ERA09LA293
ERA09LA293

On May 17, 2009, about 1020 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur built Ronald F. Gossard Kitfox IV, N92RG, was substantially damaged following a forced landing and impact with trees near Camden, North Carolina. The airplane received substantial damage and the private pilot received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight to First Flight Airport (FFA), Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The flight originated at Northeastern Regional Airport (EDE), Edenton, North Carolina, about 1000.

The pilot reported that about 20 minutes after departure from EDE, at about 1,200 feet above ground level (AGL), the engine began to surge. He also noted that prior to the engine surges, he felt an unusual amount of heat on his left leg. He attempted to stabilize the engine with throttle adjustments; however the engine continued to lose power. He made a radio call to friends in another airplane that he was going to attempt a forced landing. He set up the airplane to land into the wind on a dirt road. During the forced landing, the right wing struck a tree and the airplane spun around to the right approximately 120 degrees before coming to a stop with the left wing imbedded against another tree. The pilot exited the airplane and North Carolina Highway Patrol personnel arrived at the scene and rendered assistance. The pilot later checked into a local hospital and was treated for broken ribs and released.

During the recovery of the wreckage, the pilot reported that a 90-degree pipe that directs hot exhaust out of the engine muffler and overboard was broken off and missing. The exhaust pipe was not recovered at the accident site. Paint on the engine cowling adjacent to the missing exhaust pipe was scorched and bubbled. One of the air filter housings that attaches to one of the carburetors was deformed and showed signs of melting. Subsequent examination of the muffler revealed that the exhaust pipe separated along the weld joint on the muffler body. The location of the failed joint would allow hot exhaust gases to impinge on the carburetors and air filters.

The 1038 weather observation for Elizabeth City, North Carolina (ECG), located about 5 miles south of the accident site, included the following: scattered clouds at 2,300 feet, broken clouds at 11,000 feet, surface winds from 250 degrees at 9 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, temperature 25 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

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