WPR10LA103
WPR10LA103

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 8, 2010, at 1424 Pacific standard time, an experimental amateur-built Larson RV8, N747CL, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near the Sequim Valley Airport, Sequim, Washington. The airplane was registered to the pilot, and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The two occupants, the airplane owner/front seat pilot, and the certified flight instructor (seated in the rear seat), were killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The local flight originated at Port Angeles, Washington, approximately 30 minutes before the accident. The pilot obtained a special visual flight rules (VFR) clearance for the departure at Port Angeles.

After departing Port Angeles, the pilot flew to Sequim Valley and completed a landing on runway 090. A witness reported that after the landing, the airplane departed to the west and entered a right downwind for runway 27. Witnesses reported that shortly after joining the downwind, the airplane began a steep, 60-90 degree, bank turn to the right. About 360 degrees into the turn, the airplane banked left, pitched nose-down and impacted terrain. The wreckage came to rest in a plowed field 1/4-mile north of the airport.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Seattle Flight Standards District Office, reported that the purpose of the flight was to conduct a flight review for the airplane owner/front seat pilot.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot/Airplane Owner

The front seat pilot, age 68, held an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single engine land. The pilot possessed airline transport pilot type ratings for Boeing 747, McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed 188 Electra airplanes.

FAA records indicated that the pilot's most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on December 9, 2009. The medical certificate stipulated that the pilot “must have available glasses for near vision.”

The pilot's total flight time was not obtained.

Certified Flight Instructor

The rear seat pilot, age 61, held an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single engine land and airplane single engine sea. The pilot also held a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate with airplane single engine land, multi engine land and instrument airplane ratings.

FAA records indicated that the pilot's most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on September 17, 2009. The medical certificate stipulated that the pilot “must wear lenses for distant - possess glasses for near vision.”

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear, Larson, RV-8 experimental amateur-built airplane received a special airworthiness certificate on February 18, 2008. The airplane was equipped with tandem seats and tandem flight controls. It was powered by a Superior XP-IO-360 series engine and equipped with a Hartzell propeller.

The NTSB investigator reviewed copies of the maintenance records. The records showed that a conditional inspection was completed on February 8, 2009, at a recorded tachometer time of 141.7 hours. The airframe total time at inspection was 141.7 hours. The records indicated that a 100-hour inspection of the engine was completed on September 21, 2009, at a recorded tachometer time of 239 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1353, the recorded weather observation at Port Angeles (13 nautical miles west of the accident site) was, in part, winds from 290 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast ceiling at 700 feet with a surface temperature of 7 degrees Celsius.

At 1453, the recorded weather observation was, in part, winds from 300 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast ceiling at 500 feet with a surface temperature of 7 degrees Celsius.

At 1253, the recorded weather observation was, in part, winds from 270 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, broken clouds at 700 feet, overcast clouds at 11,000 feet with a surface temperature of 7 degrees Celsius.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies on the pilot and CFI were performed on January 12, 2010. According to the autopsy reports, the cause of death for both was "multiple injuries/blunt trauma."

The FAA’s Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on the pilot and CFI. The results were negative for tested substances.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The wreckage was removed from the accident location and transported to Maple Valley, Washington, for storage and examination. Examination of the wreckage was completed by NTSB investigators and FAA inspectors on January 21, 2010.

The examination revealed impact related damage to the frontal, lower and accessory area of the engine. The recovered engine remained attached to the engine mount structure, however, was separated from the airframe. Rocker arm, valve train and accessory gear continuity was established by rotating the engine’s crankshaft by hand. All four cylinders developed pressure when the crankshaft was manually rotated. The spark plugs were removed and normal operating wear patterns were noted.

Extensive impact damage was noted throughout the airframe. The forward section of the fuselage, cockpit area and associated instrumentation was extensively fragmented and crushed aft to the main wing spar. The forward and aft control sticks and forward rudder pedals were identified; however, rear rudder pedals were not located and it was not determined if they were installed at the time of the accident. Extensive rearward crushing and deformation was noted throughout the main wing assembly. The ailerons and flaps remained attached to the wing assembly and no anomalies were noted. The empennage was bent forward approximately 100 degrees and was partially attached to the fuselage. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers were in place and their respective flight controls remained attached. No anomalies were noted.

Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of an in-flight system malfunction or failure prior to the impact.

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