. One witness added that prior to the sound of impact, he heard the "engine speed up." Another witness stated that as the airplane was turning, the wings appeared to be almost perpendicular to the ground. Subsequently, the airplane impacted terrain.
The 58 year old pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane multi-engine ratings and a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and helicopter ratings. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine, airplane multi-engine, and instrument airplane ratings. In addition, the pilot held multiple type ratings in various transport category aircraft. A second-class airman medical certificate issued on January 3, 2008, with the limitation stated "must wear corrective lenses." Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated 15,541.1 total flight hours of which 1,640 hours were in the accident make/model airplane as of May 11, 2008.
The two-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear amateur built experimental airplane, serial number (S/N) KB01-3-00008, was built in 2002. It was powered by a Rotax 912 engine and equipped with a Warpdrive Inc. model 6BLWT3HPLR fixed-pitch propeller. Review of copies of maintenance logbook records showed a condition inspection was completed October 26, 2007, at an airframe total time of 1515.0 hours and engine total time of 800.7 hours.
A review of recorded data from the Rome State Airport, Rome, Oregon weather observation station, located 34 miles southwest of the accident site revealed at 0952, conditions were wind variable at 6 knots, temperature 15 degrees Celsius, dew point 4 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of Mercury.
Witnesses in the area at the time of the accident reported visibility was greater than 10 miles and clear sky.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, revealed that the airplane came to rest inverted within an open field. All primary flight controls were located at the accident site. The right wing was crushed aft and partially separated from the fuselage. The forward area of the fuselage was crushed aft. The tail boom and empennage were separated aft of the cockpit and were relatively undamaged. Wreckage debris remained within a 10-foot radius of the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to all primary flight controls and engine. Rotational continuity was established throughout the engine when the propeller was rotated by hand. No anomalies were noted during the examination of the engine or airframe.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Malheur County Coroner's office conducted an autopsy on the pilot on May 28, 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.