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On June 24, 2009, at 2041 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Schendl model Mustang II airplane, N152AS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from the Alexander Salamon Airport (KAMT), near West Union, Ohio. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.
According to witness accounts, the airplane had completed two flight-legs since receiving its airworthiness certificate. On the day of the accident, the pilot was observed working on the airplane engine and completing several taxi tests before departing on the accident flight. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane on initial climb from runway 5 when the engine began running rough. One witness reported seeing smoke trail from the airplane. The airplane was observed to turn back toward the airport before entering a nose-down, spiraling descent until impact with terrain. A ground fire ensued after impact that consumed the cabin and cockpit.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the accident pilot, age 64, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. His last aviation medical examination was completed on April 10, 2009, when he was issued a third-class medical certificate with no limitations. A search of FAA records showed no accident, incident, enforcement, or disciplinary actions.
The pilot's flight logbook was not available during the investigation. When applying for his previous aviation medical certificates, the pilot reported his total civilian flight experience and flight time completed within the previous six months. The pilot's previous medical certificate was issued on December 2, 2003, at which time he reported having 529 hours total flight experience, with 4 hours in the previous 6 months. When his current medical certificate was issued on April 10, 2009, the pilot reported having 569 hours total flight experience and that he had not flown during the previous six months.
The pilot also held an aviation mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, issued on August 23, 2005.
The accident airplane was a 2009 Schendl model Mustang II airplane, serial number (s/n) M-II-1688. The experimental amateur-built airplane was a low wing, all-metal, single-engine, two-place monoplane. The airplane had a builder-designated maximum takeoff weight of 1,600 pounds and a 650 pound useful load. A turbo-normalized modified Lycoming model O-235-C2C reciprocating engine, s/n L-9634-15, powered the airplane. The 135-horsepower engine provided thrust through a McCauley model 1A105/SCM-7154, fixed pitch, two-blade, metal propeller.
The accident airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate on April 5, 2009, by a designated airworthiness representative. Maintenance logbook information was not available during the investigation. The recording hour meter was destroyed during the postimpact ground fire, which prevented the determination of the total service time at the time of the accident. Reportedly, the airplane had completed two flight-legs since receiving its airworthiness certificate and remained within in the 40 hour flight test phase required by its operating limitations. On the day of the accident, the pilot was observed working on the aircraft engine and completing several taxi tests before departing on the accident flight. No additional maintenance information was made available during the investigation.
The closest weather reporting facility was at Airborne Airpark (KILN), Wilmington, Ohio, located about 43 miles north of the accident site. The airport was equipped with an automated surface observing system (ASOS).
At 2054, the KILN ASOS reported the following weather conditions: Wind 200 degrees at 3 knots; visibility 10 miles; sky clear; temperature 27 degrees Celsius; dew point 19 degrees Celsius; altimeter setting 29.90 inches of mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest upright in an open field about 3/4 miles northeast of the departure airport. The aircraft wreckage was orientated on a west-southwest heading. There was no significant wreckage propagation from the initial impact location. There was evidence of an extensive postimpact ground fire that completely consumed the fuselage cabin and cockpit. All airframe structural components were located at the accident site and all flight control surfaces remained attached at their respective airframe positions. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage structure. The single wing flap, which extended across the underside of the fuselage, was partially extended. All noted structural component failures were consistent with overload separations. Flight control continuity could not be established due to damage; however, all observed flight control system discontinuities were consistent with overload failure or fire damage. The 25-gallon fuselage fuel tank was destroyed during the postimpact ground fire.
The engine remained attached to the firewall. The engine rear accessory case was damaged by the postimpact fire. Both magnetos were separated from the engine accessory section. The carburetor had separated from the engine and was damaged by the fire. The upper sparkplugs were removed and exhibited normal wear/burn signatures. The propeller remained partially attached to the crankshaft flange. One of the two propeller blades was bent aft under the engine. The other blade was undamaged, with no significant leading edge damage or chordwise scratching noted along its entire span. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed by rotating the propeller. No anomalies were noted during the examination that could be associated with a preimpact loss of engine power.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
On June 25, 2009, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by a forensic pathologist with the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, located in Dayton, Ohio. The pilot's cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt force injuries sustained during the accident.
The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. No carbon monoxide, cyanide, or ethanol, was detected in blood samples; however, 0.403 (ug/ml, ug/g) of Butalbital was detected in liver samples, and 0.187 (ug/ml, ug/g) of Butalbital was detected in blood samples. Butalbital is a barbiturate that is commonly used in combination with other drugs such as acetaminophen and caffeine to treat mild to moderate pain, migraines and tension headaches.