LAX08LA181
LAX08LA181

On June 14, 2008, approximately 0630 eastern daylight time, an Airborne Edge (Experimental Light Sport A) weight-shift control airplane, N9393S, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during a go-around at a private field near Dunn, North Carolina. The student pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, was killed. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the supervised solo flight. The local flight originated from the private field about 5 minutes prior to the accident.

In a written statement, the flight instructor who was supervising the student pilot's first solo flight reported that the pilot departed and remained within the traffic pattern with no apparent difficulties. The pilot appeared to conduct a stable approach to landing. The instructor stated just before the airplane was going to touch down, the pilot applied full power to initiate a go-around and the airplane began to turn to the left. Subsequently, the left wing struck the ground and the airplane cartwheeled before coming to rest. The pilot was extracted from the wreckage and transported to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that all components of the airplane exhibited impact related damage. No anomalies were observed with the airplane's flight control system.

The student pilot's flight instructor reported that prior to the accident, the pilot had received about 16 hours of flight training in weight-shift control airplanes, and had accumulated about 85 hours of flight time in powered parachutes. The flight instructor stated that the airplane was equipped with a two-cycle engine, which produced left-hand torque and turning tendencies. He added that the student pilot had been instructed on compensation techniques for the left torque and turning tendencies prior to his solo flight.

Witnesses reported that the weather at the time of the accident was clear sky and calm wind.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, conducted an autopsy on the pilot on June 15, 2008. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was "Blunt force trauma."

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 with positive results for 12 (mg/dl, mg/hg) of Ethanol in the blood, 16 (mg/dl, mg/hg) of Ethanol in the liver, 2 (mg/dL, mg/hg) N-Propanol in the liver and 8 (mg/dL, mg/hg) N-Propanol in the blood. It was also reported that no ethanol was detected in the Vitreous and that the ethanol "found in this case is [was] from sources other than ingestion." The test was also positive for unspecified amounts of Atropine and Etomidate within the blood and liver.

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