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On January 3, 2009, approximately 1345 central standard time (CST) a Nanchang China CJ-6, N99YK, was destroyed and consumed by a post crash fire after a loss of control and impact with terrain while on base leg for landing at the Propwash Airport (16X), Justin, Texas. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was owned by a corporation, operated by a private individual, and flown in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. No flight plan was filed for the local area flight. Visual meterological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.
The airplane was leading a three-ship formation on a local area pleasure flight. The pilot called the flight and announced an overflight of Propwash airport in loose trail formation conducting a right break to enter the traffic pattern at 3 second intervals for landing on runway 17. The pilot of the second aircraft initiated his break, established on downwind leg, and completed his landing checklist. When he looked outside the cockpit for the lead aircraft's position he noticed lead flying on the base leg approximately 300-400 feet above ground level in a very steep right turn that immediately turned to a near vertical nose down descent. The airplane impacted the ground near vertical and 180 degrees from the intended landing direction. Witnesses on the ground confirmed this same scenario.
The pilot, age 69, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single engine and multi engine land, and instrument airplane. A third class medical certificate was issued on August 27, 2007 with the restriction that glasses must be available for near vision. The pilot’s log book was not found prior to the completion of this report. However, on the pilot’s last application for a medical certificate the pilot reported accumulating 2,500 total hours with 400 logged in the previous six months.
The passenger, age 61, held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single engine and multi engine land, and instrument airplane. A second class medical certificate was last issued on July 15, 2005 with no restrictions. In addition, the passenger held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane.
The tandem two-seat, dihedral wing, retractable tricycle landing gear airplane, serial number 1332010, was manufactured in 1965. It was powered by a 360-horsepower Vendeneyev M14P radial engine driving a MT MTV-9-B-C three-bladed, variable pitch, metal propeller. The airplane was certified under an experimental exhibition category on November 2, 2006 and reported to have accumulated 4,590 hours.
At 1353, an automated weather reporting station at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW), Alliance, Texas, about 7 miles south of the accident site, reported wind from 210 degrees at 10 knots gustng to 19 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 82 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 48 F, and a barometric pressure of 29.64 inches of Mercury.
Propwash Airport (16X) is a privately-owned, non-towered airport located at an elevation of 800 feet mean sea level. Runway 17, the landing runway, was a 3,000 foot long by 60 foot wide asphalt runway.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest in a nearly vertical attitude. The empennage was bent to the right 90 degrees just aft of the wings and was rotated clock-wise 90 degrees. The flight instruments and engine were found just forward and to the left of the cockpit. A post-impact fire consumed portions of the cockpit, fuselage, right aileron, left elevator, rudder, and vertical fin. The landing gear was found extended. The split flap was found extended. Both wings displayed accordion crushing with the right wing displayed a higher degree of damage than the left wing. Control continuity was established from the cockpit area to each of the control surfaces.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy was performed on the pilot on January 4, 2009, by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s District, Fort Worth, Texas. The autopsy ruled the cause of death to be from “multiple blunt force injuries” and the manner of death to be an accident.
Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated that no carbon monoxide, cyanide, or drugs were detected in blood. No ethanol was detected in vitreous.
The FAA Advisory Circulatory (AC) 61-67C, Stall and Spin Awareness Training, dated September 25, 2000, informs pilots that "[a]accelerated stalls can occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds due to abrupt and/or excessive control applications. These stall may occur in steep turns, pullups, or other abrupt changes in flightpath."