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On January 21, 2009, about 1045 central standard time, an Ultra Flight, Challenger II CWS, experimental light sport airplane, N805FA, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Waldron, Missouri. The airplane was piloted by a certified flight instructor (CFI) and had departed from the Noah's Ark Airport (06MO), Waldron, Missouri, just prior to the accident. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions and was not on a flight plan. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.
In a telephone interview, the passenger, who was also the owner of the airplane, relayed that he had purchased the airplane about January 1, 2009. He stated that he did not hold a pilot certificate and had no piloting experience when he purchased the airplane. He stated that he had gone for a ride in the accident airplane with the previous owner prior to purchase and that the airplane performed well and became airborne in about 300 to 400 feet. After purchasing the airplane he made arrangements with the CFI to begin flying lessons using the accident airplane. He stated that he trusted the gentleman because he was an instructor pilot and that the accident flight was to be a familiarization flight with the CFI in the front seat and the owner in the rear seat. The front seat on the accident airplane is normally used by the pilot in command because the rear seat position has no instrumentation installed. The owner and the CFI were to change seats after the familiarization flight to begin flight training. The owner stated that in discussions prior to the flight, the CFI relayed to him that he had no experience in the same make/model of airplane. The owner stated that during the accident flight the engine was running well but the airplane used most of the 4,000 foot runway for the takeoff. He stated that once in the air, the CFI tapped his feet which he took as a signal to remove his feet from the rudder pedals. He said that he did not have his feet on the pedals and pulled them back to make it clear that he did not have his feet on the pedals. He stated that the airplane then began a right turn that he thought was rather steep. He stated that he believed the altitude was too low to execute a turn that steep and that the airplane stalled. He also stated that the airplane's engine was running throughout the flight.
The CFI provided a written report of the accident flight. He stated that the engine started well and seemed to run well. He stated that he thought it "seemed strange that a lot of throttle was required to get enough RPM to taxi, but at high RPM the engine seemed powerful." He stated that he took off into a quartering 4 knot headwind, and was surprised that the nose of the airplane yawed downwind just after liftoff and full right rudder would not correct the yaw. He stated that the digital altimeter, airspeed, and tachometer were not operating and when the airplane was at a "comfortable" altitude he reduced power "by sound and groundspeed." He elected to return to the airport and initiated a right turn. He stated that he had no further recollection of the accident flight except that he was unable to raise the right wing using full left aileron and full left rudder and "trying to knock the owner's foot from the right rudder pedal."
The 57 year old passenger/owner of the airplane was not a certificated pilot. He held a student pilot certificate. His intent was to obtain training toward a Sport Pilot certificate. He did not have a medical certificate.
The 61 year old CFI held commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates. The commercial pilot certificate listed single engine land airplane, helicopter, instrument helicopter and instrument airplane ratings. The certified flight instructor certificate listed single engine land airplane, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a second class airman medical certificate with no restrictions. The CFI reported having 17,307 hours of total flight experience and 0.1 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. He listed no flight experience in the previous 90 days.
The airplane was a 2 seat experimental light sport airplane equipped with a single engine of pusher configuration. It was a strut braced monoplane with aft mounted tail surfaces and a tricycle landing gear. The wings and tail surfaces were fabric covered. The airplane was powered by a Rotax 503 DCDI engine rated to produce 52 horsepower. According to manufacturer's advertised data, the airplane had a cruise speed of 95 miles per hour (mph) and was capable of operating in 30 mph crosswinds. The data also listed an average 300 foot takeoff roll when operated with 2 people on board.
At 1053 cst, the weather conditions at the Kansas City International Airport, about 5 nautical miles northeast of the accident site were: Clear skies; visibility 5 statute miles; wind 290 degrees at 5 knots; temperature 1 degree Celsius; dew point -5 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting 30.01 inches of mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest in a level flat soybean field about 3 miles south of 06MO. The airplane was upright and the wings, tail surfaces and engine remained attached to the airframe. The airplane was resting on the right wing and the right side of the fuselage structure. The right wing exhibited upward bending of the section outboard of the strut attachment. The left wing was intact and showed little damage. The tail surfaces appeared intact. The fuselage nose and nose landing gear were crushed rearward. The right main landing gear was collapsed. Examination of the flight controls revealed continuity from the cockpit area to the respective control surfaces. Propeller damage indicated that the engine was rotating at the time of impact and fuel was present within the fuel tank. The digital flight instruments could not be evaluated due to damage received during the impact.
Examination of the airplane subsequent to the accident revealed no pre-impact anomalies with regard to the airplane's flight control system, engine, or airframe.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
Federal aviation regulations state:
61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.
(a) General experience.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crewmember unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days, and -
(i) The person acted as the sole manipulator of the flight controls; and
(ii) The required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required), and, if the aircraft to be flown is an airplane with a tailwheel, the takeoffs and landings must have been made to a full stop in an airplane with a tailwheel.