ERA09LA388
ERA09LA388

On July 8, 2009, about 1205 central daylight time, a Christen Industries Pitts S-2B, N113DW, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following loss of engine power, while maneuvering near Oakland, Mississippi. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight that was conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a bill of sale, the pilot purchased the airplane on April 9, 2008. The airplane was manufactured in 1986 and issued a normal and acrobatic standard airworthiness certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

According to an FAA inspector, the airplane departed an airport located about 16 miles from the accident site, with approximately 18 gallons of fuel on board. Witnesses reported that the airplane was in a left turn when the engine began to "sputter," and subsequently quit. The airplane then descended about a 45-degree angle until it impacted trees, and came to rest in a heavily wooded area.

One witness stated that the pilot had performed a few "commonplace" aerobatic maneuvers and was in a turn when he heard the engine make two loud "coughs," accompanied with "large bursts of smoke," before it went "totally silent."

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane's left wing was separated. The right wing remained attached; however, it sustained damage consistent with multiple tree strikes. Evidence of a fuel spill was present at the accident site. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming AEIO-540 series engine, which was partially buried in the ground.

The wreckage was recovered to a storage facility in Griffin, Georgia, where it was examined by two FAA inspectors. The examination did not reveal any evidence of preimpact malfunctions. A "small" amount of fuel was recovered from the airframe electric boost pump. The fuel did not appear consistent in color with 100-low-lead aviation gasoline. Subsequent testing revealed that the fuel had a 98 octane rating; however, due to the sample size it could not be checked for contamination.

At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 750 total hours, and about 40 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performance on November 16, 2008.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page